Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things we want to remember

I thought it would be good to put in writing the things we learned from this race, so it can help us when we run in California next year. So, please comment and give our future selves some advice about the race. Here's mine:
Bring REAL food. Pack actual meals b/c it's too hard and time consuming to try and find places to stop and eat along the route.

What's your advice?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Team Picture from Flo-foto

Make sure you download your free team pic from Flo-photo if you like. You can order individual as well. I think everyone looks hot and sexy. Great job ladies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat

We did it! And we did it well!

O Captain! Our Captain!

O Captain! Our Captain! our fearful race is here
Our feet have weather'd every rack, the prize we seek is near.
The start is close, the bells I hear, the runners all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady heal, the course long and daring;
But o heart! heart! heart!
O the blood shot eyes of red,
Where on the road my Captain lies,
In desp'rate need of a bed.

O Captain! Our Captain! rise us and hear the yells;
Rise up -for you the headlamps are on - for you the iPod trills;
For you a massage and body glow - for you Susan's dad's a-grillin'
For you we call, this Ragnar team, our eager legs are runnin'
Here Captain! Dear Captain
Soon you'll see your bed;
It is some dream that on this race
So wonderfully we've been led.

(In honor of our wonderful Captain Adrienne and her cronies Tara and Amber. We love you guys! Thanks for a fabulously planned race.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Glow in the Dark

Here are some pics from our night run a few weeks ago. We ran 5 miles at 10pm decked out in all our gear--headlamps, vests, tail lights. It was awesome. We ran past a pack of teenage boys who I'm sure thought we were totally crazy. Just in case you can't tell who's in the pic it's Me, Susan, Carrie, Jarrie, and Jen.

Yes--that's 14 MPH! We were smokin'! (Ok--maybe we were sprinting just to get a good pic, but still...)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Training on Vaycay

So when Adrienne invited me to participate on this Ragnar team nearly 9 months ago I first thought "wow, you guys must be desperate for team members!" Seriously. Then I was like, "the most I'd ever run is 10k, this is nuts, there's no way!" That turned in to, "well, this would be a really great way to get back in shape (Meghan was 4 months old at the time and is 14 months now), and it sounds like a fun girls weekend away... and maybe I could do it..." It took several days of me teetering before I decided "what the heck, I'll do it!"

AND THEN, I realized that 2 of the 3 weeks leading up the race were an already scheduled vacation. How the heck am I gonna continue to train on vacation? It's not like I was going somewhere exotic, it was just a big good ol' American road trip--and I could run anywhere, right? Kind of. My plan was just to work hard before our trip, stick to the training plan as best I could (which I did) and then run as much as possible on vacation but knowing it wouldn't quite be what I would have done at home.

The first week of our vacation was spent in Kentucky. This was my first run on vacation... our lame hotel in Hopkinsville had no fitness room (shameful!), so I had to run outside. The thing about Hop-town is that there are no shoulders or sidewalks on their roads (and I was genuinely scared of the drivers, everyone drove like they were drunk, seriously). So for safety's sake, I ran at the Christian County Schools Stadium. To say it was hot would be a massive understatement... at 9am it was 90 degrees and 90% humidity (no joke! I looked it up on on Fred's Blackberry afterwards). Ugh. After about the 5th trip around the track I was bored to tears so then I ran up-and-down the stadium 5-6 times, then a few more laps on the track, then the stadium... etc.. etc.. Fred and the kids did it with me.

One day we went to Mammoth Caves - I will count that as a cross-training day - and conquered the 531 stairs in and out of there with 25 lbs. of baby strapped to my belly (they don't allow backpack carriers). Most of the stairs went down, so don't give me too much credit! It was nice and cool down there...aaahhhhh!

Here's a better pic of some stairs...

We spent several days in the Louisville area and I ran with the horses at Churchill Downs. I may not be a prize winning thoroughbred, but I am a ten-cow wife!

Our hotel in Louisville had a fitness room (or closet really). Hooray! I won't complain because it was air conditioned!

After spending a week in Kentucky, we moved on to my sister's house in Ohio. Here I am heading down her driveway taking off for a run. Her neighborhood was so nice to run in because the landscaping was mature with big trees lining the streets-- and that my friends means shade!

This was a little hill near my sisters house that I would run. It was only maybe a quarter mile total (at the top of this picture it veered right again for a bit) but it's the best hill I could find in her neighborhood so I would run up and down it a bunch of times, then go run the rest of the neighborhood and come back and do more trips up an down this hill. Kind of boring, but it got the job done. At the bottom of this hill was a cul-de-sac with two homes, and if they were watching, they probably thought I was nuts!

I dragged my sister with me for a run through a different neighborhood that had this little pond. This pond was actually quite large and isn't all in the picture. From the time it took me to run around it, I would guess it was just shy of a mile. So I ran it 5 times while she walked.

Finally, about 13 days into our 17 day vacation, I felt awful. Even though I had kept up running pretty much every-other-day, I hadn't done any weights or strength training and was really feeling it (plus I was eating like a pig). So I dragged my sister with me to her local rec center and we did a class. It was nothing like Lifetime (AT. ALL.), but it felt good to squat, lunge and pick up some weights (I seriously scare myself sometimes when I say stuff like that--who am I? :).

Anyway. Then we were on to Nauvoo where I got one more vacation run under my belt. It was dang hot again. DANG hot. But I survived and made a little video for you. After watching it myself, I have to warn you that I had been in the car for nearly 9 hours that day (drove from Dayton, Ohio to Carthage, IL then to Nauvoo), it was hot and I was tired... very tired. So, forgive me for acting stupid and my inability to steady the camera! And also ignore the gum-chewing. It sounds awful I know, but actually helped my mouth stay moist and I didn't feel so parched... I will remember that come race day.

I have to give big shout-out to my husband Fred! He at least pretended to be supportive as he took all 4 kids to the hotel pools during most of my runs. He was a good sport!

I'm going to do one more long run tomorrow (by long run, I mean 8 miles), and then take it easy the rest of the week (and by take it easy I mean a strength class on Tuesday and a nice long walk on Wednesday). YAY! I'm ready.

Who's Getting Pumped?

I'm getting really excited for our race! I was wondering if you all were too? What are you most looking forward to? At this time next week we will all be in sweaty vans running our hearts out- what can be better than that?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dinner Reservations

I just made dinner reservations at the Olive Garden for Thurs night at 6:00pm. They were already pretty full, and 6 was the most reasonable time they had left. What does everyone think? Will this work? We'll have to be speedy grocery shoppers....

We could always try somewhere else if it will work better.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh the places you go!!

I took photos today with my husband Scott on his motorcycle. I have been meaning to do this ever since we started to take photos of where we live. I finally did it! I hope you like them. Granted I run all over the city but today I just took pictures of the places I run the most. Lets see where do I begin. Oh yes my apt. That's me! I live on the top floor in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Really the best places to run are usually in the city, so how do I get there?? Yep, a bridge. The Williamsburg bridge to be exact. I would say the bridge is a little over 1 mile long. And I get SO SICK of running over it but I have no I choice. I could take the train but I would rather not. So anyways I start here. . .

I go out and take a left on Kent. Do you see the bridge in the distance?

Here is is again. I didn't get a picture of the whole thing, I was not in a spot that I could get it.

This is the part I don't like about it. Running up the hill. It doesn't look that steep, especially for you Mt. women out there. But I do get sick of it. I usually run on the north side but right now they are working on it so all of us must stick to the south side. And when I say all of us, I mean runners, walkers, rollerbladers and bikers!! It gets crowded. In fact the reason for the redoing of the walk ways is to make it a more controlled area because there are so many accidents between the walkers and bikers!! Right after I took this picture the girl riding down collided with another biker that was headed up! She got completely knocked over!! I felt way bad for her, it looked painful.'

Ahhh but once you are up there the view is pretty sweet!!

This little path you see below in the Eastside River Park, I really love running this on my long runs headed up to Central Park.

Now coming down the bridge I take a quick right onto Clinton street where I go past the famous Clinton Street Baking company! There is always a line and the biscuits and pancakes are definitely worth the wait.

I think this building is park of NYU but its pretty cool I think.

Webster Hall is always having live music. I have been to a couple of shows there.

As I pass from the East Village to the West Village the town homes get really great! Man oh man if only I had 7+ million I would buy one of these :)

Now this is the new Standard Hotel that everyone loves in the meat packing district. If you look to the left of the picture you will see the Highline which is a park that just opened last summer. There was an old train rail in the sky there and the city turned it into a park in the sky. It is pretty cool.

Van Leewen Ice Cream is out of this world! I love the nutella chocolate!!

Then I make it all the way over to the westside highway and to the right of it is this park/running/biking trail! This is another favorite spot. I can take this from down at the tip of Manhattan all the way up to 114th St. Even further if I wanted!!

I like to run in Chinatown a lot. Something about it makes my run more exciting. I am an early morning runner and I like going there because the Chinese are always up and loading up the fish/food docks. Ok yes it does smell, sometimes really really bad but I get through it. . .

Then last but not least I will either head back in the same direction that I came or head over the Brooklyn Bridge. This bridge gets a little too crowded for comfort sometimes but the exhilaration of it all is priceless. This bridge is beautiful!!

Well that's it!! I hope you guys liked it!! Looking forward to meeting you all in. . . what is it? 11 days?!?!?! Wholy Moly!! Can't wait!!

PS, sorry for any typos! I didn't go back to check :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's getting hot in here.....

This morning I was lazy after my night run last night and didn't roll out of bed for my run until 8:30 am. Big mistake. It was 105 degrees today. I ran cactus mountain (7 miles) one last time before the race and when I got home I went straight to the pool. Travis took a picture of me from our bedroom balcony because he thinks (well he knows) I'm a dork and tend to be dramatic. Who me? Next week it's suppose to be 110 degrees and I'll be running naked. My apologies in advance to any who may see me. I may or may not post pictures, stay tuned.
Happy Running,


Okay, so I know I'm lame for having to ask this, but what type of sunglasses does everyone run in? Are they normal ones from the drug store or special "running glasses". I need to get some for the race...but don't know what kind to look for...I don't want to spend tons of $$, at my house with my kids, if they last a year I'll be lucky.

In two weeks from right now, we'll have finished the Ragnar!! We are so's going to be a blast, exhausting, but a blast!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Seriously So Proud

First off--Seriously Ragnar? You get everyone's BGP's in a ruffle over the no headphone rule, then you change it back 2 days later. Come on. But I'm happy to have my tunes back.

Now that's off my chest I can get on to the real point of this post. I AM SO PROUD OF OUR TEAM. Yesterday/this morning Jen, Amber and I completed a 3-a-day run that totaled 21 miles. Which is the exact length of my Ragnar legs. And MORE than Jen and Amber's legs! Jarrie did 2 of the runs with us, and also did another on her own. And Amy ran her fastest 8 miles ever! She also ran 2 legs with us. And I know all our other teammates are out there doing equally amazing things. You all inspire me to be my best and I love you! M.O.M's ROCK!


New Rules
For safety reasons, we still strongly discourage the use of headphones. The safest and best answer is not to use them. If you still choose to use them, you do so at your own risk and must meet the following requirements:

1. Hear traffic
2. Be aware of the sounds around you
3. Be able to hear instructions from course officials when speaking at a reasonable tone (not yelling)

Strikes will be given out if you are unable to hear instructions. Three strikes on any rule may result in disqualification for your entire team.

Tips on safely listening to music
Should you choose to use a personal (or impersonal) listening device, below are some tips:
1. Put the headphones behind your ears rather than in your ears
2. Use one ear bud rather than two
3. Use a device like
4. Keep the volume low
5. Use a device like an iPhone or Blackberry on speaker mode

For those suffering from Post Traumatic Shock
For those of you suffering from Post Traumatic Shock, several support groups have sprung up on Facebook over this issue. (No, we're not kidding.) Our favorite is Ragnar you can light me up like a Christmas Tree, but don't take my MUSIC! We also know that running is an effective treatment for shock. We can help you there. See you all in two weeks.

Ragnar Staff

Favorite Snack

Hi all. I am doing a survey on recovery or pump it up snacks. Please let me know what you like and when you like it.

Like, cliff bars, shot bloks, luna bars, gu's, 5 hr energy, spark, gatorade, etc.

Don't be shy, let me know asap because I am impatient and I need to finish this survey asap.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"This is your Captain Speaking!"

So tonight was the captains meeting for WBR and boy was it exciting. Aside from me thinking "That's an hour and a half of my life I can't get back" they did have some pretty useful information. So grab some popcorn, a drink, and get comfortable...this could take a few.

First off, in case you don't know the Wasatch Back was the original Ragnar race and is considered the "Grand Daddy" of the Ragnar races so I think it's cool that we are running our first Ragnar here! It's also the biggest race with the most runners for Ragnar. This year over 1000 teams so that is a lot of peeps out there. Should add to the excitement but could add to congestion so be prepared for that.

They first spoke about all the new safety changes which I already mentioned in my other post so I'll just add a few things to it that haven't been mentioned. They are going to have more water stations on longer legs. Two for legs over 4 miles and 3-4 for legs 8 or more. But they did mention to try to have your runners just carry what they will need. Some legs and parts of legs will be "non-support" legs where the van will not be allowed to assist the runner at all. You can pull the van clear off the road into a parking lot or gas station etc. and cheer for your runner but you won't be allowed to cross street or assist runner in anyway. You are allowed to assist "distressed" runners. This doesn't mean someone that needs water but maybe someone who looks like they are going to die, or twisted their ankle and is down or something like this.
Check the updated race bible for the legs to see if yours is one, but briefly they are 13, 21-25, 27 and sections of 10, 32, 28, 29. Leg 35 and 36 are also hard legs to get to your runner from the van. So basically a lot so just plan to support yourself ladies...we are tough we'll be fine. The vans can still leapfrog at night but can't provide support. They also are giving flags to each van (credit card deposit required) which must be used DAY and NIGHT by crew anytime they are crossing the street. Runner doesn't have to carry a flag (duh).

In addition to the Race Bible that we are printing and bringing ourselves they will give each van a Ragmag which has maps and info in there. We will get that at the start. When Van 1 checks in they will be given ALL bibs, safety pins, goodie bags, T-shirts, and Ragmags for both vans. Check in is 1 hour before start time so 7:15. All members of Van 1 have to first attend a 10 minute "safety meeting" at the start, receive a certificate that says we have and then we will be allowed to check in where we need to show all our reflective vests etc. JUST FOR VAN 1. Van 2 will attend the same safety meeting before they are allowed to check in at exchange 6. So you will need all members there and get the certificate then Amber can check you in WITH ALL YOUR REFLECTIVE VESTS ETC. So this is different than what I thought. Van 1 and Van 2 will be together at this major exchange and at this point Van 1 will give Van 2 peeps all their bibs, goodie bags, ragmag etc. So basically Van 2 doesn't have to wake up early or be at start van 1 will just meet them at Exchange 6. Cell phones will be important to find a spot to meet since there will be lots of peeps there.
Bibs must be worn on the front of the runner at all times. Temperatures vary from 35-95 degrees so be prepared to layer. Bibs are allowed on bottoms but please pin on left leg. It's important because about when the runner is a quarter of a mile away from the exchange a volunteer will be there and will radio ahead with the team # of who is coming and then the volunteer at the exchange will announce to those waiting so they can get ready for their team member. If you use a bib belt that is fine if you slide it to the back during your run just slide it back to the front as you approach the volunteers at the end.
Oh, I forgot something on the safety stuff. Each Van needs a "safety navigator" which is basically the same as a crew member which we thought of long ago because we are way too smart for our own good. This person needs to sit in the passenger seat and make sure runner is safe, make sure people don't get out of the van unless they are lit up like the 4th of July in all their reflective gear and make sure everyone exits on the passenger side of the vehicle. This is a rule for everyone except the driver. The "safety navigator" can be different people taking turns.
Exchanges are going to be nutty because there are so many freaking people (400) more teams than last year. In the past they allowed people to sort of sleep wherever, parks, fields etc. but they are only allowing people to sleep in designated sleeping areas at the exchanges this year or in your car. Hotels or people's houses are fine too but I don't think our team was planning that.
Both Vans are only allowed at the major exchanges 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and finish or else you are penalized. If you break safety rules they have a 3 strikes your out policy, except some rules are immediate disqualifications. I won't go over all these as their is a lot but Tara, Amber, and myself have read all these so if we tell you not to do something just listen to us unless you want us to kick your butt! One immediate disqualifying rule is "No peeing on people's property" so if your running by someone's house please don't squat on their porch and leave them a nice surprise or else we will immediately be disqualified.
Back to the exchanges. There are alternate exchanges at some of the minor exchanges like 16 and 21, both vans are allowed at the Alternate exchanges just not the main exchange that runners are coming into.
If a runner is injured and cannot continue any runner can finish their leg and any runner from either van can finish their other legs you just can't split the leg between runners.
Tara and Natalie and yours truly-please let your husbands know that they will be contacted by their exchange manager in the week leading up to the race and will then be trained by their exchange manager when they show up for their volunteer shift. Thanks again for our volunteers.
Nutrition suggestions from Ragnar-**for the runner, carry what you'll need during your run**
Don't try something for the first time this race. Learn how you operate. Label food so your teammates don't eat it and you need it for your run.
Food along the way:
Obviously some stuff all over along the way but some parts we will be in mtns. and maybe not as many options. Here is what they said:
Exchange 6-Rubios, free chips, salsa, quac for all runners, 20% of bill donated to American Cancer Society-cool.
Exchange 12-Snow Basin, grill fare, resort prices-takes credit cards.
Exchange 16-Morgan High, subway premade sandwiches and ala carte stuff, fundraiser for school, also sleeping inside $1, showers $1 etc. Bring lots of $1 bills for stuff like this along the way.
Exchange 18-Not a lot of food, sort of in the middle of nowhere. That's why they have an Alternate hangout at 16.
Exchange 21-- pasta, pancake brkfst, depending on time you arrive, another school fundraiser.
Exchange 24--Scout fundraiser for Jeremy Kunz (he was the runner who was killed by a drunk driver at the Vegas Ragnar) various food options.
Finish Line at Canyons Resort--All restaraunts etc. open, bands, hoopla. Gondola will also be operating if you want to ride to top and eat at the top.
Last of all, if you would like to run the Wasatch Back again in 2011 they are registering teams at the finish line. They are allowing WBR runners first dibs on next years race and the registration dates are Finish line, 20th and 21st. Payment due at registration. For me, I'm a been there done that kind of girl so won't be running next year but wanted to let you know in case you were interested. It doesn't have to be the same team. Anyone who would like to step up as a captain has this chance at early registration. They are expecting it to sell out quickly as it has 200 teams on the waiting list for this year right now.
I think that is it.....Any questions?
TMI?? Feel free to smack me when you see me :)

Thanks Everyone!!! Happy Running,

It's the final Countdown....!!!

Everytime I log onto our site I see that counter--------------------------->
and lately I'm starting to freak out a little,17 days, 16 days,...does it really now say 15 days!!!!


Today is National running day, so even if you aren't planning to run today, go run to the mail box or something just because! This day is to recognize how totally awesome running is! WHOOHOO

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

IMPORTANT: New Rule Changes for Wasatch Back!!

Ragnar has made some major changes (last minute I might add) that we need to be aware of. It took me quite a bit of detective work (annoyingly) but I did confirm that EVERY member of the team must have a reflective vest. LED tail lights and Headlamp numbers stay the same. Other changes are listed below. The one people (including myself) may be most frustrated with is listed last--NO HEADPHONES. I'm guessing there may be other changes but I haven't read through the whole race bible yet. I will and let everyone know.

14.B) Exiting and being outside the vehicle

Remember that these are open roads. Adhere to following rules and guidelines

Every member of the team (including drivers) must have his or her own reflective vest. Everyone that is

out of the vehicle on the course at night must wear a reflective vest. This includes exchanges, shoulders,

roadways, and parking lots adjacent to the course. Reflective Vests must be worn between the hours of

7:30 pm and 6:30 am. From DUSK TO DAWN, KEEP YOUR VEST ON. Other than the driver, everyone must

exit the vehicle on the passenger side. We also encourage you to wear bright colored clothing at all times

of day and Light/Bright clothing at night. Dark clothing is very hard to see at night.

14.C) Road Crossing

Any team member crossing the road must do so with an orange crossing flag, day or night (This applies to the

support crew – not the “on” runner) Teams will be given flags at the safety briefings. Three flags will be provided at

the start to Van 1 and three flags will be provided at Exchange 6 for Van 2. A credit card deposit of $10 is required

for each flag, but that amount will not be charged to the cards if they are returned at the finish.

Obey all traffic/pedestrian and j-walking laws

Cross at crosswalk if there is a crosswalk within sight

No crossing if there is a median

No crossing roads with more than two lanes. (One lane in each direction)

o Roads with a total 3 lanes or more may be crossed at cross walks.


15.F) Mandatory Safety Training Meeting at Start Line and Major Exchange 6

There will be a mandatory Safety Training meeting at the race Start Line for van 1 and at Major Exchange Six for

van 2. (Ultra teams need only attend safety training at the start) Each team is required to have all team members,

who are present, attend the Safety Training. The Safety Training will last approximately 10-15 minutes. Each van

will receive a safety packet at the training session. The safety packet includes items that need to be displayed in

the vehicle along with the safety rules. Please arrive at least 1 hour early to the Start Line and Exchange Six to

allow adequate time to attend Safety Training.

15.H) Safety Training Certificate Needed to Check-in and Start Running

Each van representative will receive a card indicating they have completed the Safety Training. Van 1 will need to

present the card in order to check-in at the Start, van 2 will need to have runner 7 present the card to the

volunteer at Major Exchange 6 in order to start running.

13.D) Headphones

The use of personal music devices with headphones while running is prohibited. In an overnight relay, roads are

not closed during the race and participants are running through the night. This format requires that all runners be

alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. Wearing personal music devices causes distractions and the

inability to hear what is going on around the runner.

Don't panic about the no headphone rule. Try a couple practice runs without yours. It will be okay.

Happy Running,