|Ultra Brüe Tunas|
We loaded up the van and headed to the park. We were running late... Very reminiscent of the CO relay I ran and I was lead and we got there late... no! We were driving down this narrow dirt road - is this van trail rated?!? ha! We had just enough time to snap a picture and get to the start where the runners had already lined up. But where was the relay bracelet? I finally got the snap wrist band in hand 30 seconds before we started.... Then we were off....
This leg was 5.6 miles. It was dark and we were running on the side of a busy road that had no shoulder. I ran with someone for about a half mile, but soon lost him cause he was too slow, then was on my own for about another mile. I was not sure the route and I saw someone up ahead that had a well lit up vest. My goal was to keep her in sight or catch up to her. I ended up catching up to her - her name was Megan. We ran together for the rest of the leg and kept each other company. I always like running better with someone than alone and her company was great :)
Passed the relay bracelet off to Dean and that was my leg one... Average pace 8:48.
I apologized to everyone for being annoyed at the start - cause I truly was. It through off my mojo for getting started as I thought we were going to miss the start... No more snippyness from me - or at least for a while - lol! Relays are long and anything can happen... I was back to havin fun at the relay.
The order was Amy, Dean, Genarro, Ariel, Mike, Judy - and repeat 6x.
The second leg I ran was a warm one. It was fun tho. I ran with someone named Will for several miles. We pushed each other along, talked about life and running. When we came to the I95 crossover I told him that anytime I go over a highway I wave to the cars - he was cool with that so we actually both waved and he did the signal for the semis to honk. We got a lot of lights flashing, horns sounding and waves. That was cool. We were in the middle of nowhere and the encouragement from random cars was fun.
|Brüeprint ü :)|
Lots of downtime between the legs. Got to meet other runners from the other teams. I was also making use of my time by tagging the other vans with the Brüeprint "ü" It was kinda cool cause it looked like a happy face :)
We laid on the cool concrete church steps and recovered for a few minutes before driving on. That was much needed...
I think the next stop had the concession stand where they had hotdogs and stuff. So we got a snack there...
|Takin a much needed break|
The next leg I went out on was my 4th. 7.4 miles. It started at about 10:30 at night. I got a police escort across highway 11. That was really cool. The police monitoring at night was awesome. They were patrolling with their lights on - keeping an eye out for the runners and probably keeping the local traffic more aware of what was going on and slowing them down.
Right after highway 11 I passed a house that had 5 dogs. I was running in the middle of the road and yet they still were coming after me. I had my mace pointed at the big dog and was yelling at him to back off. I almost used it. He was maybe 5 feet from me. I was mad. I never turned my back on them until they retreated back to their house. Last time I turned my back on a dog on a run, my backside got bit!
I ran in the center of the road that whole stretch. I could hear dogs all around. I don't mind running at night but man I was none too happy with the amount of dogs that were not contained. That freaked me out. I was glad to be done with that lonely night run. No-one to run with and no music to listen to... 9:07 pace...
Got to the exchange and just laid in the parking lot and recovered. That was until Genarro decided to shut the van door and nearly leave without me! Kelley went up the the van window and banged on it to let them know "hey, you are missing someone here" lol! Ken helped me up and I got into the van and we proceeded on our way..
I slept some between midnight and 3am. Maybe an hour total? I was quite delirious. Lack of sleep and time on feet... so it goes with ultra-running... not my first rodeo, I know how it goes...
Went out on my 5th leg at 3:30 am. It was just 3.5 miles. I think it was along this stretch or maybe the one before it, i got passed by someone. No warning, no call out, just snuck up on me and scared the daylights out of me. He was running with headphones in too. I tried to say something to him as he flew by at a sub 7 pace but he couldn't hear me. I was mad. A little consideration please! I vented pretty loud at the next exchange in hopes that the person or the persons team would hear me. The rules state no music or headphones at night - and out of respect, call out... be nice! its really not that difficult! ok rant over... next leg.... 8:58 pace.
|lol! sweaty spot on the asphalt|
I was sooo happy to see that last exchange. I was kinda over the top coming in to the handoff. Was sooo happy to be done for the day! Sorry if it was too much but my 35 miles was done and I let everyone know! I laid down in the parking lot to recover and the sweat from my back made an awesome outline of "81 Johnson" on the asphalt - lol! I went around and tagged a few more vans and we were off down the road again.
The team had some pancakes in the van for me from the previous stop. That was good.
4 more legs to go and we were going to be done! You could tell everyone was excited about being that close to the finish. It had been a long run / ride and we were tired and ready to be at the beach for a while!
We sent Judy out on the very last leg and went to the finish to wait on her. The other Brüe Tuna team was there and we waited there together. When Judy came in the Brüe Tunas made a bridge of hands for the Ultra Brüe Tunas to run under and we ran across the boardwalk to the finish with a lot of teams cheering us on. It was very cool. Collected our metals, grabbed a picture or 2 then headed to the beer line.
|The beach Jeep|
|Jeeple selfie - lol!|
They dropped me back off near the finish and I went back to the Brüe Tunas and the other teams. Talked some more, drank some more and of course I ask, who is going to polar plunge with me? The Ultra Brüe Tuna team did the polar plunge together... but ya know, it wasn't that cold.... not in comparison to Myrtle Beach in February - lol! Here is the video of it: https://youtu.be/4mara_KPFUk
|Ultra Brüe Tuna pre polar plunge|
And this is the part where I say "what happens at the house, stays at the house" lol!
The next morning we all were movin a bit slow... *shrug* sorted out the mess in the vans. Good lord the ultra van had a tang about it - lol! Tons of trash and dirty clothes...
It was a long drive back... Yeah I was the smart a$$ that said that too during the drive... took a few seconds and everyone looked back at me and laughed.... ha! Like it wasn't a long run out there?!?
I was very happy with how I ran in this race. 8:38 pace overall for 35 miles. We came in 52nd overall out of 82 teams. 5th ultra team. No walking at all! Ran all the hills. By far the fastest times I have ever logged in a relay. (Colorado relay was 35 miles of mostly climbing, lots of walking, Third Coast was a 3 person team with about 70 miles per person, lots of hills and I walked there too, and Iowa was about 55 miles per person in 3 days). Really happy with my times.
|love these two!! Kelley got a wet hug from us both ha!|
the bad? I would say the dogs at night. I know there is not a lot the race can do about it, but that was a problem.
Would I do this relay again? usually that answer is no when it comes to a relay - my rule has been once and done then move to another state, or another relay... but this one is so close to home. It's a maybe, but it would have to be an ultra team again. :)
I am happy with where I am at with my running. I have a BQ attempt coming up in a month... not sure what will happen but even though my miles are way low my strength is actually good. This race proved it to me. If I keep up the training the next few weeks I have a good shot.
Til next time - Live life to its fullest. Find the joy in each day. Focus on the good.