Ragnar Relay: Part 3

Hello again!

(Want to read from the beginning? Catch Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2015So this will be the last recap post of Ragnar Relay Cape Cod. Hopefully by now I’ve somehow managed to  convince you that running 189 miles in 24 hours with a bunch of your friends stuffed in a van is actually a lot of fun. 🙂

Although to be fair, last we left off, I was getting a little anxious about my 9 mile leg.

My mom ran right before me and her leg was a quick 2.4 miles, barely enough for a warm-up! She absolutely CRUSHED this leg, running it at a speedy 8:20/mile pace! (Now that I know she can run that fast, she’s going to have to stop blaming ME for pushing the pace on our training runs!)

While she was running, I was having a minor meltdown about what to wear. It was sunny but very breezy along the water. Many of the runners were just wearing tank tops but I didn’t want to part with my jacket in all that wind! Finally one of my teammates talked sense into me, reminding me that I would be warm within 3 minutes of running. He was definitely right.

I set off, and it really was hot. The first 2-3 miles were all rolling hills, which I was not thrilled about. My legs felt heavy and tired. My van met me around mile 3, cheering and handing me a fresh handheld bottle of water. I think this was the mental boost I needed and I settled into the run, trying to enjoy the scenery and the ocean breeze.

I kept trucking along, reaching a stretch along the highway. Not scenic at all, BUT for the first time in the relay, I could see runners up ahead of me – runners I knew I could catch. I tried to play it smart though. Taking short walking breaks as needed and slowly reeling a few in. First, I passed a man in green compression socks… then a woman wearing a baseball capthen another runner. I finally felt like I was racing! And then thankfully, the stretch along the highway came to an end, and I was running along a quiet country road through the woods, which meant there was shade again!!!

Ragnar relay Cape cod Vans weren’t able to stop along the highway obviously, but many had pulled over alongside this stretch of the race to cheer on and offer support to their teammates. And they didn’t just cheer for their friends, they cheered for everyone. And it was awesome. I was offered water, got a high-five, and lots of cheering and cowbell.

Ragnar Relay Cape CodI love the running community precisely because of moments like this – yes runners (and running) can be competitive, but we’re also supportive, friendly, and kind.

I tried to pay that back, offering a smile and a little friendly commiseration to every runner I passed (I think I passed 6 people in total and was passed only once over the 9 miles!).

Ragnar Relay Cape CodFinally, I was running down the final winding road that led to the beach for the next exchange. That meant my 9.4 miles was done!! Average pace: 9:19/mile. Slower than my other legs, but I was actually pretty pleased with this all things considered. Now it was time to stick my feet in the ocean.

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2015It was without a doubt, my toughest leg – both mentally and physically. Still, what an incredible feeling and you couldn’t beat the view at the finish –

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod Race RecapMy team had a few legs to finish after I was done, and then just after 5 pm Saturday, our last runner came up the final hill and our team swarmed around her to cross the finish altogether. 🙂

Then, it was time for the post-race beer and clam chowder.

Ragnar Relay Cape CodWhat an incredible race. I feel so lucky that my mom and I were able to join in on this experience at the last minute, and I would recommend the Ragnar Relay to anyone in  A HEARTBEAT. I asked my mom on Sunday if she would want to do it again next year. Her answer- Yes.

I would too. Hopefully we’ll see you in 2016 Ragnar Relay. 🙂


Ragnar Relay Cape Cod: Part 2

Hello!

Last I left off, we were catching some zzz’s late on Saturday night after completing our first legs of the Ragnar Relay! (Need to catch up on Part 1? Find it here.) Saturday was going to be my tough day – 5.6 miles in the morning followed by 9.4 in the afternoon.

Sleeping in a van that night didn’t make it any easier.

The two guys in our van had packed heavy-duty sleeping bags so they opted to sleep outside on the ground Friday night (*note: it was not exactly warm – probably in the 40’s with a heavy mist/fog). We thought the school the next exchange was occurring at would be open for us to sleep on the gym floor, but no cigar. I curled up in the back seat of the van and did manage to catch a few hours of shuteye. Around 3:30, we got a text that the last runner in van 2 was running. That meant it was time to wake up. We wrapped ourselves in blankets and went to wait for her at the exchange… and we waited.

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod Race Recap | 2 Generations RunningTurns out, she had gotten a little lost and her van ended up having to go back out onto the course to guide her back to the exchange. Oops!

Soon we were back on track though, and my mom started getting ready for her leg – 5.6 miles. We were hoping she would get a pretty view of the sunset, but with all the fog that didn’t really happen. While she was running, I ate a Clif bar, pulled on my headband (SO helpful for disguising my sweaty/unbrushed hair!), and tried to warm up a little.

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2015Now that I have a running blog, selfies are part of my warm-up routine. 😉

Before I knew it, my mom was running into the exchange and it was my turn! I was a little bummed that the other runners near us had a few minutes lead on us and were running just fast enough that I couldn’t even see them, so this pretty much felt like your typical solo 6 mile run. Except for the fact that I ran this pretty dang fast! I was trying to enjoy it, but I think part of me just wanted this leg to be over so I could eat breakfast. 🙂

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod Race RecapAll foggy and quiet.

In an effort to make myself relax and not worry about pace, I turned my GPS watch so that the screen was on the underside of my wrist. Still, I ended up running it pretty speedily (I wasn’t exactly complaining but I was a little concerned about those 9 miles I was running later that afternoon!) Average pace: 8:28/mile.

Then it was my other teammates’ turns! Jay headed out to do another 2 legs – here he is coming into an exchange, giving a high-five and heading right back out!

Ragnar Relay Cape CodAnd then the handoff to Kim at the next exchange-

Ragnar Relay Race RecapWoo!

Once we’d all finished our second legs, it was finally time for a nice sit-down breakfast. I think by this point, we were all pretty pumped to eat something that DIDN’T come in a wrapper. I didn’t photograph breakfast, but I had a piece of French toast, some eggs, and a couple pieces of bacon. Perfect running fuel (given a few hours to digest that is)! It was so much fun talking marathons, nutrition, and running with my teammates, many of whom I didn’t know very well before this relay.

After filling up on lots of coffee and big breakfasts, it was nap time. We headed to the next exchange area to relax a bit while Van 2 ran. Fun fact – the school we were at was Meghan Trainor’s high school!

Ragnar Relay Race RecapOnce we were at the school, everyone found themselves a good spot to nap. (Some folks had even brought hammocks with them!)

Ragnar Relay Race RecapI just put the seat in front of me in the van down so I could stretch my legs out on top of it, pulled my headband down over my eyes, and absolutely PASSED OUT. There was a lot of activity with vans pulling in and out of the area and plenty of runners chatting nearby, but I was tired enough that none of it mattered. I woke up around 11:30 feeling much more refreshed. I was also happy that it was finally warm!

By then, it was almost time to run again and I began trying to prepare myself mentally to run over 9 miles. I wouldn’t hate that distance normally, but usually I would have a full night’s sleep and I would run that distance early in the morning before the heat of the day. But hey, that’s not the Ragnar Relay, right?

But more on that in Part 3…


Surprise! We’re Running Ragnar!!

Happy Friday folks!

I have some exciting news to announce-

Ragnar Relay Cape CodSURPRISE! My mom and I are running a 24-hour, 189-mile relay race this weekend!

This race was not on the calendar, but we got an email from our running club this past week that they were desperate for runners because a couple people had had to drop out due to injuries. My mom may have had a few glasses of birthday champagne, when I read her the email and immediately asked if we could do it.

Come on, what better way is there to spend Mother’s Day weekend than in a van with a bunch of smelly runners, running all through the day and wee hours of the night??!

Luckily, I have a pretty awesome mom.

Cool Mom GIF | Mean GirlsGod, a half marathon last weekend, relay race this weekend, and then next weekend I walk in my graduation. It’s been (and will be!) a fantastic few weeks. 🙂

The adventure begins this morning as we make the drive down to the Cape! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too and happy Mother’s Day (especially to the older half of 2 Generations Running!)

Happy Mother's Day! | 2 Generations Running