Monday, November 4, 2013

Ragnar TN Round 3 Recap

I love running relays- so much so that I have a page dedicated to just that on my blog. It is my hope that after 50 states I'll do these more regularly, as I find them more a test of your body's ability rather than just running a half.

This is my 3rd time running the Ragnar TN, 2010 recap here (my first relay EVER), 2011 recap here (first time I ever broke into the 7s during a race) I skipped 2012 to fly out to Catalina Island (tough choice) to watch Mark run the marathon there. I'd say a fair trade off.

Both years running Ragnar TN I was in van 2- I made it a point that for this year whatever team I was on I would be in van 1, PERIOD. We tried organizing a fast "Corporate" team so we could place, however to be considered corporate you have to have 9 runners from said company... we had 6.

4 colleagues in van 1 at start line

All 6 colleagues (2 were in Van 2 with their friends) 

We had originally been assigned 12:30 time (we had requested 11), but we had to trade out some runners who were a little slower, so I was able to sweet talk race director to getting an earlier start time, 10:30 (helping manage the Ragnar / Healthways partnership has it perks) I'm not going to lie, having an early start time after last week's mishap with Bourbon Chase was REALLY exciting for me.

Gorgeous Start line

Twerkin' it at the start line 

Roomie's team started 1 hr after us, so was able to see her at start line

First leg was all downhill- I've never "raced" downhill before since everytime I've had to do it I took it easy due to inexperience or injury, so I was pumped to see what could happen. 

As with all elevation charts, I didn't see the little blip of uphill in the beginning, so when I got the baton I went out quickly anticipating a downhill assistance- was rudely awakened thus resulting in my slowest mile of the run, 7:24.  The rest of the 4 miles can best be described as "wheeeeeeeeeeee look at me go" (mixture of 6:20s and 6:30s). I tried calling my teammates twice to let them know I would be coming ni much sooner than anticipated, and when no one picked up i tried texting.... its hard to text and run downhill.  Long of the short it, 5 miles done at 6:43 pace (darn that 1st mile)- cloud freakin 9!

Naturally after that kind of pressure on my legs + a speed I'm definitely not accustomed to, I was living in my pro compression socks the rest of the day. USA socks get a lot of compliments- 'Merica!

The past 2 years I've ran this, the weather has been gloomy, not a lot of sun, and COLD. Although it was a random chilly weekend, the sun was out in full force- sunshine = happy Lisa, as well as making the beautiful countryside that much more appealing. Lot of trees, mountains, and sunshine can be seen on the first round of legs from Chattanooga to Mt. Eagle. 

By far one of the highlights for me was watching my good friend Sarah run her FIRST RELAY EVER! She ran in college, but since graduation she's been battling injuries, sickness, & exercise induced asthma. She almost had to drop out due to a stress fracture on her foot, but stubborn her wanted to partake in the relay and see what all the hoopla was about! 

All smiles for her first run. Unfortunately there were some tough hills she had to tackle, thus injuring her foot further. She did manage to get in her 2nd run, but had to sit out her 3rd. 

By the time we met up with van 2 we collectively had caught up to the 9:30 group--- lots of kills and fast runs, great first legs complete, putting the rest of our team in a good position. 

Our entire team minus 1 @ first major exchange. 

After our lunch at Cracker Barrel, a relay staple, we decide to head to next major exchange since we all knew many running and a chance to mingle with other teams / get rest if needed. I managed to run into some co-workers from different teams in bathroom and at the exchange

Love running into familiar faces in a strange city 

Becca getting ready to start off her van's 2nd legs (also her first relay) 

2nd leg - 6.8 miles; 7:55 pace
I actually like when my longest leg is at night- so peaceful and the cold air feels good on my lungs. As true Ragnar TN fashion, we had a fluke cool night and my run was a balmy 30 degrees. I actually had to wear a long sleeve shirt for my run, which for this skirt and tank gal, is a weird experience.  Immediately into the run  my calves are TIGHT... I'm talking tight like the pain I dealt with all summer kind of tight. My van passed me about 1.5 miles into the run and noticed I was limping and pulled over to make sure I was alright. I told them its just lingering effects from the hill but to check back in another mile or so. Unfortunately the tightness continued until around mile 4.5 and was able to run a strong 2ish miles into the exchange. (16 kills this run- whoop whoop)  Afterward I had to make sweet, sweet love to the stick- its a love / hate relationship.

3rd leg- 5.8 miles; 7:49 pace
Of course I got ZERO sleep and spent my down time tossing and turning (we had a 15 passenger so we made it work on 4 of us being able to lie down in our own seat, and the driver and captain chair recline down) This is so much better than trying to sleep in a gym since you constantly have people walking around and the HARD floor is vibrating. Don't even get me started on how many snorers there are in the gyms. Unfortunately, the 'heavy breather' was laying in the seat behind me and I couldn't locate my ear plugs-  thus I kept tossing and turning in hopes of getting comfortable to sleep, but instead I just never got to fully rest my legs.  Sarah was making fun of how I was walking as though I had ridden a horse all day. I was NOT looking forward to running, but my saving grace was the temps had dropped to about 25 degrees- felt like a giant ice pack on my body (which when injured, does feel good) This was my most difficult run as I kept battling the negative 'this sucks' monster. I managed one of  very rare times I can successfully whip myself out a funk by staring up at the stars and listening to the peace and quiet and reminded myself how lucky I was to be able to be outside, running, while most are sleeping. Not going to lie, I also told myself that I could sleep afterward since the snorer in our van would be running. By this point we had caught up to a large % of the teams (we passed the other Healthways team that started at 7 during runner 11s 2nd run), so unfortunately there were less blinking lights to catch up to- 5 kills total. Handed off the baton and my legs stiffened immediately and I fell over- womp womp.

I did manage to change out of my cold sweat soaked clothes and get in a 20 min nap- it was glorious.

I have NEVER been done running a relay by 730 am (albeit van 2 was still running). It was so nice to shower, eat, and relax and slowly make our way downtown. Although I have zero photos since apparently I was too occupied to take any and my other vanmates haven't forwarded me theirs, but we finished @ 12:13 pm - 26 hrs 42 min. Good enough for 18th overall out of 225 teams and 6th in our division... missing 5th by 26 sec!

My roommate's team placed 1st in the corporate division, and their time was 10 min faster than ours, SO for next year we WILL run in the corp division so we can get a nice little baton to add to the wall of awesome.

Another successful relay in the books. Huge redemption from bourbon chase, and now ready to tackle Ragnar Trail Vail lake in 2 Weeks!


  1. nice!! so glad this was a better experience. Hoping the calves have healed. I had no clue you were running another ragnar?!?! you are a relay machine.

  2. Got job! I love running in the cold, but i have to bundle up, i'm talking 3-4 layers :-)