Team Breaking Ragnar just finished our first Ragnar relay, and boy are our arms tired. Some brief thoughts before I pass out (more from a peanut M&M coma than fatigue right now).
- It wasn’t as exhausting as I thought it would be. Granted, I never had to drive or do any heavy navigating (forever bless my teammates hearts for doing those jobs), but right now, after running 18 miles over 31 hours, I’m fairly amped up, and even when I had to wake up at 3 am to get ready to run again (after closing my eyes after midnight), I wasn’t groggy or feeling too terribly bad. It might all hit me tomorrow after I do get some sleep tonight, but for now I feel surprisingly great.
- I never wanted to take a shower. I thought my skin would be literally itching for one, but I never was dying for a shower. I always changed immediately after my runs (using the magical “Chawel” changing towel – more on that in future posts), and I used a lot of baby wipes, but once I was in dry clothes I felt refreshed and had no desire to subject myself to school gym showers between running legs. Since van 1 has finished, however, I have already taken two showers and noticed some pretty bad chafing/skin irritation on my neck and arms, so I’m not sure if that’s only from my ill-fitting reflective vest (which rubbed my neck) and heat rash from the Breaking Bad-themed yellow hazmat suit I wore at the finish (very, very, very warm and 100% not breathable) or if it was a lack-of-shower thing, but the next time I do a Ragnar without those two things I’ll find out!
- I already want to do another Ragnar. I had such a good time this weekend running, cheering for my team and other teams, eating junk food, seeing beautiful scenery, and chatting the ear off my van-mates, plus learning so much about how to more comfortably do a Ragnar (including the fact that 70% of the “must pack” items were totally unnecessary – I’ll tell you which ones in a future post), that I’m ready to sign up for my next one today. We’ll see what the real damage was to my body tomorrow, so it might just be a temporary insanity sleep-deprived desire right now, but I really loved (almost) every minute of it. Now if I can just convince the rest of my team…
- The race was extremely well-organized and all the volunteers and staff deserve a standing ovation while we can still give them one. It has yet again raised the bar on my race expectations and standards, so good luck to future marathons – I’ll be judging how you organize a measly 26.2 miles (compared to almost 200) with an even more critical eye now.
- I’m so glad we had a fun theme for our team – it totally made my weekend to see people taking pictures of our van (and our underwear-clad Walter White) and smile and laugh (and very occasionally squeal with delight) as we passed out bags of “blue meth.” Not everyone got it, of course, but making even a few people happier and even more excited for Sunday’s finale was great. And if there were an individual prize for costume at RagnarADK, it would have to go to our Walt. Three legs (including the toughest “Ragnar” hill leg) in the same button-down and underwear and he didn’t even smell bad. Magic, I tell ya.
- I don’t think I had any cell service for about 80% or more of the course. The best for RagnarADK seemed to be Verizon, followed by T-Mobile, then AT&T, and then very distantly in a “my phone only works as a camera” type way, was my carrier, Sprint. All too often, none of our phones worked. Obviously it’ll depend on where you do your Ragnar, but I’d make sure your team has people with multiple carriers (including one of each kind in each van), or invest in some incredibly high-powered walkie-talkies that work over miles instead of line-of-sight. I had no way to communicate with my team for basically the entire race, but luckily other people were able to coordinate between vans, otherwise exchanges would have been chaos (our estimated times were way off). And luckily I never had an accident or needed to call in anything during my runs, because again my phone only worked as a camera (which I did use, stopping to take pictures during my legs, much to the chagrin of my van-mates).
Ok, this was supposed to be brief but as you can see I’m clearly still on a sugar high, but I’ll close things off for now. I’ll do a full race recap later, plus an update to the essential packing list and other tips and advice for those running a Ragnar. Till then, I’ll just say I’ve had more fun this weekend than I expected or hoped, and I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow with locked knees, covered in a rash. Because that would cut into my Ragnar-running time.
For all my Ragnar ADK coverage, find my on the road posts here and finishing post here, recaps of Leg 1, Leg 2, and Leg 3, my original Ragnar packing list, and my updated Ragnar Packing List. If you just want a one-page, unannotated Ragnar Packing list in PDF, you can find it here.
Want to run the next Ragnar with me? Share in the comments!