I did IRONMAN Hawaii and then 6 days later I ran 18miles (29km) in the first ever Ragnar Relay (200ish mile relay around the island completed by 12,6,or 3 people taking turns running) in Hawaii. Here's how it happened.
I was in Big Island Running Co with Christine Fletcher, day 1 in Hawaii, and we noticed that on the "local events" board after IRONMAN was the Ragnar Relay. Fletch looked at me and said "OMG, you should do that!" I looked at her and three things went through my mind:
- Fletch is normally the reasonable one out of the two of us so based on that, this must be a reasonable suggestion.
- Seems like a pretty cool event and one week of recovery seems like lots of time
- No matter how old I get, I like when people are proud of me and ESPECIALLY my coach (honestly, I'd probably do most things she says, no matter how weird just for an energetic gold star).
One thing that didn't go through my mind: At this point in the game I am tapered. For those of you who don't know what it feels like imagine this: you spend most of your life being intentionally quite tired and fatigued from training and them for a few days before a race after off-loading all that fatigue and training you feel rested, energized, INVINCIBLE even. THIS is not always the best time to make decisions that impact your future self less-tapered self.
The women working the till told us that the Ragnar was full (dang) but that many teams still needed members (yes!) so I left my contact info with her in case a team came looking for a running. 30mins later they did and I got a text asking if I would run 8.5miles. EASY. Yes. Done.
A few days later (even more tapered) my team asked if I could run 18miles instead of 8.5. SURE. Miles and kilometers aren't that different.... so that can't be very much longer. Spoiler alert it is A LOT longer.
Saturday rolls around and I do IRONMAN (sweet!). I wake up Sunday morning after barely sleeping which is usual. It's rare for me to sleep a good sleep after a longer race, but one of the reasons I didn't sleep this particular night was the BLISTERS UNDER MY TOENAILS. shit. This is not conduces to running or wearing shoes really, not to mention I'm no longer tapered and my body doesn't exactly feel awesome.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
I can't let me team down even though I've never met any of them. It's just not me. So now I take it like this.
- I have 5 days to deal with my toes and my big swollen legs.
- One good thing is that by the start of this race I'd actually have been in Hawaii long enough to count as "heat acclimated".
- Running on the Queen K highway in the middle of the day with the blazing sun is no longer foreign to me - I just did it yesterday and I just have to do it again!
- I don't need to swim or bike before I run this time
- I do need to get more sleep because the Ragnar is a 20-40hour event where sleeping is basically cheating
Ok I got this. I need to become an expert in recovery in the next 5 days and that's a challenge I can accept.