Team Vodka Heist 2.0

If you haven’t unfollowed me on twitter by now (I can go a little overboard with the tweets…) you probably already know that the Seneca 7 relay with Team Vodka Heist was a success. 3 of us had just run marathons and the other 4 ladies were pretty banged up (IT Band, plantar fasciitis, etc), so we weren’t expecting a record breaking time, just fun! Well, we ended up pulling off a pretty impressive time and narrowly missed the first place women’s team award by 3 minutes. The 77.7 mile race (about a mile shy of 3 marathons) circled the entirety of Seneca Lake. There were hills and vineyards and beautiful views of the water – such a great place to run! We finished the race in 8 hours, 56 minutes which is about 6:53 pace. Each of us ran 3 legs (2-5 miles each) in the span of 6 hours and it was…interesting. I’ve run plenty of doubles, but never a triple. And I always allow 6+ hours between runs when I double. The recovery from the relay legs was short and we didn’t always have time to cool down. After my 2nd leg I think I catapulted myself in the van within 60 seconds of finishing. We had to hustle to the next exchange point! But you know what? That sense of urgency made it feel like a race! It was fun.

My stats:

9:30am Leg 1: 3.3 miles 22:59 (6:57 pace)
12:30pm Leg 2: 2.5 miles 17:10 (6:52 pace)
3:30pm Leg 3: 4.8 miles 34:00 (7:05 pace)

Considering my final leg had a lot of downhill, I wish I was able to run faster, but my legs were toast by that point. I was also running blind (my Garmin died after leg #2) and there were no mile markers. Ah well! I still felt pretty speedy and most importantly- had so much fun.

2nd place Women’s Team, but with our rowdy cheers and fist pumps, I think we get 1st place for enthusiasm.

This was my second relay and I think I’m smitten. AR, Sarah, Celia, Molly, Nicole, Kristan and I parted ways already plotting Vodka Heist 3. Anyway, if you haven’t done a relay, you should consider it. And here’s why:

1) You get to explore new places! Tired of your usual running route/park/path? Running a relay ensures you’ll get to see new things.

Our cottage was literally ON Seneca Lake. A wooden dock was all that separated us from the water. So pretty! Instagram makes it look even prettier.

One word: Vineyards. You know what they make at vineyards? WINE.

2) You get to experiment with the local cuisine.

Such as cheese curds!

Gummies are not empty calories, they are FUEL. Well, when you’re running 3 x in 6 hours they are.

Sometimes we ate healthy things – like apples and Chobani! The race also put on a sweet post-race party with a bonfire, chili (vegetarian and grass-fed beef options), cornbread, and homemade cookies. Running a lot = eating a lot.

3) I think my favorite reason to do a relay is the team aspect. You’re not just running for yourself, to beat your own PR. There’s a bigger purpose. Running can be a pretty solitary sport, but doing a relay really connects you to other runners. So much <3 for Team Vodka Heist.

So, How’s running been besides the relay? Pretty non-existent! I ran 20 minutes on Tuesday and felt exhausted, so I haven’t been pushing it. I’ve been really busy with work and honestly, just haven’t had the desire to run. I’m confident I’ll be ready to tear up the streets soon, but for now I am enjoying the break. That being said, I did find myself missing running later in the week. I craved the stress relief, moving my body, that feeling of sweaty accomplishment. I was in Vermont for work and so I did something very unusual for me: I woke up at 6am to go for a run. If you know me, you know that I LOATHE waking up early, but for whatever reason I was really itching to get in a few miles. And it felt pretty good! But don’t ask me how much coffee I had to drink later that morning…

I’m going to play the next month or so by ear, but I’ve got some exciting running plans in the queue for the remainder of 2012.

Something I already have planned for the fall is the Runner’s World Half-Marathon in Bethlehem, PA (close to where my family lives, yay). It should be a fun race and if you’re interested in signing up, here’s a code for $5 off entry of either the half-marathon or all three events (5K, 10K and half) RWHALF12 (type it in manually, it won’t work if you copy and paste). Don’t wait too long though – the coupon code expires June 15. There’s also have a coupon code for Runner’s World training plans: RWblog423 (again, must be typed in manually) for $5 amount off any of the Runner’s World 15 half-marathon training plans.

And before I forget – Congrats to the winner of the tart cherries give-away. Email me your mailing info (runnerskitchen at gmail dot com).

Do you know what Fall races you’ll be running this year? Any relays??

  • bethp262

    I am also doing the Runners World half in October! Actually doing the “hat trick”–the 5k and 10k the day before too.
    Looks like you guys had a blast at the relay. And congrats on 2nd women’s team!

  • runningseal

    Wait you guys got cheese curds?! How did I not know about this?? I love cheese curds, just not melted over a campfire. Don’t try it. However in terms of delicious food, I guess I wasn’t totally left out as I have to say your cadbury egg cookies were pretty spectacular. I could have eaten the whole batch. Please bake me cookies. Yes, yes, yes to Vodka Heist 3!!!

  • This looked like so much fun! I did the Maine Marathon relay last fall and will probably do it again- it was tons of fun, despite the fact that is poured rain the entire time. Definitely a bonding experience.

  • ar


  • That looks like so much fun! I’d love to do a relay some day. I’ve never had cheese curds… They seem like one of those things that I just am not really interested in on principle, like beef jerky, but maybe I’ll give them a try! What do they taste like? 
    As far as fall races go, I know I want to do a half but I’m not sure which one. It depends on school stuff. I’m thinking about the Philadelphia Half in November. 

  • Gemma C

    I agree – relays are FUN! Not only do you get to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ running and socialising at the same time..but it also takes away some of that performance stress associated with an individual run trying to PB. That Runner’s World Half looks like a fantastic weekend too!

  • Pretty sure gummy candy has fueled me to some awesome relay splits…sorry Chobani, sugar is the winner!  Let me know if you want to enjoy the running break with some drinks (or other fun) because that’s all I’ve been doing lately.  Although I’m definitely missing running right now…trying to not think about fall races, yikes!

  • sarah

    Someday we need to get you real fried cheese curds. There are hipster places in Brooklyn where they serve them. No whey? SERIOUSLY, whey.

  • Christen Goodin Kirkwood

    OMG I won something! I never win things! I had an epic negative split 15 miler yesterday too, so this is officially the best weekend EVAR. Does tart cherry juice also help with hangovers? Because tequila was my BFF last night but not so much today. ha.

  • Nice job on the relay! The RW Half sounds so fun, I would totally do it if NYCM wasn’t already making me poor. 🙂 

  • Jstolz13

    Have you run the 100 on 100 starting in Stowe, VT? Check it out: Sounds like this would make a good run for Vodka Heist 3!

  • runnerskitchen

    oh my goodness. I WANT TO DO THAT RACE.

  • Meg

    I remember when I first started running long I used gummy worms as fuel, but they were so delicious I’d get distracted and just want to stop and search for more gummy worms to eat. 
    Your post makes relays sound like a ton of fun! I need to get friends who run my speed together for one at some point.

  • Looks like so much fun!!! I would love to do a relay sometime!!! What a blast!

  • yay vodka heist! i’m pretty sure i’m not coordinated enough to run a relay and would drop the baton thingy at critical moments. nice job, team.

  • MealsforMiles

    You guys make relays sound/look so fun! I think my legs would fall about with a three-a-day, but it’d be fun to try 🙂 NYCM is the only race i *know* I’m running this fall – trying to get excited about it…

  • Ali

    You look pretty in neon glasses. You guys are awesome and that pace is killer considering you were all running triple legs on injuries and exhaustion. Bravo & Cheers, Vodka Heisters! Well friggin’ done.

  • Looks like so much fun – congrats, ladies! I hope to do my first relay this fall! 🙂
    Heard about that Runner’s World half in October – looks fun as well, however I’m thinking its probably too close to NYC. Plus I think that’s the weekend Joe’s (maybe!) doing his first Ultra. Enjoy your time off!

  • relays are my favorite way to run—i’ve done 3 RAGNAR relays and we’re doing a 4th (in NAPA!) in September…we run with teams of 9 and each run 4 times…such a rush (we are definitely not as speedy as you though ;))

  • I want to do a relay at some point! Have no races on the calendar for fall – gotta get my school schedule set first. I have a few in mind though….#5Krevolution (I kind of want to do the 5K the day before the marathon even though it is crazy $$$ for a 5K)

  • Christine

    I’m from Bethlehem and was planning to do that half too!

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