Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ragnar Northwest Passage | Race Recap

Well, I made it! We made it. Team 12-pack/Team Ragnarasauras (yeah, somehow we ended up with two different names. We went with it). It was a fun, wild, eventful weekend that made me appreciate the regular occurrence of sleep I get in my life, and in a bed to boot!

Thanks to it being 94 degrees, conditions we are certainty not accustomed to, our fearless captain ended up in the hospital with dehydration after her first run. I ended up taking her second run, which was 8.9 "very hard" miles at 4am, a mere two runs after I had ran my 5 miles at 2am. It was seriously one of the most physically rewarding things I've ever done, mainly because I really didn't think I could do it.

Instead of giving you a breakdown of times, conversations, bat and rat run-ins and cray-cray 4am fog, I am going to spit out a couple posts: things I learned on this wild adventure and things I will be putting into play next year.

Lessons Learned:

1. Adrenaline pushes. It's no secret that you run faster on race day, when you're completely immersed in the whole experience, but I didn't think it would be like that on my third (of four) legs at 4:30am going uphill in fog. My legs felt like rubber bands at that point, and I was wide awake and ready to run past any sucker that happened to be in front of me. Except there wasn't anyone, and that would have been a bad idea because man, my body was secretly exhausted at that point.Adrenaline was also the stinker that got me a 19:45 5k my first leg. Oops...not a good idea. There were black spots.

2. Team participation is key. Especially after the first legs, when the whole shebang gets real. You need support through and through - a driver, a navigator, a waterer, someone who won't fall asleep when the other team needs to be informed that they are on deck to meet us at the next exchange for their legs. Ragnar is great, because it turns an independent sport into a team activity, and having those 11 ladies backing you is crucial to making this a positive experience.

3. Night running is awesome. Um, yeah, la-HOV-ed it. My first night run I felt like I could have kept going forever (which I sort of felt like I was doing 2 hours later). Running in the dark is so much different than the day - there's so much more silence and serenity. The temperature was a million times better than it was during the hot, hot day, making for a very comfortable run.

4. Be flexible! There a thousand and one things that will not go the way you had planned, and it's important to move past it and figure out plan B stat. Sometimes even plan C. Sucky, but Ragnar lives on and will leave your team in the Northwest wilderness if you don't, so figure out a solution and get to it!

Flash? No flash?

Stay tuned for the next segment of Ragnar NW Passage Gone Wild: Next Year Do's, which includes a whole lot on packing and food stuffs.

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