Thursday, September 27, 2012

Something is missing ....

Every year I take pride in seeing our team picture so I couldn't resist posting the pre-race one.
Once again Lottie wins Most Photogenic. 
We did it!  Again!  Thanks for the memories everyone! 
Rosie, hope we did you proud :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christian brings Rosie Ruiz FC to a spectacular finish!

We all have our last legs to run as we struggle to reach the beach, each is bittersweet, an end to the physical challenge yet one step closer to saying goodbye for another year. There is however no sweeter leg than the one that takes the team across the finish line and crystallizes the incredible effort and energy, spirit and humor, dedication and determination, laughter and comradarie that makes us the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club. Thank you Christian for being part of the team and taking us through another bittersweet ending!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Out of the mouth of babes...

Wow, I did not realized that Chris is now officially an "RTB 1000 Mile Club member" Congrats!
What a great relay you all had and under perfect weather conditions too. Reading these posts make me feel even more sorry to have missed this year's relay.
BTW, the video is terrific! Great pictures too!

I am glad to hear that the "mooood" rings helped to identify our runners this year! So, did Joe used the rings? :)

Karin, yes...Rosie Ruiz Fan Club guys are the cutest!!

Missing you all,

Nancy aka the butterfly runner.

Congratulations to Chris!!!

RTB 1000 Mile Club member!  You did it Chris!!  That's a lot of running ... and playing with Halloween and puppy stickers ... and wearing flower mood rings (BTW Nancy, they were a hit) ... so hope you like your medal
Rosie Ruiz Fan Club guys are the cutest!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taylor launches the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club towards the beach.

Alright, after completing another year of Reach the Beach 2012 and thoroughly enjoying myself "keep telling yourself that, Bruce, you idiot". It is time for me to try and live up to Erica's expectation that I am the team videographer. The first video that I will post is the now infamous Taylor Lew  running the first leg of the 2012 RTB and sending the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club into the 2012 history books! Stay tuned for more videos as I find time to put them together.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Picture and Pre-Race Fueling Advice

Just in case you thought the Orange Line was the only one with a camera here you go!  Here is a shot of the Green Line at dinner in New Hampshire somewhere at what turned out to be a very good restaurant!

From front left to right:  Lisa, Karin, Taylor, Judson, Bruce and yours truly Matt.

At the time this picture was taken most of our orders had yet to arrive.  But let me tell you this about mine, next year I have to remember to avoid eating a salad during mealtime even if it does come with the pasta!  Ugh!  Never again.  Here is some free pre-race fueling advice:  Do not eat things that can potentially be turned into a high fiber bar with sufficient processing.  Now that is all I have to say on this topic.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quick Thanks

Okay--I am back in Ithaca after a whirlwind trip to (and through) New Hampshire.  Just want to thank eleven great people for what was the best Reach the Beach yet for me.  Each year I think it can't get any better, but then it does.  I will try to write something more organized and thoughtful later, but for now just wanted to say thank you to all of Van One (the Green Line) for being so patient with us and so darn chipper and positive.  Bruce--thanks for filling the role of official photographer/videographer.  Also for being so calm all the time when our vans overlap somewhere.  You help keep things even.  Matt--thanks for being so on top of everything logistically and caring so much about all of us getting our much needed sleep.  You are good at keeping the BIG PICTURE in mind and it helps everything run more smoothly. It really is important.  Lisa--thanks for signing on for a second year even though you were cheated out of a leg last year.  It was so great to see you coming out of the darkness with a smile at the end of your second leg and then to see you sprint in at the end of your third leg--it was inspirational.  Judson, Karin, and Taylor--thank you for making such a huge sacrifice in terms of time and effort to even just make it to New Hampshire.  And then for being so genuinely kind and upbeat and accepting.  You are such an inspirational family.  I want to be like you.

And to my vanmates on the Orange Line:  thanks for making the 28 hours of Reach the Beach the most densely packed hours of my year, in terms of smiles and laughs per minute.  Being with you all makes even the pain of running when running is the very last thing you want to be doing acceptable.  Hell, more than acceptable--downright fun.  You make me want to be a better man.  (Okay, that last bit's not really true, but you DO make me want to be a faster runner--and a better friend.)  Thanks for another great ride, er, run.

Yea, and About that Spreadsheat

Yea, I care about keeping track of who is where and when each van is likely to have to show up at its next transition point.  You would think I was the only one who cares a lot.  But you should hear them all clucking about, "Oh that poor guy.  He just got here and his team is nowhere to be seen."  This is typically followed by, "Yea, that is really bad.  Just the worst."  You see when you get done running your heart out (No, like literally. Racing up some of the course's hills makes it seem like the ol' ticker is  going to pop right on out.  So yea, running your heart out is not too strong.) and then you find yourself abandoned and waiting for a bunch of sloths to finally show up it is sole crushing.  Now personally I like the soles on my team (my shoes too which is why I have to buy new sneakers and shoes every now and then but that is a different topic) and would not like to seem their soles crushed.

Another big problem with showing up late is the little issue of how a van that is about to get off the course for say sleep and/or food feels about just hanging around for their relief van to show up.  That has nearly happened several times.  I can tell you right now when there is even a hint this will happen the on course van starts issuing threats that one very well suspects they will make good on when the tardy half of the team finally does show up.

So if the goal is to maximize sleeping time (and let me tell you that is a major goal in this race) and not show up late for the next vehicle transition (assuming you are sleeping to keep on living) then you better keep track of when you are likely to appear at the transition area.  You think this is easy?  Try it.  People for some reason insist on running at all sorts of unexpected paces finishing their legs in various unexpected times.  No, this does not just cancel in the end.  Guesses based on what people have told you is likely can lead you to show up at a transition up to an hour early or late.  Now if you do not mind reducing your two hour window in which to catch a nap to say one hour and heading down to the transition area early for what may then be a two hour wait, why this not keeping track is a spectacular idea!  Let me know how it goes.  I am outta here . . .

About That Sandbagging (from Erica)

It's not intentional! Every year I give a predicted pace slightly faster than I do my regular training runs. And every year I best it by about 1 min/mile. The only reason I can be accused of sandbagging is that I've made this mistake 6 years in a row. I think it's an annual empathy gap with my future self.  Contemplating my likely pace while sitting in the living room in July, it is very hard to remember the combined influences of racetime adrenaline, crisp fall weather, ibuprofen, competitiveness, wanting to not look like a pansy to the guys on my team, and the realization that if I run faster, this f****** leg will be over sooner.

Therefore, every year, I predict 9:00s and turn in 7:45-8:30s. Sorry about the spreadsheet, Matt.

By the way, info for the 3 people who read this even though they aren't on the team themselves: We use predicted paces to calculate when we can expect to be at transitions, how much we'll get to sleep, and when we'll be at the finish line. The reason we care about getting them exactly (vs. roughly) right is so that we don't incur the wrath of Matt, who really cares about it. We make (gentle) fun of him for it but without Matt's Col. Klink, the POWs would be running the show. We'd be lucky to make it past the opening night beer tent.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nearly Done

The Green Line is down to its last three runners.  Karin is on the course and then Bruce and finally Lisa.   Amazingly the van does not look like a trash heap which by now is typically par for the course.

As for me,, I am glad to be done with my legs.  But sad it will be a year before I can do this race again.  Man I must need help.  A race with little sleep over 30 hours in whatever weather shows up.  Who would do that let alone WANT to do that?  It seems a whole lot of people judging from the number of vans out here hauling their teams along.

Last but in this race never least, the weather.  On that front (yes pun intended!) the Green Line really lucked out.  Just after we started the clouds dissipated, the sun came out and brought along ideal running conditions.

Green Line on the Road Again

After two whole hours of sleep it was up and out to meet the Orange Line at the next vehicle transition area or VTA in relay parlance.  If the sand baggers in the Orange Line do not do more damage to our estimated times of arrival we should get in with about 15 minutes to "spare."  Ha!  Once there we need to park, a long process with hundreds of 15 person vans jockeying for position and then walk a quarter mile to where the runners transition.

Oh about that apocalypse.  It rained last night.  The rain every race streak lives on!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why We Run

Ink and a big horn.

Rosie has left the gate

Van 2 here. Taylor shot out of the starting gate at 12:20 and knowing him, won't stop for another 7.97 miles. We cheered him briefly and have been riding the course, marveling At the length of the legs, the steepness of the hills, and the hotness of the day, and smirking because we don't have to run it. Our time will come around 5:30. In the meantime we are going to a vet to get ear medicine for our mascot Lotti. Then lunch!

It is the warmest, most beautiful start day we've had. We are noticing all kinds of beautiful scenic features that in all past years have been obscured by clouds and/or driving rain.

Decorating the Vans

The Rosie Ruiz Fan Club has convened its 2012 session in Lincoln, New Hampshire at the Indian Head Resort Hotel.  We all arrived by 10:00 pm Thursday night and some of us got a good night's sleep.  Others of us slept on the pull out couches.  We awoke to a beautifully sunny morning today and are now busy decorating the vans.  Our start time is 12:20 this afternoon.  We could finish any time from 3:30 Saturday afternoon to 6:30 Saturday evening.  Stay tuned for updates from the road as time and internet access allow.

Welcome Rosie to Cannon Mountain or Close

We are not up at the mountain yet.  As of now we are still at the hotel where we camped out last night.  Three rooms 12 people I think you get the idea.

My van stopped for dinner at the Woodstock Station.  Us along with a boatload of other race teams!  Needless to say all of the bigger tables were taken so we split into two tables of 4.  We went there because it received 4 stars on Yelp and dinner was pretty good.

Once at the hotel I unveiled Nancy's surprise gift to the team.  She discovered these light up glow rings.  I think she may have found a way for us to finally identify our runners at night!  Now Joe, he did not seem so psyched to wear a tween girl's party gift while running.   But I think he was just grumpy from driving up and nearly getting a speeding ticket for his troubles.  Fortunately, the cop seemed to conclude that a group heading up for a race like this must all be nitwits and who can expect nitwits to know local speed limits!  So Joe got a warning!  Let us hear it for nitwits in large groups doing silly things!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Getting Ready to Go!

The adventure starts today!  Well, the adventure of packing.  Let me see what will I forget this year . . .  Last year it was my Garmin and anything warm to wear at night.  This year thanks to a last minute email from Nance, our teammate from last year who alas cannot make it this year, I will actually have long pants and a sweatshirt for the night!  Thanks Nancy!

To some degree I get to play team supply wagon.  Yours truly has the Gatorade, water, power outlets for the Green Line (van 1 to the uninitiated).  I am also in possession of a top secret equipment the team will be trying out for the first time this year.  This too is thanks to Nancy who discovered it and ordered it for the team.  This time from the whole team thank you Nancy!  Well the rest of them will thank you once they see what it is!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Race Weather Looks Good - A Sign of the Apocolapse?

I cannot believe it but the current forecast for this year's Reach the Beach Relay does not include torrential downpours!  In fact, it looks like we will have really nice running weather.  If it is sunny without any rain for the whole race it will be a first in my four years of running it.  I am going to go check for prophecies as to what this may mean.

Thanks to our 2011 teammate Nancy we have some surprise equipment for this year's race!  No doubt we will get lots of pictures showing it off.  Now if you are on the 2012 team make sure you are all healthy for the race start so you can see what the surprise is!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Two Weeks From Right Now...

Reach the Beach is my Christmas.  I look forward to it with the same flavor of giddy anticipation that December 25th used to have when I was a kid.  If all goes well, this will be my fifth Reach The Beach-New Hampshire---making me a member of the 1000 Mile Club.  In all four previous runnings I have been a proud member of the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club.  Many runners know who Rosie Ruiz is and they get a kick out of our team name.  If you do not know Ms. Ruiz, click here to find out more.

This year Team Rosie has eleven veterans and one virgin.  (See partial team photo below) We have assured the virgin that it might really hurt the first time, but that there is no possible way he will get pregnant.  I had a good run today straight up the 500-foot hill I have started working into my usual run and I am ready!  Two weeks from RIGHT NOW Van Two will be getting ready for its first legs and I will be practically crawling out of my skin with excitement.  I cannot wait...

Look for our vans decked out in the "T" logo of the MBTA Subway system.  And remember, why run when you can ride?