Saturday, November 18, 2017

The "Not A Real Race Recap" Rundown of Ragnar South Beach...

After a lot of contemplation I decided not to do a traditional race recap of the Ragnar South Beach Relay I did last weekend. I had (have) a lot of thoughts feelings about the event and how things went. Not all are good. So instead of focusing on the not-so-good stuff, I'll just share the highlights and some of my favorite moments of the weekend...

The Friday before the relay began included several last minute changes and associated logistical challenges that seemed to set the tone of the entire weekend. But despite all of that I happened to be on a team with great people who I am better off for having met and run with...
(Some of Van 1 & 2 before we started)

(Some of Van 1 after all our legs were over)

And of course, at different points along the course, we had (most of) the team together...

This was the first time I happened to be team captain...

But being captain of the team didn't mean I got to sit back and kick my feet up...
(although I did do that once)

My captain time was mostly spent try to ensure that everyone was having a good time and that they spent (most of) the time smiling...

My goal was to ensure that they started their legs looking this happy...

Even if they ended feeling this exhausted...

I had pretty short legs for this event, and overall the first two weren't too bad...

But then fatigue and hypoglycemia kicked in and I lost all sense of rational thinking...
(ready to run with only one shoe)

(night gear)

My third leg definitely sucked...
(I walked A LOT)

And my "Leg 3.5" also sucked, but it wasn't as bad as my regular Leg 3...

When Van 1 was officially done we went to the Finish area to wait for Van 2's Runner 12 to come in. The finish was crowded and parking was a nightmare, but the joy of knowing I was done was great...
(post race finish area)

The post-race team & medal & feet/shoe Ragnar pic... 

Team 13: Run Away With Me...
(missing Stephanie)

I'm grateful for all my teammates! (even when we got on each others nerves); and I have to say a special thank you to Kirsten for her last minute fill in (and saving us from having to do a lot of extra miles)...
(I really appreciated it!)

There's never a question about whether or not I would do Ragnar again. I absolutely will, every year for as long as I can run. This year I ran two and was able to earn the coveted "connector"...

Next year I want to do another trail (or two) and several road relays. I would do a South Florida Ragnar again (they just need to work out some of the logistics and maybe don't have us run through areas that are not the best safety-wise), and I plan to do the Alafia trail again (next year December), but I'm hoping my other Ragnars can take me to new cities/race courses. 

Right now my 2018 "Ragnar Race Calendar" wish list looks like this:
June: Ragnar Wasatch Back (road)
June: Ragnar Pennsylvania (road)
Sept: Ragnar Cottage Country (trail)
Sept: Ragnar Reach the Beach (road)
Nov: Ragnar South Beach (road)
Dec: Ragnar Alafia (trail)

So I need a lot of other suggestions for next year. Most of my Ragnars will have to be in the second half of 2018 because my race/training calendar is already packed for the first half of the year (leading up to the Pittsburgh Marathon). In the meantime, I have to shift my focus to the Tampa Hot Chocolate 15K coming up next month, which will be my final race of 2017! 💪🍫🏃(Blogger really needs to update their emoji options 😒).

How are you closing out your race calendar for 2017?

Did you already plan your races for 2018?

Do you have a Ragnar Relay in that plan? (if no... why not??? 😉)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ragnar Race Week!

Ragnar South Beach Race Week is finally here!!!
In t-minus 5 days team Run Away With Me will be running south from Melbourne Beach to South Beach for my final Ragnar of 2017!

I wanted to do more Ragnar events this year but money has been tight and my schedule has been hectic. Last year, when I was planning for my 2017 running goals, I wanted to complete 2 road and 2 trail events this year. But unfortunately time and money did not allow for that. It sucks when your bank account and your schedule don't comply with your running/racing expectations doesn't it? Next year I'm hoping that I'll be able to do at least 3 Ragnar relays (fingers crossed).

But I don't have to worry about that this week because race week is finally here and my team is ready! Well... we're mostly ready. There are still a few logistics that need to be worked out, but it's mainly minor stuff so I'm not too worried. What's most important is that we are excited to start a weekend full of fun and fatigue! 

Training for Ragnar has not been the greatest but I also wanted to make sure I had a slow return to running after the Berlin Marathon. So I tried to stick to a "no more than 4 runs a week" plan for October, and then for November I started with 3 runs but I'll resume my 4 runs/week schedule this week (hopefully tomorrow)...

Even with my slow build up and the decreases in temperature, I'm still battling blisters :( I even tried using an excessive amount of anti-blister powder (as evidenced by my shoes after my run yesterday)...

But that didn't work so I'm still on the hunt for effective blister prevention methods (share your tips please!) I definitely need to get them under control before Pittsburgh marathon training starts next month. I've planned for an earlier start because Christmas (and all the associated holiday activities and travel) may throw my training schedule off a bit. So I decided to build some "cut-back" weeks into the plan to accommodate that. But, if all goes well with my mileage build-up, there shouldn't be any negative effects on my training as a result of the adjustments I've had to make. In the meantime, I'm just going to focus on one run at a time and, during my Ragnar weekend, one leg at a time :)

How do you adjust your training schedule during the holidays?

What are your running/racing plans this week?

If you've run Ragnar before, what's your #1 piece of advice for all the newbies on my team?