7 Miles Before 8 a.m. & Reach the Beach Relay!

Good morning from Miami! :)

I set a new record yesterday morning for longest distance ever run in the super early a.m. before work or school! 7 miles done before it was even 8 a.m. — BAM.


Elle and I had 7 miles on the docket this weekend for our Tobacco Road Half Marathon training, but both of us had plans to be out of town. Elle emailed me earlier this week asking if I was crazy enough to run 7 miles with her at 6 a.m. on Thursday… and for some reason I agreed. :) I figured I’d rather do the 7 miles early so I could enjoy shorter, no pressure runs this weekend in Miami with Matt instead!

Elle and I met up at 6:15 a.m. yesterday morning and were on our way! I was actually kind of excited — it felt bada$$ to be running 7 miles before most people were even out of bed.


We started our run in the dark (on well lit streets), running all through Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and even onto a trial once the sun came up to play.


It was a lovely morning for a run and unlike the past couple longer runs I’ve done, I felt great! We were both chatting away and enjoying ourselves the whole time.



You can tell how good we felt from our negative splits (e.g. we got faster as we went)! The first mile was a massive hill, so it was a bit slower, but from then on we were moving.


  • Mile 1: 9:58
  • Mile 2: 9:13
  • Mile 3: 8:50
  • Mile 4: 9:01
  • Mile 5: 8:51
  • Mile 6: 8:31
  • Mile 7: 8:29

Total distance: 7 miles. Total time: 1:02:56. Average pace: 8:59!

I just have to say: the runner’s high is for real, friends. These pictures are proof. Elle and I felt so great after our run we spent some time playing on the swings. At 7:30 a.m. No big deal. :)


Such a great way to start the day!

Oh, and speaking of running — I have some exciting news to share! In May, I’ll be participating in Reach the Beach, which is an overnight 24-hour 200 mile running relay! It sounds absurd and I couldn’t be more excited.

The best part about the relay, though, is my teammates. There are 12 of us, including many of my good blogger buddies (and soon-to-be good blogger buddies, I’m sure, after spending 24 hours in a van together)!

Check out this cute collage of us all that one of my teammates, Elizabeth, created!

rtb bloggers

The Cast of Characters:

    1. Me! Picture from after my Vegas Half Marathon :)
    2. Sarah of Sarah Fit
    3. Patricia of Run Foodie Run
    4. Tina of Carrots ‘N Cake
    5. Ashley of A Healthy, Happier Bear
    6. Bridget of Yogurt and Berries
    7. Elizabeth of On Tap for Today
    8. Theodora of Losing Weight in the City
    9. Gretchen of Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
    10. Monica of Run Eat Repeat
    11. Ali of Food Fitness Fashion
    12. Melissa of Fitness NYC

Our team is also lucky because we have a great sponsor — New Balance! We named our team “Off Balance” in their honor. ;)


Reach the Beach has two relay options: one in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire. Our team will be participating in the Massachusetts relay, which begins in Wachusett and ends in Westport. As I mentioned, the relay will cover 200 miles over the course of 24 hours, and each of us will run 3 legs of the race, ranging from as short as 2.8 miles to as long as 8.3 miles. I’ve never done a relay race before but have always wanted to. In addition to being a great challenge, I also think it will be a blast. :)

Interested in creating a team to run the relay yourself? Check out their website because registration is filling up fast! For a team of 12 runners the entry fee works out to a little over $100 each. You can also run the race for free if you register as a fundraising team for a charity. :)

So — advice, please! Have any of you run an overnight relay race before? Any tips for training and/or survival? Should I do multiple runs a day to practice? Or will I be fine doing the race with my normal training?

Matt and I just had breakfast here in Miami — it’s a beautiful day and should be in the 80’s and sunny! He unfortunately has to work most of the day, so I’m also going to get some work done and then head out to do a little exploring on my own in a bit. Any recommendations for good places to walk around/eat lunch in downtown Miami? :)


  1. 1

    What a cute graphic! Sounds like it will be a blast!

  2. 2

    HOw cool! Have fun :D

  3. 3

    I have never ran a relay before, but it definitely sounds like something I would love to do someday! Not only do you get to run, but also spending time with old friends and new friends sounds like a blast!

  4. 4

    There’s no better way to start the day!! I can’t wait till it gets lighter and then I can start running earrrly mornings. Right now in the Netherlands the sun doesn’t rise till 730a and sets around 6, and I’m too scared to run in the dark!

    • 5

      Oh man – I remember when I was living in Prague it would literally be dark until 10 a.m. and then get dark again at like 3 p.m. It was SO sad! The sun is rising in NC at 7 a.m. now… so we start in the dark, but since I’m with a buddy it’s all good. :) I wouldn’t do it alone!

  5. 6

    This looks awesome!!! What a great race with some awesome bloggers. Can’t wait to read the recaps!

  6. 7

    oh boy do I have advice! Check out my blog and go to yesterdays post. I just started my race recap, I did an overnight relay last weekend! The Rouge Orleans. its only 126.2 miles BUT only 6 runners, one van. Crazy!

  7. 9

    SO FUN and what a great group!!!!


  8. 10

    The race relay looks fun! Here in Kentucky there’s one called the Bourbon Chase that always seems like it’d be a blast (200 miles through Central Ky and along the Bourbon Trail), but the slots are very limited and fill up very quickly.
    And I love running in the morning before work–you feel awesome knowing you’ve done more before most people were awake than they’ll probably do all day. I’ll have to run 7 miles next Friday before work for my half training program, too (weekend commitments).

  9. 12

    That is so awesome that you guys ran 7 miles! It’s amazing how fast running outside flys by to me. :) Very cool banner!

  10. 13

    I was definitely not up yet, so you rock! I love the collage and I am so excited to run with you all!

  11. 15

    Nothing, nothing, nothing, better than an early a.m. run w/ a friend! Your relay will be a blast. I was supposed to be part of a Ragnar team last year but was injured. They won first place by more than 4 hours! And they loved every minute of the race–I’m sure you will too!

  12. 17

    that’s the best feeling – getting in a long run so early in the morning! and so jealous of that relay. you guys will have so much fun!

  13. 18

    Thank you for being crazy enough to join me. Such a fun run yesterday! Have so much fun this weekend. :)

  14. 19

    What you better start practicing now is your extreme banana consumption.

  15. 21

    I have ran 1 relay and am currently training for my 2nd! I would definitely recommend doing some days with 2 runs to train, it is something I regret not doing more of before my first one. Also start thinking about food for the relay, you have to think about what you can have in the van with you that will sustain you for the entire race. Good luck and a warning to you…they are addicting!

  16. 23

    I did the NH RTB this past fall, and it was AWESOME!! So much fun…you will have a blast…my peice of advice-bring ‘baby’ wipes…Our van leader thought she had grabbed a can of baby wipes and I was the first runner in the van and psyched to be able to wipe down after my run….Took one out and almost started to clean-then realized they were disinfectant COUNTERtop wipes…oopsie…
    Enjoy the RTB!

  17. 25

    That relay sounds like such a blast! Sushi Samba on Lincoln Avenue in Miami is one of my favorites – it’s a really fun ambiance (lively!) and the food is delicious! The Peruvian corn and the sea bass/miso skewers are one of my favorite menu items!

  18. 26

    So hardcore! Once I had to run 16 miles before 7 am, insanity, but yet like you said such an amazing feeling at the same time. Hope Miami is awesome, can’t wait to see pics!

  19. 28

    Your reach the beach team looks AWESOME!! Such fun bloggers in the mix.

    A group of my friends meet up at 5am a few times a week to run. It is INSANE. I mean, that requires waking up at 430 am to get dressed, drive and be somewhere by 5. Anywho, a few times I’ve joined them for the Wednesday run because they start and end at Jamba Juice where you can get $2 steel cut oats and $1 fresh squeezed OJ! YUM. But my entire body is exhausted (although happy) by the early afternoon from such an early morning run. Those runs are usually 8-9.5 miles and yeah, it feels pretty bada##!

  20. 30

    When I was training for the marathon last year, we started runs at 6 a.m. all throughout the summer – and I LOVED being done before my friends rolled out of bed. It’s such a great feeling of accomplishment! And the relay sounds SO awesome! Sometimes I secretly wished that I lived on the coast so that I could participate in something super fun like that!

  21. 31

    Isn’t it amazing how good you feel getting your workout done early in the morning. I love running 7 miles and coming home before my boyfriend even gets out of bad. I feel so hardcore!!

    That reach the beach race looks awesome too!

  22. 32

    So excited for the relay! I love this graphic too, so cute of everyone, and looks very official. The comments above were helpful… I can only imagine wiping down my face with a disinfectant. Gross. baby wipes are a must have I now know.

  23. 34

    I love running before work! It feels really badass and you get it done! I have done a 20 miler and a 17 miler before work during marathon training and it feels pretty amazing the rest of the day!

  24. 36

    How did I miss this awesome graphic?! I love it. So excited to get to experience this ridiculousness with you, loverrrr!

  25. 37

    The MA race sounds fun! Too bad I will be in NJ then or I could come cheer your team on!

  26. 38

    Oh, the relay sounds awesome! Maybe I’ll be there to cheer you ladies on! :D

  27. 40

    I fell in love with the guava pastries at La Versailles. It’s in Little Havana, and sooooooo worth it. I live 5 hours away and often think of going back just for those:)

  28. 41

    I would have a glow all day if I ran that long before 8AM. It really sets a great tone for the rest of the day.

    I know a few of those girls! Have a great race! I’ll have to look into doing that next year. :-)

  29. 42

    I love that collage!

  30. 43
    Marta Ferreira says

    I just read you are going to run Wachusett to Westport. Since I have been a fan of yours for awhile and have gotten many great healthy ideas, I am excited you will be near here! (I live about 15 minutes from Mount Wachusett…it’s a Mountain not a town). Not sure if I will be in the area then but if I am I may come and cheer you and your fellow runners on! You are an inspiration. Thank you!

  31. 45

    You should practice doing two runs in a day before the RTB relay in May. The biggest thing you can do right now is to start planning out who is going to run each leg of the relay. You want to make sure that each of the 12 runners on your team has enough rest between their relay legs and that their legs aren’t all rated “hard” and that the total of all their legs isn’t too long. Since this is a 24 hour race, you also have to figure out when each of the team members will be sleeping and try to create an environment in the van where they can do that (earplugs, eyeshades, pillows, blankets, etc.)

    If there are some runners on the team who are much faster than the others or who can handle more distance, you can use this to “fine tune” the leg assignments. You should also have a back-up plan for each leg, in case the primary runner is injured or isn”t feeling well.

    I think that the 12 person teams usually have 2 vans, so you also have to figure out who’s in each van and where each van needs to be at any time during the race.

    You should also give some thought to your fueling and hydration strategy between runs and practice this on your “double” days. You should also practice running safely at night and make sure you have the right gear for that (headlamp, reflective vest, etc.).

    Good luck and have fun. You are running with some of my favorite bloggers.

  32. 47

    I did the Ragnar Relay from Huntington Beach to San Diego and it was pretty wild! You will be fine doing the race with your normal training. No need to stress. The main problem was getting enough sleep so the second day was a little rough.

    I would definitely recommend that everyone prints out maps of their routes. Sometimes you will be running by yourself and you may not see many (or any) other runners. Also, bring Icy Hot! You will have a lot of fun and you will definitely bond with your vanmates!

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