Thursday, December 27, 2012

No Sleep, No Shower, No Problems

I was just notified that it is T minus 7 days until I leave for Miami to start the 199 mile race to Key West known as Ragnar Relay. 

To say I'm a little freaked out is an understatement, but it's all starting to come together and the excitement is also starting to kick in.

Since I'm sure you're all dying to know what the timing of everyone's legs are in each van, I have attached the following chart for your reference: 

I am officially runner #7 in Van #2. My total mileage is the most out of the van at 18.2 (however my teammate Glenn has 18 total so my bragging rights are only by .2 miles!) 

The Relay starts at noon on Friday with Van 1 and their 6 runners in Key Biscayne.

My first leg (leg 7)  is a nice 4.2 miles along "scenic" 127th Ave in Miami.

According to calculations I should be starting this leg around 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon.

Try not to be jealous of these amazing views along my route.

My second leg (leg 19) is my "fun" leg (remember - fun is a relative term!)

Not only is this leg the longest leg of van 2 and the second longest of the whole relay at 9.9 miles, it is also anticipated to begin at roughly 3 AM. 

Yep, 3 o'clock on Saturday morning.

This would be a typical daytime view of part of my route. I am looking forward to hopefully seeing this same water glistening under the moon and the stars instead.  

 My third and final leg (leg 31) is a nice 4.1 miles through Sugarloaf Key. 

I should be starting around 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Don't mind if I do!

Our down time for relaxing/sleeping/eating/taking a shower with baby wipes will be at Exchange 18 between approximately 9pm and 2:30 AM as well as at Exchange 30 between 9AM and 12:30 PM. 

Exchange 18 is located at Coral Shores High School and Exchange 30 at Sugarloaf Elementary, and rumor has it that they are both opening their gyms so people can catch some Z's on yoga mats or sleeping bags or whatever we decide is worthy for a bed.
 (This of course does not include any sleeping that may take place in the van itself!)

We should be wrapping up the relay in Key West around 4:00 on Saturday afternoon -- just in time for happy hour! 

Now the daunting task of a to-do list begins.
Reflective vest? Head lamp? Decorations for the van? First Aid Kit? Sleeping bag? New cute Lululemon running skirt? Food? Water?

So much to do and so little time! 

Also -- I've got the devil tail covered, but anyone got any ideas on how to put angel wings onto a van?! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fun is a Relative Term

To most, spending over 24 straight hours in a van with 6 other people who have just finished running 15-20 miles each and haven't showered or slept would be the definition of a nightmare.

To me, it's the definition of a really good time. 

Ragnar Relay is one of those races I knew I would never be able to step up to the plate and coordinate on my own. Trying to logistically put together the team members, who is running what leg, the van rentals, the van decorations, the hotels, and meanwhile trying to keep up with my own training would be like herding cats. 

Ragnar is kinda complex, so I'll try to give you a Cliff's notes version.
Teams of 12 split up into 2 vans. Van 1 holds Runners 1-6 and Van 2 holds Runners 6-12. Each runner is assigned 3 legs of different distances.
(Runner distances and maps of each leg can be found here, if you're curious)
Runner 1 starts the race, runs their leg, then passes off the baton (in this case bright orange slap bracelet) to Runner 2, and this process continues until all 12 runners have done their first leg. Immediately after Runner 12 finishes, they pass the bracelet back to Runner 1 to begin the second leg. The vans follow along the course and wait for each runner at the exchanges. 

My running coach sent out an SOS-type email of a team that needed an extra few runners for their team for Ragnar Key West. After begging Prateek to let me do it talking it over with Prateek (and convincing him that being a van driver for 6 smelly runners would be the best decision EVER) I went for it and registered. Luckily I didn't injure myself after the Chicago Marathon and kinda-sorta was back in shape, so the timing was perfect and gave me a good reason to train through the holiday season.

Wanna know what other timing was perfect? Rachel (Running Backwards in High Heels) was going to be in Miami that weekend anyway to watch her Tide roll over the Irish in the National Championship. 
After sending her the info to review, the choice was clear.
Cullman is going to be representin' along Highway 1, y'all.
I am SO EXCITED that she's running with us and can't wait to come up with THREE awesome race outfits.

There are tons of YouTube recaps of the race --here's a recap from Team "Shanghaid" from last year to give you a glimpse into kind of what we'll be doing.

Our team is called Sinners and Saints. It is yet to be determined if we will be in the "Sinners" van or the "Saints" van, but I'll be sure to pass that info along so we can get input on van decor and race attire.

We'll start in Miami, run all day, all night, and then most of the following day, and 196.9 miles (27-ish hours?) later, we'll end up in Key West at the finish line.  

Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.

 Run -- Drive -- Sleep? -- Repeat