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Coming up.. This weekend!

So I have to be honest. This weekend is Ragnar… and I’m completely excited but terrified. I am honored to be a part of Team Sparkle, and know that they will be great teammates and I am looking forward to the weekend with them, but beyond that, I really have no idea what is in store for me. With myself being a planner, meaning I like to know what is going to happen, it scares me. This may be one of the most unplanned things I’ve done. I really have no idea what is in store for me. I’ve looked over my ‘leg maps’ and trained but I still don’t really understand the concept. I’m thinking I also had these feelings the first time I ran a marathon, the fear of the unknown.

If you’re unfamiliar with Ragnar, it’s a relay that starts in one city and ends in another. My Teammates and I, Team Sparkle, are running from Huntington Beach to San Diego. Most teams have a team of 12, and because we are doing the ‘Ultra’ Relay, we are a team of six. You ride around in a van without really stopping or sleeping? Yea, sounds pretty crazy to me right now too.

Here are my leg assignments (and I’m the RED skirt, in case you’re also running!!):
Leg 4 – 4.7 miles – moderate rating
Leg 10 – 5.7 miles – hard rating
Leg 16 – 6.7 miles – very hard rating
Leg 22 – 2.2 miles – easy rating
Leg 28 – 6.6 miles – easy rating
Leg 34 – 4.1 miles – moderate rating


I printed out the schedule that was made for our Team, but I still have a pit in my stomach about what is actually taking place. I don’t get how this all ‘happens’. I’m also scared about letting my team down, my IT Band holding up, and getting lost. Over the past few weeks I’ve been really consistent with my training, which I hope allows me to run well this weekend, though this past week I’ve had little small things pop up in the back of my head. Is my shin hurting? What is going on with my knee? Is that a new pain in my foot? It might just be taper brain, but after last year I don’t want to do anything to hurt myself!


I’ve have had a great time training for the race, it’s really given me my running zest back. I’ll probably look back at this post and think about how silly these feelings are, but for now I’m incredibly nervous. I know once we start I’ll be doing better, and I am reminding myself that it’s doable and that people have done this all over the country, but I can’t knock my nerves. Every run this week I’ve thought about the relay and played over all the bad circumstances in my head. This morning I went for my final last run before the race starts tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. I felt good, I ran nice and slow and tried to get rid of some of my nerves.


Don’t fail me now legs!! Tonight I’m packing up my backpack (yes, that’s all you take) with a bunch of socks, a few sports bras and a sweatshirt. Minimalist is key here I feel like.

I just hope everyone is safe, no one gets lost and that my IT Band holds up. I know it will be a lot of fun being  a part of Team Sparkle, but 99% of the time, running is an individual sport, and this is the slim time when it’s actually a team sport. Knowing that these other amazing ladies are depending on ME is pretty intimidating.

You can follow the entire team along the route by following us on twitter! @brenbot@thisiscarrie@chicrunner@cupcakeactivist & @according2kelly or by searching the hashtag #TeamSparkle. I’m sure there will be tons of pictures, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it once we start! It’s getting to the start line that freaks me out!




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  • Reply Katie

    Don’t fret!!! I’ve not done Ragnar, but I’ve done a 52-mile relay and You won’t even realize the miles have gone by because of how much fun you’ll be having! You won’t get lost – these courses are clearly marked. You’ll likely have a bracelet or something that will get transferred between the runners and when you’re not running, your team will probably rotate the runners between driving, navigating and resting. Bring sustenance, hydration and be ready to leave accomplished, tired and with a TON of new inside jokes. Have fun! I can’t WAIT to read all about it!

    April 18, 2013 at 7:44 am
  • Reply Leigh

    Hope you have so much fun doing the relay! Can’t wait to hear all about it and how it went :)

    April 18, 2013 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Sandy

    That’s a lot of miles there but I know you can do it! Have a great time and don’t worry about letting your team down. YOU CAN DO IT! I will be out there too but I am only running a total of 12 miles! I am saving my legs for my marathon in May.

    April 18, 2013 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Sandy

    Oh and I am Runner 10 for my team so I am running Legs 10, 22 and 34 too!

    April 18, 2013 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    LOVE those pink shorts. You’re going to rock Ragnar and have a blast doing it. Relays are all about the fun and experience and much less about the time on the clock in my experience. Go get ’em!

    April 18, 2013 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Kar

    oh dang!!! good luck Danica! that’s sounds crazy but fun and I’m sure you be so proud of yourself when you finish:)

    April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    I had these same feelings right before I did the Spartan Race a few weeks ago!! And it was only 5 mi & obstacles! It’s definitely just fear oF the unknown!!! I’m sure you’ll kick butt!! Can’t wait to follow along as y’all go! GOOD LUCK!!!!

    April 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm
  • Reply Kate

    I love your blog and normally don’t comment, but if I can soothe any of your jitters, I thought I’d chime in.

    I’ve done four different Ragnars and LOVED every single one of them. That being said, SoCal was my first and remains one of my favorites for a couple reasons.
    1) The teams at SoCal always seem to be more into it-costumes, van decorations, cheering, etc. Expect to develop irrational attachments to the vans and teams you keep running into. You’ll make friends, and it’s wonderful.
    2) SoCal doesn’t have as many non support legs as others I’ve run, which means your team can leap frog you in the van-cheering you on, making noise, offering water and sending love. Two years later, my original van mates and I still have a fierce bond and a ton of inside jokes.
    3) The course is GORGEOUS, and the finish line is a blast.

    Since fear of the unknown is no fun, here are a few of the tips I throw out to the newbies on the teams I captain.

    1) It’s going to get really hot, and could get really cold (at night). Prepare for it with plenty of water, nuun, gatorade, sunblock etc. Don’t hesitate to ask your van mates to stop and give you water throughout your longer distances.

    2)Be prepared to support your runner, and be alert to when they may need help-i.e water, snacks, etc.

    3) Make the most of your down time. The weekend is long and wonderful, but you’ve got to take care of yourself.

    4) Changes of clothes and wet wipes are your best friend. Get into dry clothes after a run and you’ll have a much happier two days.

    5) Take your cell phone with you, OR give your van a time frame. Example: : “If I haven’t come into the exchange in 50 minutes, start to back trace for me. Someone in the van should have a sense of what time someone left. I always carried my cell, with a van contact number just in case.

    6)If your leg has more than one or two turns, right them down. The inside of our forearm was sharpied from here to kingdom come, but the SoCal course is in a largely urban area and sometimes the signs directing you get moved. A piece of paper, the online rag bible on your phone, sharpies…whatever it takes to keep you on the right path.

    This is all stuff you may already know, but I just can’t help but wanting to do something, if I can, to help ease the jitters. If you’re anything like my newbies, you’ll have jitters until your first leg, and then you’ll settle in. I remember being more nervous in the exchange corral than I had ever been for any other race, and remember feeling like I was on cloud nine when I saw my runner coming towards me. It’s such an incredible two days-the night leg is my favorite because it’s so different than normal running circumstances, and so, so beautiful.

    And yes, they ARE depending on you, but you’re depending on them, and that, right there, is what makes Ragnar a little bit magical. HAVE FUN!

    April 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm
  • Reply Angie

    I almost did one of these last year, but decided it was a little to much for me. Have a great time!

    April 19, 2013 at 2:20 am
  • Reply Jessica

    That’s a lot of miles! Hope it went well. Would be interested to hear how you got on.

    April 21, 2013 at 3:45 am
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