Monday, September 30, 2013

No Excuses... 9 Tips for Running in the Windy Fall Weather

Yesterday I looked outside and saw the grass out in the field whipping around and went from looking forward to my run to looking forward to catching up on Grey's Anatomy on the elliptical.  We all know that an elliptical session is in no way equal to a real run so today.. wind or no wind and they are calling for wind, I am getting out there in my running shoes.  I will probably cuss the wind the whole time, but I know when I am done I will have a satisfaction that I didn't get yesterday.

Since it tends to get pretty windy here in the spring and fall, I will share my best tips for dealing with the wind.

Here are my tips for running in windy weather

  1. Get a treadmill.  Don't have that option right now like me or you just want to take it outside because you are badass like that, (also like me) read on.
  2. Given a choice always start by running into the wind and ending with the wind at your back.  Getting half way through a run and then turning around and running into the wind makes me cranky and my sweat feel icy if it is cold out.
  3. Relax your pace goals.  Running into a 10 mph headwind can slow your pace by about 8%, with it at your back it speeds you up by about 5%.  Now imagine what 20 mph winds must do! Just think of all the extra calories burned by fighting the wind.
  4. Layer up. I often find on a cold, sunny, but windy day, I need to drop a layer (at least on top)  while running with the wind and add it when running into the wind. 
  5. Play mental games tell yourself how much stronger you will be for having done this, imagine you are a jet plane flying through the wind, slicing through it, the wind is your friend, nothing can hold you back, etc, you get the idea.
  6. Chapstick  because who wants dry cracked wind burned lips?  Not me. \
  7. Run earlier or later.  At least where I live it seems like the wind is the calmest first thing in the morning and later in the evening, but will blow the feathers off a chicken all day.
  8. If you can run cross ways with the wind.  It never seems as bad to me this way, unless the gusts are hurricane force and they blow you all over the road.
  9. Have someone drop you off somewhere so that you can run home with the wind at your back.  I tried to get my husband to do this once and he mocked me for not being a real runner and dealing with it. 
I really only meant to do 5 tips, but I kept thinking of more great tips.  Tell me I am not the only one who opts out of a run sometimes to avoid the wind.  Cold doesn't bother me as much as wind does.  Wind is so aggravating!

Ever had a run where you felt like you weren't going anywhere because the wind was so bad.  I have.

What is your best windy weather running tip?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


After a about two weeks of frustration I finally got my blog domain renewed and off the suspended list.  What a pain in the butt that was!  It was amazing how hard it was to get someone at Google Apps to a) reply to an email or b) provide a phone number to call.  I had the most luck by going through Go Daddy.  Someone from Google Apps finally called my yesterday and helped me through it.  Thanks Milton!

Fall is officially here and as you can see the hills around here have lost their greenness.  Cola and I went for a little off trail run Monday and I got my legs all scratched up on all the sage brush.

It was a beautiful morning and my favorite thing about off trail runs is not worrying about pace, just enjoying the run.  I also tend to get in a lot of hills when I do them so it can probably count as a hill workout too.

I was trying to decide where to cross a coulee at one point and decide where I wanted to go next when I looked down and saw a rattlesnake coiled up not even two feet away from me.  I had already walked past him at least twice.  Thank goodness he could have cared less about it.  He never rattled until I stopped and got out my phone to take his picture.  Even then it was the quietest of rattles as he slithered backwards away from me.
I have to admit that both Cola and I were feeling a little rattled (ha ha) and headed out of the hills after that.  When I got home and took off my shoes they were full of cheat grass seeds.  Nasty things. I took my socks off and another handful fell out of each sock.  Not sure I will be able to save the socks the cheat grass is so embedded in them.

Yesterday was a no run day and I am hoping to squeeze a short run in today after work. 

Have you ever had to toss a pair of socks after a run?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Wrapup

Saturday morning Cola and I went for a 7.5 mile run and enjoyed the morning sunshine.

My son had a friend spend the night Friday.  They spent hours practicing for their flag football game Saturday.  So fun to see my little cowboy have the same drive and dedication and love for football as I do for running. 
don't mess with these tough boys!
Their game was basically a practice since it was the first game of the season and the first game ever for most of the boys.  My little cowboy made an incredible catch that I was thinking there was no way he was going to catch and he nearly had an interception.
I walked into the bathroom Friday night and saw this up near the ceiling....

Don't let the picture fool you he was a monster.  I yelled for my son and his friend to grab a broom and come to the bathroom.  I gave them the task of killing the freaky thing.  They were little superheroes and did! 
Sunday I took an easy day and just did half an hour on the elliptical.  We had company in the morning and Cade's birthday party in the afternoon so I didn't have much time.  My right quad was feeling a bit of a niggle so I decided taking it easy was the best route all around.
The plan for today is to go for an easy run, but if the quad is bugging me I am going to call it a day and focus on core and upper body strengthening.  I have heard quad injuries can be hard to get over and like to come back to haunt you...sigh.  Of course I also pushed it harder last week than it has been pushed in a long time, doing some actual speed work. 
How was your weekend?  Tell me some highlights.
Would you have killed the spider or made the 1st graders do it like I did?

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things

AI haven't done a favorites post in awhile, maybe I have been too ho-hum from my leg giving me grief and the hot summer weather.  Well cooler temps are here and my leg is feeling better.

1. Today is my favorite little cowboy's 7th birthday.  I am so in love with this guy.  He also has his first flag football game tomorrow!  WOOT, big times!

2. I supported Handful Bras in the Crowd Supply Campaign and after what seemed like an eternity I got my Getting Lucky Green and Freshly Squeezed Orange a week or so ago.  I love having these bright pops of color in my wardrobe.

They are also coming out with a blue and pink this fall.  I already have two pink ones, but I have a feeling I need the blue too. 

3.  I found the recipe for these No Bake Energy Bites

1 cup (dry) oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Yummy and really endless possibilities for substitutions.
How was that for an extreme close up view of them?
Luckily I even had ground flax seed as I had just picked up a bag at Costco.

My kids love them, and I confess I do to.  I see endless possibilities for variations.  A friend of mine told me she uses nuts and raisins instead of chocolate chips.  Those are the ones I have in the picture and so far they are my favorite one. I am going to try them with protein powder the next time I make them.

4. My kettle bell. 

I have found two great workouts on the internet I really like.

My favorite one is the Killer Kettle Bell Workout from
They also claim in that article you can burn up to 300 calories in 15 minutes using the kettle bell. 

Pretty impressive!

My second favorite is the Kettle bell Core Exercises from

5. This weather
Saturday is a little warm, but otherwise AWESOME weather. 

What are some of your favorite things lately?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Running and my head falling off

1.  Running is going good.  I feel great and the cooler weather has felt amazing too. Monday I did an  trail run that I cut a little short due to some toe pain and wearing some new shoes.

I was sent a pair of Skora shoes to try out and review and while I have some minimal shoes and a pair of zero drops, the Skora shoes are even more minimal and have almost no cushion so I didn't want to overdo it.  I had planned to run back to my car and switch my shoes out to my Altra Torins which have quite a bit of cushion, but my toe was throbbing from stubbing it and kicking at rock so I called it a run and went home.

2. My blog domain which I get through Godaddy via Google Apps is set for renewal.  Unfortunately I didn't go in and update my credit card info and it couldn't auto renew.  I also have been unable to log in to Google Apps to set it back to auto renew after updating my card info. 

I spent HOURS (seriously) trouble shooting this.  I finally called GoDaddy directly and they needed my Google Apps pin to help me.  I don't know it.  I didn't even know it existed.  To find it I have to get in to Google Apps. 

GoDaddy gave me the tech support number for Google Apps, but you can't even talk to a real person if you don't know your pin.  HELLO this is why I called!

I trouble shot on the Internet some more to no avail and finally called GoDaddy back since at least there I can talk to a live person.  I pleaded with the lady to help me. I told her my head was about to fall off I was so frustrated.  She stayed on the phone with me for nearly and hour and a half trying to solve the problem.  She finally went and got a Google Tech person on the line with us and he couldn't solve the problem. Handy.

Every time I try to log in I get "invalid request"  I seriously want to punch my computer.

He emailed me a tech support form and a better phone number to call if that doesn't work. So now I am waiting to hear back. If I don't by noon today I am calling.

It shouldn't be this hard. Don't they want people to keep their domains? 

3. In happier news I had a great long run yesterday.

Legs feel good and the toe is getting better.

which makes me really excited for the half marathon I have coming up in a month.

I was also supposed to do a kettlebell workout but by the time I got done dealing with the domain BS, the kids were home from school and it was time to make supper.  I am planning to do it today instead since I got overstaffed and don't have to work.
Anyone else ever have any problems with Google Apps, or renewing your domain or am I just the lucky one?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunshine Award

Elle at Eat, Run, Sail nominated me for a the Sunshine Award earlier this week.  Elle was one of the first blogs I followed and I have always enjoyed it.  She also has a food blog called We Can Begin to Feed where she posts lots of great recipes.  If you haven't already check her out!

The award is circulated to those bloggers to let them know that their posts brighten your day.

The Rules:

1.  Include award logo in a post or on your blog
2.  Link to the person who nominated you
3.  Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4.  Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Here are the questions Elle asked, and my answers to them:
  1. Best childhood memory?   Wow this is a hard one.  I have so many great childhood memories. I would say lots of my favorite ones were working on the ranch with my family while growing up.  We spent a lot of time horseback chasing cows, building and fixing miles and miles of fences, and hours were spent in tractors going in circles around fields. 
  2. Nicest time of year? Fall!  Love the cooler temps and the way the air smells.  It all feels so amazing after being cooked in the summer.
  3. Favorite flower? Wild sunflowers.  So cheerful along the sides of the road.
  4. Scary food you would never ever even taste? Haggis, balut, cockscomb, and bat paste.
  5. Zodiac sign? Sagitarius, the archer! 
  6. What spice would describe you? Nutmeg.
  7. Snooze button or jump out of bed? Jump out of bed.  I love morning! I love my quiet time in the morning before anyone else is up.
  8. Morning drink? Coffee with milk.  Cow milk, coconut or almond sometimes with whipped cream.  Just give me my coffee!
  9. Song that means something special to you?
  10. Secret crush? Oddly Tim Tebow, and I am not that big of a football person, I just really thought he was awesome.  So sad to see him not stay with a team, he is a class act.
I tag
  1. Kim @ Just Trying is for Little Girls just did a half marathon in Montana!!
  2. Missy @ Southern Girl Running just started training for a fall race!
  3. Maria @The Good Life: Finding Your Happy Pace and Thriving just changed her blog name
  4. Becka @ 50 Half Marathons in 50 States  is having adventures in internet dating
  5. Xaarlin @Pain is Nothing about to run a marathon and be amazing!!
  6. Kari @Running Ricig  just painted wood paneling and gets shamed into running by her dog
  7. Heather@ Just A Colorado Gal lives in flooded out Colorado
  8. Courtney @Third Times a Charm she just got a super cute puppy.
  9. Michael @Slowly Tri-ing just got a 10k PR 
  10. Lisa @Because I Can also just ran a half marathon in Montana
  11. Missy @Sugar Coated Athlete she loves sugar as much as I do..maybe more

My 10 questions
  1. What is one thing you hate about blogging?
  2. If you could time travel to live in another time for a year, what year would you go to?
  3. What is your dessert of choice?
  4. Favorite running temp?
  5. Three things you want to do before you die?
  6. If you could rename yourself what would your new name be?
  7. Do you like uniquely spelled names or traditional (ie Sarah vs Cerah)?
  8. If you had to pick one brand of running/workout clothes what would it be?
  9. Favorite distance to run?
  10. Favorite way to workout at home?
didn't get tagged?  Tell me your favorite way to workout at home anyway :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I cried while running a Ragnar Relay

Nothing to do with this post, but wanted to share this great picture from yesterday.

Let's talk about how my running is going because for the last 4 and a half or so months you have come here and read about me whining about my right quad.    It seemed to get better and then worse and then better and then worse. Waa waa waa. 

 Suddenly I went to a Ragnar Relay in Colorado and TA DA it feels better.  I can spit out 23.49 miles with an average pace of 8:30 something. WHY?  I don't have any real clear cut answers, but I do have a little bit of a theory. Let's go through it point by point.

Part A    Old News
  • April 28 I run Peaks to Prairie.  9.4 miles downhill mostly at a record (for me) pace and felt amazing doing it.
  • Cue the soreness and a week of doing too much capped off with a 9 mile trail run that resulted in right quad (here after known as RQ) cramping and getting a pretty serious strain.
  • I spend the next 8 weeks taking it easy.  (Boring, frustrating, and not my style)
  • I volunteer to take the longest legs on the Colorado Ragnar (am I crazy?)
  • I have weeks and weeks of good and bad runs.
  • I try a fast workout..and RQ responds by feeling worse.
  • I take it easy and it starts to feels better but there is still a niggle in my RQ that comes up whenever I push too hard, sleep on my right side, or run more than a couple miles.  I hate it.
Part B  What I haven't mentioned yet
  • I buy a kettlebell and out of the blue decide to try some super deep squats with it.  I do 25 and decide I probably shouldn't over do it since it was bothering RQ.
  • I spend the next three days with a lot of DOMS in RQ and the left quad feels normal.  Ragnar is 5 days away.  Yikes!  Did I just make it worse.
  • Try to run 3 miles 3 days out from Ragnar, RQ is still very sore.  Remain outwardly calm and start freaking out.
  • Rest rest rest, roll, stretch, etc
  • Get ready for first leg of Ragnar.  Inwardly freaking out, what is my RQ going to do? The DOMS is gone, and it feels okay, but what did I do to it with those squats?!! Am I going to hate myself for taking on 22 miles in this relay?
Part C  That first relay leg
  • Start running a little cautiously.  It feels good.  Keep running, RQ still feels good.  It feels great sure I am running downhill but I am running 7:3ish pace and it feels amazing.
  • Run with my arms wide open with tears streaming down my face because I finally feel that joy again that comes with running like it is supposed to feel. 
  • I seriously had to fight the urge to sit down and cry it just felt so good. (tell me you know the feeling)
The rest of my runs felt good too and while I have dealt with some calf and hammy tightness post 23.49 miles on the Ragnar Relay my RQ feels good.   I am thinking maybe it had some scar tissue in it holding it down and maybe I broke it up with the deep knee squats.  Not 100% sure, but going off it how sore it was post squats and how awesome it felt to run once the soreness went away that is what I am sticking with.

And I may have broke a toe on my right foot.  Not bad enough to keep me from running, but bad enough that when I stubbed it today while running I thought I was going to have to call my husband to come and get me.  Once the throbbing died down a bit though I found I could run again.

Sorry for the ugly toe picture, this was Friday, the day after I hurt it while working out in my living room.  Klutzy move nothing more and I was rolling on the floor clutching at my foot cussing.

Is my RQ back to normal?  I don't think it is back to 100% yet but I did do an 8 mile run over the weekend and a 5 mile tough trail run this morning and no niggles.

My plan from here includes a 6 mile race and a half marathon in October.    No PR goals for either race, just to do them and feel good. 

Nothing to do with my quad, but I found this large piece of petrified wood in the hills yesterday and hauled it a very long way back to the truck. 
Now it resides in my yard. 
from today's run.  a stop for Cola to get a drink
What is the worst running injury you have had to deal with?  This is my worst so far by a long way.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1.  It has been a while since I added any music to my iPod but I added a few songs before I left for the Ragnar Relay in Colorado.  I added
  • Roar by Katy Perry
  • Wake Me Up  by Avicii
  • and a whole bunch by Mumford and Sons
Kind of wondering how I made this long without having Mumford and Sons on my iPod.  I feel a little late to the party just now discovering them.  I think my older sister kept telling me they were great to run to, but I apparently didn't believe her.

2. My calf muscles have been so tight since the Ragnar.  I tried to run Tuesday but they cramped up, so I only ended up doing 2 miles.  This morning they felt better, not out of the woods, but better.  I ran 5 miles and now they are super tight again.  Sigh.  Maybe I won't run a half marathon this weekend even though I really want to. I have been rolling and stretching.  I guess all the uphill in the last leg of the relay made them a little mad.

3.  I feel like I am on such a running high right now.  Running the Ragnar in Colorado with Team Beef was amazing.  Being in the van with 5 other girls who love running as much as I do is so motivating.  So fun to be around so many girls that want to talk about running and running things.  Not sure what is up next, but I have a couple of options for October including a 6 mile race and a half marathon.  Both of them include fun runs portions that the kids could participate in.    Having my right quad feel good is the second part of being on such a running high, now if my calf muscles would loosen up a little!

What new songs have you added to your running playlists lately?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Van Pranks and fun times on the Ragnar

This was my second year running with Team Beef Montana/ The Montana Running Ranchers and the fourth year the team has been around.  There is a bit of a history with the two vans pranking each other and this year was no different.  Mike, one of the co-captains,  picked up the vans and was under a strict truce to not do anything to the girls van until we were all together, but he weakened under pressure from his wife and violated the truce.

Friday morning we woke up to silly string all over the van and discovered our water bottles in our cooler were covered in condoms.  Boys van 1  Apparently Mike's wife had accused him of being weak (not the word she used) and he had bought a 36 pack of condoms and had violated the truce before he even left home!

Somehow I missed taking a picture of all the condoms on our water bottles.  For some reason we all felt like we had to pour our water into different bottles to drink.  Nothing like peeling a wet nasty condom off a bottle of water before you can drink it. I am sure it reflected positively on us that our garbage was full of condoms every time we emptied it.

We Googled and schemed about what we could do to the boys, but weren't coming up with much that we could do easily and not disable their van.  We ended up putting shaving cream and maxi pads all over their van at exchange 6.  I got style points for the cowboy hats.  I also have to confess that Evie and I were in such a hurry to get it done and get back to the exchange before it was noticed we were gone that I started putting the shaving cream on the girls van.
Another van of runner's watched us do this and thought it was pretty funny we would prank the boys.  We gave them some free jerky in exchange for their silence.

We also put a large fake spider in the clipboard we were passing back and forth to keep track of our leg times.  That got Mike pretty good in the middle of the night.

Van 1 may have listened to a certain 80s hair band a bit much
Sunday morning we were leaving Snowmass and discovered when the van was put into reverse nothing happened.  It made a really bad noise when put back into park and it also would not go forward.  After consulting the manual and the backup camera someone got out to check and discovered the boys had jacked up the rear wheels of the van, so they were turning in thin air.   We all got a good laugh out of that one.

No wonder it made a bad noise when we put it back into the park, the wheels thought we were reversing!

Since we didn't ride down as girls and boys vans the boys left some of their water bottles in our van and we may have put some shampoo in one and wrote on another.

picture we sent the boys, we wanted some stickers they had
At one point we missed a turn on the route and did a u turn right in front of a cop.  He let that slide, but then a quarter mile down the road pulled us over.  We all whipped our seat belts on and tried to figure out what we had done wrong.  Someone asked Billie Jo (the driver) if the headlights were on.  The cop had conveniently stopped to admire our van graphics so she turned them on, rolled down the window and inquired what we had done.

He said he pulled us over because our taillights weren't on.  Billie Jo asked if they worked now, he checked, yes they did, and off we went!

Our very awesome van graphics

girls van
boys van

hood of the van
and the back of the vans

A huge thanks to our sponsors
Another of our biggest sponsors.  They gave us track pants to wear in addition to monetary sponsorship and featured our profiles.

Fun times.  If you have done a relay before do you guys do van pranks to each other?
Any great van prank ideas for next year?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ragnar Colorado: I got lost and scaled a mountain

Team Beef Montana/ The Montana Running Ranchers at the start of the Ragnar Colorado. We were so excited to get started!

I already posted how my first leg went.  If you don't want to read the whole a word it was perfect.

Leg 2 was my middle of the night leg and also my shortest leg at 4.6 miles.  I started my run about 2:30 in the morning and my only plan was not to run too fast.  Since this was a downhill leg it was pretty easy, but then I took a wrong turn somewhere.  Actually I just followed the runner in front of me.  I thought maybe things weren't looking right since we were supposed to be on a trail and suddenly we were on a highway type road.  It wasn't too long before two other runners came at me and said they were sure we were going the wrong way.  Sure enough we could see runners down below us so we back tracked till we found the trail again. By the time I made it into the exchange my Garmin said 5.68 miles with an average pace of 7.25.  Not sure if I actually ran this far or farther since I kept losing satellite reception.

I managed to catch,  some good Zzzs at one of the exchanges and was feeling sort of refreshed for my last leg which was also my hardest leg.  10.4 miles up, up, down and up.  The first almost 9 miles were pretty gradual uphill but having already ran 13 ish miles at a pretty good clip downhill I could feel all the uphill.  Mentally I was ready for it, phyiscally I was pretty tired.

Somewhere along leg 34.  It was all very beautiful.

The first 5 miles I did pretty good with 9 minute miles.  After that I started walking about 30 seconds every mile. At around 8 or so miles I could see the exchange.  The only problem was it was on the other side of the Grand Canyon's little sister (that is what it looked like to my very tired legs!).

Here is a selfie starting down the big hill. I was too exhausted to take an after picture, but this is better really.

To get the exchange I had to plunge down the side of the mountain and then scale back up the other side.  That last major hill did me in.  I was so glad to get to the top and hand off the baton.  My Garmin said 10.77 miles when I finished.  I think I did somewhere in the range of 23.4 miles during the whole Ragnar.

It was a tough three legs, but strangely I would do them all again. I loved all the girls in my van.

Girls from van #2

and our after photo.  We ended up 8th out of 205 team and 2nd in our division.  Boom!

Pretty much can't wait to do another.

Post race thoughts.  My right quad felt AMAZING.  Better than it has in 4 months.  I have a theory about this, but will post about that later this week.   My calves and hammies are a little sore today, but not in a bad way.

Ragnar Colorado was so much fun and I am already looking forward to the next relay with Team Beef Montana.  So grateful to all of our amazing sponsors who support us.  We had fun group of runners and I hope they all come back for another relay too.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ragnar Colorado Leg 1 recap

I felt like we waited all day to run. The boys van started at 10 am and our van got into action around 3:30. 

My first leg was 7 miles mostly downhill and rated very hard. So I wore my lucky socks.

My first leg was also my comeback leg,  my first time back into it since I strained my quad four months ago.  I missed the whole summer racing season.  I admit it to being a little emotional at the start.  I got a little choked up when I started to warm up. Running is such a part of me and so is competing. I am a competitor.  Being able to be back means so much to me.  

I also admit to being uncertain as to how my quad would react to my 7 mile mostly downhill leg. My plan was to keep it easy and close to 8:15 min/ miles. 

Stacey came running in and handed me the bracelet and I was off.  It was raining lightly and it felt amazing.  My quad felt amazing.  I was running.  Running happy an strong. 

I got passed immedialty by a girl in neon pink, I wanted to chase her down and pass her back.  I knew that wasn't smart probably so I held myself in and maintained cruising speed.  

I choked up repeatedly in the first two miles.  It just felt so amazing to be back, to be running along, chasing down the neon girl.  I reeled her in step by step until she was nothing but a memory.

Miles 3-5 were all business. Maintaining, listening to my body, watching for my quad to be not happy.  And no one else in sight.  

Mile 5.5 ish I passed two guys and knew I was going to finish strong.  The last half mile seemed to take forever and was uphill.  I handed off the bracelet and walked it out.  And the plan? ... Hmm sorta went out the window. 

I ended up averaging 7.33 min miles for 7.09 miles.   

Favorite parts of the leg

Running in the rain for the first two miles 
Katy Perry's Roar
Passing neon girl
Happy right quad

Monday, September 2, 2013

My legs

First of all Happy Labor Day.  I know for most working folks today is a day off, a long weekend.  Not me.  I usually always have Mondays off so this feels like nothing special. except the kids are home from school and my husband doesn't go to work, so I have to clean up after them and make lunch.  Since I really only have to work one day this week I guess that is okay. 
Why do I only have to work one day you ask?  I am leaving for Colorado with Team Beef Montana to run a Ragnar Relay!  YAY!
I am going to start thinking about packing for Ragnar Colorado today and make sure what I want to bring with me is clean. 
I have no delusions about kicking butt on my relay legs in light of
  • right quad still not at 100%
  • altitude
  • not really trained for speed right now
I do feel confident that I can get them cranked out at a decent pace.
I am legs 10, 22, 34  rated very hard, moderate, and very hard.
Leg 10.  Mostly downhill. 7 miles 
Leg 22. Mostly downhill. 4.6 miles
Leg 34. Mostly uphill. 10.4 miles. This leg scares me a little.

Total 22 miles. 

My plan is to try not to run too fast on the first two legs so I still have something left in the tank for the last crazy leg.

I also am not planning anymore hard workouts between now and then.  I did a killer kettlebell workout Friday and am still pretty sore from that as I sit here typing this. 

What do you consider relay essentials when packing for a relay?