So it’s time again… Time to run a race! It is actually a somewhat unfamiliar feeling because I haven’t run in a longer race environment myself since last December, and the last short distance race I did was at the beginning of February. Even though I’ve been running a lot, it has been a while since I actually went out there and ran hard, and that’s exactly what I plan to do this weekend. Afterwards? It’s nap time :)
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 and you just keep running.
Last year, it was my first time ever running Ragnar and I was terrified of the unexpected. This year I feel a bit more prepared, and though I didn’t do many double days of training, I do feel that the running I’ve been doing lately is more quality and more consistent which will hopefully help with the double days. I have been keeping all my miles well under 9 minutes as well, which will hopefully keep me at my goal of right around 8:45 pace.
One thing that is different than a ‘normal’ racing environment is the team aspect and that factor is one of the most intimidating pieces of the whole Ragnar Race to me. When you run a race, you’re running alone. The only person you’re letting down is yourself and you only can blame yourself. I like to keep that responsibility, so I know who I’m depending on and when something goes wrong I can only point the finger back at me. It’s scary for me to allow other people to depend on me and for me to depend on them.
Another incredible aspect of the race is the fact that each mile is paired up with a girl who has Rett’s Syndrome. I have learned about some of the girls that I’m ‘paired up’ with for each mile and their stories are so motivating to me and I will constantly be thinking about them each mile. It is an honor to me to be a part of this team and run for each of these girls who cant. Read more about how we’re running 195 miles for 195 girls here. After this race, I’m looking forward to planning for fall, but I really want to enjoy this weekend and raise awareness for Girl Power 2 Cure! Here we go!
In just two weeks Team Sparkle will be defending their Ultra Women Team Championship at So Cal Ragnar Relay Series. Last year, I was on the team and the slowest runner. (Day 1 Recap here & Day 2 Recap here) I got injured toward the end of the race and really felt bummed how even though we won, I was the slowest one, by a lot. Last year I ran 30 miles at 10:45 pace. I was pretty honored that they asked me to come back this year after my not so stellar performance last year and even more excited when they told me that this year we will be running with extra motivation.
Disclosure – Kurgo sent me a few products to review for this series on running with your dog. All opinions and photos are my own and all content in the series is my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see Ts and Cs tab for more information.
One of my favorite running buddies is my dog George! I’m doing a series on running with your dog, and if you missed Part 1 on training your dog to run with you, check it out here, and if you want more information on nutrition for your active dog, the 2nd post is here.
I love running. I’ve been running for a while and it seems that I am either in a stage of complete running bliss, or burned out. For some reason it’s so hard for me to find a happy medium and I’m like a teeter totter completely on one side or the other. At the beginning of the month, running was fairly easy, I had no issues finding time to get in a run and I seemed to be having no aches or pains. In the last two weeks, it seems like I have been struggling to get in a solid run in and when they do, they are tough.
It’s hard for me when I am in that ‘place’ of burned out to remember how awesome running can be. It seems to come in waves and when I’m in the lower point where running isn’t fun and perfect, it’s hard to get out there and get it done. I try to remember that feeling of elation I get when I do have a good run, and try to push through those sloggy feelings that I had to fit it in. I have been doing much better this year in general as I’m trying to make each run count and have a purpose. I’ve cut down a lot on junk miles or just running to get to a weekly mileage goal, which has helped a lot with keeping the burnout away, but sometimes it still creeps up.
This weekend I finally got in a good run on Friday and then went for a long run on Sunday. After a super long two day track meet, I was inspired by my team and how well they ran. I always am pumped up to run after I watch them race. On Sunday, it was a run where I was actually feeling awesome the entire time. I finished with two fast miles, and though I really had to push myself, it felt great to run hard. It’s that feeling that I love when I get home and feel accomplished and not beat up and tired. I just need to remember that during the low points on the teeter totter of running, it will pass and that the fact that I can run is incredible and something I need to cherish. Getting through the tough running times make the easy running days that much sweeter.