Monday, June 20, 2011


I thought I would do a little, or huge, recap of my first and possibly last RAGNAR!  Our team name was Fire in the Hole, we tried to change it to Coast Vida Running Crew but apparently it didn’t happen.  We were originally scheduled to start at 11 a.m. but a few of our teammates needed to be home earlier on Saturday so they requested an earlier start time.  We got an earlier start time alright, 5 a.m. on Friday morning.   They assign you a start time according to your average team pace, this meant that we were starting with the slowest teams.  This became a problem for us but we’ll get to that later.
We met up with our teammates, Van 1, at around 11 a.m.  Jake was our first runner and he did awesome.   He was SPEEDY!  He passed off to Steve, who later passed off to me.  My first run was an easy one.  It was 3.25 miles and flat.  It was pretty hot but I actually think that we really lucked out with the weather.  It was only around 70 degrees and for the middle of June that’s not too shabby.  I felt great after my first run.  We had a great time cheering our runners on, seeing all of the strange people with their funny team names and decorated vans.  After our 6 runners finished their first leg we headed off to a church where we laid down under some lovely trees.  We didn’t get any sleep but it was nice to get out of the van.  We chatted and laughed. 

A while later the crew from Van 1 showed up.  I guess they got in trouble for being too fast…what?  I couldn’t believe that they almost gave our team a strike for being too fast, if you get 3 strikes your team is kicked out of the race.  We got a warning to slow down.  They set the course up on a set schedule so if we went too fast we would reach the next exchange before they were ready for us.   As we were running along we realized that we were really the only ones out there.  The fast runners hadn’t caught up to us yet so we were pretty much alone.   On my first run that didn’t really bother me too much, sure it was lonely but I didn’t really care.  As I got thinking about my second run, which according to our projected times would take place at 9 p.m., I realized that I was going to be running in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, all by myself.  Holly and I decided that we would run our legs together.  Everyone thought we were crazysauce.  We knew we were crazy but to us we would rather be together for almost 18 miles than to run by ourselves in the lone dark night.

Soon after we started my leg we saw a Sherriff’s vehicle and 4 other vehicles.  As we were running along a girl asked us if we had seen the 4 animal control trucks, we kind of got nervous when she said that’s what they were.  As we passed a water station they warned us to watch out for wildlife.  WHAT???  We were really freaked out.  My run soon headed off onto a gravel trail.  It was HORRIBLE, we had to walk in spots because we were afraid of hurting ourselves.  It was rough terrain for sure.  At about mile 6 I took a Clif Shot Block, which I have had before but not a full shot of caffeine only a half shot.  Needless to say that did not agree with my stomach AT ALL.  At the end of my leg which was supposed to be 9.3 miles but ended up being 10 miles, they had to make some last minute changes apparently, we got back onto roads.  We were so excited to be off of that blasted trail.  We passed the exchange point where I passed the wrist thingy off to Holly.  We then headed to the “Honey Pots” as they became known.   After our little pit stop I thought I was fine and we headed off on Holly’s leg which was 7.6 miles.  Not 100 feet into her run we got back onto that STUPID trail.  We weren’t too pleased about that.  Soon after we started running again my stomach started hurting A LOT!!  I felt like I was going to throw up, it was not good.  I made Holly walk a few times, sorry Holly!  It wasn’t the 17.6 miles that did us in it was running on that horrible gravel.  You would step and slip a bit.  We had ever run on that kind of terrain before and I really have no desire to ever do it again.  My ankle kept rolling and by glutes and quads were burning.  At one point we ran through a tunnel that I swear was about .25 mile long, it was SUPER FREAKY.  Neither one of us could have imagined running by ourselves, it was so scary.  After our 17.6 miles it was about 11:30-ish.  We didn’t eat anything and I really don’t think my stomach would have let me.
After Jorge and Meagan finished their runs we headed to some school in Heber for a hot shower and a gymnasium to “sleep” in.  I maybe got 1 hour of sleep, it was so noisy.  When we got up to start running AGAIN, my stomach was KILLING me.  It was extremely painful, I think more painful than child birth and if you think I’m kidding…I’m NOT!  I had no desire to run my last leg.  Jake finished his run and I was so jealous, he was done and I still had my hardest run left.  I was seriously considering faking an injury, I wanted out of my last leg so bad. 
There is the elevation map for you.  See STRAIGHT up hill...BOOO!
As Steve passed the wrist thingy off to me I was just holding back the tears, but I could do it after all it was only 3.2 miles.  My goal was to run the first mile and go from there.  After .80 miles I was dying so I started to walk.  My van caught up to me and saw that I was walking, I felt like a HUGE LOSER!  I was a runner after all, not a walker.  I was beating myself up pretty bad.  I started crying and please know that this was a blasted MOUNTAIN not a “hill” like they advertise.  I caught up to my van and Jake hopped out to walk with me.  Then I really started to cry.  I told him he didn’t have to do it with me and he said “it’s no big deal, we are just walking.”  I wasn’t planning on walking the whole thing, I was hoping for a level spot or even a slight downhill.  I told him to get back in the van, so after about a mile he got back in the van.  I did a little run, walk, run, walk routine for the rest of the leg.  I was miserable and felt so stupid, I felt like I had let my team down by walking.  What kind of weaksauce walks in a running race anyways?  I passed off to Holly and got in the van and started crying again. 
Holly did awesome, she is an ANIMAL.   They call the “hill” we ran RAGNAR and near the end of her run there was a sign that read “Ragnar runners are heroes!”  That was so true, as hard as my run was Holly’s was .8 miles longer and the elevation change was greater.  I felt so sorry for her and started crying again as I hugged her when she finished.  I could feel her pain and emotionally I was a mess.  But we were DONE!!!  Hallelujah!!  After Jorge’s last run we sent Meagan off and we all climbed onto a bus to take us to the finish line.  We waited for Meagan and we all ran across the finish line together, it was awesome.  I was so glad to be done. 

We got our ginormous medals, took some pictures and finally decided to eat something.  We were starving.  Holly and I saw a Red Robin booth and decided to get us a big ol’ cheeseburger and fries.  We sucked those babies down and soon after we both felt like we were going to lose them.  Jorge said our bodies were so worn down and exhausted that we couldn’t digest them very well.  We got back on the bus to take us to our van and Holly and I both fell asleep.  We were exhausted.  As soon as I got in the van I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we were in Lehi dropping Meagan and Steve off at their car.  I tried to stay awake but feel asleep again until we got home. 
After all is said and done I really don’t know if I care to do this again.  It was fun being with awesome friends and the running was good…at least my first run ;)  It’s funny, I had to beg Jake to do this with me and in the end he wants to do it again and I am not so sure.  One of the girls on our team said, “you can’t decide right now, it’s like having a baby…it takes a little time to forget.”  If I have to forget the misery do I really want to do it again????  Funnily enough, it is only Sunday afternoon and I am already thinking maybe it wasn’t all that bad after all.  What am I saying?  It was HORRIBLE, but was it really the race or was it my tummy issues?  I want to think it was my tummy but how do I prevent that from happening again?  I guess in time we will see if I end up doing it again.  Our team finished 192 mile run from Logan to Park City in 29 hours and 45 minutes.  It was a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG 30 hours and I am glad it’s over! 
It has been settled and we are in fact running Ragnar 2012!  It’s amazing what 30 hours will do…that’s how long after we finished that I decided to do it again J
Have you ever done a relay and if so how did you like it?
Do you have any tips on nutrition for a 30 hour event such as this?
I need all the help I can get!


  1. Aww I was totally wondering why you guys were starting so dang early and wondering if you would run into problems. I feel so bad this happened to you. It really makes a HUGE difference to have other teams around you and also makes it a lot more fun. It makes me so sad that you didn't enjoy it because Ragnar really should be all about fun.

    I promise that if you do it again you will know what you are getting yourself into and you will love it.

    My tips about nutrition for this type of event are to simply make sure you are eating. For my first Ragnar I was so worried about stomach issues I didn't eat at all and ended up getting incredibly light headed. Now I make sure we buy groceries for our van and eat a turky sandwhich after every run. Staying hydrated is also important. I think I went through about 12 water bottles at wasatch back.

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  3. Sorry for the deleted comment, I typed it on my phone and it also had the one from your marathon post. I love your recap of Ragnar! We seriously had a blast and I'm SO excited we're doing it again next year. As hard as it was, it was so much fun. I know we learned a lot but we still have lots to learn. I know we didn't fuel ourselves properly so that's definitely something we need to do different and no shot blocks w/caffeine. I also know we will be sure to be in van 1 and not be runners 9 and 10. Ragnar Hill (mountain) was ridiculously difficult. I've never felt so emotional and drained mentally and physically then when I was running up that stupid mountain I thought I was going to hyperventilate and die! I had horrible stomach issues too and I hate that it affected how I felt about Ragnar and running. Even though everyone thought we were crazysauce running 18 miles at night I'm so grateful we had each other or there's no way I could of done it, so thank you, and don't feel bad for needing to walk I was hurting too and I hated that blasted trail so bad! Thanks for being there for me at the end of my crazy hike up the mountain and for giving me a hug even though I was a sweaty, crying mess, it meant a lot to me! Your the best, and you did amazing and pushed yourself so hard, so don't feel bad for needing to walk for a few min! If we had eaten something after the 18 miler and before the mountain we might have had more energy to show it who's boss :)

  4. I just spoke with my friend, a second year med-student and an avid runner. He has done iron man and such :) Ragnar nutrition for next time: Pedialyte for one. Lots of complex carbs and protein between your legs of the race. Even take a multivitamin the morning of the race. Keep salt and potassium tabs ready. Meals like brown rice with chicken are a good way to go. Make sure you don't pound pizza and gatorade during this race. You're sure to die. Also, take power naps, your body needs the rest.

  5. I actually think some of the stomach issues might be altitude affects. An upset stomach is one of the signs of altitude sickness. Not necessarily in the way that "omg you're going to die" but its one of the unpleasant side affects until you acclimitize. Unless you already live up at that elevation that is. I'm running this Ragnar race in 3 weeks so I found your blog for info.

    Great writing!