Friday, November 14, 2014

Ragnar DC Recap

I'm way behind on posting!! I'm going to start with a recap of Ragnar DC which took place September 12-13. I was on a team consisting of 9 women and 3 men making up "Team Peer Pressured".

Sidney dropped me off around 9pm Thursday night since we were meeting at 2am. I got about 3 hours of sleep before heading out to meet up with the rest of the team. We drove the 2-3 hours to the start of the race, where van 1 would check in and start their legs. Most teams don't do this, but I'm glad we were there together to send off our first runner at 6am.

We then left to go to our exchange point. The 6 runners in van 1 run their first leg, then they hand it off to us. Each runner runs a total of 3 legs, varying in distance from 3-13 miles. I was runner #8 which each of my legs being right around 7 miles long.

My first leg started mid-day Friday, around 12:30 or so. It's labeled as the second hardest leg of the entire course and titled, "What the Hill?" You basically spend the first 3-4 miles going straight up a hill and the remaining going down. I was also on the open road, sun shining, and no shade. The van did go ahead and stop to wait for me and cheer me on. That was great!

Leg 1:

Checking off my first box!

After finishing a leg, you have about 12 hours before running again. This means a lot of downtime but it goes very fast. I think I maybe slept a total of 2 hours the entire time. When we were able to stop I foam rolled, stretched, and walked around. I was afraid I'd be very sore because I had been having issues leading up to Ragnar, but thankfully I was in pretty good shape and felt great!

Leg 2 started around 1am. I started out in a semi well-lit neighborhood but after a few turns, I was on a narrow road without any light. I had a headlamp but it was very dark. I actually rolled my ankle early on but no damage was done and I was able to keep going. Thankfully I was on a road and not a trail.

Leg 2:

Leg 3 took place on the Capital Crescent trail and C&O Canal towpath. I was really looking forward to running here and figured this would be my easiest of the 3 runs. I started Saturday late morning sometime. I honestly don't remember now but it was around noon!

Leg 3:

As soon as I got onto the Capital Crescent Trail it started raining. I had forgotten my hat but it wasn't too bad. It did pour for a bit but the trail is nice and flat and it was mostly enjoyable. Then I turned to go on the C&O Canal towpath. Another race was taking place and that was fun to see. It was when I got off the path that the run turned ugly. There was a steep hill to get off the path and onto the road but I didn't let it get to me. Then there was a straight hill going up and you had to walk it. No one was even attempting to run up this thing. Then we got into a neighborhood but it was a bit hilly. I hadn't expected that on this leg.

On each leg when you have only 1 mile left there's a sign telling you, "1 Mile to go". That sign is the most wonderful sight. There are markers letting you know which way to turn or to keep going straight, but there aren't any mile markers. Only that sign when you've hit the last mile. All I wanted was to finally see that sign!

In the last mile of my last leg!

It was a great feeling to finish, but our team wasn't done yet! Once the last runner started her last leg, we hightailed it to the finish. There we met the rest of the team from van 1 and when our runner came by, we ran together across the finish. It was a great experience!

Sidney and Jack came to the finish to pick me up. They got there only about 30 minutes after we finished. I missed them so much and was so happy to see them!! We drove the hour home, ate ice cream in bed while watching a movie, and slept in the next day. It was glorious!!

In 2 1/2 days I didn't shower, only got 5 hours of sleep, went in more port-a-potties than I care to recount, changed clothes in the back of a van, ran about 21 miles, and did all of this with basically complete strangers.

I could go on and on with more details such as what we ate, the other vans we came across, injuries other runners on the team got, how we ended up at the wrong exchange and got lost trying to find the correct one, etc, etc. I would like to make a post about packing for a Ragnar and what worked for me and what I would do differently. Other than that, I don't want to bore you with every last detail. If there's something you'd like to know, please ask! I will say this- I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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