6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainier to Ruston 2012 Honey Buckettes

 4 ladies, 50 miles, from Mount Rainier to the Waterfront of Ruston-   
Rainier to Ruston Relay and Ultra did not disappoint!!  I was the team captain and recruited a STELLAR team.

We needed a name and I wanted a theme.  I have always loved the Honey Bucket (Porta Potty Company) Logo.  So Muscle Man thought up the name Honey Buckettes and I contacted the company, they sent some over-sized T-shirt, hats and loads of stickers.  With a start time of 9am we met at my house to decorate the van.  With slogans like "We are #1... or #2" we got loads of smiles!!  We wore Red Team Sparkle Skirts so we would be easy to spot on the course.
The order was #1-Me, #2-Kerrie, #3-Tiffany, #4-Zoe, with 12 legs we each ran 3 times and about 13 miles.  The start area was BEAUTIFUL!!  Our van driver (yes we had a van driver!!) Will, Tiffany's husband took loads of photos I hope to post soon..
Having not run for 11 days and being very sick I didn't know what to expect.  It was slightly drizzley rain as I set out.  I am sure there are pictures of me while running but I have mostly ones from my camera for this post...will add more here and to Facebook soon.  The full album is on Tall Mom Facebook..

Leg #1- 4.98 Miles- 8:21 Pace
It was so majestic and beautiful I was in heaven running!!  I could tell early on that I was going to struggle still being sick.  I got passed over and over....I think I put us in the FAST division...oops!!  There were some hills and decline on the road fully lined by green trees, rivers and swamp lands.  I coughed some, but overall the worst part was heavy legs.  The miles passed quickly and I was to the exchange before I knew it.  I handed off to Kerrie for the TOUGH leg!!  We had seen people on the bridge on our way to the start but didn't know why... They were there because we could see the runners below.  It was CRAZY Awesome!!  We stopped and waited for Kerrie, cheered on the Runners below in the mud and snapped some photos.  It was chilly, and muggy at the same time..

 I thought I took pictures of Kerrie but I cant find them on my camera :(  But the trail below was amazing and right next to this river..  Her leg ended up to be 6.8 miles of slippery craziness!!
 Kerrie coming in STRONG and covered in mud.  This picture does not do it justice.  She was slip sliding through creeks and nearly losing her shoes.  She rang the bell and off went Tiffany.

 I love this girl!!  She selected the toughest legs of the course and was positive the whole time.  Her legs must have been TRASH but she didn't complain, just cleaned up and on we went.  STELLAR teammate!!  We got Kerrie cleaned with Nathan Wipes and headed to the next exchange.
Yes I captured many Honey Buckets along the way :)
 We waited for Tiffany in the little town of Wilkeson.  So pretty and GREEN.  I love how Will would be extra excited to get to the exchange while Tiff was on the course.  He is such a good partner. 
She looked seriously amazing and strong as she came around the corner.  This Half Fanatic did not look like she had just run.  Her run was on 3 different types of terrain, retty sure she passed a few teams on her way to ring the bell.  Tiff always has a smile and really took care of us with food, a cooler with waters and her AWESOME vehicle!!
 Zoe was off for her first leg.  Zoe would be on trails and the side of the road for her next Leg.  The leg was flagged as being for "strong runners" which Zoe is for sure!  She said she loved the trail she was on and wants to go back and walk it :)  We turned the wrong way for a bit but found our way to the Exchange..
 I don't think that I ate or drank enough, I was just having too much FUN!  Muscle Man planned to meet us with the Little Studs in South Prairie to cheer us on and run with me.

Leg #5- 4.64 Miles- 8:50 Pace
I thought I would KILL this leg since it is a section of trail I(we) run all the time... but today I felt, hot, dehydrated, hungry and my legs were very crampy. I am sure that being sick factored into it.  Muscle Man ran 1 mile with me but he is still sick and I wanted to keep a good pace.  I started pretty strong with 8:15 pace and got slower and slower..  I got passed by loads of runners :( hung in there as best I could.  I felt like I could pass out.  Knowing every mile of the trail was HARD because I knew just how far I still had to go.  It was TOUGH!!

I was very hard on myself....stuck in my head beating myself up!!  I knew we were running for Fun, but I didn't want to let my team down.  I was so happy to pass off to Kerrie for her SPEEDY 2.7 miles. Tiffany and Zoe could tell I was not doing well.  Zoe ran for water, dropped in some Nuun tabs and Tiff gave me a Cliff bar.  Soon I felt human again!
 Onto Orting and one of the Finish Lines, I think for the Marathon and Half Marathoners.  They all seemed a bit confused on what was going on..  We knew Kerrie would rock her leg and we would not have much time to doddle..
 Kerrie came zooming in and had passed the guy team we were leap frogging with.  Off went Tiff, look at her face!!!  I love it!!  She got stopped at the stoplight in town, but cruised the rest of the way.  A Local farm let us use their field to park in, which was GREAT.  Kerrie told us we needed to stretch while Zoe got ready to run.  Her Garmin died so I gave her mine, which she would pass off to me, crisis averted!!  There were not mile marker signs so having a Garmin was needed!

 Yes folks we are silly!!  I gave out Honey Bucket Stickers and antenna balls at the exchange and got changed for my next Leg.  This stretch of the relay went by fast with the shorter legs.
 Zoe waiting for Tiff, who was CRUISING!!  She had passed some teams and came in with a beautiful smile and her Blue eyes sparkling.  Zoe ran off and we saw her stopped at the light, she was going FAST so we hurried to the next exchange.
 The directions were strange, thankfully I knew the area and was able to direct us to the Meeker Trailhead.  Once there I chatted with a team we had been near most of the day...they were a team of 6, no wonder they were so fast out there :)  Their little Redhead set out and I waiting for Zoe in Bright Orange to come and hand me my Garmin.  The Meeker trailhead is where I have Finished many many 20++ mile runs and I know how the last stretch feels like forever.  In came Zoe and I was OFF..  It is a bummer when you hand off to friends because you have to wait to hear how their run went because you are running.

Leg #9- 3.74 Miles- 9:19 Pace
I STRUGGLED on the last leg...early on I could tell that my legs did not want to go.. My calves were cramping and legs/body were DONE.  I tried to catch the Redhead but she just faded in the distance.  I was worried I would not know which way to go but once on the River Trail I knew just what to do.  I LOVE the trail, it is an easy and beautiful run.  But on this day after having run 10.5 miles I could not enjoy it :(   My back started to cramp..OUCH!!

I passed a guy running the 50 miler being paced by a friend.  I felt like a HUGE WIMP, he had well over 30 miles on his legs and I felt like walking.  I had to slow and soon got passed by the "F my 3rd Leg" male team we were racing against most of the day. The trail ended for a bit and weaved through the city.  I was GLAD at this point that I chose this set of Legs because it is a little tricky and I had run it before.  The road was marked with Orange spray paint.   For a bit in town I was running with the 50 miler guy who had caught up to me when I walked.  He seemed strong and was very friendly.  He had never even run a Marathon, but was inspired by the Dean Karnazes books, CRAZY!!  I wish I would have caught his name.  He stayed with me for a short time then slowed his pace to conserve energy, I liked the company but it was tough on my confidence. All I could do was keep my feet moving until I saw my AWESOME teammates! So glad when I finished. The crampy legs was new and really bothersome, I felt like I was running on time bombs that would blow at any minute.  I rang the bell and on went Kerrie.  I was DONE just over 13 miles in 1:58!!!

My Legs of the course were pretty easy and no trails, but this day I could not function like normal.  I got in the car, downed another Citrus Nuun to help with the cramping, ate my Apple and RELAXED!!  It is nice being the first runner done.  As we drove toward Fife I realized that POOR Kerrie was on the Fisheman's trail, which is hardly a trail to run on.  I told Will that we should find somewhere to stop and find her.. We found a great spot to cheer her on and I captured this photo, my favorite of the day.
 Weeds taller than her, sticker bushes, running in sand... she is one TOUGH lady!!  We deemed this section "Suck-luded" hehehe..  Kerrie was up for the task and kept strong all the way to the Finish.
We had some time at the next exchange although parking was a PAIN!  Zoe was having knee pain and saying she may not be able to do her last leg.  I FREAKED inside, there was no way I could run more that day.  She went to the aide station and got her knee wrapped.
The wrap seemed to help Zoe, thank goodness!  But she said she would call me during her leg if she needed us to run for her. We chatted with the guy team we had been with most of the day.  They were very nice and a couple of the runners were visibly hurting.  Tiff got ready, grabbed her handheld as Kerrie came to Finish for the day!!
 Poor Tiff had a CRAPPY section of the race, mostly through Industrial Tacoma.  Will and I even saw a man on the side of the road who looked either dead or very drunk..  SCARY!!  We stopped once to cheer her on, but could have stopped multiple times (will know if we ever run this again).  It is hard to know where the next exchange will be. 
 From the Facilities in Fife on to T-Town.  Zoe and I ran into a gal I had worked with in the Summer during college, she was running a 6 person relay 33 weeks pregnant and looked crazy amazing.  I would have guessed 28 weeks.
 The Exchange was near the Museum of Glass with the Tacoma Dome and Waterfront in the background.  It was really really pretty there, but stinky!!  Not sure why I was cheesy Thumbs up girl all day..
 Again Will was anxious to see his wife come in.  There were a couple wedding parties out taking pictures, I doubt they knew a Relay would be going on.. I felt sorta bad for them.  you can see them in the background of the photo..
Zoe seemed relaxed but I could tell she was nervous about her knee.  I have known Zoe long enough, she would FIGHT through the last leg and Finish strong, I had no doubt.

Tiffany was DONE so I snapped a photo of her and her hubby.. We set out toward the Finish Line, not fully knowing where it was.. OOPS!! 
 We passed Zoe on the HILL that is the start line for the Santa Runs race, she was FAST and didn't seem to be hurting at all, in fact she kept a super speedy overall pace!!  We parked at the Ram where we had decided we would have a celebration Dinner and some adult bevs after the race.  Tiff and Will thought the Finish was just around the bend so we started walking...after a while we realized it was much much further.. UGH!!  Kerrie and Tiff went back for the car, while Will and I took the cameras to the Finish not thinking that we would run across the finish with Zoe..

Kerrie and Tiff got there, they had seen Zoe and knew she would be there any minute.  The team near us told us we could run across with her... Kerrie was in Crocs, I had 2 phones, water and a camera... we must have looked pretty silly.  A guy who had run the 50 miler was just in front of Zoe, normally she would have chicked him with her kick at the Finish, but we had the ULTIMATE RESPECT for what he had accomplished and hung back.  
 Team Honey Buckettes Done!!    We got SWEET double-sided medals as the announcer said our team name wrong, I quickly corrected him :)  I cant tell you our Finish time, just over 8 hours I think?? It was not about that.  It wasn't even really about the running.  The Running was secondary to the amazing day spent with friends!  I feel blessed to call these women my friends.
 I highly recommend this Relay to anyone in the local area.  It is good to have some knowledge of the local trails and roads to find your way.  Pack clean shoes for the people who will do the trail portions and bring your SMILE!  I would run this again for sure...hope I can get some GREAT teammates to join me in the Future.  CONGRATS to the Ultra Marathoners, 50 milers, 50K, Marathoners, 1/2 Marathoners and all the Relay teams who completed Rainier to Ruston!!

Special thanks to Will for driving us, it was so nice to be STRESS FREE!!  Our night ended with Muscle Man and the Little Studs meeting us for Dinner, with the team and Tiff and Will's little boy.  We toasted to our 50 miles of FUN!!


Average Woman Runner said...

That looks like an awesome relay! I'll have to put that one on my list :)

Marathon Lar said...

So awesome, great job Honey Buckettes!! I love the bell ringing for each exchange. I'll definitely be putting this on my list for next year.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Now I'm trying to figure out why 'Honey Bucket' makes Porta_Pottys?????????

Kerrie said...

I hope we cann be on a team again next year! So much fun! We were done in 7:57:06. UNDER 8!!! Woohoo!

Marlene said...

it sounds like you all faced some challenges out there - what a bunch of TOUGH LADIES! So proud of all of you, congratulations!!!

Redhead Running said...

Sounds like a fun relay and I LOVE that they had bells at each exchange. That is the one thing about Ragnar exchanges, they are kinda boring, especially if no other teams are around when you're waiting. Great job pushing through the legs when your own were not feeling the fun. And your team name, priceless!

fancy nancy said...

I know you struggled a bit with your runs Mel but you did great considering how sick you have been. Above it all you look like you all had a blast!!!

Ama_Runs said...

Congrats on the great race! I LOVE the outfits. I've never considered running a relay, but after this recap, I kinda want to do one. :)

RunningJunkie said...

That looks SO awesome! Congratulations! I would LOVE to do a relay some day!

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