He Says: Rest week turns into two

Since I was the back up runner for the relay, I planned to take it easy in the couple of days leading up to the race, so I wouldn’t be burnt out for the run. Well, two days before the run, a fun four day weekend and now a hellish work week has quickly sidelined me from my normal six-day a week workout schedule. Over the last 10 days, I’ve only ran two times and haven’t done any of my normal P90X workouts that I was so religiously following.

The good news is I ran my 3.5 hard run through the surrounding hills at a 7:30 pace which is about a minute under where I began.

Next challenge is the timed mile and see how much I’ve improved over the last 4 months.

I really like recording my results and challenging myself the next time. I love the feeling of setting a new personal best and find myself eager for the next time to do better. The only problem I have with this system is I find myself discouraged when I’m slower than previously.

One thing I can say is I’m pretty consistent when it comes to the 12 ounce curls at the end of the day.

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She Say: Get your butt to the gym! Self!

Hey Self, listen up! Just because you had a couple long runs, uhem . . . over a week ago, doesn’t mean you can sleep ’til 9, eat a sleeve of chocolate chip cookie dough, and skip the gym.

“Congrats” . . . yeah, yeah, all that good stuff  “rah, rah sis boom ba”, but COME ON!! Time, IS, Up, Self!  You cashed in all the free “I deserve this” chips long before you left Minnesota.

Oh, right, don’t tell me you forgot the beef stick and bag of peanut m&m’s from the gas station. Or how about the 6-pack of celebration beer you split with HIM before heading back to the beer garden? Oh and do I need to mention the the mondo Ranchero burrito on the drive home? Plus, the fried taco in Omaha . . . well, okay that was a once in a life-time delicious MUST – I’ll let it slide.

Today is the day Self, put down the popcorn, and go for a RUN.

Good Times!

Posted in Her Posts, Random Fun | 4 Comments

He Says: 200 miles is a long way to drive

I could only imagine what it felt like to run the distance. I was able to get away from work for an extended weekend and help support Her and the other brave 11 for the race. I had been the default backup runner and with the amount of people dropping out, was almost forced into action. Luckily, every one made it and I was now the injury fill in and driver for Van #1. We spent 12 hours driving from Tennessee to get to the starting line in Minnesota so we were all very familiar with the inside of the Chevy Suburban.

The time in the Suburban went quite quickly as we were consistently moving a couple miles down the road in water support and getting ready to switch runners. When the second set of legs for our Van started, it was around 10:30pm and we were all a little tired. As the night wore on, I had to give up the wheel and let Her drive for a while and I was dozing and she was still all juiced up from her previous run. After an hour and a half of sleep, I was back behind the wheel and we made it through our third set of legs. I ran with Her on her third leg and also ran the last 2 miles of the hardest leg with another runner to help get him through the last part.

Overall, I think the run was fun but I felt a little lame just driving and only running 5 miles of such a long trip. I think in the future, a group run that doesn’t take so long would be better so the team as a whole has more time to relax before and after the race.

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She Says: A Recap of THE RELAY

The “The Relay” as I’ve been calling it,  was actually Ragnar’s Great River Relay.

The game goes something like this . . .  you borrow, steal, or rent two vans, and then find 12 people silly enough to run 200 miles in 24 hours (well that’s how you sell it anyway . . . it really took much longer). You put 6 people in each van and divvy out the mileage so that each member of the team runs 3 legs of the race. Then the two vans leap frog each other, dropping off a runner, following a runner, picking up a runner, and dropping off another runner. Repeat for 200 miles.

So that’s what we did Friday through Saturday. I ran with 11 other people, and HE was gracious enough to be a van driver and runner support.

Most of the team met in Winona Minnesota late Thursday night, just in time to share our pre-race jitters and pass-out for our final hours of sleep. The rest of the team arrived early Friday morning, and we met for continental breakfast in the hotel lobby. There were lots of questions, but having never done this before, no one had any answers and we were basically left winging-it.

In many ways are team was under prepared. We had minimal van decorations (my favorites included the National Lampoon van that had Grandma strapped to the roof) and we were short on costumes (there were supper heroes, cops, and piglets running all over the course.)

But, being a novice team didn’t keep us for having an awesome time. We bought some car paint to add a little spirit to our ride and headed to the starting line around 10:30 am. Start times are determined by the team pace.  Slower teams start earlier which gives you more time to finish, and faster teams have stagger start times throughout the afternoon.

I ran first and quickly fell to the back of the pack.  It was a overcast day, but the heat and humidity definitely hit me hard. It turns out I had it easy. The weather couldn’t make up it’s mind and some of my other team members ended up running in the rain, or freshly laid asphalt in the scorching hot sun.

Each leg of the race was rated easy, moderate, hard, or very hard. But we found that weather conditions, time of day, and the runners’ personal preference for distance vs hills impacts the feel of each run drastically. Two runs both categorized as hard could could feel entirely different.

I got lucky. My runs were longish, but not too hilly, and I had descent weather conditions. Bonus: Running first means you are finished first. Negative: Running first means you sit in sweaty clothes longer than anyone else.

There were showers along the course, but unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for my van. I had no showers in between my runs and only 1.5 hours of sleep (on the floor of high school gym that kindly opens it doors for runners.)

It was a rough weekend, but totally worth all of the training. Everyone ran hard and we had a great time.

My favorite part of crossing the finish line was the awesome metals we earned . . . they double as a bottle opener, for that beer and burritos that is also well earned.

After the race, we headed back to the Minneapolis Hilton (I know . . . fancy huh?), the rest of our team finished showering, and a few of us tried to hit the town for a drink. But, what we really wanted was some sleep!

Who else has done Ragnar? Did you love it or what?

Posted in Her Posts, Race Training, Travel | 2 Comments

She Says: It’s all over!

It’s over! All 12 runners on our team crossed the finish line just after 7pm on Saturday evening. The team was stinky and tired, but feeling very accomplished as our last runner came in.

More details on the race coming soon!

After finally getting some sleep in Minneapolis Saturday night, the team was up again and back in the vans early Sunday. Yesterday was mostly a travel day. And I think we all agree sitting in a cramped car is not the best recovery for tired, sore legs.

Today there will be no running. In fact I might take the whole week off! Instead, I’m spending some time with my sister in Omaha before flying home tonight.

So far, the city has surprised me. I’ve never thought much about Omaha, but it’s really cute and the weather today is perfect – a little humid for running, but a nice and toasty Midwest summer day!

Posted in Her Posts, Travel | 4 Comments

She Says: Good News. . . and bad news.

The good news is that we found a replacement for runner #8!

The brother of one of our team members has graciously volunteered, on short notice, to fill in. He runs at an 8:30 pace and is in training for an Ironman. Who knows, he may end up being one of our quickest runners!

The bad news is that we had ANOTHER runner drop. We had barely secured a replacement for the first absentee, when I got the news that yet another sub was needed. These shoes might be a little harder to fill. The open spot is for the 2nd longest and hardest position -a total of more than 19 miles and is categorized as “Very Hard.” Great . . .

Worst case scenario, we split these three legs up and divvy them out amongst our current runners.  That will leave some pulling 4 legs, but I’m hopeful that those with light mileage will be up for the challenge.

Posted in Her Posts, Race Training, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

She Says: We’re down a runner.

My sister just texted me the bad news! Runner number 8 popped her knee and is down for the count. I feel awful for her and hope this was not the result of training too hard with too little notice.

You see, we’ve already had to replace two of our original twelve team members. Runner number 8 was just doing our team a favor, by picking up 3 runs on short call.  The rest of us have been training since April, but #8 jump into the mix only about 6 weeks ago.

I’m sure my sister will call me with the full story tonight, but I hope #8 just needs a little rest and isn’t hurting too bad.

The Ragnar’s Great River Relay starts Friday in Minnesota. With only two days to spare, we are down a runner.

Any volunteers (ehem . . . HE?)

Posted in Her Posts, Race Training | 6 Comments