Reach the Beach Leg 3–Grade B

This is my last Reach the Beach post and I’m sad.

First, I want to give a huge Thank You to New Balance and the Reach the Beach organization. They really hooked us up all the way and made the experience so much more awesome. Thank you!

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And I also have to give a shout out to Jack our camera guy and and his crew. I’m sure it wasn’t easy living in a van with 12 loud, smelly girls (or 1 REALLY LOUD SMELLY girl from California and her friends).

Jack had an interesting vision for our pre-race group shot and I was vocal about pushing back on this idea. But, this is how it came out…

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When we last spoke I had just survived my 2am 8 miler in the pitch black and the rest of my van completed their runs.

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From there we headed to the next transition area to try and get some sleep.

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By this time the sun was out and it was hard to fall asleep, but we were all dragging. Some of us fell asleep.

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Some of us had a giggle party on the roof of the van.

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We ended up each staying in the seats we started in from the start of the race. Anne and I were in the back and cuddled.

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I did fall asleep for a little bit here and then it was time to get up, get ready and fuel up! We headed to a local Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee. I ended up getting some donut holes for the van to share.

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I was having major stomach issues though and realized donuts might not be a good idea. I went back and bought an egg sandwich. I also threw away the coffee because my stomach was a mess. Luckily, I packed Immodium and that helped a lot.

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Before my last leg I figured I should eat something so I grabbed a banana.

IMG_1207 (800x600) I was really afraid that I was going to have stomach problems on my run and there are NO BATHROOMS on the course and going out in a field or something is automatic disqualification.

We all seriously discussed what we would do if someone sht their pants. It was for real.

We waited for van 1’s last runner to bring it in at the transition area.

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There she is!

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Tina grabbed the snap bracelet and raced off super fast!

I was after her and basically just waited in the porta potty until it was my turn.

My last leg was 6.77 miles through a rural neighborhood. My legs were completely Dead from my “speed work” in the middle of the night. My quads felt super tight and I had gotten a BIG blister under my big toe on my first leg of the race (I was so scared during the night leg I forgot it hurt!).

My goal for the last leg was to 1.) Not poop my pants 2.) Run the whole thing

I told my team I ran my heart out the night before and wouldn’t be speedy for this last leg. I just enjoyed the scenery to distract myself from my screaming quads. Lucky for me houses on the east coast look different from California so I distracted myself by checking them out.IMG_1224 (800x600)

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6.77 miles – Average pace 8:59

  • Mile 1: 8:55
  • Mile 2: 8:33
  • Mile 3: 8:46
  • Mile 4: 8:57
  • Mile 5: 9:31
  • Mile 6: 9:16
  • .77: 8:58

I graded myself a “B” for this leg – any guess why?!

Scroll down to see the disgusting reason…

Handoff to Theodora!

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Nothing particularly special about my last leg. I felt my blister get worse and worse until I just kind of embraced the pain as a distraction from my screaming quads. Then, I felt it POP! around mile 4. Yes, I felt it ooze and everything. It was disgusting.

When I was done I reluctantly took off my sock to reveal the damage.

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So, my last leg gets a “B” for Blister.

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After that I changed and breathed a big sigh of relief that my part was done and I could just enjoy the rest of the day!

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We cheered on the rest of our team and got a third wind of energy!

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I really loved being able to drive around Massachusetts too! I saw so many new places on this journey.

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During Anne’s leg…

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Apparently I ate this at some point too…

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At a transition area waiting for Elizabeth

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Here we are waiting on the side of the road for our last runner Ashley to come by. There were so many gorgeous areas we ran through!

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Finally we saw Ashley before her last push and headed to the beach to meet her there. It was amazing to finally REACH THE BEACH!

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We all ran through the finish line together!

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Team Off Balance!

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What was super amazing about this team is that I didn’t know everyone before this race. It’s not like we’re all co-workers or old college roomies – half of these girls I had never met before. But, everyone really did work as a team. We became life long friends in 48 hours.

Right after our group shot van #2 headed straight to the food and beer tents. We were hungry and hadn’t had a real meal all day!

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Running is such an individual sport, doing something like a relay completely changes the dynamic. I had the best time of my life!

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Even though I almost had a panic attack on my night run, I would do this again in a second. I had so so so much fun.

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Now I’m looking into other relays because I don’t want this fun running high feeling to end!

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I loved being able to spend so much time with friends I don’t get to see that often.

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I loved making new friends.

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I loved running my heart out.

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I loved seeing new parts of the United States I’ve never visited before –

rtb camera guyAND being able to run through them!

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Every second I felt like I was on an ADVENTURE and I had a blast. I miss my friends – when is the next one girls?!

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  1. says

    I literally gasped out loud when I saw your blister… I know that pain… For some reason this year both feet decided to get massive blisters on my arches…and then blisters on top of those blisters. But awesome that you finished and had a great time! Congrats =)

  2. says

    I have loved reading your relay recaps. I have been interested in distance relays since watching the Hood to Coast documentary a few years ago. As someone who is interested, but doesn’t know a lot of other runners who would be interested, do you have any recommendations for finding a team?

    Thanks and congratulations on a great race!

  3. says

    Awesome (except the blister part being painful!) I can’t wait until the Napa Ragnar relay in September after seeing these relay posts! It sounds like so much fun to be on a blogger team too.

  4. says

    Loved this post!! Makes me want to do a relay for sure!!

    ***You should have pushed back more on the photo idea. All of you ran equally, yet this photo looks like the front two gals were the focus. A group picture focusing on all the team members by the beach in your New Balance gear would have made a better photo. IMO.

  5. says

    Great post, Monica, and congratulations on running Reach The Beach! Hopefully see you at our New Hampshire or New Jersey races one day? :)
    ~ Martin

  6. says

    Congratulations!!! You did an amazing job and it was so fun reading all about it. I agree with what Karen said above about the group picture. It’s difficult to take a picture of that many people but it does seem to put the emphasis on the girls in the front. It’s a great photo, nonetheless, and I’m super impressed with all you ladies!!

  7. says

    I think you did an awesome job! Sorry about the blister but your pace was great in spite of having to deal with that! Congratulations!!

  8. says

    Your recaps were great – I wish there was something like this in the UK!

    Ugh, blisters are the worst. I’ve had one in exactly the same place and it’s unbelievable how a small thing can hurt so much. I hope it’s healing well now.


  9. Suzanne says

    Congrats! This sounds so awesome! I am sending the NJ link to a friend and see if she is interested…
    Sorry to hear about the stomach issues. It’s awful to run while dealing with that, and my biggest fear before getting ready for big races! Sometimes ya just gotta wait it out in the port-a-potty and pop a couple of pills.

  10. says

    I loved all 3 parts of your race report! You are such a good writer. I felt like I was there the whole time. You did an amazing job!!!

  11. Emily says

    I mis-read your previous post to say you DID pee yourself. I got to the end of this post really disappointed that we didn’t get a disgusting story! Well, I’m glad you were able to keep your bodily functions under control.

  12. Cari says

    wow! congratulations! this looks like such a fun race to be a part of– I would love to do something like this sometime!!!

  13. Ida says

    I like the group photo! The clouds make the image really dynamic.
    Hope the blister heals up quickly- it looks painful!

  14. says

    We are looking for another runner or two for our August Ragnar Relay, fyi!! And it runs from WI to MN so you’d get to run in two new states! 😉

  15. Amy says

    I did Reach the Beach, too, and I was in Van 2! (though I never saw you guys-only Van 1) I HATED the night running, too- I was convinced that I was either going to break my ankle or be murdered!! Other than that, I loved the experience-I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but I was suprised. Glad you enjoyed it, but sorry I missed you!

  16. Carissa says

    That does look like an amazing time! Why are things so much better with all girls??? I would love to be a part of a relay team. Bucket list for sure. If there’s a need for a 9 min miler, blogger, pt, pink obsessed, Floridian you let me know!! :)

  17. says

    Great post! I got a little teary eyed at the end because it sounds like you had soooo much fun! What an amazing experience!

    I wanted to do RTB MA and NH but for some odd reason I’ve got family events during both times. The NH RTB is my state too! Next year! Keep me in mind if you are doing it next year…I’m in!

    Btw- The correct term is not doughnut holes, it’s Munchkins. I learned that very quickly when I moved to the Northeast! :)

  18. says

    This looks SOOOOO freaking fun! I want to do RTB someday! Way to rock it! And that first picture is so ridiculously professional. Are you guys going to be in magazines and on billboards? You’re so famous!!! :-)

  19. Becca says

    This does look like so much fun! After reading your recap, and SR’s from a few weeks ago, I want to do one! I got a little excited thinking maybe I could seeing your top pic with a Reach the Beach in NJ! Can I be on your team if you run the NJ one?? I grew up the next town over from the starting town and it would be INSANE for me to run through my home state to the Jersey Shore I love.

      • Becca says

        Of course I don’t know what I’m getting into by saying this, but I’d totally be willing to organize a team if I was able to find enough interested people.

  20. says

    So you were runner 8! You were running through my hometown – in fact, I think your handoff from Tina was a high school (apponequet?) I’ve run a few track meets at back in the day. Sigh.

    It looked like a ton of fun – I would totally do that relay. That or the Ragnar Cape relay. As much as I love California, I still miss SE Mass.

    Loved reading your recaps!

  21. says

    Hey girl! Nice work, and awesome recaps! Your posts are making me even MORE excited about the NH RTB in September – Team “Tutu Hot To Handle” will be running for the Alzheimer’s Association! I’d love to do a destination race, so if I fall in love with RTB (like I think I will), maybe there’s a socal ragnar in my future!

  22. says

    My sister in law ran this relay too with her company and I was so jealous! I would love to do either this one or the New Hampshire one.

    Great job for your whole team!! Do you know what you guys placed?

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