Part 2 of my blog is coming soon but here is a little highlight video for you while you wait!
Well there is so much to say about our Ragnar Relay experience. I can’t believe Ragnar is over. I am definitely going through withdrawals! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so happy I got to do it with my family!
As you know we have been training for months for Ragnar Relay. My mom and I were on Team Tough Chik. We couldn’t decide whether we were more excited to run Ragnar or meet the other chiks? Either way as the day approached we got more and more excited! We had created a face book group that was essential to our team. With people living all over the place and most of us never meeting before, Facebook was our main communication. Through facebook we were able to plan costumes, make sure only one person per van was bringing big items, and discuss logistics.
I felt like my running training was going well. I would have liked to get a few more back to back long runs in but, I was feeling good on the running side of things. Our Mojave trip was great training for long hours in a car, getting dirty, and going to the bathroom where ever you can. We felt pretty well prepared. Well as prepared as you can be for first timer.
A few weeks before the race mom and I went to Target and stocked up on essentials for both vans: baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, hair ties, dryer sheets, trash bags, fabreeze, paper towels, sunscreen, tampons and whatever else we could find. We ordered cowbells and party supplies online, gathered reflective gear, and found anything else that could possibly help us through the race.
Part of our Target Shopping trip
A few weeks before the race Shannon and I went to the team captains meeting in San Diego. This meeting was great to familiarize us with rules and course changes.
The week of I made some stencils so we could draw our “chik” logo on the vans, and made binders for the vans. In the binders would go our “race bible” (all the rules and information about Ragnar), our cell phone list, and emergency contact information, legs maps, and our end of race shower information (more about that later). I made a few other decorations that would be able to go on the vans as well.
A few days before, I started packing my bag. I learned from a lot of different blogs how to pack for a Ragnar event. Most people said to pack each outfit in a separate Ziplock and make sure all your night gear is together. That is exactly what I did. I had a bag for leg 1, 2, and 3. I had a bag for my night gear (headlight, taillight, vest), a bag for my after clothes, and I made a bag for just in case. My “just in case” bag had an extra pair of pants, extra socks, my number belt, and a pair of gloves. My number belt was in this bag because my mom and I were using magnets to hold our number on.
I also packed a second pair of shoes. I wasn’t sure I should bring them but was really glad I was able to change them out when my toe started to get a blister. The hardest part of packing was deciding what bag to bring. I didn’t want something too big and take up room in the van or too small that I couldn’t fit everything. The other essentials that I packed were things to sleep with. I packed my hammock (sadly didn’t get to use), a sleeping bag, small blanket, and my travel pillow.
Thursday night before the race our team all met up at Shannon’s house to decorate the vans and eat dinner. It was so much fun decorating and meeting everyone. We had a great group of girls and were excited for the following days.
Julie, my mom, and I drove one van home as we were planning to meet everyone at the start line the next morning. There was no reason for us to drive from Huntington Beach to Lake Forest and back to Huntington Beach for the start. On the way home we lost almost all of our fringe, and the magnets. We learned very quickly which decorations would not work on the freeway.
A Couple of Tips for packing:
-include a dryer sheet in each bag (cuts down on dampness and stink)
-night gear: spend money on a running vest
I bought a light that attached to the end of my visor it was so much better than a band around my head
-test out your clothes and night gear before the day of
Thing I should have packed:
-a warm comfy sweatshirt (my running jacket wasn’t enough)
-my sweats (my running pants just weren’t warm enough for sleeping on the beach
My Packing List:
3 sports bras
3 running tops
3 running socks
Jacket for night
Head lamp and blinking tail light
Sweats/ sweatshirt (should have brought)
First aid kit
Purple Nail Polish
Cell phone charger
Regular comfy clothes(after)
Eye mask and ear plugs
This weekend we took an adventure like no other. My parents had been planning this trip for a long time and we were finally able to take it.
In the Mojave Desert there is a Road that used to be used as an old “road” that used to be traveled by American Indians to get across the desert. It was also used as a mail route for a few years in the 1800s. Today this road can be traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles over the course of a few days.
Thursday night we packed up the Jeep with survival gear, extra fuel, and extra water to prepare for our weekend adventure. Friday morning we left the house to meet our friends Scott and Jeri and their twin 5 year olds Tyler and Josh. We wanted to be on the dirt road for a few hours before sun down to find a place to camp for the night. You can camp almost anywhere along the road and we planned to camp Friday night and Saturday night.
Friday we drove over a lot of Rocks. As we had never taken the jeep on this kind of off roading before we were excited to play around and see what it could do. After a couple hours on the trail we reached Fort Piute and decided it would be a good place for camp. We set up camp and went exploring a little. Scott, Jeri and the Boys were going to be sleeping in their tent, my parents planned to sleep inside the jeep and I positioned the jeeps 15 feet apart so I could string my hammock between them. I was excited as this was my first night using my new hammock.
Penny Cans (Toll Road)
After eating a delicious dinner we lit the camp fire and sat around it just hanging out. I love camping and camp fires may be my favorite part. We made brown bears, listened to owls, and stared at the stars. That night I slept in my hammock. Soon after going to bed the wind stared to pick up. If you have ever camped in the desert you know that the wind can be really strong out there. I soon found out that my hammock was great in the wind. My bug net blew around a lot and with a huge gust I would rock a bit but for the most part my hammock just hung still. The only thing I worried about was animals coming to sniff me in the middle of the night. The strong wind also made it a little colder. I had prepared for the cold by layering a wool blanket and yoga mat beneath me. (a big problem with hammocks in cold butt syndrome.) With only my sleeping bag on top of me the wind made my toes cold. Next time I will remember another blanket for the top. One amazing part about sleeping in a hammock is that you have a full view of the stars all night long. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the stars and being able to see them from bed.
Making Brown Bears
The Sunrise that morning was amazing! Sunrise is definitely my favorite part of any day. I have been known to get up early just to watch the sunrise. There is something even more magically about watching the sun rise over the desert, especially when you are laying in a hammock so close to it. After everyone was up, my dad started the grill to make breakfast burritos. Camping with my parents we always eat well! After breakfast we packed up camp and headed out for more adventures on the trail.
Saturday took us over some rough road. I was able to drive a little bit and most of my parts were filled with off camber driving and being tilted at 15-20 degrees. One part driving down this really rough patch I did switch and make my dad drive. I would have been able to drive it but in all honesty I didn’t want to be talked about as the girl that scratched, dented, rolled… the jeep. I figured if someone was going to do it, it needed to be him. He did end up scrapping the running boards pretty bad and there were a few moments where we were worried about making it through. Thankfully Scott was driving in front and we knew if he made it through we could too.
We passed the old school bus and car, and the mail box. Saturday night we made camp in a new location. At camp we did some shooting, both with guns and archery. Soon after shooting the wind started to pick up as usual in the desert. We ate dinner as the wind continued to pick up strength. As we ate we started to get worried about how strong the wind was getting. Scott and Jeri realized that the tent was not going to hold if the wind was any stronger. We started working on solutions for the night. After contemplating driving home in the dark we decided to move the jeeps in front of the tent and tie the tent to the jeep. With the jeeps positioned to block the tent I was unable to have my hammock up and ended up sleeping in the back seat Scott and Jeri’s jeep.
The Mail Box
My hammock hung before we had to move the jeeps for the wind
It was nice having kids to chase my arrows for me 🙂
Teaching the boys how to shoot the bow!
The tent hooked to the Jeep
The Rock Pile
After Surviving 40 MPH winds, the sun finally rose. Sunday was the last day on the trail. We drove to the rock pile to drop off our rocks, drove through some strong wind in the dunes that made it difficult to see, and drove through deep water. Finally we reached the highway and made our way to Peggy Sue’s Diner for lunch. I have always wanted to stop there!
This trip was a really fun experience and I’m glad I was able to experience it. I felt so dirty and ready for a shower when we got home. All the dirt, sleeping in weird places, and the peeing in the desert definitely felt like Ragnar training. So while we didn’t get our training runs in we still got some training! Ragnar is next weekend and now I am in total Ragnar mode!
With Ragnar being less than a month away I thought I would give write a little update on my training and getting ready for Ragnar Relay. If you missed my earlier post on what Ragnar is you can read it here Ragnar Relay Socal
I now know my legs and as of the changes made this week hopefully they will stay this way. I have been training and was planning to get to a consistent 5 mile run and then keep pushing my distance on my Saturday run. With all the snow and only being able to do loops around my sister’s neighborhood I am not quite there yet! I am currently running consistent 3-4 mile runs and not really longer on Saturdays. I am not always that tired from my runs though and am hoping to pick that up now that the snow is melting!
I have been training and was planning to get to a consistent 5 mile run and then keep pushing my distance on my Saturday run. With all the snow and only being able to do loops around my sister’s neighborhood I am not quite there yet! I am currently running consistent 3-4 mile runs and not really longer on Saturdays. I am not always that tired from my runs though and am hoping to pick that up now that the snow is melting!
My assigned legs are 6.7 miles moderate
2.1 miles easy
And 7.5 miles hard
The 2.1 miles will be done before I know it and I probably will forget I even ran those. The other two legs however will be challenging. They are mostly on trails and have very little if any van support. Basically that means that I will have to carry a water bottle and I will have no one cheering me on. I guess I will have to run from Zombies. Did I tell you about that fun app? It’s call Zombies run! and it has definitely helped me to keep running.
So other than the training I have been doing a lot of organizing and blog reading for Ragnar. I can’t tell you how many times I have Googled “Ragnar Tips” or “Ragnar packing.” It should probably just pop up when I open my computer.
I have made list after list and lists for my lists. I looked at everyone’s paces, and distances and done calculations more times than I care to remember. Needless to say I should be ready for anything! The only problem is I have never done a long distance relay before. Hopefully I don’t forget anything?
What is one thing you would definitely pack for a Relay? Should I bring my hula hoops and water guns?
Last weekend I flew down to Southern California for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. I was running on a Relay Tri team. Chicks That (my company) also had a booth at the expo. Going into the weekend I had a goal of running the 5k in under 30 minutes. I had trained and felt sure that I would be able to do it.
I arrived Friday at 12:30 to start setting up with the help of my Aunt Cyndi. We set everything up and then waited for people. I had a great time figuring out decorations before hand and created an Inspiration Wall that people could come by the booth and write their inspiration for others to see. The Inspiration wall was a huge success. Everyone loved getting to “graffiti” the wall and share with others their inspiration for doing what they love and keeping them going. We sold bracelet and custom shirts and had a great time talking with all the people at the event.
Friday after getting home at around 9:30pm I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted but it was just one of those nights where you toss and turn and just don’t sleep. Knowing I had to be up at 4am to get back to my booth, I was hoping that eventually I would fall asleep. Finally I fell asleep but only had a few hours before I had to get up. When I got up I was so stiff and was wondering how I was ever going to run a 5k and get my goal time.
Flat Jessy ready for race day!
The amazing Julie was helping me Saturday with my booth and met me early to get started. When race time came I was so nervous. My feet and legs we sore from standing all day. I hadn’t slept much for the past few days and I was so hot (that California heat is killer). When I got to my booth that morning I realized I had forgot my Garmin and wasn’t going to be able to watch my pace. Already knowing I wasn’t able to listen to music, I started getting discourage that there was no way I would reach my goal.
I went over to the prerace meeting and met with my team. I was still determined to get my goal and PR but not sure how I would do it. As I walked with my mom over to the start line I was excited and was trying to warm up as best I could. After the first 100 yards I was so tired and my legs felt like jello. Half way through and I still had no idea how I was really doing and honestly felt like just giving up and walking. The thing that kept me moving was thinking of all the inspiration that people were writing on my wall. I thought of the little girl who wrote, “Be strog like a lion,” and the people that were running for their mom, brother, or grandpa. I thought about the girl who wrote “just keep running.” I knew that I could keep going and just needed to finish. As I rounded the corner to the finish line I knew I was almost done.
Inspiration that kept me going!
Thankfully I finished and handed the timing chip to Scott and he rode off for his leg of the relay. I checked my phone and the 5k time said 30:11. I was disappointed that I was 12 seconds off my goal. I still got my PR but I really wanted that sub 30. Looking back on it I know that I was so tired and my legs were already tired going into the race. I know that I should have been able to do it. With a watch and music I would have crushed those 30 minutes. It gives me motivation to do another 5k and to keep running! I know that I can do it and I am still so proud of that PR!
Chicks That did great for the weekend! Everyone loved the wall and our products and I am excited to potentially do another expo in the near future! It was fun to just get to talk with everyone and meet other companies! All in all it was a successful weekend and I enjoyed Race on the Base.
My parents did the full Tri!
My Grandparents are amazing! They got first in their 5k and were at my booth supporting my all day!
Family Race! (my uncle, Grandparents, parents and myself) at the Chicks That booth!
More about the rest of my weekend in a later blog! Have you done a Triathlon before? How did you feel?
If this Southern California Girl can run in the snow and crazy cold temperatures anyone can.
If you have read some of my previous blogs you already know that I am training for Ragnar SoCal! So that means a lot more consistent running and training lately. Ragnar also means I have been learning to run and train in the snow. I know, so many of my friends and family have already said I am crazy. Honestly, I don’t deny it! This morning when I went out to run and it was 0°F and my teeth were frozen I also believed I was crazy. But when you are training for a race you do what you have to do.
Currently the ground is completely packed with snow (mostly Ice), the temperatures are usually 0-25°F when I go out, and I run hills (because that is the only place to run). It is crazy but I have actually been enjoying it.
I don’t enjoy it when I first walk out and am blasted with freezing air. I do enjoy learning how to adapt myself to the cold. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I almost run a PR (personal record) even though I am running hills and in the ice. I enjoy knowing that I can do it!
So some tips I have learned about running in “real” winter climates:
Screw shoes: seriously these have been a lifesaver!!! I have been wearing these even just to walk to the mail box. Basically it is sheet metal screws that I drilled into a pair of old running shoes. They grip the ice and snow and I am able to run across ice without even thinking about the possibility of slipping. Without screw shoes I would not be able to run.
These are my screw shoes 🙂
Layers: It is all about the layers. I have a few different pairs of pant and a few different tops that I trade out based on the temperature. Basically you have to figure out what is right layering for you. Usually for me if it is 35 or above I can wear one layer of regular pants and a long sleeve and jacket and I am fine. If it is 25-30 I wear Capri pants with long pants over and add a vest sometimes a warmer jacket to the top. 20-25 usually call for 2 long pants a compression top and warmer jacket plus the vest. Anything in the teens and single digits is warmer pants and regular pants and all the other tops plus a windbreaker. Each time is a little different based on wind and if the sun is out. Most times I end up feeling hot and partially unzip my jacket.
Cover your ears, nose and mouth: This is something I learned very quickly. You have to keep your ears covered. Some people like to wear beanies, I prefer a headband. I overheat really fast if I have beanie on although when it is in the single digits sometimes I opt for the beanie. For the nose and mouth I have a thin fabric thing I bought a long time ago snowboarding. It has been perfect and I usually only use it for the first ¼ or ½ of my run. This keeps me from breathing the piercing air and from freezing my teeth. Don’t forget the gloves as well.
Wool Socks: Simple these are a must! My toes froze the first few runs before I had them and I am so thankful for them now!!
Mini hand warmer: this is to put in your pocket to keep your phone warm. If you are like me, then all of your stuff in on your phone (music, strava, miles keeper…). One day I was running and my phone suddenly quit on me. Not the best way to stay motivated. I learned after that to always keep my phone closer to my body and/or use a hand warmer. I made mine out of fabric and rice. I throw it in the microwave for 30 or so seconds and put it in my pocket next to my phone.
This day wasn’t that cold so I got away with wearing capri’s!
Well those are all the tips I can think of for right now! The biggest thing is to get out and do it! You never know what you can accomplish until you go do it. For me it is such a mental battle especially that first mile. I think “no way, it’s too cold today I will just do a short loop and go back.” When I force myself to push through and do it, then I feel so accomplished and like I can do anything!
You can do, just layer up and get out there!
There is something about the cold and cloudy weather that is totally unmotivating. Winter always brings the clouds and makes me want to just stay in my PJs and watch movies all day. I want to eat soup and drink tea and never get off the couch or out of bed.
Last week I found myself lacking motivation in everything. I didn’t want to go out and run. I didn’t want to read my bible. I didn’t want to make food or take a shower. I really didn’t want to do anything. Do you find yourself feeling this way?
This week I have decided it’s a new day and a new week and I am going to seek motivation!
I am going to seek motivation by being thankful. I will thankful that I can read because there are people all over the world that cannot read, people that have never had the opportunity to learn. I will be thankful that I can run. There are people without legs, or with diseases and other problems that make them unable to run or even walk. I will be thankful for food and the ability to buy it and make it; there are people all over the world that would love the opportunity to eat what I can eat. I will be thankful that I have plenty of clothes to wear and that I can get out of bed. There are people that don’t have another change of clothes or a shower to wash in. I am going to do things for those that can’t and think and pray for them while I do it!
I am going to be motivated by thinking of the future. Sometimes all the motivation you need is thinking of the end result and the future! Will I regret it if I don’t do this today? Will I regret it if I don’t run today? Will I regret it if I don’t do anything today and waste my day? Will I regret it if I don’t read my Bible today? Most of the time the answer is yes I will regret it! I want to be better in the end and therefore I need to start today!
I will be motivated by knowing that I will feel better after. I always feel better when I get up take a shower and take care of myself. I always feel better after I workout or run. I always feel better after I have eaten healthy instead of crap. I always feel better after I have read in the morning! We know that it will improve our day and we will feel better after. Just remind yourself before and during.
I will be motivated by being accountable. Sometimes the best motivation is knowing that someone is going to check on you and knows when you are cheating! I love working out with other people or running other because I know that they will expect me to be there and I don’t want to disappoint them (sadly I don’t have these people right now). Find someone that you can be accountable to. Some that will ask you how your run went or what you did today. Have someone to talk to about what you are reading in your Bible. Find someone who you can be accountable to and keep yourself accountable. You can all keep me accountable! BTW I have been doing great on my writing challenge although it hasn’t been that long yet:)
What are you unmotivated to do? What are your tips for motivation?
What ever it is, Get up and get out and do it!!
For those of you who don’t already know I have signed up to run the Ragnar Relay in April with Team Tough Chik! I am super excited about this and yet a little terrified at the same time. Part of me is terrified because I am honestly not sure I will be able to put the training to be able to run my legs. Another part is terrified because it is a team and I really don’t want to let the other members of my team down. Another terrifying part is that this is a really long race and quite a challenge for me.
So what is Ragnar Relay you ask??
Why I am so glad you asked! Ragnar Relay is a relay race where a team of 12 run 200 miles. Each runner does 3 legs of the race. Here is their definition from their website:
“You and 11 of your craziest friends pile into two vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style. Only one runner hits the road at a time. Each participant runs three times, with each leg ranging between 3-8 miles and varying in difficulty.”
I have heard about it and read about it over the years and always thought it sounded like fun. Well this year Tough Chik put together a team and I signed up. Everyone that I have talked to that has run it said it was one the most fun experiences they have had as a runner.
Thankfully our team is in it for fun and not for the competition. We are running the Socal Ragnar Relay the first week of April. Our team consists of women from all over the country. I am so excited to meet the other tough Chiks and did I mention my mom is running it too! That’s right I am on a team with my mom. My dad, uncle, and cousins are also running it this year but they are one a different team (more competitive).
While training is proving hard with all this snow and ice I am looking forward to the event and each day reminding myself that I need to do training runs with this goal in mind! Since some days it is just too slippery for me to want to run (I’m afraid of injuries), I started doing this at-home crossfit workout. So far I am really sore. That’s a good things right? Next week starts my actual Ragnar training schedule so hopefully I will get more runs in!
So over the next few months, I plan (doesn’t always happen) to write more about my Ragnar training and preparations! Plus I am planning to take a video camera with me (possibly borrow a gopro) do that I can make a fun video for our team after!
Goals before Ragnar:
- Buy a hammock (to use while sleeping)
- Run, run, run some more
- Learn to run 2 5ks in a day
- Don’t slip and break something
- Write more blogs!!
Ok so Saturday I went out for a jog, that just turned into a walk. I almost turned around at the end of my street but I decided I had to just tough it out. It was 6 Degrees!!!! I was so cold! half way through my 3 miles my phone quit on me. My phone got too cold and just shut down I couldn’t even turn it back on until it warmed up for an hour in the house.
When I got back to the house I couldn’t feel my legs, my mouth and nose were frozen in place, and I thought my toes were going to fall off. I immediately decided I would not be walking or running again unless I figured out how to dress for the weather.
Today I purchased a beanie/face mask, and more pairs of thick socks. I have decided tomorrow I am going to wear 2 pairs of pants, another layer on top, my beanie/mask, and 2 pairs of socks. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what I am going to do. Definitely will have to start researching more!!
Any tips for a new cold weather runner?
So, I recently came to Spokane, WA. I originally came to visit my sister for Thanksgiving, but circumstances have changed and I will be staying here for a while. So while I have been here I have been doing some running. My parents and I did a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning that was really fun!
I thought it was cold when I first got here almost 2 weeks ago, but it has continue to get colder and colder. The first run we did was like mid 30s, the turkey trot was 23 degrees, and each run continues to drop. My run the other day was 18 degrees and the temp hasn’t gone above 16 degrees today.
All this to say that I am going to learn very quickly how to dress for and run in cold weather. I only brought Capri running pants with me and a thin jacket. So as it gets colder I am trying to find more tips for cold weather running. If you have any tips please let me know and I will be posting tips that I find as I learn.