Kickin' it in lazy Sunday afternoon mode. We got back yesterday afternoon from Maine and the Around Mount Desert Island Relay. We left Thursday after 1 and made good time with surprisingly light traffic for the 279-mile trek to Bar Harbor; took us about four and a half hours, including a couple of bathroom stops. We met up with the other folks on the relay team at a pizza joint about a half hour from our hotel: Jon and Kerry, Rick and his family, and Jon's buddies Ken and Tom, who both live in Maine. We were dubbed RW2, in a nod to the team we entered in the River to Sea relay in NJ a few years back. There were eight teams total and unlike the NJ relay, we wouldn't have to worry about starting too late. The race didn't take itself too seriously; each team was given a Barbie doll as a relay baton. Ours wore a purple dress.
Back at the hotel, we hung out in Ken and Tom's room drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, which has its appeal, I suppose, but is not recommended on the night before running a hilly relay race. I wasn't too concerned, since I wouldn't be running until leg 6 (of 8), meaning I didn't have to run until around noon. Of course, my stomach didn't feel particularly great Friday morning, so I had several hours to ponder what that would mean for my 8.45-mile leg, which was described as "VERY HILLY!"
The weather was nice in the morning, clear and not too warm. Kerry led off and kicked butt, but as Jon and I drove the route in one of the two support vehicles, we noticed a lot of hills. The surrounding scenery was incredible as we ran and drove around the island. As the morning wore on, it got warmer and warmer, so I knew I'd be in for a tough one. I just hoped I wouldn't experience any gastric distress. Jon felt the after-effects of the PBR and hurled during his first leg (he and Rick both did two legs). Of course, he still burned it up at a 6:20 pace. Dude can flat-out fly.
Meanwhile, Deb and the girls went to the July 4th parade in Bar Harbor and then hung at the hotel pool.
Finally, it came time for me to run. I was expecting the worst in terms of hills and heat and I got it. There were all sorts of hills: gradual, steep, seemingly endless. I kept chugging along, occasionally walking a bit after a particularly brutal climb. Jon and Kerry brought me water and Gatorade every mile. I took advantage of some long downhill stretches to make up time and finally I saw Rick waiting for me about three-tenths of a mile away. Fortunately, it was all downhill and I just kicked it into high gear, hoping I wouldn't go too fast and wipe out. I finished in 1:06:57 (about a 7:50 pace) and felt pretty good. I was also glad I didn't have to run again. Rick and Jon finished strong and overall, we came in fourth.
We hung out at the finish for a while, enjoying the beer and pizza as well as the nice weather. After showering back at the hotel, we piled back into our vehicles and drove close to an hour away to Prospect Harbor, where Ken's parents threw us a post-race bash. Any grumbling about the drive dissipated when we saw their house, which was ridiculously nice and had about as perfect a view as you're going to find anywhere. It was right on the harbor; talk about doing it right. We spent a few hours there and the kids had a blast running around on the grass and looking for sea glass on the beach. Finally, we left around 9:30 and drove back just in time to get stuck in traffic from the aftermath of Bar Harbor's fireworks. Apparently Bar Harbor shuts off the streets, so we sat for nearly an hour; fortunately the kids had fallen asleep. Very frustrating. Once we got back to our hotel, we all were so wiped, we just went to bed.
Saturday morning, we went downtown for breakfast and then headed out, stopping at the LL Bean outlet for a bit. Again, the traffic wasn't bad and we made it home in decent time.