Race Recap: Ragnar Relay TN 2013, Van 2

 

There were country folk and city folk. There were ‘ladies and gentlemen’. There were “hot nuts” and peanuts. There were ninja punches and fruit punch Powerade. There was cowbell and silent, dark, scary running. There was “soft kitty, warm kitty” and feral cat. It’s Ragnar people! There are six sides to this Ragnar story, kinda like there are two sides to every childbirth story. This is mine.

This was my 3rd Ragnar Relay. I have been runner #7 each time. Runner #7 starts at the base of Mont Eagle and runs approximately 5.3 miles uphill. This was the first year that I did not have the nerves that I have had in the past. I just had a lot more fun, leading up to my start time of 3:30 pm. The laughter took the edge off, so did the grilled chicken sandwich and Mr. Pibb. 🙂 My goal this year, as in year’s past, was to run without walking. I am thrilled to say I finally did it!! I have conquered the ‘mountain’. I am ‘passing the torch’ to someone new next year.

My second “leg” began at 1:30 am. This 6.5 started in Tulluhoma. It was not too bad for the first 3 miles. I was running down the main strip in town. The city lights lit up my course. I did not need my headlamp, yet. Then, at about mile 3.5, the city lights began to dim. Another 1/2 mile down the road and I needed my headlamp. My van drove by, and I waved. Personally, I was kind of scared by the dark and by the animal sounds. I would have liked to have seen them one more time before 6.5. I was running on adrenaline, the “fear” kind. The night was also cold. It felt good to run hard and push to the end. I ran that leg at an 8:45 pace. I channelled my running coach, Sonja Friend-Uhl. What would Sonja do? “She would relax.” “She would run hard.” “She would be patient.” I felt strong, like she is strong. Felt great to finish and get into the warm van.

My 3rd “leg” started at Healthways in Cool Springs. I started abruptly at 11:20. I took over for Todd, who had to start because I was “running” late. 🙂 Our van caught Todd and pulled over. I jumped out,  and I was off for 6.0 miles. Ah. . . my last leg. It was a cool morning, with several long inclines. I finished with a 9:05 pace.

My favorite thing about this race is that you carry your own personal cheering section (ask Byron about this) with your for 200 miles. It is your crew. It is your team. When you are not the runner, it is your turn to take over as cheerleader and crew. Teamwork at its best. I could not have asked for a better team.

The other thing I noticed about myself was the joy I felt which translated to a huge smile on my face in the pictures. It was a love of running, a love of accomplishment, a love of my van members. Lots of laughter. Already planning for next year!

What I wore: Lululemon, of course, track attack shorts, runder unders, shiftly tank, arm sleeves, jacket. I wore 2XU compression socks. I ran in my Brook’s Ghost 6. ALL great investments.

What I ate/drank: 2 grilled chicken sandwiches, one chicken salad sandwich, chips , two small Dr. Peppers, chocolate milk, after each leg. It was the first thing to go in my stomach. I ate one gel 20 minutes before each run. I drank A LOT of water, no sport’s drink. It was cold. The water and gel was all I needed. I also had salty pretzels and salty trail mix. I had one banana. I had at least 8 homemade chocolate chip cookies.

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