Thursday, September 12, 2013

nighttime running

before the ragnar, i had never run in the dark.  at dusk? sure.  at dawn? ha!  you know me better than that!  not a chance.

i was nervous about the nighttime run.  if we all ran on schedule, i would be running at about 3:00.  in. the. morning.  it's fine to stay up until then, but run at that time?  i wasn't sure how that was going to go.

i probably should have practiced running at night.  after all, there was the reflective vest to maneuver, the blinking light to figure out, the headlamp to get adjusted to.  but i didn't.  because... well, i have no reason for why i procrastinated.

i ended up running at 2am.  the nighttime run ended up being my favorite part of the ragnar!  although i had my ipod with me, i never once turned it on.  i listened to the crickets.the river.a passing heartbeat.the wind in the grass.the runner's footfalls behind me.the silence that wasn't silent.  everything had a surreal quality to it.  it was absolutely amazing.

what is your experience with nighttime running?  do you incorporate into your running schedule or avoid it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

post ragnar

i am not sure what to say about the ragnar.  was it something incredible?  yes.  was it something challenging?  yes.  was it something fun?  yes.  kinda. sorta. maybe?  was it something i would do again?  i... i really don't know.  i'm tired and sleep-deprived and tired and sore and tired. i'd like to say a resounding 'yes' because it was incredible and challenging and fun, but i am not sure i am there yet.  give me a day or two to sleep and my answer will probably be different.

my teammates were fast.  that is a good thing because as a team we needed to average under 11 minute miles.  as my team was speeding along, breaking their proposed times, i was plodding along, right at pace or a little better.  i felt like i held the team back.  i don't think they minded and they never made me feel like a burden, it is just something i felt.  i often feel inadequate as a runner and i am not sure why ...especially considering i am doing something that many runners never even think about attempting.

my first run was an 11:39 pace and my nighttime run was 11:32 (<--- check out that bad-ass time!).  it was all going okay until the third run.  and just let me get my excuses out of the way first.
1) it was hot, right at the noon-time sun.
2) it was hillier than i expected.  yes, even though i saw the elevation changes and practiced running hills, this was more than i bargained for.
3) it was steeper than i expected.
4) i ran out of water.
5) my legs were shot from not having enough time to recover.
the third run sucked.  it sucked, it sucked, it sucked!  15:09 minute miles and i am surprised it was even that fast.

i got to the leg exchange and was so thrilled to be done.  i just stopped functioning after that.  i stopped thinking, i stopped comprehending what everyone was conversing about, i stopped talking, i wasn't hungry, i didn't want to walk anywhere.  i didn't even care about crossing the finish line when j came through (although we all did as a team).

maybe that is a normal reaction for a first time ragnarian.  i don't know.  i have never felt that way after any other race.  so in addition to running an unique 200-mile-relay, that makes completing the ragnar unique.

the ragnar is over.  i did it.  it took me to my limits as a runner.  and the view from here?  wide open with possibilities.  so would i do it again?  yes.
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