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 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 Relay Part 1-Prep

0001_ML1_0019
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!

0144_ML1_0216
I am going to break up Ragnar into a few posts otherwise you would probably get bored before finishing the first scroll

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.

0002_ML1_0017   0006_ML1_0009
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.

IMG_1867
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.

IMG_1610

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.

IMG_1796

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.

IMG_1672

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.

IMG_1840

IMG_1839

IMG_1803

IMG_1841

IMG_1837

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.

IMG_1879

IMG_1875IMG_1873
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.

0011_ML1_00130009_ML1_0012

IMG_1892Our team All ready for tomorrow!!

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

0152_ML1_0224we were so cold we wrapped our blankets around us. We did get a few great complements on our fashionable outfits! 🙂

IMG_1801Leg 1 Flat Jessy

IMG_1799Leg 2 Flat Jessy

IMG_1870Leg 3 Flat Jessy

 

My Packing List:

Running Gear

3 sports bras

3 bottoms

3 running tops

3 running socks

Visor

Headband

Sunglasses

Jacket for night

Neon vest

Head lamp and blinking tail light

Sweats/ sweatshirt (should have brought)

First aid kit

Pillow

Headphones

Purple Nail Polish

Random:

Ziplocs

Trash bag

Sharpie

Towel

Blanket

Hammock

Paper towels

Cell phone charger

Toiletries:

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Painkillers

Sunscreen

Baby wipes

Shewee

Hand sanitizer

Hair ties

Shampoo/conditioner

Deodorant

Facewash wipes

Chapstick

Dry Shampoo

Van time:

Rainbows

Regular comfy clothes(after)

Video camera

Phone

Window paint

Compression socks

White board

Dryer sheets

Eye mask and ear plugs

Foam roller

Van Decorations

 

Mojave Trail

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.

DSC_0347

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.

DSC_0432

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.

10168077_10202474957333198_943972076_n

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.

DSC_0342

DSC_0378

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.

CIMG1956

Making Brown Bears

 IMG_1737Sunrise

 

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.

IMG_1687

 

CIMG1949

 

DSC_0399

 

DSC_0357

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.

CIMG1961

CIMG1960

IMG_1705 IMG_1704

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.

 

IMG_1693

DSC_0365

IMG_1710

The Mail Box

IMG_1717 IMG_1714 IMG_1719

IMG_1723

IMG_1731

My hammock hung before we had to move the jeeps for the wind

CIMG1997

It was nice having kids to chase my arrows for me 🙂

CIMG2000

Teaching the boys how to shoot the bow!

 

    CIMG2007The kids shooting the BB gun with their dad

10155857_10202495795534140_1200975316_n

The tent hooked to the Jeep

10172631_10202495794454113_1086520244_n

The Rock Pile

IMG_1763

IMG_1743 IMG_1741

IMG_1762

IMG_1754 IMG_1751

Water Crossings

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!

IMG_1792 IMG_1789 IMG_1787 IMG_1786 IMG_1784 IMG_1783

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!

Getting Ready for Ragnar Relay SoCal

photo

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

10

2.1 miles easy

22

And 7.5 miles hard

nb8aeoxcwbyyyugt0hcy

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.

images
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?