Up until a month ago, I had never even heard of the Great Lakes Relay (GLR) and 2 days from now I'll be running in it! I sort of fell into it because a friend knew some people who needed a woman for their mixed team. I didn't know anything about the relay, nor did I know anyone on the team but was assured they were fast and fun. I Googled the race and figured it sounded like a fun opportunity. So without too much thought other than I was free that weekend, I said said yes. What the hell, right?
After I said yes and started to really think about what a relay race in the middle of the woods might entail - bugs, pooping in the woods, eating vegan up north, 2 runs a day, little sleep, the possibility of getting lost. And I'm doing this with 9 people whom I've never met?? What the hell, right?!!
When I met with some of my team members I started to feel a little better. They were great! Seriously. And they've all done GLR before so they explained it well and offered helpful advice. But wow, are they FAST! (I'm talking Martian Marathon-winning fast. I'm talking 15-minute 5K fast. YEAH.) So I am a little intimidated! haha. But it's good because I need to be running with fast runners to help me push my pace.
The way the relay works, each team member has to run 24 miles over the course of the three days. I have 2 legs each day. Each leg has a map and turn by turn directions that we will hang onto as we run. Thankfully my legs are pretty straightforward without too many confusing twists and turns (my biggest fear is getting lost and going miles out of my way! Ask people. It's happened.).
Just to be safe, however, I figured this was a great excuse to buy myself a Garmin! I've always used a Polar heart rate monitor and Nike+ on my iPod for pace and distance; however, the distance on Nike+ isn't very accurate. And I never look at my iPod while I'm running anyway. I just look at the end to see how my overall run went. This way I can gauge my pace as I'm running. So not only will it be useful for the race this weekend in terms of GPS, it will be very useful for my training purposes as work toward my BQ in October.
Also for this weekend I picked up a new hat, some running sunglasses, a couple more of my favorite Under Armour tank tops, and some new shoes. Okay, so the new shoes aren't for the race. They're for after the race. And I didn't actually need them. (wink wink)
You're probably wondering what I'm going to be eating this weekend. I'm hoping I'll be able to eat my Quaker oatmeal cups for breakfast (peach almond and apple walnut are vegan) because they'll be easy to take along in the car. For pre- and post-run snacks and lunch, I'll have ALT Bars, Clif Builder bars (not my usual thing but they are vegan and I'll need the protein), Clif MOJO bars, apples and bananas. The team plans on doing dinner at a local burger joint but if there's nothing vegan there (very likely) I found there's a Subway close to the hotel. I'll do a veggie sub Friday and Saturday.
To hydrate? Just lots of water. I usually can't do Gatorate (my stomach doesn't handle it too well) but I did buy some Coco Hydro packets that are each the equivalent of 2 coconuts. Maybe I'll have these after each of my runs.
All my clothes are laid out but I still have some packing to do. Expect a full GLR report next week!
Have you done or are you doing GLR?