Ragnar 101-Safety

Safety during any race is very important. Before starting your Ragnar Relay you have to watch their safety video. It is super cheesy but good information. Ragnar requires runners to wear a reflective vest, front facing light, and rear blinking light during all night time hours usually 630pm-630amish. It is important to look at your night legs and see if it will be in a rural area. In these area it is important to have bright headlamp so you can see where you are running.

It is important to be seen as many times you will be running on the side of the road or in sketchy areas. Brighter colors, extra lights, and reflective gear are always helpful at night. Make sure to keep your eyes open for anything that could be dangerous. If you feel weird running through a park in the dark, bring some pepper spray or have someone run with you. Better to be safe than have a problem!

During the day make sure you are always looking where you are going and look out for cars. Do not cross the road when the light is red, it’s not worth it. I have seen so many people almost get hit when running across the street during Ragnars.

Ragnar 101-Sleeping and Eating

Sleeping

Sleep is overrated. This is something you learn in Ragnar Relays. You can actually get by and run on a lot less sleep than you think. You can also run on adrenaline for a long time when needed. It is very difficult to get more than an hour of consistent sleep during a Ragnar Relay and it is best to do a little planning and preparation for sleeping prior to the race. There are usually designated sleep spots at major exchanges. These can be the best option for most people. Others pay for hotel rooms and sleep in actual beds. I have gone the hotel route and while it was comfortable, it didn’t seem worth it for 3 hours when you could have more time if you didn’t waste time driving to and from the hotel.

Next option is sleeping at the designated major exchanges. Ragnar has a strict rule about not sleeping in the parking lots unless in the van. This is for safety so you do not get run over by other tired drivers. I have seen people almost run over. They usually provide an area that is grass, field, or inside where they prefer people to sleep. I have tried multiple ways to sleep and still haven’t found the perfect option. I have tried hammock (sometimes hard to find a place to hang), blow up mattress or pool floaty (takes time to blow up), inflatable hammock (good but once again have to inflate), sleeping bag on a tarp (not as comfy but totally doable), and in the van (can get crowded). Each way has pros and cons and it’s really up to you for your own comfort.

During the sleeping portion, it is really important to set a couple alarms and to be in contact with the other van so you know when you need to be ready to run next. Last thing you want to do is search all over a field for your other runners in the dark.

Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition is an important part of any race training and race day. With a 24-32 hour race, nutrition becomes even more important to plan for. During a Ragnar relay you are going to have to plan out food and snacks. It is important to know your body ahead of time and how long before your run you should eat food. I personally like to eat a few hours before a run to give my body time to digest the food. I also like to eat pretty soon after I run. Taking this into account I look at approximately when I am scheduled to run and then decide what time I need to eat. Then I make sure I have something for after I finish to eat. We usually plan to eat a “real meal” while the other van is running their legs. This gives us time to use a real bathroom and sit for a while.

We try to bring snacks in the van to give us something to eat while we are driving and running. Our go to snacks are usually peanut butter pretzels, fruit, nuts, fruit snacks, and red vines. You should know what your body can function on and plan for those snacks. Some teams do a Costco run before the race and stock up for the whole team while other teams rely on individual members to provide their own snacks.

It is also important to know if you will need nutrition during your legs and how much you will need. This is an individual preference. It is important to run that distance prior to the race so you know what you will need. Personally anything over 4 miles I eat during my run. So any Ragnar leg that is longer than 4 miles I bring some form of nutrition (I prefer fruit snacks or gu chomps).

Hydration is another very important factor in a Ragnar Relay. We usually buy a few huge jugs of water for each van that way each person can fill their individual water bottle. We also grab a few pounds of ice to keep everything cold. It is important to remember to drink water throughout the whole race. Like nutrition you should know if you will need water on your leg. When it is hot, it is a good idea to bring water even on shorter legs. As your body is running on little sleep and odd eating schedule, hydrating is very important especially in the heat. I have a hydration pack for longer runs and a hand held for shorter runs. I suggest bringing some form of electrolyte replacement as well. If it is hot than I will bring in during my runs as well. Otherwise I drink it after each leg to help my body recover. (I prefer nuun as my electrolyte). Remember you will be running on tired legs later so do everything you can to recover from each run.

Ragnar 101-Training

Training

Training for a Ragnar Relay can be like most other races you train for. Usually you know what your courses will be far enough ahead of time to plan training. Make sure to train for your longest leg and for elevation. I personally try to do a few days of running twice in the day (one in the morning and one at night). This gets my body used to running on tired legs and running at different times of the day. Remember to train at different times of the day as you will be running at odd hours. As I work night shifts once a month I try to run on no sleep at least a few times during my training.

Another thing most people forget about in training is stretching. It is important to know your body and know what stretches you need to keep your body moving. I have a specific stretch routine I do between runs so that I can loosen up and not get cramps. I also try to get out of the car at every exchange. Otherwise you go from running 7 miles to sitting for 6 hours. It is not a fun experience when you try to get out of the van after that. I try to walk around as much as possible at exchanges.

My personal training includes:

Looking at my leg maps (try to do this 2-3 months before)

Making a training plan for 3-5 miles over my longest assigned distance (Longest assigned distance is 6 miles try to train for 9 miles)

In all of my training I take 1 day a week for hills and/or speed drills

As the race gets closer, add a second shorter run 1 or 2 times a week on run days (running twice in one day)

I also run when I get off night shift on no sleep atleast a couple times

Stretch and foam roll as much as possible.

Training plan

Recovery between legs:

Many people run their first leg really fast. They get into race mode and take off with all the excitement! This can be really bad. I have learned the hard way to take it easy especially on the first leg. My first race, I pushed myself so hard I was exhausted and sore the rest of the time. I totally regretted it. Take your first leg at a comfortable pace and don’t push yourself too hard.

After each leg make sure to stretch and foam roll if possible. Personally I finish my leg, get in the car and at the next exchange get out and stretch as much as possible. If I have time to foam roll I will do that as well. Then I change my clothes (I hate sitting in dirty running clothes) and spray myself with magnesium oil. Magnesium oil is my best friend at Ragnar races. Magnesium helps your muscles recover and prevents cramping. I made my own and added essential oils that help my muscles recover even more!

Ragnar 101- Van Life

Driving and Cars

A lot of the time during a Ragnar Relay is spent in the car. The teams I have been on have always preferred 12 or 15 passenger vans. These make it possible for each person to have some space as well as room for gear. I have seen people do Races in Mini vans, SUVs, and other random cars. It all depends on what you have access to and what you want to spend money on. Big vans make the space nice, but driving them in small parking lots with a lot of other vans can be challenging. Thankfully I get practice in big vans for my job 😉

Most teams decorate their vans with magnets, stickers, window paint, lights, blow up toys, and anything they can think of! You can always tell a team that has never done a Ragnar before as they have minimal if any decorations, while teams who have done many have their system down. Each of my teams have been a little different. When you have a great team name that uses a theme it makes it easier to decorate your vans and come up with costumes. For example we have done Ragnaliens, this give unlimited ideas for anything Alien. Neon colors, crazy decorations, fun lighting, everything!

Vans can get pretty stinky, messy, and crazy within the 24 hours of racing. Sweaty runners, random food, jumping in and out, and exhaustion can make things a little crazy! The biggest thing is friction between people and bad attitudes. This is the biggest thing we try to avoid on our teams. It really brings the whole team down when one or two people are party poopers and in bad moods. Everyone has their moments, but they need to remember that everyone else is tired, hungry, and cranky as well. Choose your team mates wisely!!

The next thing is smell. Oh man the vans can get REALLY Stinky! Think locker room in a much smaller space. My best suggestion for this is to change as soon after your run as possible and place those smelly clothes into a ziplock bag with a dryer sheet. This seals in the smell so it doesn’t spread through the van. If shoes smell put them in a bag too or use newspaper and dryer sheets in them between runs.

Next is mess. The vans have a tendency to get very cluttered and disorganized. Phrases like “have you seen my headphones,” “does anyone know where____went,” become common place in a messy van. I try to keep all of my things super organized in my bag and in a seat pocket if possible. We also tend to create “nests” in the places we typically sit. Basically a seat or an area where all of your stuff is.

Ragnar 101-Packing

Part 2 of Ragnar 101

Packing…

I bring two bags one is a duffle for all my normal stuff and the other a small backpack that has all the essentials I need with me (Wallet, sunglasses, wipes, hand sanitizer…)

I pick out my 3 outfits ahead of time and place each outfit in a separate gallon size bag. This keeps things organized and makes sure I have what I need.

Clothes for each leg in a separate bag:

Shirt, shorts, socks, sports bra, skirt, and calf sleeves
Plus shoes (I bring two incase I have problems with one or get blisters)

Clothes for between legs:
Strapless dress for changing
Leggings
Sweatpants
Sandals
Comfy sports bra

Night gear:
Vest
Headlight
Taillight
Extra fun lights
Wonder woman onesie

Sleeping gear:
Hammock, mat, or cot…
Blanket/sleeping bag
Socks
Pillow

Eye mask, ear plugs

Electronics:
Garmin
Chargers: phone, garmins, car charger
Phone
Ipad

Random:
Water bottle
Nuun
Fruit snacks
Food
Fun Decorations

Sunscreen

TP

Chafe cream
Running belt (for bib)

Bathroom and changing…

During Ragnar Relays you learn to become very comfortable and thankful for porta potties. Most exchanges have a row of porta potties and most times they have a line. My best advice, bring your own toilet paper incase they run out, and bring hand sanitizer. Some races we didn’t use a “real” bathroom the entire race.

Wet wipes are my best friend during Ragnars! I use them for cleaning up, wiping my hands, and taking “showers” after my runs. I am also a huge fan of changing out of my sweaty clothes and “washing” off as soon as possible after my run. For changing, I bring a strapless dress and change under it so I do not have to change in a porta potty or flash others in the van. Some people towel change, wait for a bathroom, or get a changing tent. I highly suggest learning to towel change.

After my run, I get in the van, get to the next exchange and start my changing process. I put on my dress, take off my running clothes, wipe down my body, put on my next set of running clothes, and deodorant up. Then I try to stretch as much as possible before hoping back in the van for the next exchange.

Changing can be a difficult job. If you have males and females on you team make sure to warn people if you are changing in the van. It’s always awkward when you look back and someone is naked. Learning to towel change will save your life in a Ragnar or figuring out a way to rig your towel between doors so that you can change behind it.                 Also make sure you know if the windows are completely see through or not.

Pooping… Always carry tp or wet wipes, always try to poop before… friend pooped in a lowes parking lot (hope you don’t mind me sharing that T)

Ragnar 101-Intro

 

I Recently did a Ragnar 101 event on Facebook. It was successful so I want to share some of my information with you! It will be in a few different segments.

What is Ragnar Relay and  how does it work?

There are two types of Ragnar Relays, Road races and Trail races. So far I have only done the road races, so most of my information is about the road version of Ragnar. I will try to include as much trail information as I can throughout. I do plan to do a Ragnar Trail this year!

Ragnar Races are 12 person (Road) or 8 person (Trail) relay races. Each road races covers around 200 miles of running as a team. The team is split into two vehicles with the first 6 runners in one and the second 6 in the other. (more about vehicles in another post). Each car does their 6 legs letting one runner go and driving to the next exchange to switch out runners. Once all runners in their car have done their first set of legs they hand off to the other car and then go get food and rest before their next set. Each runner runs 3 separate legs of the race averaging around 12-15 miles total. Most teams finish in around 24-30 hours.

Teams can have less runners if needed for the team. In 2015 our Napa team only had 8 runners. It ended up being really fun as we were all in one van together and got to be one team for the entire race. In this race we skipped the set of legs that those runners would have done. Some people choose to make up those legs by running extra legs when they do not have enough runners.

 

COST

For a typical Road Ragnar the cost per person without hotels usually ends up around $300. This depends on what car you use or rent, decorations and team shirts ordered, sleeping arrangements, food, gas, etc. This seems like a lot of money, but it can be done cheaper. If you are willing to cut out conveniences and comfort you can make your Ragnar experience pretty cheap.

When you form a team it is best to get all the registration money up front. This makes people have a financial commitment in the race and they are less likely to drop out. Nothing worse that trying to find a replacement last minute because team members aren’t committed.

So if you have decided you are going to do a Ragnar Relay check out their website to decide which race you want to do. I love Socal and Napa! Then find 11 friends (or strangers) to sign up with you and form your team. Then start the planning and training process. My teams have always been from different states and countries. This can make planning difficult. We usually set up a private Facebook group for the race so that we can talk about all things Ragnar and make plans. If not everyone has Facebook, we usually do group emails.

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley (Part 2)

IMG_3187

Our next runs were going to be night legs. Night legs are always really fun. The first leg for our van, Lauren’s leg, was so cool. The start was decorated with this long path full of lights. It really got all of us pumped for our runs! After Lauren took off I started getting all of my stuff ready. Night runs are crazy because it is so dark. Ragnar is awesome because they require everyone to wear a forward light, a reflective vest, and a rear blinking light on all night runs.

Leg 2

My run started at a park in Santa Rosa. I was ready to get my run started so I could conquer the hill and know I only had one leg left to run! As Lauren ran in and slapped to me I started running up the hill. This hill was killer. I ran a lot of it but did walk a lot of it as well. After the fist hundred feet or so, it was really dark. There were no street lights and all I had was my headlight. The fog was also really thick and my light just reflected off the fog. I couldn’t see more than 3 feet in front of me. There were also a lot of tree roots coming through the sidewalk. This was by far the most dangerous run I have ever done. As I came into the next exchange I was so proud of myself. I killed the hill and I finished super strong.

IMG_3143

I was so excited I jumped up to slap the bracelet on Valerie. As I came down from my jump there were a lot of wet leaves on the ground and I slipped and fell straight on my butt. It was so embarrassing as there were about 50 people standing around and saw the whole thing. Thankfully I didn’t hurt myself but it was really funny.

IMG_3142

10624721_10152773117509116_8560800822838109304_n

After all of legs were finished we planned to go get food. On the way we ran into a lot of traffic. We found out that the other van, between a couple of runners decided to take a detour and go get ice. They were so far away from their exchange with their runner coming in soon. We decided to go to the exchange to pick up their runner and Lauren (our runner) would run their next leg so they could get to the next exchange without worry. Lesson learned don’t stop anywhere between your runners. Just go straight to the next exchange. When we arrived at the exchange they still weren’t there and I started to prepare in case I needed to run their next leg too. Thankfully they showed up just before Lauren came in and they were able to finish the rest of their legs.

10616387_10152773122584116_1965796683343276278_n

10672406_10152773117274116_6336570248463445608_n

After the craziness we went to find food and chill before our next set of legs. As soon as we sat down to eat, we got word that the other van was almost finished with their legs and we were going to have to run again soon. We packed up our sandwiches and headed for the next meeting place. Since Lauren had taken one runners leg, one of their runners took Lauren’s run. (I was so jealous because Lauren was finished with her runs and the weather started getting hotter and hotter.) Finally I was ready for my final leg. I waited and waited. It got Hotter and Hotter. I was started to get worried that the heat was going to be a major problem on my run.

10645205_10152773122824116_8694702101488096074_n

 

leg 3Leg 3 Map

Finally I was able to start my last 2ish miles! With water in my hand I started running. It was so HOT! I was running by all these vineyards and grape vines and just praying for some shade. It was so hot that when there was a little piece of shade I would just walk through it so I could actually stay a little cooler. Finally I could see the finish line and I picked up my pace. The finish was beautiful with all these grape vines. I was so excited to be done! I had finished my second Ragnar!!

IMG_3150

IMG_3152

When our last runner was finally off we headed for the finish line. We were all so excited to be Ragnarians and get to the finish line to meet the rest of our team and get our beers. We all crossed the finish line together and took a million pictures! Those of us who did both SoCal and Napa got our massive Gold Rush medals and took pictures as a team. Sadly Ragnar had not gotten our Napa Valley medals in time and we weren’t able to get our finishers medals. After all the pictures we headed to the party area and got our beers and hung out before our drive back.

IMG_3163

IMG_3160

IMG_3165

IMG_3164Our Fearless Drivers!

Every Ragnar is so AWESOME! We had such a great time. My runs sucked but I still enjoyed it so much! During every Ragnar I think “why the heck do I do this?” The day after through all my exhaustion I always start dreaming of my next Ragnar. I think the next one will be SoCal again in April! I can’t wait.

 10153727_10152773124109116_2898446606318431055_n

Those of us that finished both SoCal and Napa got an extra medal that was huge!

IMG_3157

IMG_3194

 

Ragnar Napa Valley (part 1)

IMG_3043

After the fun we had at Ragnar SoCal, Team Tough Chik decided we needed to do another Ragnar. At first I was hesitant to sign up. With the job I have now I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time to train and be able to take the time off work to go to San Francisco. For weeks our Mamma Chik kept posting that there were still spots left. After a few weeks I finally decided to commit to running in my second ever Ragnar.

IMG_3186

Signing up was the easy part. I wrote out a training plan, put on my running shoes, and started running laps around campus. Every run was like ripping my lungs out. I found out very quickly that running in altitude SUCKS!!! A few weeks into training I also broke my toe, jumping off a chair. I continued to tape my toe and put my shoes and run. Ragnar is all about overcoming obstacles and persevering through everything, after all.

10710501_10152463834874403_8336120071538975523_o

 

I was assigned the legs with the big hills. I don’t know if they purposely did this because they thought “she lives on a mountain, she can run hills.” Or if it was just my luck of the draw. My first leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill. My second leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill, and my third leg was thankfully 2.2 miles flat. I knew if I could just get through the first two legs I would be golden.

10409343_10152773114899116_4031466929870747699_n

As Ragnar approached, I started putting my outfits together and making a list to pack. I went back to my Ragnar SoCal blogs and looked at what I had wished I had brought. I was determined to make this Ragnar better than the last.

Finally Ragnar came and I drove down to San Francisco with Kiwi (my hedgehog) on my lap. I arrived at my Uncle’s house (where I was staying the night before the run) at around 1am. One of my teammates was planning to pick me up at 5:30am to get to the start line. I was so excited when she picked me up and so ready to begin this crazy 2 days.

IMG_3060

10628026_10152773115209116_6128268745844766826_n

We all met at the start line to see off our first runner and cheer her on. It was so fun to be a team and to meet everyone. After the first runner was off our van (Van 2) headed to the Golden gate bridge to take in some of the SF sights and see our runner in. The atmosphere at the bridge was so exciting! One reason I love Ragnar is the people. Everyone is so friendly and CRAZY! It’s always fun taking with the other teams.

IMG_3086Our Van

IMG_3082 IMG_3079

IMG_3065IMG_3068

ragnar napa

10494744_10152773115674116_5087820513085747148_n

10687005_10152773115634116_1367538568381419318_n

After pictures and hanging out we headed for some food and to get ready for our first legs. I was the Second runner in our van and knew I needed to be ready to go pretty quickly after Lauren started her leg. Part of me was excited for my leg and part dreading the HILL.

10153776_10152773116714116_6010688842671493680_n

leg 1Leg one Map

IMG_3105

My first leg was really hard. It was hot and the hill was crazy. It was like climbing a mountain. In total I climbed 569 FT in 2.7 miles. The hill was also completely stopped with construction. I was basically running on the white line of the shoulder with all these cars and construction. We even had to cross the road twice. I almost ran out of water going up. Thankfully right as I was drinking my last bit there was a water stop. After I finished my leg I was so hot and tired and so happy to be done with run 1.

IMG_3112

IMG_3119

After all our legs we got food and went to the hotel for some sleep. At the hotel we were able to go in the Jacuzzi and take showers before sleeping for a couple hours. The time went way too fast and before we knew it, we had to get up and head to the next meeting point.

 IMG_3120

Valerie and I after our first legs

Ragnar Part 4- Last legs and Finish

0168_ML1_0248

IMG_1996When we arrived at the Glider port at the top of Torrey Pines we were met with once again a crazy amount of vans. It was chaos driving in.  Finally we found a place to park and settled in for a little while. I knew I needed to sleep a little so I stretched out in the front seat and closed my eyes. I was finally able to sleep about an hour off and on. After I got up I realized that I might be sick because of dehydration and started drinking a lot of water and Nuun. After a few bottles I was starting to feel a little better. We walked around the glider port and waited for our other van. Finally they said they were on our way. We were so excited for our final legs. We were also pretty jealous of all the people walking around already finished with their final legs. Being van 2 is hard because van 1 is finished and so excited and we were just starting on a few more hours of running.

0182_ML1_02760171_ML1_0251Holding up our third leg

After a lot of pictures and silliness, Helen was finally running in. There we so many people there and we all cheered her in and cheered Amy off on her final leg. Once Amy was running we got in our van and headed for the next exchange. We stopped to get gas along the way. While we were at the gas station, my mom and I ran across the street to a liquor store to pick up some beer for Amy as she finished her leg. She loves beer and kept talking about running for beer so we knew we had to get her some. We stopped at one point in her run to check and see if she needed anything as well. The place we stopped was a blind turn and we directed a lot of people to turn there as the sign was hard to see. We were worried that someone was going to miss the turn. As she finished her leg and handed the bracelet to my mom, she was so excited to be finished with her final leg. We surprised her with her beer and headed to the next exchange.

0174_ML1_0266Helen handing off to Amy

0187_ML1_0283

IMG_2006

At the next exchange my mom handed off to Kathy and I started to get nervous for my last run. My last run was 7.5 miles. Thankfully I was starting to feel better and was looking forward to getting my run over with. I also knew that my run was supposed to beautiful around Mission Bay. Finally we reached my exchanged at Mission Bay and I prepared to take the slap bracelet from Kathy. When she finally came in I took the bracelet and ran off. I only ran a few feet before I got stopped at a  stop light still in the exchange. Finally I was able to run and hit the Mission Bay board walk. It was a beautiful area, even though it was very crowded. I enjoyed watching the people and making myself keep running. Thankfully I wore my garmin this time so I knew my distances.

 

0190_ML1_0293

KathyKathy Ready to go

0194_ML1_0300Mom passing to Kathy

0199_ML1_0305Kathy coming in

0202_ML1_0308Kathy passing to me

0206_ML1_0312Me waiting at the light

At mile 2 my van met me with water and pictures. It was nice to finally be cheered on during a run. At mile 3 I turned a corner and was met with 31 stairs up. I thought I was going to die as I ran those stairs. I kept running and running and running. At one point there was a group of people standing on the side of the road cheering for all of the runner and holding beer yelling “this is what you’re running for.” It was a fun run but I was getting really hot and tired. My legs were starting to feel terrible. I knew if I stopped to walk for a little I wouldn’t be able to start running again. Finally after what seemed forever, I saw the one mile to go sign. After that I was hit with a lot of wind and smoke from camp fires. It made for a really long last mile. Finally I saw the exchange and all I could think of was jumping in the water. As I handed off the bracelet I took my shoes off and put my feet in the water. Such a good choice!

Jessy (3)

Ready to finish0214_ML1_0321waiting for me

IMG_2014So excited to see this sign!

0222_ML1_0331Finishing!

IMG_2015My moment of joy after finishing!!

We had planned to meet Casey at about 3 miles and Tina would take over for her there. Casey’s feet were really blistered and she was hurting. After that 3 mile mark there were some big hills on her leg. As we waited for Casey I changed, foam rolled, and stretched. I was feeling really stiff and sore but was so happy to finally be done with my legs.

As Tina took over we cheered for her and went to the hills to cheer for her there. She gave us the Finger as we drove by. These hills really were killer. Next we met Tina at the exchange to see how she was doing. Tina is so funny. She came into the exchange yelling, “what do I do, where do I go.” We just looked at her and laughed. She decided she was feeling good and kept running. We then started heading to the finish line. After getting a little  bit turned around in downtown San Diego we finally made it to the convention center and the finish line. We were so excited to realize we were finally finished with our legs! We waited and waited and waited for Tina to come. It seemed like her leg was taking forever and we were worried that maybe she got lost.

0229_ML1_0339running up what is now called whore hill

0235_ML1_0349

Tina running into the exchange through our toilet paper finish line

Finally we saw her as my mom and Kathy ran in with her. Once she was in the last hundred feet or so the rest of us met up with them and ran over the finish line together! We were all so excited to be finished and receive our medals. We took pictures and signed the Ragnar wall.

IMG_2021

0240_ML1_0362

0243_ML1_0366

0245_ML1_0369Our team at the finish!

IMG_2026

IMG_2028

IMG_2027

Van 1 had bought us all cupcakes so we celebrated together by eating cupcakes. After our cupcakes we headed back to the van and to find some food. We originally had planned to go to this Pizza place but it was too crowded (it was a Saturday night). Instead we decided to keep driving. I was driving and everyone else was sleeping in the back. I decided we should just stop at Chipotle closer to Shannon’s house.

IMG_2033

IMG_0536

IMG_0531

We ate our Chipotle and headed to Shannon’s house to unload and drive home. Finally by time I was home all I wanted was a nice warm shower and to go to bed!

IMG_2043

I loved the entire Ragnar experience! I was really proud of myself for running all of my legs without stopping and felt like I really accomplished something great! I am definitely look for my next Ragnar and may just be training for a half marathon in the near future.

10155742_784288582654_5815011531279413212_n

Ragnar Part 3- legs 13-24

When we left off we had just sent Tina on her First leg and were headed to Doheny State Beach.

Tina (2)

We arrived at Doheny state beach to wait for Tina to run in and hand off the slap bracelet  to van one. As we drove into the parking lot we were once again overwhelmed by the amount of vans that were in the parking lot. At this point we were starting to get really cold. We hoped out of the van in search for the other van and the Ragnaliens. As we walked through the parking lot we continued to “tag” other vans. (Tagging other vans consisted of writing TTC, Tough Chik, or stenciling our chik on their vans. Others put stickers of magnets on vans to show they had tagged it.)

970139_10152328533004116_3610276211546756520_n

We finally found the mass of people waiting for runners and searched for the rest of our team. We finally found them with someone in a chicken suit. All but my mom quickly realized it was Shannon dressed up as a chicken. Mom took a little convincing before she understood who was in the chicken.

As Tina ran in she didn’t even notice Lisa standing there waiting for her and ran right past all of us screaming her name. Finally she stopped and handed off the bracelet. Then we headed to our van in search of some food. Ragnar gets you on a weird eating schedule. You don’t have time to eat when your van is running so you have to wait until later. We ate breakfast and then ate dinner with little snacks in between. Peanut Butter pretzels saved me! We ended up eating at Wahoos. At that point our main criteria for eating was somewhere we could sit down, inside, with a real bathroom, and that was open.

IMG_1982

Sleeping on the beach

After a quick meal we drove to the next major exchange at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater in Oceanside, in hopes of a little sleep before our next set of legs. I had been texting with my dad and uncle Paul, so as soon as we found a parking spot my mom and I grabbed our sleep stuff and walked to the beach. The rest of the group stayed and slept in the van. My mom and I soon found my dad and Uncle Paul sleeping on a big silver tarp on the beach. We layed out our sleeping bags and cuddled in for some sleep. I didn’t sleep at all as I kept checking the time, and updated pace calculator so we would know when they were close. I was so worried we would be asleep when our runner came in.

10171240_10152309955879618_3543644766667778760_n

After a few hours we got up and headed to the van to get Amy ready for her first night run. We all walked down to the exchange point and waited for Helen to run in. Her leg was only about 2 miles so we knew she would get there soon. As she came in we cheered and cheered for her to slap the bracelet on Amy and cheered as Amy ran off. Van 1 wasn’t at the exchange yet so we guided Helen up to the top of the pier where we could meet the other van. After some pictures, the other van found us and we were off to the next exchange. On the way to our van it started to rain a little bit. All I could think was, “Amy is going to kill us if it rains.” Thankfully the rain was short-lived.

1503348_10152309966734618_4751995249872664574_n

The night exchanges were weird and went by in a blur. Most of the team stayed in the van while one person and the next runner went to the exchange point. The previous runner slapped the bracelet on the next one and the guide and runner went to the car to go to the next exchange.

For all the night legs we were required to wear a forward facing light, a rear blinking light, and a safety vest while running. Anyone out of the van was required to wear a vest anytime they were out of the van. We had brought good running vests to run in but, also brought cheep construction vests that were nice to throw on when we were just out of the van.

My night leg came quickly and I was excited to get it done with. The Race Bible said my leg was 2.2 miles flat, so I knew I would do it quickly and without any issues. As I started my run I turned my first corner and all I saw was hill. Up the hill we ran, and then down a little, then back up, then down a little, then up some more. By the time I finally saw the “One Mile to Go” sign I couldn’t believe I was only half way. Thankfully after more up hill I finally saw the volunteer where we were to turn to go to the school with the exchange. As I was running to the corner I saw a Tennis ball in the gutter and almost stopped to pick it up for my pup. Finally we turned and ran up another hill to the school.

IMG_1986

I was so thankful my leg was done and was so tired after not sleeping and running those hills. I was also feeling really sick. I had started feeling sick after my first run. I think it was due to dehydration and the not  sleeping was just making it worse. Casey ran her leg, and Tina started hers. When Tina started her run we were looking at our clocks hoping that Tina would finish her run after the “night” hours. 6:30pm- 6:30am were night hours and we were required to wear our night gear. Lisa was estimated to have to run all of her legs in night gear and we really wanted her to have one run without it.

Amy (2)

0146_ML1_0218

It was so cold waiting for Tina

0147_ML1_0219Cheering for random runners

0152_ML1_0224Go Tina

We met Tina at her half way point as we cheered and made an arch for every person that ran by. We were still really cold. I had my blanket wrapped around my like a towel and my jacket on and then my lovely orange vest over it. Next time I definitely need to bring warmer clothes. After seeing Tina and taking her night gear as it was 6:30 we headed to the next exchange. Once at the exchange we  met up with the other van and got ready for Tina to come in. Finally she came in yelling for the bathroom and running off to the porta potty. Finally we were ready for some breakfast. We headed to Pipes Café in Encinitas and ate some delicious breakfast. I was still feeling really sick but was able to pick at some eggs, bacon, and fruit. After breakfast we headed to our final major exchange.

0154_ML1_0226Marking off our runs!

0155_ML1_0229Waiting for Tina

Final legs and Finish coming up Tomorrow!