Monday, September 19, 2016

Ragnar DC 2016 : Leg 1 Recap

If you haven't heard me mention Ragnar around here recently, then welcome, you must be new. Haha. But, seriously, for those of you who haven't heard of Ragnar it's a 200-ish mile relay, where 12 team members rotate running different length legs until they reach their destination. Each runner has 3 legs & the "race" doesn't stop when the sun goes down, we just pull out our headlamps & reflective vests & keep on truckin'.

This was my third time running Ragnar DC, but my first time being Van 1. I've only run Ragnar DC, so I can't comment on others, but Van 1 seemed to have a lot more down time in between runs, Van 2 had longer overall mileage. By a lot. In the past I vividly remember having only 3 - 4 hours in between runs, whereas in Van 1 we had 6+ hours from when our van finish run 1 before we started run 2.  Honestly this made fueling a big challenge for me. Between run 1 & run 2 I had 12 hours & 1 meal. Not insurmountable, but I did not feel well fueled at all this weekend.

Our Ragnar van had 4 folks, myself included, who originally ran together at Ragnar in 2014 - after we met as individuals just looking to join a Ragnar team. 3 years later & we're still running together.

 
We woke up at 3:30 AM Friday morning and were out the door by 4:15 AM. We picked up two van-mates from a nearby hotel and headed to the start line about an hour and 15 minutes away. We checked in & perused the gear tent, but soon it was 7:15 AM & our start time & our first runner headed out!



The scenery is gorgeous. I think the only time we hopped on a highway during the race was to get back to a teammates house for a shower & a nap. Otherwise it was all back roads. 



A few  5 hours later it was finally time for my first leg. One of our teammates, Jaclyn, is currently training for her first FULL Ironman distance - and was looking to run a few more miles, so after she finished leg 5, she kept running & we chatted during my first leg. Excuse my face, I was clearly way too excited to finally be running.


My first leg was a healthy mix of hills and the downhill to even them out. We ended with 6 miles @ 8:51 per mile. A pace I was a little surprised by given the hills, and my desire to run conservatively since I knew I had 2 runs still to come.


I enjoyed the company since I saw surprisingly few people during this leg. We passed 5 or 6 ourselves, but weren't passed by any runners, which in my experience is unusual. But, since I had a photographer Jaclyn with me, I took full advantage & got a picture by my favorite Ragnar sign. One mile to go. :)


After I made it to the exchange and handed off the slap bracelet to Van 2 it was off to lunch! I'll be back with recaps for legs 2 & 3 later this week, but in the meantime...

How long before a run do you try to eat?
Do you run in a hat or visor?
I wish I could to soak up the sweat, but then it gets in the way of my sunglasses.
What time do you usually wake up for the day?
3:30AM is definitely NOT my style.

I'm linking up with Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

45 comments:

  1. Yay! I have been waiting to hear how your Ragnar weekend went and it sounds like you smashed the first leg!

    A 3:30am wakeup sounds a little hellish to me. 5am I can do but any earlier? NO thank you!

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    1. 330 AM is just like huh, what? What's happening? I was still too asleep to have ANY clue what was going on.

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  2. I still haven't managed a perfect time to eat before a run, but I like to keep it to an hour minimum before I start running. And sometimes I run in a hat... lately a hat because my hair is short & its not long enough to put into a ponytail. AND I wake up at 6am on weekdays. 730-8am on weekends. Looks like so much fun! Can't wait to read more!

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    1. I've got my fuel figured out for longer weekend runs that start at 730 or 8AM, but anything that strays from that path gets me confused. And sometimes it's hard to know if I had a bad run due to lack of fuel, or just a tired body.

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  3. This is so exciting to read! I usually eat about 2 hours before a run. If I'm running really early, I'll eat something light 30 minutes before. I can agree that it would be challenging to figure out fueling for a race like this. I like both visors and hats, and I always need one during the summer months. Great job on leg one pacing!

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    1. 2 hours before!? WOW. I could NOT do that if I was running early. I love hats, but always struggle to wear when running because I feel like my head gets too hot!

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  4. Ragnar looks like so much fun...I really need to try to hop on a team for next year to finally see what it's like! Hopefully your 2nd and 3rd legs were better on the fueling front, you did great to start!

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    1. Definitely! There is one in PA next year! And there are ALWAYS teams on FB that need runners.

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  5. My body would not have been happy with just 1 meal in 12 hours between the two runs! I think I definitely eat a lot more than most people before running though. I tried running with less and would have problems. I just watched a documentary on Ragnar--From Fat to Finish Line. It's on Netflix streaming. It was in Key West and looked absolutely miserable. Not only was it super hot and humid, but they had to run on un-scenic crappy strip-mall roads, and it looked like the only time they didn't was through a swamp where they had to worry about alligators. No thanks! Looks like DC has a much nicer route!

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    1. Mine was NOT happy either.

      Hmm, I'll have to look that up on Netflix. This was definitely not strip malls roads. Maybe a few bits, but actually, I think most of the roads through civilization are ones we run at night. I had a night run in 2015 through a subdivision neighborhood, but since it was like 3AM it definitely changed the feel of it.

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  6. Yay! Nice job on that first leg, that's a great pace! I imagine that figuring out fueling for these types of events must be pretty challenging. I have to eat LONG before I run. I do much better without much in my stomach when I'm running, so if it's a morning run I usually don't eat anything beforehand.

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    1. I usually don't eat before morning runs either. But I'm also usually waking up & running all within half an hour. Versus 7+ hours. Fueling was definitely my biggest Ragnar challenge!

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  7. Yay, I love reading Ragnar recaps :) That is a long time between legs. I wonder why the discrepancy between van 1 and van 2. I have a hard enough time getting up at 6, anything before that is a definitely struggle.

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    1. Not sure, but others said they noticed it too, so I'm glad I wasn't crazy. I almost prefer the go, go, go of Van 2. Gives me less time to think about being hungry! HA!

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  8. I like hats & visors but they always make my forehead itch.
    I get up every morning at 5:15. That bites already - anything earlier? Shoot me.
    Cant wait to hear more about the race!

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    1. They always make my head so hot. But then I have nothing to soak up my sweat. Sometimes I rock a bandana, but then I get weird forehead tan lines! I just can't win!

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  9. That's interesting, when I was in Van 2 for Ragnar I felt like we had much shorter breaks too. It looks gorgeous there! And being in September, was the weather perfect?! I'm a weirdo and never run in a hat, visor or even sunglasses haha I have no idea why. I just have never tried it! Can't wait to read the rest of your recaps:)

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    1. Hmm. Wonder if they always make one van have longer legs purposely? Like, since teams usually have a mix of skill levels?

      Actually, September around here & in DC is a little hit or miss. It was actually fairly warm & humid all things considered. But it poured last year as remnants of a hurricane passed through - so better than last year for sure!

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  10. Ragnar sounds so amazing!! great job on the first leg!! the views are amazing!!

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    1. So much fun! There will be one in PA next year from Lancaster to the Poconos! You should join a team!

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  11. So, so fun! Good for you for doing this and what a great pace! Can't wait to hear more!

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    1. Thanks Steph! Surprise, my pace got slower the more legs I ran. ;) Haha

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  12. 12 hours and 1 meal?! holy moly. i like running first thing in the morning, on empty. if i am up for more than an hour, or it's in the evening, i have to eat about an hour or 45 mins before, depending on distance and weather (like if it's super hot).
    i do not wear a hat or a visor, but i do wear a headband. i do not wear sunglasses, i hate them lol.
    glad you had company! and how cool that you were all individuals looking for a team and you're still running together. that makes my comment on your other post less applicable haha

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  13. Sounds fun! Except the wake up call. I haven't got up that early since I was a flight attendant. I don't miss those hrs.I hope to do Ragnar some yr.

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    1. There is one out towards Lancaster PA next year. Which I think might be out your way...?

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  14. For my weekend long runs, I've been waking up around 6am and eating some oatmeal and a banana immediately. I start running between 7:30 and 8am. I'm still working out the best way to fuel while running, but the oatmeal banana combination is working well for me as prerun fuel.

    Looking forward to hearing about the last two legs of your race!

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    1. Oatmeal and // or a banana are two of my pre-run staples. Oatmeal especially on race day since I know it will keep me full!

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  15. Oh man this brings back memories of when I ran Ragnar Madison to Chi. All kinds of crazy, exhausting fun! I typically eat 90 minutes before a run. When it's hot I wear a visor. Headband in cool weather. Wakeup time = 5am.

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    1. 5AM sound so early, so I can never believe I used to wake up earlier than that on the regular. I don't know that I would workout in the AM if it meant a 5AM alarm.

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  16. I loved reading your recap from Van 1's perspective and can't wait to read your recaps from you next legs! I've also run three Ragnar DC's and I've never been in Van 1. So far I've been runner 8 (2014), 12 (2015), and 11 (this year). Fueling is always a concern on relays and I usually try to eat about two hours before my run.

    So bummed you didn't find me when you saw our van. I would have loved to meet you!

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    1. We'll have to find each other next Ragnar. And I'm thinking I'm Van 2 for life now. Definitely prefer how those times // miles shake out.

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  17. I'm new, so this is the first time I've heard you mention it! :)
    I've never done a Ragnar. I think it would be fun, but I'm too slow. I like running in a hat or visor. Headbands too, anything to keep the sweat out of my eyes!

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    1. I love the concept, I hate getting sweat in my eyes, but hate to overheat my head with a hat, or get a tan line from wearing a bandana - 'cause been there, done that. Haha

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  18. That is so cool that your RAGNAR team met as individuals and stuck together. Good van mates make or break a RAGNAR.

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    1. It really is pretty cool - to think, 3 years ago we didn't know each other at all!

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  19. I have such Ragnar envy!!!! So awesome.

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    1. You'll have to join a team! They are seriously such a fun experience!

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  20. Whoa girl - get it done! So cool you met those friends and are still running with them! Glad you lived to tell about it!!

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    1. I feel like workout // running friends become such fast friends. You have something you know you love & have in common. And I think running just makes people happier.

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  21. You're badass. That's all. :)

    I have not run with hats or visors... but maybe I'll start running with headbands. The sweat in my eyes is not worth it.

    I usually wake up at 4:45 (when I run) and at 5:45 when I don't run that morning. TOO early either way LOL

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    1. :)

      445!? Damn girl, I'm even more impressed now that you run in the AM. I think I would just NOT run if I had to get up that early!

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  22. Fun! Never would I imagine you'd get 12 hours rest between a run. I would so enjoy that back road scenery. Great pace on your first leg! The clock usually starts with a "4" when I wake up without an alarm. I wish I could sleep late. I don't usually wear a hat unless it's raining. I do wear headbands but they don't soak up much sweat. They are more for fly-aways. Thanks for linking, Jessie.

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    1. We definitely NEVER got that much in Van 2, so this was an odd change for me.

      Oof, I try not to set any alarms with a number before 6. Haha. It doesn't always work though.

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  23. You know all this craziness of a Ragnar is exactly why I want to do one! Hats off to you all who have done them! I hope to be one of you soon! To answer one of your questions, I love a visor!

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    1. Yessss! It's what made me want to run one in the first place too! I love the chaos!

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