Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ragnar Reflections - Part 3 - The Night Run

By the time we had made it to the 3rd major exchange at 10pm, I was just ready to run.  I was sick of worrying about who would run what, sick of attempting to sleep and have my phone buzz with another text, sick of everything.  I came to run, and that's all I wanted.

I made two mistakes prepping for my second leg--I overdressed and I put on the shoes I wore for my first leg.  I wore running tights, arm warmers and my tough chik top.  I should have worn my Aspaeris Pivot Shorts and left the warmers in the car.  Usually running at night in January in Florida means its a bit chilly for us blood-thinned Floridians.  Not so much this time.  It was HOT.  I was coated in sweat after a mile.  Despite the heat though, it was a really beautiful run.  Nothing really prepares you for a Ragnar night run.  For the most part, you are alone and it is DARK.  I'm so glad Amanda recommended Knuckle Lights to us, they light the way so much better than a head lamp would have.  Plus so few people carry them that my team could see me coming from a mile away.  But, oh my goodness, the stars.  There were so many stars and it was just beautiful to see them. 
I started having issues around mile 7--my stomach was upset and my left foot started hurting.  I had been nervous about running my long distance in my new(er) shoes, because they had been hurting my feet if I did more than 6 in them.  Should have listened to my gut and worn my old, almost worn out shoes that I have several hundred miles on.  I was so glad our dark blue Yukon had the awesome Bros and Does labels made by Family Fan Club, because even in the dark I could pick out our car because of the white window labels from quite a distance away.   

That's the nice thing about Ragnar--as long as you aren't on a leg marked as unsupported, your team mates can stop and give you anything you need.  I thought about switching out my shoes, but didn't.  SHOULD HAVE, but oh well.  I did dump off my hydropack and arm warmers at one point, and had Brad meet me up the road with some Nuun so that I could have some electrolytes in my system. It was too darn hot for 2am. 

 Between the foot and stomach issues, the last 2 miles were terrible.  There are no bathrooms along the course except at major exchanges, and none of the businesses were open at 1am.  I walked a lot.  I couldn't help but be disappointed that I  wasn't able to finish as strongly as I started off.  The lack of sleep and the stress of losing 2 runners from our van definitely caught up with me.   I had a good cry over my 12:45 pace when it was all said and done.   I wanted so badly to maintain somewhere in the 11:30-11:45 range for the long run, especially since it was in the dark.   We had already lost a lot of time off of our estimated pace between the heat, the injuries, and the scares.  Oh well, you live and learn.  I learned to always wear my Pivot Shorts while running Ragnar, so that my legs would recover quicker, and I learned to switch my shoes for each leg no matter how good they felt the first time along.    I felt really sick after my long leg--but sleep and food eventually helped with that.  I was a little worried about the foot too--it felt bruised and in pain.

The rest of our 2nd set of legs was uneventful. Sarah E ran strong. Brad did an 8.1 miler.  Amanda picked up the slack for our missing runners.  Sarah H switched to a longer leg to pick up some extra miles for us, and ran through the sunrise.  Team effort.   We handed back off to Van 1 around 7:30 or so in Islamorada.  We had been running for more than 24 hours, were running behind schedule and were 2 people down.  We ate a real breakfast, moved down to the final exchange, and FINALLY got some good sleep.  I put on my Pivot shorts, rolled my foot on tennis balls, and waited to see what would happen next.


  1. The Aspaeris Pivot Shorts rock. If anyone wants a pair, shop here:

  2. I used my knuckle lights last night for the first on my hand and one on my belt to shine behind me since I had no choice but to run with traffic. Love them!