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I’m a Ragnarian!

Monday: 10m interval (6 x 1m repeats @ 7:13/p)

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m easy 9:20/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Ragnar.

It’s over, but I keep replaying the 30+ hour trip like a favorite movie. I miss it. I miss the people I ran with. I miss the van. I miss running at stupid hours. I miss the pb + j’s. I miss the fun. It was SO MUCH FUN.

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VAN 2: Nick, Jennifer, me, Normailed, Steve, Jill

I didn’t know what I was getting into… I only knew the very basics. It’s a relay (duh) with 12 people split into 2 vans where each person runs three times, and it takes around 30 hours to complete. I did not organize our team. It takes a special kind of person to organize a Ragnar and I can’t thank Normailed and Nick enough for all the coordination, communication and driving for our group.

Our team started the race around 6am on a Friday. We were in Van #2 which didn’t start until about 1pm. Which meant our 6 runners got to sleep in a bit and head out to the first exchange mid-morning. I didn’t get coffee until we arrived at the exchange (Thank you Ragnar for the Dunkin Donuts coffee. I needed it soooo bad). I got several cups (these were tiny) and finally I felt more social and ready to run!

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However it wasn’t my turn. I was runner 11. There’s a lot of waiting around for your turn to run during a relay. Once our first runner got going we filled the van and headed up the road to cheer him on.

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We had a BLAST with the windows down, cowbell ringing, hooting at the runners. Oh our van name was the Hustlin’ Hookers. It got a lot of attention. I mean Steve. Steve got a lot of attention.

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When you’re on deck time flies! Making sure you have all your running gear together, bib attached and final trips to the bathroom are key and need to be timed right. The runners head into an exchange chute, slap a bracelet on your arm and you take off.

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The exchange: all of us waiting for our runner, Jennifer to come in

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My first leg was easy compared to most of my teammates who were scaling mountains. It was a super flat, five mile dirt trail. I packed my running outfits in separate ziplock storage bags which is recommended since it keeps everything organized and also gives you a bag to throw sweaty clothes in once you’re done. file_009

I took off around 5pm and my legs flew. I figured this would be my fastest segment just because I was waiting around anxious to run all day. As soon as I finished, i felt relieved from all the nerves and was finally able to relax and enjoy the experience. Which was basically talking about running, describing your leg of the run and how you felt, cheering on other runners, watching people run, watching runners having fun and interacting with complete strangers who also obsess over running.

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At one point we were driving by runners I blurted out, “I love running so much I would marry it.” I felt dumb for like 2 seconds then everyone agreed. Being completely immersed in running for solid hours at a time was so much fun we all would marry running. Til death do us part. Or at least until we get tired enough to try and get some sleep. Sleep was tough. I think we all slept 2 hours–at the most.

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Food wasn’t as scarce as I thought it would be. I always pack my own, but I panic if i don’t know where or when my next meal is coming from! Luckily our van had a great captain with excel spreadsheets galore so everyone had different things to bring. Our van was stacked with plenty of sandwich makings, protein bars, veggie platters, water, Nuun and Gatorade. There was an exchange at a gas station with a nice deli, another exchange at a school offering a spaghetti dinner (and showers which we took advantage of) and yet another exchange on a farm with bbq and burgers!file_007

We also got a chance to sit down at an ihop and order a meal. Bottomless coffee never tasted so good!

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Every runner in our van was most nervous about the night running. Myself included. I just didn’t want to do anything stupid like miss a turn or trip.

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Under Ragnar rules you have to run with a headlamp, tail light and a reflective vest. My leg started after Steve’s (check out those thigh highs!) and it started in a whirl–I was waiting in line for the bathroom and he was already finishing so I missed my chance for the bathroom and started running at 4:30am for my longest leg. 9.1m and 700ft of elevation.

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Running at night was much more fun than i expected. The runners looked like fireflies dancing along the road’s shoulder and the pitch black was sort of exhilarating in a –don’t fall, don’t die, don’t lose the person in front of you –kind of way.

I ran my last leg of the day with Jill in the Bethesda/Chevy Chase area. It was fun because it was familiar and it was even more fun to run with someone. Plus we kept each other going even though it was clear our legs were getting tired.

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The last day went by too fast. Each of us were running our final legs, excited to be done, sad to be finished. I didn’t want the weekend to end. I even thought about running an extra leg with Nick, but at the last minute decided against it because my right arch started cramping. Running 3 times in 20 hours is a lot. My final mileage was 21 for the trip.

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Nick was our anchor, and we headed to Navy Yard to have a beer and wait for him to finish so we could all cross the line together.

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Already reminiscing over the good times…

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I’m excited that I get to cross Ragnar off my never ending race list, but I can’t imagine that being my one and only. I loved the whole race and loved the runner bonds I’ve made with great people. Now, go find yourself a group of strangers in a van to run a Ragnar with. And make sure to pick a van with candy…

Last Week

Monday: 7m easy 9:50/pace

Tuesday: 8m interval (3 x 1m repeats 6:40, 6:37, 6:35), Crossfit

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 11m MGP tempo ( 8m @ 7:50/p), Crossfit

Friday: 6m easy 8:47/p

Saturday: 10m easy 9:00/p, 10 to 1 workout (65# push press + 135# deadlift)

Sunday: 10m easy 9:31/p

Total Miles: 52

Ever run a Ragnar or relay race?

What is your favorite race distance or type of race? (marathon, obstacle, color run, ragnar etc)


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DE Beach Trip + Parks Half Marathon Recap!

 

Monday: 7m easy 9:50/pace

Tuesday: 8m interval (3 x 1m repeats 6:40, 6:37, 6:35), Crossfit

I broke my phone a week back and a lot has had me on the go, so i’m a little behind in uploading pictures and sitting down to blog. Forgive me? Good, cause a lot happened. Two weekends ago I drove out to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a friend’s bachelorette party. It was a super low key, relaxing girls night. Just the way I like it.

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Seriously such a pleasant quick trip. Sarah got married on September 18th and I was so happy to spend time with her family!

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Sarah & Kristin

The following day the beach was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the water was green and blue and we spotted dolphins on our walk down the sand.

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As much as I wanted to stay at the beach all afternoon, being a runner called for an early trek back home to pick up my bib for the Parks Half Marathon race the next day. I ran it last year and it’s one of my favorites. As long as I live here I will run this race. It is so fun, so coordinated and the swag is killer with a Brooks long sleeved shirt and a finisher’s blanket!

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The race start is 15 minutes from my house making the morning of the race super easy. I ate my normal meal: pb & banana, coffee, water + Nuun, and a Honey Stinger Waffle during the drive to the start. I actually had time to use the port-o-potty twice and got a quick warm up in. Compared to the last several races, this was a big deal!

The weather was warm and humid (73 degrees & 75% humidity)- if you’ve been following any blogs from the DC/Baltimore area the summer humidity has not let up! It feels like we’re living in Florida. It’s getting annoying.  Annnyyyway… my goal for this race was to run 7:20/pace however, with the warm weather, I naturally fell into a 7:30-7:40/pace instead (about 20 seconds off my goal marathon pace) which felt generally easy.

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I love running the Parks Half because it runs along several trails I’m on often. It’s familiar, i know every crack and divot, every turn and hill, so i knew where to push and where to slow down. I had a huge mental advantage with this race.

The physical advantage had to do with the marathon training plan I’m on. Hansons is not joking when they talk about cumulative fatigue and how you will learn to run on tired legs. Training for an ultra and then heading straight into this program, I can’t remember what it feels like to run on fresh, rested legs. It sounds bad, but I love it. I love knowing I can run through fatigue and run well at that. I keep envisioning the last 10 miles of the marathon and I know this is what will make the difference when the general fatigue sets in.

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This race was so much fun and worked like a long tempo which i was more than happy with. I crossed the uphill finish with a time of 1:40:22, grabbed a coffee from Panera and made my way back home.

2016 Parks Half Marathon - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

2016 Parks Half Marathon – Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

I took my bib number 2612 as a sign that i’ll have a good marathon in Philly since it looks like 26.2 🙂

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 10:00/pace

Tuesday: 9m intervals (6 x 800s), Crossfit (also did 3 x 800s)

Wednesday: 7.8m easy 9:40/p

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 5m 7:30/pace Ragnar Relay

Saturday: 9.1m 8:15/p Ragnar, 7m 12:00/p Ragnar

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 43.9

Do you have a favorite local race?

What’s the best race swag you’ve received?

 


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Weekend in the Mountains

Monday: 6m easy 9:39/p

Tuesday: 7m interval (3 x 1 mile @ 6:40/pace), Crossfit

We kicked off our 1 year wedding anniversary right! Friday night dinner and dessert with Cameron’s parents and a lot of wine 🙂

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Saturday morning I woke up extra early to fit in a long run. It was finally a little cooler out and very welcomed. 13 miles later we headed out to Shenandoah National Park to hike and check into our cabin.

It was cute but also kinda creepy…I kept thinking the lighting made it a look a little serial killer-ish. How else do I describe it? hah

Then we headed on the trails. The weather was beautiful, temps were cool and there were too many trails to choose from.

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For dinner we ate at Big Meadows Lodge (where we stayed) and it was outstanding.

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Wine of course, cheese plate, oven roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.. oh and blackberry cobbler.

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We continued the evening with a bottle of wine back on our porch. Being away from home was so relaxing.

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Sunday morning we rolled out of bed to catch the sunrise…

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After breakfast we headed out again for more hiking. We both felt accomplished since we did a variety of hikes that included waterfalls, rock climbing and summits with views.

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Today I’m doing my first workout of mile repeats. Wish me luck, these are going to hurt. Especially after all the hiking…my poor calves.

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 9:24/p, Crossfit

Tuesday: 8m intervals (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400)

Wednesday: 8.4m easy 8:58/p

Thursday: 6m easy 9:40/p

Friday: 10m tempo (7 @ 7:47/p)

Saturday: 13m long 8:58/pace, 5m hiking

Sunday: 5m hiking

Total Miles: 51.4 running, 10 hiking (first 50+ mile week!)

Do you like to hike?

What did you do for labor day?

 


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Phone Dump Friday: 1 Year Anniversary Edition!

Wednesday: 8.4m easy 8:58/p

Thursday: 6m easy 9:40/p

I know 3 posts from me in one week is not normal, but hey it’s our 1 year wedding anniversary and can’t miss this! We’ve been together for 8.5 years, married one year. It feels like we’ve been together forever in the best way and marriage is still super new and feels different in a much deeper, much more loving way. I’m not going to get too gooey on you though, i just wanted to share some pictures of us, old and new, some from the wedding and some from my personal stash. Enjoy!

First family trip to NC, been kickin’ it with Kyle and Elise for almost a decade…

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same trip!

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we dated long distance for the first 4 years of our relationship- so a lot of skypeing happened!

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Colorado trip 2015

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The time we got married

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Colorado shananagins, the time we lost Patrick.

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we go to plenty of baseball games…

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sometimes we even run together..

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and make faces together…

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and vacation to Jamaica together…

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and make faces together without knowing we’re making crazy faces together…

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our first thanksgiving as a married couple!

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our first Christmas as a married couple!

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our first hug as a married couple!

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the butt squeeze was pre-wedding…consider it the bachelor party !

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We’re heading out for an anniversary dinner with my in-laws and then off to Shenandoah National Park to hike for 2 days this weekend, keeping our camping tradition alive!

Married couples out there- how did you celebrate your first (or if it’s been too long, the most recent anniversary?)

Singles- do you camp?

ALSO- Shout out to my sister, it’s her 27th birthday today and now shares her b-day with our a-day!

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