ragnar relay: the september project

So prior to knee issues (or complications as my ortho calls them) I signed up to do the Ragnar Relay DC. I was on the fence leading up to this, pending doctor approval. Granted I was given the “I won’t tell you NOT to do something, but always use your best judgement” answer. Am I doing that right now? Probably not, but I hate bailing on things. I’m truly a yes man at heart.

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So here are the list of things to prepare for race while suffering slight patellar tendinitis as done by me at least:
1. Don’t run prior to event, at all. Take a good two weeks off.
2. Buy Ibuprofen, and plan to take a lot of it.
3. Icy hot patches anyone?
4. Knee compression sleeve and magical muscle rub.
5. Runners stick to roll them glutes, and maybe whack myself in the head a few times.
6. Flask of vodka… OK that one is a joke, sort of. I honestly debated it but I couldn’t find my flask.

Once the essentials are ready, there is all the other stuff you have to pack. Check out my arsenal:

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– 3 running outfits (2 in Ziplocs, one to be worn first and then placed in Ziploc)
– hat, sunglasses, towel
– sunscreen, body glide, bug spray, baby wipes
– headlamp, reflective vest
– outfit for post run
– yoga mat, sandals, small pillow (not pictured)
– other miscellaneous personal items

Then there is also the food prep:

Ignore the bottle of wine... that's to be chugged when I get home Saturday night :)
Ignore the bottle of wine… that’s to be chugged when I get home Saturday night 🙂

From left: Two bottles of EVLution A-10 (amino acid matrix), supplements (multi-V, CLA, fish oil, Glucosamine & Chondroitin), coconut water, homemade larabars (recipe coming soon, I have them wrapped in parchment), raw almonds, bananas, almond butter and jelly sandwiches, and  apples. I also added in a bag of some protein powder (Cellucor PB Marshmallow) just in case.

the packed gear
the packed gear

Now that the preparation is done, here are the logistics:

12 runners, 2 vans

I am runner number 9, so my legs are: 9 (4.5 miles), 21 (6.7 miles), and 33 (2.2 miles)
I am in Van 2 which met our Van 1 teammates at the first exchange around 5pm on Friday (they started at 10:30AM). Since our Van was putting in the most total mileage (and individual since we rolled with 5 people instead of 6) we were dubbed “Van Fit” with our counterparts going as “Van Fun”.

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Team number 338!

Leg 9 (4.5 miles):
Had a slightly later start time than anticipated at 7:30PM. Can’t complain about running with the sun setting over the countryside though. Felt bad passing my “baton” to my teammate in the dark, who was completely terrified during her night run. Slightly slower than I anticipated but not shabby for a two-week run hiatus at a pace of 9’38/mile.

Leg 21 (6.7 miles):
After 4 hours of sleep in the front seat of a minivan and feeling slightly discouraged by our current place in the race (second from last), our van went straight up beast mode for round two. I had perfect conditions for my 6.7 mile trek through farmland. Not sure if it was the lack of sleep, or the drive to try to catch up, but I destroyed this run at a 8’46/mile pace.

Leg 33 (2.2 miles):
Since we were still behind, while waiting at Exchange 24, we were approached by Ragnar staff and asked if we wanted to start our runs right then instead of waiting for our Van 1. The answer? HELL YES. We were sick of waiting. I started my leg at 4PM. When I was inputting my routes into my Suunto I realized this leg ran straight past my house and onto my normal running trail. Probably the least interesting runs of the trip, but I booked it nonetheless and conquered the rolling hills of Arlington at a 9’10/mi pace.

Our last runner crossed the finish line at around 7:30PM, which we all kind of missed the boat on running the end of it together, oops! We were a team of newbies so the minor slip ups were to be expected. Overall I had a great time and am happy to report that my knee made it through, but I am good now on the long distance races. Time to hit the weights and get my yogi juices flowing for the winter.

Peace and health,

Em

game faces on
game faces on
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