May 7 was the Avenue of the Giants half marathon. Originally a few friends and I signed up for a half marathon in Sacrament for the end of April. We were excited to have a race close and that a … Continue reading
This week I have been gearing up for my first ever triathlon! I know, crazy! As you may remember a triathlon is on my 30 list for this year. I have been working to cross a few things off the list so far and this will be a big one.
This weekend I will be racing in Race on the Base. I have done the 5k a few times and the triathlon as a relay, but this will be my first ever complete tri. As I get ready I am nervous! I haven’t trained for it at all and now that it is here I am worried. What did I get myself into?
While our weather has been horrible the last month or so, it has been really hard to think about training. So this week I have put a lot of effort into mental training. A triathlon has many components and walking through it mentally can be a huge benefit. The transitions are especially important to be prepared for. Last week I bought myself a transition mat (more about that later). I decided to this to help me stay organized and it will be useful for other events like Ragnar.
Trying to figure out what to wear has been another struggle. It needs to be good to run in, comfortable for the bike, but also able to be swam in. As this is a sprint distance I am not going to change clothes between legs. So hopefully I have picked out a good outfit.
So here is my packing list… Am I forgetting anything? Let me know so I can pack it!
- Tank top
- Sports bra
- sweats (for before)
- Ragnar Jacket (for before)
- Flip flops (for after)
- Comfy clothes (for after)
- Running Shoes
- Sparkle Skirt (I know not needed but so great!)
- bike shoes
- Water bottle
- Transition mat
Next week I will recap the race, and do a full review of my gear (especially my new transition mat). I may even do a giveaway! Stay tuned.
Driving and Cars
A lot of the time during a Ragnar Relay is spent in the car. The teams I have been on have always preferred 12 or 15 passenger vans. These make it possible for each person to have some space as well as room for gear. I have seen people do Races in Mini vans, SUVs, and other random cars. It all depends on what you have access to and what you want to spend money on. Big vans make the space nice, but driving them in small parking lots with a lot of other vans can be challenging. Thankfully I get practice in big vans for my job 😉
Most teams decorate their vans with magnets, stickers, window paint, lights, blow up toys, and anything they can think of! You can always tell a team that has never done a Ragnar before as they have minimal if any decorations, while teams who have done many have their system down. Each of my teams have been a little different. When you have a great team name that uses a theme it makes it easier to decorate your vans and come up with costumes. For example we have done Ragnaliens, this give unlimited ideas for anything Alien. Neon colors, crazy decorations, fun lighting, everything!
Vans can get pretty stinky, messy, and crazy within the 24 hours of racing. Sweaty runners, random food, jumping in and out, and exhaustion can make things a little crazy! The biggest thing is friction between people and bad attitudes. This is the biggest thing we try to avoid on our teams. It really brings the whole team down when one or two people are party poopers and in bad moods. Everyone has their moments, but they need to remember that everyone else is tired, hungry, and cranky as well. Choose your team mates wisely!!
The next thing is smell. Oh man the vans can get REALLY Stinky! Think locker room in a much smaller space. My best suggestion for this is to change as soon after your run as possible and place those smelly clothes into a ziplock bag with a dryer sheet. This seals in the smell so it doesn’t spread through the van. If shoes smell put them in a bag too or use newspaper and dryer sheets in them between runs.
Next is mess. The vans have a tendency to get very cluttered and disorganized. Phrases like “have you seen my headphones,” “does anyone know where____went,” become common place in a messy van. I try to keep all of my things super organized in my bag and in a seat pocket if possible. We also tend to create “nests” in the places we typically sit. Basically a seat or an area where all of your stuff is.
I Recently did a Ragnar 101 event on Facebook. It was successful so I want to share some of my information with you! It will be in a few different segments.
What is Ragnar Relay and how does it work?
There are two types of Ragnar Relays, Road races and Trail races. So far I have only done the road races, so most of my information is about the road version of Ragnar. I will try to include as much trail information as I can throughout. I do plan to do a Ragnar Trail this year!
Ragnar Races are 12 person (Road) or 8 person (Trail) relay races. Each road races covers around 200 miles of running as a team. The team is split into two vehicles with the first 6 runners in one and the second 6 in the other. (more about vehicles in another post). Each car does their 6 legs letting one runner go and driving to the next exchange to switch out runners. Once all runners in their car have done their first set of legs they hand off to the other car and then go get food and rest before their next set. Each runner runs 3 separate legs of the race averaging around 12-15 miles total. Most teams finish in around 24-30 hours.
Teams can have less runners if needed for the team. In 2015 our Napa team only had 8 runners. It ended up being really fun as we were all in one van together and got to be one team for the entire race. In this race we skipped the set of legs that those runners would have done. Some people choose to make up those legs by running extra legs when they do not have enough runners.
For a typical Road Ragnar the cost per person without hotels usually ends up around $300. This depends on what car you use or rent, decorations and team shirts ordered, sleeping arrangements, food, gas, etc. This seems like a lot of money, but it can be done cheaper. If you are willing to cut out conveniences and comfort you can make your Ragnar experience pretty cheap.
When you form a team it is best to get all the registration money up front. This makes people have a financial commitment in the race and they are less likely to drop out. Nothing worse that trying to find a replacement last minute because team members aren’t committed.
So if you have decided you are going to do a Ragnar Relay check out their website to decide which race you want to do. I love Socal and Napa! Then find 11 friends (or strangers) to sign up with you and form your team. Then start the planning and training process. My teams have always been from different states and countries. This can make planning difficult. We usually set up a private Facebook group for the race so that we can talk about all things Ragnar and make plans. If not everyone has Facebook, we usually do group emails.
I had such a great weekend in Sunriver, Oregon. As many of you remember the half marathon I had planned for Memorial Day weekend was canceled. As one of my goals for the year is to finish 4 half marathons, … Continue reading
I was really sad when my half marathon memorial day weekend was canceled. I had trained so hard and was so excited to do back to back half marathons. thankfully I had already signed up for the See Jane Run … Continue reading
A Couple weekends ago, I went to meet my parents on the Sonoma Coast. They came up to do the Monte Rio Olympic distance triathlon. I drove out Saturday night after my shift. The drive was dark but was beautiful … Continue reading
Another successful Ragnar Relay! This time I was on the Ragnaliens team! My van consisted of some pretty amazing people, me, my mom, my dad, my cousin Cameron, friends TC, and Melissa. We had such a fun team of people. … Continue reading
This will be my third Ragnar So Cal! I’m so excited this year I am on the Ragnaliens team! My dad has been on it every year while my mom and I have been part of team tough chik. This year we are all on the same team.
This week has been all about packing and getting my stuff ready for the race. So here I am about a week early with everything I need. I added some fun stuff too! As we are the Ragnaliens I had to find some glowing, alienish stuff to bring and wear, plus all the normal Ragnar essentials!
Clothes for each leg in a separate bag:
Shirt, shorts, socks, sports bra, skirt, and calf sleeves
Clothes for between legs:
Strapless dress for changing
Comfy sports bra
Extra fun lights
Wonder woman onesie
Chargers: phone, garmins, car charger
Ok I admit! I have been wanting some kind of subscription box for so long. You know where you sign up and you get a surprise box every month! I love mail especially when it’s unexpected! Most subscription boxes are … Continue reading