Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ragnar: The Extended Edition

So I posted all the details and such on my family website here: Ragnar Post

But I always like to do a few more of the "running" details on this blog. So here we go.

Best Parts of the Ragnar:

1) Number one would have to be running with Taber. If you've been following this blog you know about the ups and downs he has had with knee injury this year. It's been a rough road to recovery but I am so happy to say that he is BACK!! and He totally rocked it at the Ragnar. He was taking it really easy in his training because he didn't want to re-injure himself before the race. Once he got out there though he really let loose and not only ran his 18.1 miles but he also biked 12 more so he could shadow me and another runner on our team. The man is a machine!! So yes, VERY happy to be running with my man again and also just pumped to see him tearing it up out there again!

2) Bonding with friends in the van. Yes, it got a little stinky in there. (okay, A LOT stinky!) But there is just something really bonding about sweating together.

3) Gorgeous trails and scenery

4) Being part of the "running club" with all the other crazies on the course.

5) Running in the middle of the night. That was seriously awesome

Tough Parts of the Ragnar:

1) Sleep deprivation. Due to some delayed flights (my parents flew in to watch the girls and my sister and her hubby flew in to run) and some cranky babies we literally only got 2 1/2 hours of sleep before the race. That wouldn't have been so bad if we were only running one leg, but pushing through 30 hours without sleep was TOUGH. Have you ever been so tired you thought you were gonna puke? Well that's pretty much how I felt several times through out the race. Luckily the adrenaline before my legs got me pumped up but in between I was kind of a zombie.

2) Nerves: I get really nervous before a race. Don't know why but my nerves wrecked havoc on my digestive system and I ended up in the bathroom before EVERY leg!

3) Nutrition: We naively thought that we'd be able to eat on the road in between our legs. Um yeah, that didn't really happen. We were running in some pretty remote areas and at some really crazy hours of the night so we were only able to grab some junk from a few gas stations. That combined with my nerves made for a very unhappy tummy and a rough last leg due to lack of fuel. Next time we'll bring our own food!

Other than those minor details though the whole experience rocked. I was really happy with the way I ran. I was strong and steady the whole time, (even on the last leg when I thought I was moving like a turtle I actually ended up being faster than I thought)

Here is the breakdown of my running times. Time doesn't matter, I know that. But, it's always fun just for my own personal improvement to see how fast I run.

Leg 1: 8.3 miles, finished in 1:16 min. Average pace: 9:39 min/mile
Leg 2: 7.5 miles, finished in 1:04 min. Average pace: 8:40 min/mile
Leg 3: 3.9 miles,finished in 38 min. Average pace: 9:44 min/mile

(If you want to figure out your pace when you run here is a cool website with a pace calculator. You just enter your mileage and time and it figures out your pace.)

So there you go, the inside scoop from our latest running adventure. Not sure what we'll do next. I imagine we'll take a little break but knowing us, I'm sure it won't last for long!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I love the week leading up to a race! Especially a big one like the Ragnar, which will be more of an experience really. I had a nice week of training last week, here's what it looked like:

Mon: cleaned my house and worked on some long neglected projects. Didn't run but what can you do?

Wed: 4 solid miles on a blazing hot day. The heat was like kryptonite sucking my energy but I finished and gave myself a high five when I was done.

Thurs: 3 miles pushing the baby in the jogging stroller. Couldn't get under a 9 minute mile but wasn't trying too hard either.

Sat: Beautiful 6 mile loop that included the trails around Rice Lake. 9 minutes miles with a sprint at the end, even powered up the giant hill at the end. Thought my legs looked a little bit buffer after that. ; )

And today I ran a fast 5K (finished in 25 minutes, one of my best times!) With hills and everything. Dude! This is the week of self high fives. One more (smack!) Aw yeah!

Tomorrow is just strength training, Wednesday will be an easy 2 miles and then it's rest and RACE!!! Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Well that was a new experience!

This morning as I was getting ready for my run I noticed it was a little overcast. I thought it might rain a little but I wasn't too worried since I've run in the rain before and it was quite refreshing. By the time I got out the door though the clouds were so dark it looked more like night than morning. I put a wind breaker on just in case it rained and headed out. About 5 minutes into the run the rain started falling. I guess I was in a goofy mood because I went all "singing in the rain" and was just laughing at the sky and jumping over puddles and having a jolly old time.

But then it started to POUR! We're talking buckets of water being dumped from the sky! Add the wind to that and things started getting intense! My windbreaker was soaked all the way through in a matter of seconds. The rain stung as it pelted my face and I literally wished I had worn goggles because I COULD NOT SEE! There was so much water on my face and eyes that my contacts kept folding over. I finally just started running with my eyes closed and opening them every few feet to get a handle on where I was going. 2 miles into it my iPod shorted out. I tried to keep it dry in my coat pocket but since my coat was drenched the iPod didn't have much hope. There weren't many people on the trails (obviously) But I did see a girl running in a full on swim suit! That was funny!

Luckily after 4 miles the rain let up and by the time I finished my 6 miles the sun was shining again. Running in the rain I've done before, running in the POURING crazy torrential rain, well that was a new experience! I'm glad I made it through and have to say it definitely shook things up from the normal routine! Oh yeah, and on a happy note, my iPod survived and after drying it out and giving it a little TLC it is fully functioning once more : )

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today I was fast! Maybe not compared to other runners but for me, I was booking! I haven't had a run like that in a while. I knew from the minute my feet hit the pavement that it was going to be a good run. Normally it takes me at least 5 minutes to warm up, then I need to stop and stretch because my legs have been so tight in the past. Not today though. I stepped out of my friend's house (who was watching my kids) and it was on! I starting at a 9:30 pace to warm up but when I got to my normal stretching spot I didn't stop to stretch, I just kept going. Half a mile into it my pace was 9 minutes, I hit a mile and my watch started beeping to tell me I was going faster than an 8:30 pace. I normally slow down when I hear it beep but today I wanted it to keep on beeping. I pushed a little harder and ran miles 2 and 3 between an 8:10-8:15 pace. I was sweating hard and it felt awesome. When I'd get to a hill I would sprint up it. My legs and lungs were burning but it felt so good! I know I pushed under an 8 minute mile several times during the run. My total distance was 4.3 miles, my average pace was about 8:30 (given my slower start and cool down)

Running fast is fun! My friend recently got 2nd place (and a medal) in a 5K she did. She was REALLY booking, I think her average pace was around a 7:30 minute mile. I'm definitely not even close to that right now but going "fast" today made me think that maybe someday I could be...

Monday, August 3, 2009

6 together 6 alone

My last two runs were both 6 milers. On Sat Taber and I did our run together. Our friends from our Ragnar team swapped with us so they watched our kids while we ran and then we watched theirs while they ran. It was really cool to do a longer training run together and just be able to chat and hang out on our little "running date." We went nice and slow (about 10:30-11 minute pace) and stretched half way through since Taber's knee still isn't 100%. We were on some really nice trails and even went into a pretty nature preserve for a little bit. It's sounds funny, since we were both all sweaty and stinky, but there's something kind of romantic about running together. Maybe it's just being outside on the beautiful trails together, being able to talk about anything and everything, and of course seeing my husband in his athletic gear, I don't know, I just like it : )

Anyway, today I ran 6 miles again. This time by myself and staying between a 9-9:30 minute pace. I did the same lake trails I did last Monday and felt like I got a really good workout with the hills and everything. My energy got a little low towards the end but I think that's just because your body starts needing fuel every hour or so and I ran for 55 minutes. So yeah, good work out today but not nearly as fun by myself! I'm glad we'll be running together for the Ragnar in a few weeks.