Eat, Run, Drive, Sleep?

26 May

Ya know how sometimes you find a thing that you love and you try to do that thing as often as you can? Well, I’m pretty sure that’s the relationship I have with Ragnar Relays.

I ran my first in Washington DC back in September of 2017. And, a couple of weekends ago, I finished my fourth Ragnar Relay, my second time at Cape Cod.

Van 1 at the start line in Hull MA at 5 am! I’m the really glowy one!

If you’re unfamiliar with Ragnar here’s how it’s worked with the teams I’ve joined: 12 people (strangers, actually!) in 2 vans covering 200-ish miles. 6 people per van called, oddly enough, Van 1 and Van 2. Van 1 usually starts pretty early in the morning and runs ‘legs’ of varying mileage. Then they meet up with Van 2 and those runners take over the next 6 legs, while Van 1 grabs lunch, or goes to the next meetup spot (called a major exchange) to meet Van 2 again. Then the whole thing repeats 2 more times so each person has 3 ‘legs’. Unless you are on an Ultra team and then….I don’t know, all craziness happens!!

I was runner 1 in van 1 this time around. Which is the same position I ran last year in this relay. This meant that I took off at the start line at 5:15 Friday morning and covered the first 5.03 miles of our adventure!

So. Elevation 🙂 Finished in the same time as last year and on goal!

When our last runner finished and we had handed off to van 2 for the first time we headed out and had lunch then made a quick stop in Plymouth to look at the Plymouth Rock. Which is VERY small for such a significant part of our history.

There’s some history thing about why it’s held together with concrete, but I missed that part!

Then it was on to our next exchange with Van 2 – only there was no meet up with the other half of our team due to some construction so it was a “virtual” exchange. This meant that when our runner 12 got to the end of her ‘leg’ it was communicated to the start of our next leg and our team and arrival/departure time was posted on a screen (a HUGE improvement over last year!). So Tammie checked in at 4:11 and I took off for my next leg of 4.2 miles at 4:12.

We finished up for the evening around 9 pm – and made the decision to just drive to our next starting point and see if there would be any sleep. On the way we stopped for some folks to grab dinner. Once we got to the high school I put on the clothes I would be running in and pulled on my sweats. I thought I could manage to stretch out over the seats in the van and get a bit of sleep. I thought kind of wrong! But no worries, I didn’t have too long to wait before I set out for my FINAL leg!

At 1:57 I set out for my last 6.9 miles – and this meant I would be finished before sunrise! We ended up meeting Van 2 at the last high school stop on our route and Grant, our 6th runner, came in like a bullet at 10:55! Now, we had until van 2 finished up their longest legs of the weekend. The two guys in our van, Clint and Grant, had gotten a room for Saturday night right next to the finish line so we headed there to shower and change and wait for the rest of our folks.

While we waited we went to the finish line to turn in our crossing flags and grab some delicious BBQ from Big Pig BBQ (their cornbread is AH-MAZing!!) and decided we wanted a cocktail. So we headed back to the hotel, thinking that the lounge was open. It wasn’t. But we somehow met up with the manager of the hotel (I think, I missed this part!) and one of our runners, Chep, said all she wanted was “a little rum and coke with 2 ice cubes!” so this awesome guy said “Okay, don’t tell anyone but…” and we all got a rum and coke (diet for me of course!)

Our last runner managed to get lost along the way, due to some misdirecting signs – either blown down or intentionally moved. But she made it and we all ran across the finish line together!!

Then it was off to dinner and then some runners stayed near the finish and the rest of us headed back towards the start – me to pick up my car and get home and the others were staying overnight and either leaving in the morning or exploring Boston before heading home.

As I mentioned this was my 4th Ragnar. My 4th Ragnar with people who were complete strangers on Thursday afternoon and not at all strangers by Saturday evening!

If you’ve ever considered Ragnar you need to get yourself on a team! It really is the most fun you can have not sleeping in a van, running through the night and coverning 200-ish miles in a couple of days!!

The 2019 Ragnar medal – Cape Cod
And the back —

Up next, I need to find a Ragnar Trail team….

But until then, I’ll stick to the road!

Anybody Home??

6 May

So hey!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been seen around these parts – almost a year or more probably!

Well, it’s time to train for another Dopey which means it’s time to get some structure and accountability back into my world so let’s just start from here. Okay?

This weekend I will be running Ragnar Cape Cod – for the second time. And for the second time I will be runner 1 in van 1 which may just be my favorite place to be. The good news is, my legs are fairly short-ish. The bad news is that my running has been less than minimal in the last few months so lets hope that muscle memory kicks in!!

My team is “Lobstah Rollin’ With My Homies” and I am once again hopping into a minivan with a bunch of strangers for about 40 hours!! And I CANNOT WAIT!!!

I’ll be posting on the interwebs over the few days – Facebook and Instagram mostly but will wrap things up Sunday night after I’ve had a chance to shower. And possibly nap… but probably not!

Some other upcoming fun – Marine Corps Semper Five – I’m doing the 5-miler instead of the half this year but still get the chance to conquer Hospital Hill! The Travelers Championship. This is the one week of the year that I’m a golf fan! This summer I’ll also be back at the Hartford Marathon Foundation X-treme Scramble Series, 3 crazy and sometimes fun 5Ks along the Connecticut River in downtown Hartford.

And of course training. You may have heard me say this before but…my goal for this year is to really and truly stick to my plan! I don’t know how much longer I’ll want to try to run marathons but I really do have to get it right one of these attempts!!

So hopefully you’ll stick around – and bring your friends! – and be the encouragement and accountability I’m gonna need!

Have a great week! See you REAL soon!!

Training Week 7 – such as it was….

26 Jul

I’m off my off-schedule schedule! And already in the middle of Week 8. But here we go!

It’s a quickie ya’ll ..and not because there were fewer days in the week!!!

The plan for the week was

Tuesday: 3 Miles
Wednesday: 5 Miles
Thursday: 4 Miles
Saturday: 6 Miles

What actually happened was….

Tuesday: 3.5 miles
Wednesday: Um…no miles
Thursday: Walked 6 miles in NYC
Friday: 2 random miles after driving to PA
Saturday: 6.5 miles in Harrisburg along the river

As of last Sunday I have:
112 Days
413.95 Miles (This should be 406.2 so I’m 7.75 miles off of plan)
before crossing the finish line at the Iwo Jima monument!

 

I Had a Real Weekend and Did Stuff!!

25 Jul

Finally!! A real day out!!

A couple of weekends ago, I ran the Hartford Marathon Foundation Red Dress 5K – I’ve done this one several times and it’s always a fun day. It’s a women’s only event but husbands and dads and sons all show up to support women’s health.

Lots of the women wear a lot of red. I don’t really have much red so I wear what I want and that’s okay!

But let me back up!

Kathy came down on Friday and, after my delayed Thursday run, we headed to the Riverfront in Hartford for the Riverfront Recapture Food Truck Festival. Generally we’d go Saturday after the 5K but Kathy had other plans (and I had 5 more miles to run!) Tons of great food – Kathy had something from the Jamaican truck and I had some Poutine because…fries. We even brought Phred with us since it was all outside and he hasn’t had an adventure in awhile!  After we grabbed our food and beers we sat and did a TON of people watching! This even seems to always coincide with ConnectiCon – which means lots and lots of costumes (some of which I even recognized from famous movies like Star Wars!) Also, Jesus was there….???

This stuff is right up my alley, but I skipped for some poutine

We went home and got into jammies pretty early for a night of “scary” movies (quality questionable as always!) – though I think I chose pretty well this time! (The Forest and Shut In – check them out!)

Got up early on Saturday to head to West Hartford for the run/race! At packet pickup there are several tables of various healthcare type booths giving away grocery bags and First Aid kits. The race is held in and around Elizabeth Park which has an amazing rose garden!

 

The course seems to have changed the last few years, probably due to road work in the area but it’s always a nice one.  I kept with my 45:30 intervals for most of the time and managed to keep my pace under 14 so I was happy.  The post race treat is a yogurt parfait. Back when I first started doing this 5K the post race treat was strawberry shortcake and, of course, that was my main motivation for doing it in the first place. And sometimes there are extra treats…..I’m looking at you NoRa Cupcakes! Sadly, though, this year there was no NoRa :/ But we did get a rose from some of the event people!

And, even though I didn’t get a #FlatAnne picture before the race – since I didn’t know what I was going to wear! – I did manage one after 3 miles!

Training Week 6

17 Jul

Or, I really do need to get my ish together for sure!!

Also, I also really do need to get these Sunday night updates out on an actual Sunday, right?!!

Week 6 was not a great one.

My Tuesday run happened on Wednesday and I got the whole big 3 done. So yay me! Pace was around 14:30. I’ve started moving up my run interval and went up to 45 keeping my walk at 30. And the weather was bit cooler.

Then I didn’t run again until Friday and I did 4.75 – which was either .25 short for Wednesday’s 5 or .75 long for Thursday’s 4…I made that decision on Sunday!  Again with the 45:30’s and a bit slower pace…I decided that maybe any running mojo I have left doesn’t show up until after lunch!

Friday evening Kathy came over since we were running the Hartford Marathon Foundation Red Dress 5K on Saturday. We also went into Hartford Friday afternoon for the Riverfront Recapture Food Truck Festival and then home for some scary/suspenseful movies and wine. Recap of 5K and Truck Fest coming later this week! Really.

At Saturday’s 5K I actually did pretty good – for me 🙂 Managed to keep my pace around 13:30 so yay me! And this was after a 1.25-ish mile walk from the car! Then a 1.25-ish walk back to the car. So, in my ‘cheating’ way, I called Saturday’s total mileage 5.75 ( map my run clocked the 5K at 3.24 as it usually does!). And then decided to call this Wednesday’s 5  and use Fridays 4.75 as a long Thursday. Got it?!! Good.

But…I still had 8 miles to run which was going to mean Sunday.

And I didn’t do it #whompwhomp.

How I felt about my running week But look at that cute skirt! #FlatAnne

So, my training by the numbers as of Sunday evening:
105 Days until Marine Corps Marathon
425.95 Miles to cross the finish line
I should be at 418.20 (short 7.75) so will hopefully find a way to make things up soon!!

Next week – an update *with* more pictures and possibly a non-running blog post or two (or more!)

Training Week 5!

11 Jul

Another late post but it’s fairly good news!!

I decided to use the wear blue:run to remember training plan for Marine Corps Marathon – I was still starting late, but the long runs aren’t unmanageable yet so there is a good chance of sticking to it!

So of course, the week I’m getting back at it is the week a major heat wave hit New England. I’m talking mid-day temps in the upper 90’s with ‘feels like’ of 100+ As you might guess, this *did* have an impact on my week, but it wasn’t awful!

Tuesday’s plan was 3 miles – I got a later start than I wanted (this is a trend for the week!) and managed to get 2.5 in at a decent pace. I was expecting anywhere near 16mm and would have been pleased with that

Wednesday had 4 miles on the plan. And I did 4.25 even after a later start -and again was figuring I’d be near 16. Stopped in the restaurant around the corner from my house for an ice water refill and finished stronger than I expected to.

Thursday was another 4 miles and I did 3. And I barely did those 3! I was worn out and hot and a little dehydrated. I did a little “trail” running and ran into my friends in the field!

On Saturday I really procrastinated just about as long as I could before setting out for my 7! It was another hot one but I got the miles in and actually didn’t do too horribly. I had some slow miles after I hit mile 3 or so but I didn’t cut things short and I didn’t just give up and walk. Too much.

All things considered I’m happy with the way the week went. Now I just need to keep it up (though week 6 isn’t looking great – I’m a day behind!) This week there is a total of 20 miles on the plan. I have a 5K on Saturday so will have a split run to make up my 8 miles.

As of Saturday, July 7 I have 113  days until Marine Corps Marathon and 439.45 miles to run to cross the finish line.

It’s Like New Year’s Eve Up in Here!!!

2 Jul

Welcome to July!

The end of the first half of 2018 – and it’s almost like getting to make New Year’s Resolutions again! At least, that’s what I’m doing! There’s also an awesome sale going on at my favorite clothing site!!

First things first

In my last post I mentioned that my training for Marine Corps has not been going so great. I was tying out the Galloway plan which was really a limited running plan (in my opinion) and it wasn’t enough for me to get any kind of momentum going.

Running for wear blue:run to remember in 2015

Since I am running with wear blue:run to remember this year, I have switched over to the plan provided by that group. It has more of a Hal Higdon feel to me and will let me build up my long run mileage. Fingers crossed this one works for me and that I can stick to it!! (Encouragement accepted on a daily basis!!)

In other news – Skirt Sports is having it’s annual (semi-annual?) end of season sale and let me tell ya’ll….there’s some great deals! The usual caveats (no codes, certain patterns and styles excluded and Free Shipping if you spend $150)  apply.  So head on over (affiliate link) to the Skirt Sports Sale page and get shoppin’!!

Also another great July ‘tradition’ over on Instagram is #31daysofskirtsports – a chance to show off your expanding collection of skirts (and tanks, and visors and…!!) Make sure you tag #31daysofskirtsports and #SkirtSports in your post cause ya know that Nicole loves to give away prizes!! Below is a suggested list of topics but it’s not written in stone! Do what works for you!

Play along!!! And don’t forget your tags!!

Hopefully everyone is managing in this heat wave that seems to have hit the entire country!! Even Phred has given up on sitting on the porch!!

Have a great first week of July!!! And let me know how you plan to celebrate the Fourth!!

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