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  • Ragnar Tennessee Race Day 1 Recap (the first part!)

    Race Day!!!! Finally! We were all up early because we were too excited to sleep. Honestly, I’m surprised that I slept as long as I did, thinking we got about 6 hours of sleep. We hit the buffet for breakfast and coffee, packed up and headed outside. Since we ran out of time Thursday night for decorating the vans, we had to get creative and get the dew dried off in order to decorate it before heading to the starting line.


    The starting area was so exciting! There were lots of other teams around and different groups starting their race experience every half hour. We had to attend our safety meeting, check in, get our flags, etc.
    We took pictures and waited for our 10:00am start time. Some teams ran in their team shirts, some teams wore costumes, some were sponsored. There were runners of all ages, too.
    The Team

    As runner three, I luckily didn’t have to wait too long to start my run. I was able to experience the fun at the starting line seeing Melissa off, then supporting and cheering along the way for runners 1 and 2. I know Melissa was surprised to see us during her run as we weren’t sure where we would be able to stop. Since we were all first time Ragnar runners, we had no clue what was acceptable and what wasn’t by the rules. We were quick learners though from watching everyone else!

    We were able to help cheer Jamie up the mountain and finally we reached exchange 2 for my first leg. There were people everywhere waiting for their runners to get up the mountain. Ragnar was so well organized that it was easy to figure out what we were supposed to do, where we were supposed to be. The “look-out” or spotter, finally called “16” for our team meaning that Jamie had been spotted and I was next up in the exchange.
    Being the prepared runner that I am, I had studied the map of my first leg. I had trained as much as possible for the downhills, but really, in FLAT central OH, how much could I really do to mimic a mountain?
    Here I am, clueless…. waiting for the exchange.

    Jamie handed the “baton” (actually a slap bracelet) to me and I was off. The first half to 3/4 of a mile were up, then I was over the top of the mountain and headed down the other side. I was FLYING! I was also afraid to look at my watch at one point, thinking I would lose control of my feet by hitting a hole or loose gravel. The scenery was gorgeous. It was a perfect day for running. I was really enjoying the run. Well, for the most part. At times the continuous downhill was very painful, but just looking around and the fact that gravity really helped out made it super fun.


    At this point, I said “ouch!”Unfortunately, there were no other runners for me to pass. I did get passed by a few men that were definitely going at the speed of light—I don’t know how they did it! Sadly, there was no way that I could catch them to make them my “roadkill”, but watching them run was amazing.

    I got to the bottom of the mountain and the road started to level out a little bit and I saw the runner spotter. I made my legs go as fast as I could and got to the exchange.

    I handed the bracelet off to Kate and she took off for her run. At this point, I finally looked at my time. Holy cow! I couldn’t believe it. Originally, I was hoping for 45:00. My team, especially our driver Kurt, said they thought I’d go faster than that and would come in at 40:00. Little did I know….

    My legs were shredded at this point, so my fantastic team helped me over to a grassy area, got me more water and I sat for a minute. Then we loaded up to go cheer for Kate and provide support for her run.


    Garmin stats:
    Distance: 5.1 miles
    Time: 40:26
    Avg pace: 8:00mm
    Elevation Gain: 139ft
    Elevation Loss: 1,362ft
    Yeah, we don’t have hills like that in Ohio!
    My legs weren’t working too well at this point, so the van was helping me out!

    **Thank you to everyone on the team for sharing your photos and letting me use them. Day after we got home my phone (and all pictures on it) died***

    **11/15 update with my pictures as I was finally able to retrieve them!***

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  • Sugarcreek 5 Mile Trail Race Recap

    A race in the middle of the week? For $9.00? On a trail? Sign me up! That’s what I said about a month or so ago when Jamie mentioned the race. It was a small race put on by a running club about an hour and a half away. We’ll make a girls’ night of it, we said. I thought, HOW FUN! No online registration, just show up, pay cash, get your timing chip and go!

    ORRRC photo

    It was such a laid back race and mid-week, that honestly, I didn’t prepare very well for it. OOPS. Looking at the map, I had no idea what kind of trail it would be, single track, dirt, gravel, partially paved, etc. I figured I’d go out and run it as well as I could. The start was funny…. they said “runners, head over that way and wait”. So Erin and I stood in an open grassy area, they made a few announcements, drew names for some prizes, and the gun went off. It was a mass start for about 200 racers. We headed to the paved trail for a very short distance to get to a grassy meadow. The grass that we ran on for about the first .5-.75 mies was my least favorite part of the trail. Quickly, we got through the grassy meadow and onto the packed dirt trail. There were some downhills, some pretty steep. There were some uphills, again, some pretty steep. There were creek crossings, LARGE stone steps to navigate. There were roots and rocks and branches. IT WAS GREAT! This was at Sugarcreek Metro Park in Bellbrook, OH and it was absolutely gorgeous! Honestly, I wish it was closer to us so I could go there more often.

    The worst part of the run that made me question myself and think that I am in the worst shape of my life was when we turned to go up a hill, that was mostly vertical. Everyone that I saw was walking up the hill. Luckily, there were trees to grab onto to help me make it up the hill. My calves were SCREAMING at me. Then, we made it to the top. Whew! And, we knew that we did NOT have to do that again, thank goodness!

    I kept telling Erin to go ahead as I felt like I was holding her back. When was the last time I ran hills?!?! My body was telling me it was TOO LONG ago. Not anymore…I love running hills, I love running trails, time to make sure I do more of it! However, Erin was super sweet (like always) and just stuck with me until the last .25miles of the race. Thanks Erin for sticking with me, it definitely made it easier!

    Right before we turned the corner to go up the "mountain". We had no clue what was coming! ORRRC Photo
    Right before we turned the corner to go up the “mountain”. We had no
    clue what was coming!
    ORRRC Photo
    This race tested my endurance, my fitness, my mental abilities and my powers of concentration all in five miles. It was AWESOME! I won’t lie…there were several times during the race where I wanted to just quit; or at least sit down and take a break. But, I knew that Jamie and Allen were waiting for us at the end. Also, if I didn’t quit during the Cleveland Marathon, I wasn’t going to quit during a five mile race! This trail race simply highlighted my weaknesses that I will work on in order to do better at the next race. Overall I am EXTREMELY pleased with my first trail race, especially since my average pace was well over a minute faster than I usually run trails!
    Official time: 51:26.7
    Overall: 135/192

    Age Group: 6/9

    Thanks Jamie and Allen for driving, supporting and photographing the finish for us! No matter how many times during the race we were swearing at you, Jamie, I’m glad you found the race for us!

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  • The Perfect Run

    On the heels of my disappointing run yesterday, I was ready to get back out there for a good ol’ Recovery Run today. Well, life got in the way as it sometimes does (oldest up part of the night, mom too tired to get up early) and I had to adjust my plans. Remember how I talked about flexibility as the key to happy running for me?

    The sun was out, temperatures in the mid-40s with no wind, so I suggested to the kids that we head to the playground. Zachary would ride his bike while I pushed Jacob in the jogging stroller. They both thought that sounded like a great idea! (Thanks, Jen S for the idea!)

    mail-1The playground is .8miles from our house, so it’s the perfect distance for an almost 5 year old on his bike. We started and stopped, we looked at leaves, rocks and sticks. We took breaks. It was WONDERFUL! Such a gorgeous day in central OH (in February!), we just had a great time. Not caring about time or distance for once and just appreciated that I was able to run and keep up with Zachary on his bike made me appreciate life even more. Just over two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with him had we been trying the same thing. That kind of put things into perspective and makes me feel silly for being upset about yesterday’s run! I CAN run. In fact, I LOVE to run. The rest (times, distances, PRs) it’s all the icing on the cake. The fact that I am in the best shape of my life, having wonderful adventures with my family, that’s what it’s all about.


    mail-2We played at the playground for quite a while, trying to keep Captain Hook from climbing aboard our Pirate Ship (love the imaginations they have!). We slide raced, they traveled the monkey bars, the swings, basically everything. When they were done, we loaded up for our run/walk/bike/stop and look adventure home.



    Today I was reminded of WHY I started running…of why I started eating healthy and taking care of myself. It’s not just for me, it’s for my family and the fun times we can have together. Today, I had the perfect run!

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  • The Smell of Potential!

    As I typed up my Daily Mile report this morning, I asked if anyone has seen my running mojo as I seem to have lost it this week. I’ve been running long enough and training for enough races that I know (and almost expect) I will have bad runs and even bad training weeks. Except, I did not expect it to come this early in my training! For crying out loud, it’s ONLY week 5! I have had ZERO desire to get out of bed for my runs this week which is very strange for me. Usually, once I’m out the door, I’m ok, but getting out the door this week has been a very big battle!

    I noticed on my run (after I finally hauled my butt out the door) that it is definitely time to rotate out my Brooks Ravenna 2s and get out one of the new pairs I have stashed in my closet. I am always sad when I rotate out a pair of shoes…they have seen me though many run times and LOTS of miles! I know I missed some of the miles while tracking on this pair of shoes, but they have seen me through at least 340 miles. That’s a lot of bonding time!

    As sad as it is to rotate out an old pair, I LOVE new shoes (I am SUCH a girl as Jamie would say!).

    Look how pretty they are?! Even though they are the EXACT same shoe, down to the color, as my current Brooks Adrenaline 11s, there are so many possibilities with these shoes!

    First, they have that wonderful new shoe smell…until Saturday, anyway! And yes, I always smell my new running shoes; doesn’t everyone? (or I am just weird?!) Just thinking of the bonding that I will be doing with these shoes is exciting. Heck, these could even be my Marathon shoes!

    Opening up the box, I smell the thrill of anticipation. The different roads and miles that these shoes will take me on. The experiences of good runs. The experiences of bad runs. The time with my good friends. I LOVE it! And yes, I am EXCITED for my long run on Saturday in these new shoes.

    So, today I say goodbye to my trusty “old” Ravennas. Funny how road running shoes typically do not look old when they need replaced, isn’t it? Looking at them, they still look good! They will now go into my walking shoe pile and every time I put old my old trainers, I am reminded of the miles we’ve had together.

    Maybe pulling out my new shoes will be all I need to get my Mojo back. Only time and miles will tell!

    Have you ever lost your “Running Mojo”? What did you do to get it back?