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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mile Tracker is back by (un)popular demand!

Its the last day of February....Ragnar is not until May...
 that gives me 61 days until Ragnar... PLENTY of time to train right?  
Ragnar is a race like no other and the more training and distance you can build up the better! 
If you need some motivation - here it is

Get a running group together or start running with your friends.  
A lot of us still live in the area.. lets do some group runs! 
Thatcher, Liz, Olive and I headed out for a 5.5 mile run Sunday-
 its amazing how quickly a run goes by when your running with good friends :)

(We brought along Olive- she is usually a great running partner.. 
but this time she puked, pooped, and tripped Liz- shes can be a good distraction at times ) 
She rarely sits still for pictures... and yes- those are my awesome birthday gifts- an awesome harness for Olive, and a hands free running belt for running with her ...
. and a Garmin GPS watch to track my runs...( I got spoiled this birthday)

Grab your dog, buy a watch, grab your friends... 
what ever it takes to get your butts on the road... track... treadmill... pick your poison!  
The mile tracker is coming back full force!

What the f!*K is a mile tracker you ask? Read on!

 Every Sunday night your mileage for the week is due.  We will run the week from Monday to Sunday.  Please email Marissa and I your total mileage for the week. For example you will email:
Mon: 3
Wed: 5
Fri: 3 
Sun: 8 

Monday morning, I will post everyones mileage on the blog page titled "mileage".  Note:  I am not judging how much you run... if you chose not to you are only hurting yourself.  The idea is that if you have to publicly admit your mileage... your going to run a little further and a little more often.  This is just one of my many motivation tactics for our teams!  

So--- everyone's mileage is due THIS Sunday - you have our emails :)
Happy Running!  

Pay It Forward

Hello Ragnarians
One of the hardest parts about organizing a Ragnar Relay is entering it.... trying to collect $100(ish) from 12 people on time is nearly impossible.  Most of us are in our mid 20's and our money tree is still just a seedling.  Of course we do not mind paying the entry fee because the money goes towards a bunch of charities that Ragnar supports.  However, it is always nice to get sponsors to help up out with the $1,380 price PER TEAM. The big problem with sponsors is: for the money to affect our entry fee, sponsors cannot donate on the Ragnar website.... they have to donate to US to pay the entry fee.  To sponsors, this sounds pretty shady... who wants to write us a personal check to the name of our team captain ? How do you know where that money is really going?

One of my thoughts was setting up a business account in the name of our team- and sponsors can write a check out to our team, instead of to an individual person.

Previous Ragnarians.. what have you done in the past? How did you deal with sponsors and your entry fee?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming Races

A great way to stay in shape, keep motivated, and keep running is to sign up for local races around the area.  From 5k's to marathons, there is a race in the area almost every weekend.  I suggest signing up for a road race each month to keep yourself on a running schedule and for motivation.   I am signed up for the Savin Rock Half Marathon next month in West Haven. I have heard its a great race and it is filling up quick.  If anyone is interested, there are already a few ragnarians signed up, and the more the merrier!

If anyone is interested in signing up for any local races, let me know and I would love to sign up with you.

Happy Running!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Ragnar Cape Cod Charities

There have been a few questions regarding the charities involved with this years race.  Last year, Ragnar Relay New England donated money to Back On My Feet.  I spoke to the race director directly (tehe) and I was told this:


Thanks for reaching out. Although we will not be working with Back on My Feet again this year, we will be working with a couple of different charities. First, we will be working with a charity concept that we have started here as a part of Ragnar. It is called the Extra Mile and it is our focus on making a different in the communities that we go through. As a part of this, we will be giving towards two high schools, an educational foundation, and two different Cape Cod charities. Second, we will be working in small ways with multiple other charities: March of Dimes, Determination (an endurance division of American Cancer Society), and one other that should be finalized this week

Please let anyone who wants to sponsor us, know that these are the charities that Ragnar  gives to.
Also, I am going to try and open up a separate bank account for sponsors to send the checks too-  Will keep you all informed,
Happy Running,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Top Ten Tips for Running a Ragnar (take two)

It looks like my post last year with tips is the most read post on this blog.  I created that post before my first Ragnar (based on the advice of others).  Now that I successfully managed a team and ran one of the harder legs of the Ragnar Relay New England 2011, I feel I can give some better advice to all of you just starting.

1:  Start training as early as possible- Including multiple runs in 1 day  
You may think running 18 miles over the course of 30 hours sounds like cake..... but I can promise you it is not as easy as you think.  By the time you ran your first two legs, sat in a van for 24 hours, fueled by cliff bars and no sleep... your body hates you and getting out to run 8 more miles up a steady incline is daunting.  My best advice is to practice running three times in one day.  This will give you a preview of what your third leg is going to feel like (Squeeze in a night run!)

2.  Avoid fatty and greasy foods during the race.  
Yes, that seems like common sense... but when its 11pm and   you have 13 miles under your belt, its hard to say no to a greasy cheeseburger and a cold beer.  Lets face it... you earned it.   We chowed on our burgers and chugged our beer, and instead of making a kill list of runners we passed, it was a kill list of port-o-potties  our team had destroyed.  Stick to healthy foods during this event, your van-mates and clean up crew will thank you for it. 

3.  Bring Icy Hot- and Lots of it (and some advil)
One of the scariest moments in the van is when we lost the tube of Icy Hot.  The chemical ice packs you "break" when you need them are expensive, and the old fashioned ones wont last the duration of the race.  For this reason I recommend stocking up on Icy Hot.  It did the trick for our sore muscles sitting in the van while waiting for our next leg.

4.  Be a cheerleader
It doesn't matter what team you are on, what color your shirt is, or what you put on your van.  When you come around a corner and see some one else's van out there cheering and yelling at you at 3 am in Northern Connecticut, you get a second wind.  Get out there and cheer on your team and everyone else's, especially up those hills!

5.  Print a copy of your race route and bring it with you on your run
                   and review it thoroughly prior to race day 
If you have a general idea where you are going, you are less likely to freak out when you run for 3 miles and never see a Ragnar sign.  You will also be aware of some turns that may be tricky.  Believe it or night, the signs are harder to find during the day.  At night they are reflective and also have blinking lights (Thanks Ragnar staff!)  Also- I brought a copy of my map with me that I stuffed in my Ipod arm band.  You may not use it but it is AWESOME to know its there. One of our runners missed a turn and ran 2 miles the wrong way on the course.  If only he had his map!
* Important note- Ragnar only has signs at direction changes or "tricky" spots.  If your run stays on the same road for 3 miles without changing, you may not see a sign for three miles.  Don't Panic and stay on route-  I am sure you will see a decorated van in no time!

6.  Bring what you need to be "comfortable" in a car
This includes non running clothes such as but not limited to:  sweat pants, slippers, clean under garments, deodorant  pillows, blankets, earplugs, tooth brushes, water, snacks, etc. I packed a first aid kit full of advil,  mole-skin, band aids, and other goodies that the vans loved!

7. Accurately pace out your teams
I had everyone report their 5k, 10k pace to me so I could figure out what time we would be at each check point, roughly what time we would run, and when the vans would leap frog.  We all decided to give ourselves a little extra time which hurt us in the end.  We all ran each mile at least a minute faster.  This put us 3 hours ahead of my schedule, and resulted in one of our vans getting to a checkpoint before it was set up.  Because they got to an empty church in the middle of the night, they went on to the next checkpoint, meanwhile our runner was sitting, confused tired and cold at a church- soon to be exchange point.  Try to be as accurate as possible when making your schedule so you get to a checkpoint AFTER its set up-  you will run faster than you think.

8.  Walkie Talkies and 2 way radios- or at least a cellphone list in each van
You may not have service in some places, or phones may be dead.  It is brutal that both vans communicate when they are leapfrogging and switching off on the race course.  To ensure you always have communication, I suggest long distance two way radios.  If you are out of reach, it is always a great idea to have a phone list in each van.  Hopefully 1 of the 6 people in your van will answer their phone.

9.  Clothing
Bring a few sets of running gear- We went overboard and ordered each runner a new clean shirt for each leg-  $800 dollars later most people never changed out of their first shirt.  I would say 2 sets are good, while 3 are ideal if you have the funds.  Another idea I liked was to bring baggies to trap the stinky wet clothes you peeled off- Put the clean clothes in a zip lock, and when you change throw the sweaty clothes into the ziplock bag to keep your van Stink Free!

10.  HILLS hills HiLls
Ragnar always has hills.  We also found that the ranking on the map, i.e. Easy or Very Hard are pretty inaccurate.  Even if you have an Easy run , you may encounter some hills.  Make sure you are getting in your hill workouts plenty of time before the race.  Dont let those inclines burn you out.  

How to make your own Gel/Ice Pack

Sunday afternoon I took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed out for my long run of the week, 8 miles.  The run felt great, the weather was awesome, I felt like I could have kept going after 8 miles.  I called it a day, got home, pulled off my shoes, and noticed the ball of my foot SWELLING up.  By the next morning my toes couldn't touch the ground because the balls of my feet had swelled up so badly.  I went to work Monday morning with ziplock bags full of ice and watched them melt and leak all over the office.  Thats when I decided to do some research on how to make my own cold gel pack.

Follow this great tutorial:  Get Started Here! to make your own Freezer gel pack and ditch the frozen peas
Thanks to for the great tutorial!

Happy Running,