To Relay or Not to Relay?

Yesterday I did my 2nd 800’s series of marathon training.  In half marathon land, we did 400’s and maybe 1 800 thrown in per workout.  I liked 400’s.  They made me feel fast! 800’s make me feel sick.  And while I know I’ll build up my endurance, I was DONE after 3 (I still finished out my last required two, but they were noticeably slower than the first three).

My fastest split was about 15 seconds faster than my fastest split a few weeks ago, so at least that’s progress! But man oh man do those 800’s not feel so good.  I was dreading them all day. Plus, that promised rain storm never came so I was once again running in the 6:30 p.m. heat.

Also, some jerk had the audacity to GRILL FOOD in one of the houses next to the track, so I got a major gag reflex every time I ran by that house.

**************************************

Yesterday I also got a phone call from an old co-worker of mine.  She’s training for the RnR Denver Half, and she knew that we’ve been training for a marathon. I guess a few people had dropped out of their 12 person relay team for the Wild West Relay Race that runs between Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs, Co, and she wanted to know if we were interested in taking their places. I have been wanting to do a relay just because everyone (like Erika) seems to really enjoy themselves at these relays!  But it is easier to say that you WANT to do something than to actually do it.

A few of my fears:

1) I am terrified of the dark.  I can’t help it.  Running by myself in the dark sounds kind of nightmarish.

2) Wild creatures like bears, bobcats, mountain lions, SNAKES, bugs live in the forest.  I don’t want to meet my demise because my headlamp didn’t illuminate the giant bear until it was too late.

3) I watch a lot of crime shows.  Criminal Minds has let me know that running in the dark in the forest surly means I will be abducted by some serial killer who will lock me up in a cave.  This doesn’t sound like much fun. Caves are dark.  See #1.

4) Spending lots of time in a van with people who I might want to punch in the face.  I only know 1 girl going in.  What if I have the worst weekend ever because I have to spend it with truly terrible people? OR, what if they all want to punch me in the face?  That’s pretty awkward too.

5) Getting lost.  They only have signs at points where the course changes direction.  The website literally says that they can’t be held responsible for signs that get turned the wrong way by some funny person, or if signs blow away.  If you miss a sign, or if it isn’t there, or if it is pointing the wrong direction, then you are lost in the forest.  See #’s 1-3.

6) Getting run over.  The roads aren’t closed.

We aren’t sure yet whether we’re going to do this or not.  It will disrupt our training schedule a bit (MUST FOLLOW THE PLAN), and at $135 a person plus travel and accommodations, it starts adding up.  With friends getting married here soon (and all the shower/bachelor(ette) parties going on with that), plus Chicago and all of those fancy stores and restaurants that the city must certainly contain, the next few months are going to be expensive enough already.  Plus, Fort Collins isn’t exactly anywhere near Albuquerque, so we’d have to take days off work (I’m running out of those), and spend a weekend driving for hours, sitting in a van for hours, running for a few hours, and then driving for more hours back home.  I could be doing a lot with those hours back home.

So, we’re trying to make up our mind by this afternoon.

I think it would be fun, but I also think it would be more fun if it was something that fit into our plan a little bit more.  We’ll see what happens.

Happy Wednesday!

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9 thoughts on “To Relay or Not to Relay?

  1. I did this race last year. It’s very well organized and much fun! You won’t get lost; you will run in the dark, but I actually ended up enjoying that leg the most and I was the most nervous about the dark; you will not get run over (there aren’t that many cars); the scenery for that relay isn’t fantastic but that’s your call; I can’t promise you that won’t want to punch someone in the face- you never know. It is a cool experience, but don’t stress yourself out over it. If you can’t enjoy the whole experience of it, it’s not worth the time, money and effort.

  2. Doing the Great River Ragnar Relay was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There were lots of things that I loved about it, but equally as many things probably that I hated. Basically, you should do one at some point in your life, even if it’s not this one 🙂

    With that said, I think that you really don’t have to worry too much about #’s 1-3 and 5 and 6. In fact, I was super afraid of running in the dark and that ended up being one of my favorite parts of the entire thing! Regarding #4 — I think that’s a valid concern, but you totally bond over the complaining and then the cool things you all experience along the way.

    Finally, a couple of people were training for marathons that did Ragnar with us. One of them did great and said that this actually may have helped her with her training. The other ended up injured. So I think it’s a toss up.

    Sorry for the unsolicited advice! 🙂 I’d be super excited to hear about it if you guys decide to do it! I hope to do another one some day!

    • I forgot to add injuries to the list of fears! I’m also kind of worried because Aaron isn’t really healed yet. And I always accept unsolicited advice!

  3. Doesn’t sound like the best decision…maybe after all the upcoming expenses and once you guys are done training! We have those out in California too, we call them Ragnar…it sounds cooler when someone say Ragnar to me for some reason…

      • Hell if I know, I haven’t done one! I mean I know they have one in So Cal, one in Nor Cal and one in Vegas but I didn’t research to see if they did them everywhere else! California is obviously the coolest one anyway. Wild West sounds lame…it sounds like people would be running in costume with water guns, chaps, spurs and the like.

  4. I hate 800s too! Like a lot… but love em or hate em they really do work. Unfortunately.
    As far as the relay, my first instinct was to say Yes!! As you know, I loved my experience. I believe that every runner should experience a relay at least once. But jumping in at the last minute was tough for me and next time I do it I will train specifically for it. I was in the midst of training for a half but I wasn’t training on hills. The relay was very hilly, so I would check the elevation. Also, Colorado’s elevation is higher which makes it tougher to breathe. And how is the air quality up there. I don’t know how close it is to where the fires are/were. It seems like they are in conflict with Ragnar.
    My advice is to enjoy and focus on your marathon now and then plan on a relay next. I wish I would have had more time to really get to know everyone. But I’m a planner.

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