October was a pretty intense but fun month of running after my Bear 100 experience. I’m happy to say that I managed to run a relay race and a 10K amidst my ultramarathon adventures! I would hate to lose all my speed, so doing shorter races keeps me on my toes.
My friend Diane invited me to be a part of her Ragnar Relay DC team for the third year, and I was happy to be part of Van 1 once again! I made my way down to DC on late Thursday, then it was up bright and early on Friday, October 4th to run in the relay! Our name was Team A.M.O.R.E. (A Mismatch of Running Enthusiasts), and we were determined to defend our title of Best Decorated Van for the 3rd year in a row! Led by captain Diane, we decorated every inch of our van with funny caricatures and quotes.
The relay went from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC and teams had 36 hours to finish. This year was interesting, because three legs were eliminated due to the government shutdown (since the 3 relay legs ran through federal land)! What a bummer! I was just glad that the relay wasn’t cancelled entirely. There were a lot of funny signs, such as one that said “You run better than our government.” I ran 3 legs totaling about 15.8 miles, and this year I had the pleasure of running the toughest leg, a dusty 7.8 miles that had a total elevation gain of 1247 ft and elevation loss of 1024 ft! It was a doozy for my sore legs that ran 61 miles a mere 6 days before, but my cheering teammates pulled me through. I think I ran it in 1:24 or so, slower than expected but not bad.
At the end of the leg, a surprise was waiting for us: each leg 3 runner got a belt buckle award! It was a nice touch and I will sport mine proudly. The weather was very warm for this relay–it was high 80s and humid, and some parts the heat index reached 99F! It was very unusual for October.
My favorite part of the race is always the South Mountain Creamery, which stays open in the wee hours of the night to welcome runners with ice cold chocolate milk and a full dairy bar and BBQ for sale. Yum!! I got the raspberry ice cream and a nice half-gallon of chocolate milk in a glass jug. I kept it in our cooler as my recovery beverage. Delicious! I sported my Team Refuel gear throughout the race too.
Our team made it through in 180th place out of 291 teams. For us, it’s not about time but the camaraderie, and we still did well! Our time was 29:24:36 after accounting for driving time through the legs that were eliminated, and this year our relay was a bit shorter than 170 miles, approximately.
I wanted to thank my teammates and our lovely volunteers (Pearl, Art and Larry) for making this relay possible! Also, special thanks to Diane for being super organized and for putting a lot of legwork into our team!
It was really special finishing together in National Harbor in DC. We also found out a few days later that we won for Best Decorated Van for the third year in a row! Go Team A.M.O.R.E.!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10K
The following weekend after the Ragnar DC, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10K on behalf of Team Refuel! It was awesome to race with my teammates Anthony and Dani, and we wished each other luck at the start. I also got a chance to run with Diane, Deb and their friend Lauren who came up from Virginia. The night before, we had a carbo-loading dinner at Ganso Ramen in Brooklyn. They had a solid Pork Tonkotsu ramen and delicious green tea matcha ice cream. It’s a hidden gem in a neighborhood not usually known for ethnic food!
I went to the race expo two days before at the Metropolitan Pavilion and had a lot of fun. I got some freebies, took a photo in the photo booth, and picked up my VIP wristband. Thanks Team Refuel for the VIP treatment! The Metropolitan Pavilion was a good venue for packet pick-up, but it was indoors only for one day. I heard from Diane that on Friday (second day), the expo was outdoors and most vendors were not present, just the registration tables. Maybe this is something they can improve for next year.
On race day, I met up with my team at the VIP tent at the Nethermead in Prospect Park. It was very convenient to get there and there were lots of excited runners milling about. The VIP tent had catered food, tables and chairs, magazines, a bar for post-race, and separate bathrooms. Sweet! At 7:30am, the race started and I was feeling good despite all the racing I’ve done the past two weeks. I decided to push the pace as we ran by Grand Army Plaza, and my body responded well to it.
I knew I wasn’t going to PR (my PR is 49:55), but I was aiming for sub-53:00. I had to actually run the Atlantic City Marathon the following day, so I left some energy in the tank! I finished in a time of 52:52, which was good for top 8.5% of females overall! Here were my stats:
Finish time: 52:52 (8:31 pace)
Overall: 692/4135, Gender: 232/2731, Age: 79/702
I got a photo with the Nesquik bunny and recovered with some chocolate milk and croissants. It was a great race! Thank you Team Refuel for sponsoring me! After that, it was off to work, then onto a bus to New Jersey for the Atlantic City Marathon! Stay tuned for a post about my run along the boardwalk!