Several months ago a friend of a friend’s brother, Colin, whom I (with said friend) drunkenly recruited to join my running club/team/mafia, and who did so, asked for people to join his 10 runner Ragnar Team, the “San Diego Yogging Club”.
Did you follow that?
If the moniker is lost on you here is a video to jog your memory (or is it yog? I’m not sure, it might be a soft “j”)…the first 30 seconds are the important bit.
Anyway, I signed on and kindly asked (begged?) my ladies Meredith and Erin to join too. They did. Duh. And so we became part of the Van 1 News Team.
Friday morning at the last “major exchange”.
I’ve only had about 4 good, solid, enjoyable, (tolerable?) runs in the last 7 weeks, so in the week leading up to Ragnar I was trying really hard to muster up a positive attitude…with very limited success.
Ragnar specific “training” literally began on the trip to Madison. (Mere taking on fuel, and me working out a calf sized knot…)
Once the rapid fire team meet-and-greet was done, and joking immediately began, I was excited. Finally.
I’m not sure what I was doing…
Meredith started us off.
This is my favorite exchange picture…Erin was amazing, she didn’t complain a single time (I complained nonstop), and she picked up a FIFTH leg about 23 hrs in to sub for an injured yogger. Amazing.
I was the 5th runner (the last for van 1), and when it was time for my first leg to begin, the enthusiasm I’d drummed up, sadly, had waned.
The incoming yogger literally gave me a push out of the exchange chute. I ran decently, but significantly slower than planned. I was surprised to find that time went really fast, there really didn’t seem to be any down time between exchanges. Even the time between finishing my run and when it was time for our van to start again for our second round of runs when by quickly. This really surprised me.
I seem to be taking a page out of my running book from last summer because I got lost in the last mile of my first leg of running. The entire Ragnar course was marked clearly and accurately (as far as my experience went anyway), but by design it does require you to give up a lot of control. Basically you’ll see a sign telling you where to turn (or stay straight, whatever the case may be) and then you just keep running, sometimes for miles at a stretch, until you see another sign indicating that you need to turn. When I saw the “One Mile To Go” sign, it happened to be at a side-street, and my automatic reaction was to turn…
Whoops. I figured out my no-brain mistake pretty quickly. An elderly man was out for a walk, pushing his walker along, I sidled up to him and asked if he’d seen any runners go by: “nope” he said, “no runners here”.
I added just over a quarter-mile to my run. Dummy.
The best part of Ragnar was certainly the exchanges, I enjoyed each one, little mini races, in quick succession. It’s a running geek’s paradise. My personal experience was just like most marathons, where I downright terrified at the start, and then smitten with running for the first 30% of the event, then for the middle 30% I am more or less clinically depressed, and then for the last 30% I’m totally focused, goal oriented, and smitten with running again.
From about a mile into my second run, until about 90 minutes after my 3rd run, I hated everything about running. I even fell down (for the 4th time in the last month…not sure what that’s about), and sort of sat in a heap in the middle of a side-walk for a minute or two, debated whether I or not I could just remain there. Forever.
It was all rather pathetic really.
My 4th and final leg of running was just fine, enjoyable even.
I’m a nutcase.
I really didn’t fully have all the logistics and rules of Ragnar clear in my mind until excessively late in the game. There are several not perfect little quirks. Like the need for lights and reflective gear when the sun has fully risen (Mr. Safety Casey here had to start running just a few minutes before the cut off time for safety gear – 6:30am – but safety makes no exceptions, apparently)
By hour 20 we were all exhausted (duh?):
Last I heard we finish 33rd out of 438 teams…so that’s pretty good.
I’d definitely do a relay event, possibly even this one again, but I really want to train for it. Which had been the plan but my body and my spirits just didn’t allow for it. It’s the same as with marathons, you have to register and commit to them so far before the actual event date that you just don’t know what will unfold.
I haven’t run since Ragnar ended last Saturday, hell, I didn’t even walk the poor dogs until tonight. I haven’t engaged in any other form of exercise either. I’m flying to New Hampshire tomorrow (Friday) to run the Mt. Washington Road Race on Saturday.
I wish I felt like this about it:
Bootleggers Karaoke the week before Ragnar.
…But I’m not excited at all about the race, I’m extremely disappointed that I’m totally out of shape for it because I have wanted to do this event since college.
When I get back I need to sit down and take a serious look at the intense fall running I’ve set myself up with and see what kind of plan I need, and if I can even face it.