Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ragnar Relay - Great River

A while ago Wayne requested more information about this event. Since it is now less than a week away and I know which "runner" I am, it seems like a good time to comply with that request.

First off - I have never done an event like this before so really do not know what I am getting myself into ;->

From the Ragnar Relay/Great River website: "Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat." Check out the home page description for more information about the race and the series.


Team Name: Copper Country Running Club (but being changed to MegaHz).

We are team #123 out of 233. For an entertaining read check out the Team Info page and read through the names. Can you guess what some of the folks do for a living?

Start time: 3:00pm Friday August 21st

I am "Runner #7" which means I will be the first person in Van Two to run (12 runners, 6 to a vehicle). Prior to my signing on, and the team captain having to adjust the pace for my predicted average of 8:30 min/mile (I still get a bit dizzy when I see that in print) and our start time being moved back to 3:00pm from 2:00 pm, Runner #7 was due to start her first leg (6.3 miles "very hard") around 7:00 pm on Friday. My second leg (3 miles "easy") would then occur sometime around 4:00 am Saturday, with my third - and final - leg (6.2 miles "moderate") being run at around 10:00 am Saturday. Not sure what time I will really be running due to the change in start time and adjusting for average pace of each runner, now that everyone has settled into a spot (and some of the leg distances have been tweaked a bit).

Running in the middle of the night will be a first - though I used to get up at 5:00 am (reluctantly) to run a closed road with a friend and our dogs in the middle of the winter, so have run in the dark before - just not with traffic and a safety vest and multiple lights attached.

The race starts in Winona, MN at Levee Park and finishes in Minneapolis, MN at Boom Island Park. The Ragnar website has course maps and information about exchange sites if you want to see the route and have an idea of the terrain we will be traversing (or care to try and track Team MegaHz down and cheer us on).

After yesterday's run in 82% humidity at 80 degrees F I am hoping for cooler weather! On the books was a 14 mile trail run. Had the route all plotted out (base of Spirit Mountain to Bayfront Park on the SHT) and was pretty excited for the run. The day before the wind had come up off the Lake, dropping the temps into the upper 60's downtown, and the prediction was for more east winds. Unfortunately the wind didn't pick up until later in the day and I ran early to: a) beat the heat (or so I thought) and b) because I had family coming in from out of town.

Less than half way through the run I was having an internal debate about whether or not I would complete the distance. By the time I was climbing up along Keene Creek I was pretty sure I would run only as far as home, then turn down on the spur trail and call it good at about 12 miles. By the time I reached Haines Rd I thought maybe I could make it to the next crossing with Skyline or maybe to the reservoir before hitting the roads and heading home. Crossed Haines, started up the trail, made it about 10 feet and said "Enough!" Walked back to the road, pulled out my cell and called for a ride. From there I ran down Haines to Skyline and along the boulevard until Mr. Wildknits came to the rescue (a knight in a blue Fit ;->).

Legs felt fine all along but I just don't run well in that kind of heat and humidity. I was walking a lot of hills that normally I can run up and felt sapped of all energy. On a positive note, my hands did not swell so I must have been doing something right. I wonder if I would have been able to complete the distance if I had been running with someone else? Part of me feels like I wussed out, another part says I did the smart thing and pulled the plug before overheating and really wiping myself out. After all I had a 5 and 2 yr old coming for a visit (in addition to my sister, her husband, my daughter and her college roommate).

Today I am watching the weather radar, waiting for the thunderstorms to roll through so I can head out for another run (I am trying the back to back runs again). In the meantime, this kind of weather is good for reading and knitting, so it is back to the couch for me where I can sit with a good book and the hat I need to finish up so I can start a new "conference knitting" project.

On vacation this week. Will head to the Twin Cities on Tuesday, attend a conference Wednesday and Thursday, then the Ragnar Friday and Saturday. In light of the relative lack of sleep I will get over the weekend, my plan is to head north on Sunday. Have been in touch with a running friend to show me some trails in the area and may - depending on how I feel Sunday - try to get out to Murphy-Hanrehan before I leave town. Still contemplating Surf the Murph in October (two Ultras in two weeks, or the 25K??).

"Fun on the boat" (Miss G assisting her cousin E. to steer the boat, with my sister J. standing by.)

"Kids have to wear PFD's" is the rule on the sail boat, and even though Miss G is legally an adult the consensus was that college students still wore PFD's, especially when they went forward to put the jib on in rough seas (and to aid in getting the younger kids to keep theirs on). Not sure what was so funny at the time this photo was taken, but we were busy watching for other boats as we headed back towards the marina.

Cruise ship anchored outside the DECC (click on the picture to embiggen). Don't know anything about this boat or the cruises, but what a concept!

Running Update

Just got back from a run. This time it was 80 degrees F with 80+% humidity and gusty winds. Sound familiar? Goal - run 8 miles on the road (a hilly out and back route on Skyline). It wasn't too bad until the sun came out and then it was steaming. Ended up turning around just short of 4 miles to avoid a huge hill. The run back involved a bit more downhill at times and more wind at the back. Walked a few times during the run just to cool off, and stopped three blocks short of the house for a nice cool-down walk. I do not know how people in the south run in these conditions!!! Kept hoping the dark clouds over head would open up and dump a little rain, but no such luck. Ah well.

As deer go crashing off into the woods I think of Jean and his bpm (bunnies per mile). I could do a dpm(deer per mile) report. Today, it was pretty dismal - saw one, heard another. So, in a 7.6 mile run that works out to be .26 dpm. Yesterday was a bit better at .58 dpm, plus a "murder" of crows that I chased off the cliffs in Brewer's Park.

Last Thursday was the best - saw a pine marten on my run to work (something to be said for a commute that involves that much woods, even when you are running on the roads)!


Jean said...

Good luck at Ragnar, Lisa! One of my coworkers ran this last year and had a blast with her team. I hope you have a lot of fun and get some favorable weather for it.

Deer per mile...too funny! I have been seeing more deer in recent weeks (I saw 4 standing together in the park on Sunday). A sign that fall must be approaching?

Mark H. said...

Have fun at Ragnar! My team is number 40 - St. Paul Running Co. Since I also start at 3pm, I'll look for your team. Are they mostly from the Houghton, MI area? I went to college there. I'm runner 2 but I may see you at the first major exchange.

Wayne said...

Wow, the Ragnar sounds like a great time. I've wanted to do it in the past, and well... what do you know? Thanks to you I now get to, on Mark's team! Thanks for the hookup. Enjoy, and I hope we see you out there (I wanted to put "ie. I hope your team can keep up" but Mark might not appreciate his newest, slowest team member talkin' smack and expecting the rest of the team to back it up!). :)