Off to the Races!

Greetings from Wachusett! At precisely 10:20 AM this morning I will be kicking off the Reach the Beach relay and starting the most epic, exhausting, challenging, and hopefully fulfilling 30 hours of my life.

The trip up to Boston so far has already been awesome, involving car decorating, teammate bonding, and an awesome tour of the New Balance factory in Lawrence, MA. For the sake of packing light, I left my laptop at home (I’m blogging from my phone and on Ashley’s comandeered computer, hehe) so I won’t be able to upload my “real” pics until I’m back in DC. I have a few phonetastic snapshots of the day’s events though, so enjoy and think good thoughts for me and my team if it’s past 10:20 when you read this! 😀

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Van #1!

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Touring the manufacturing floor at New Balance! (They are the only major athletic footware company who still manufactures shoes in the US. 25% of their products are from here!)

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In the research labs — the “smash room”!

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So. Many. Shoes.

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Trailing behind Van #2 on our way to the hotel.

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My pre-race dinner: STEAK!

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Ashley and me right after our Team Off Balance photoshoot.

See you on the flipside!

11 Days

That’s right, friends. 11 days until 12 bloggers will be piling into 2 vans for a 200-mile, 24-hour relay race in Massachusetts. Whew, that’s a lot of numbers. Reach the Beach, the countdown has (more than) begun!

I’m so, so excited for this experience… and so, so scared. I’ve been reading recaps on blogs of similar relay-style races (Ragnar, Hood to Coast) and am getting simultaneously pumped up and petrified. It’s an odd feeling, haha. On the one hand, I feel honored just to get to be a part of this whole experience. I mean, it’s going to be awesome, New Balance is generously sponsoring our team, some of my favorite people in the world will be running with me, and I’m going to get to meet a whole slew of new friends, too!

And yet, at the same time, I’m still feeling pretty self-conscious going in because I’m the least runner-y runner in the entire group. It’s hard not to get down on myself for being slower or heavier or less in love with the sport of running than the rest of my super-accomplished teammates, y’know? I’ve definitely had my fair share of moments where I’ve second-guessed the fact that I agreed to be part of the relay team in the first place. I’ll admit, the most powerful driving force behind keeping my doubts at bay has been wrapped up in the fact that I hate being left out of awesome stuff. This relay definitely qualifies as awesome stuff. And I know that if I had said no to this, I would have REALLY regretted it once I started reading the other ladies’ recaps, haha.


Team Off Balance

I mean, let’s be honest: My legs for the race are totally fair (2.8, 4.78, and 3.37 miles), so I really can’t be that worried about running the actual distances. And we’re not running to win (obviously), so I should be able to focus the having fun part, right? Well, that said, I’ve also never had to run more than once a day before, let alone on little to no sleep. Heh.

Despite my best intentions to at least practice a two-a-day run before now, I haven’t done so yet. So this weekend I will DEFINITELY be testing one out — once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening — just to get an idea of how my body will react. Cognitively, I know that the excitement, adrenaline, and general kick-assery of the relay is going to go a long way in terms of helping me get through the physical part of the race. Still though, you know me. I’m a worrier. So regardless of how prepared I am, I’m sure I’ll be in freak-out mode pretty much from now until my plane lands back in DC nonetheless. (Aren’t my teammates so lucky? Hahaha.)

I don’t usually post a lot of specific information about my workout/training schedules here (since I find it boring to read on other blogs, hahaha), but I figure that it’ll be good for me to line everything up officially (you know, so I actually DO it). So here’s the plan for the next 11 days to get me fully prepared for my cumulative 11.51 miles!

Monday (5/7): 3 mile outdoor run
Tuesday (5/8): Crosstrain – Zumba
Wednesday (5/9): 3.5 mile treadmill run
Thursday (5/10): Crosstrain – Cardio Dance Class
Friday (5/11): Rest
Saturday (5/12: 3 mile AM run, 2 mile PM run
Sunday (5/13): Rest
Monday (5/14): 4 mile outdoor run
Tuesday (5/15): Crosstrain – Zumba
Wednesday (5/16): 2.5 mile outdoor run
Thursday (5/17): Rest/Fly to Boston!

And then Friday (5/18), Reach the Beach begins!

11 days. Here we go!

Holy Swag, New Balance!

As you are all probably aware, given the number of times I’ve freaked out about it so far, I am running the Reach the Beach Relay in May with a team of pretty awesome bloggers. We have been fortunate enough to be sponsored by New Balance, and while I would have been more than happy just not having to pay a registration fee, they upped the ante. Yesterday I came home to a pretty sweet surprise!

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Well, I guess it wasn’t SO much of a surprise, since I had been hearing the digital shrieks from my teammates who had already received theirs all day, haha.

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I was NOT fully prepared for the epicness that awaited me within the walls of that duffel bag, however. Consider my workout wardrobe effectively doubled (or more!) — I think all my UnderArmour gear is going to start jelly hatin’:

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Holy schlamoly. There is pretty much everything that you would possibly need to train for a relay like this in here!

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The list of swag from my bag is as follows:

  • New Balance 890 sneakers (The soles are really more pink than red, despite how the color turned out in the pic.)
  • PDA Running Gloves
  • Tri-Viz Running Cap (With lights on the front and under the rim!)
  • Prism Run Shorts
  • Fun Run Shorts
  • Fun Run Skirt (My first running skirt! There are shorts built into it.)
  • Prism Capri
  • Impact Capri
  • Tempo Tee
  • Icefill Short Sleeve (Love me some moisture-wicking tees)
  • Tonic Crop Sports Bra
  • NRG Bars
  • GPS Runner (I don’t think that links to the same model we got, but it’s all I could find on the website.)
  • Running Socks
  • I didn’t even know that New Balance made a GPS watch, but I am really excited to try it all out! I’m actually most excited about the running hat. The relay is over the course of 24+ hours, which obviously means that some legs are going to be at night (all the relay recaps I’ve read say that the night legs are the best experience though, so hopefully I get (an easy) one, hehe!). It’ll be so nice having a little headlamp on as we’re running through rural Massachusetts at 3 AM, don’t you think?

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    All of this new jank is DEFINITELY getting me hyped up for the race. It’s even — gasp! — making me want to go run to try it all out! Who’d have ever thunk it? 😉 This is gonna be legendary.

    Do you have a “brand” when it comes to running/workout apparel? My sister works for UA, so all of my stuff has been almost exclusively them up until now (my shoes are Brooks though).

    Edit: I forgot to add that New Balance is offering a discount code for our team to distribute! It’s good for 15% off and free shipping at shopnewbalance.com (valid until March 10th). Code: NBRTB1255CB4T