Saturday, August 18

12a-c reg (lukewarm and bleah)
2a-2oz almonds, half bag sweet peppers, 2c reg w SF syrup (very hungry, had not planned to be eating at this time; found 2 things that looked good at a gas station, was all quite delicious)
3a-bottle CCZ, BCAAs, salt tab
345a-4.92m run
5a-half bag jerky, .5c raw veg, half bag sweet peppers, bag pear chips, macaroon, Ultima (had to force myself to get this down...not hungry)
8a-med apple, half bag jerky, can Zevia (hungry this time, though nothing sounded good)
930a-BCAAs, salt tab
1030a-4.93m run
2p-bag jerky, 2 bags apple chips, Ultima, can Zevia, supps
Throughout day-2 quarts water

Sleep: In "bed" 1.25 hours, asleep 30 minutes max, after first leg. In "bed" an hour after second leg but didn't even attempt to sleep. Main goal was to get body straight to keep hip flexors from tightening up. It worked.

Body: I felt wonderful on my second Ragnar leg. Lots of recovery work afterward such as laying flat or Stick & FR after 2nd rest, stretches and mobility, nearly-prime nutrition, etc.

Legs were still great on third leg, but everything ELSE fell apart there, from guts to temp to brain. Click on the link above and read about it.

Brain: Good until final run. Seriously, did you click on the link yet?

Ragnar day two: The constant driving slowed down a bit for Brett & Andy's long 9.4-mile legs in round two. But there was still really no chance to rest, just sit around (I should have been moving a LOT more) and wait. Occupied myself with battling the iPad's internet signal to update my sweet pace spreadsheet.

Everyone raved about how good it felt to run at night, and my second run was indeed very pleasant. Peaceful. Quiet. I did not attempt to push myself on this one at all, just aimed for a comfortable pace, and enjoyed it all, other than my foolish math errors. Choked down half of my post-run food. I was not hungry at all, but did not want to eat right before I ran leg 3. Sent off van 1 with much excitement and jealousy; they were all so ready to GO and I knew they'd be speed demons. Boys suck.

Made no attempt whatsoever to rest after leg 2. At our major exchange, just hit the bathroom to change & clean up only (though I could do nothing about my stupid frizzy hair - you people who want naturally curly hair are all fucking MORONS), then crawled into my sleeping bag on the grass with iPad, iPod, and cell phone. Laid flat to keep hip flexors happy, kept up with the doings in van 1, had full internet access (we were in the Cities somewhere) to share some of the insanity on Facebook, etc. Jodi slept for an hour in the van, so as soon as she got up we busted out the recovery tools and started feeling ready for round 3.

Van 1 all finished ridiculously fast. This set up too high of expectations for me, I think, forgetting that they were all stronger runners who had done terrible jobs of estimating their paces. We were all pretty damned accurate in van 2, and should have expected to do what those paces said...or worse, being our 3rd run in 18 hours on no sleep.

Anyway, I felt good going in, but my 3rd run sucked. I don't know if I needed more water, maybe should have skipped the 9a snack (but I was truly hungry), maybe it was the jump in carbs after a week of next-to-none - or it may have been just unavoidable given the many physical demands. But I was near tears and hyperventilation after handoff, exactly like my Fargo DNF, feeling very defeated, like I had just totally failed. Maybe that is what "hitting the wall" feels like? I dunno. It sucked. It was a rotten way to finish my running.

I know that I did not fail, not even close. I was merely at the brink of mental capabilities at that point. Epic physical feats, emotional highs, unrealistic expectations, did I mention I got 30 minutes of sleep? It is a wonder I didn't curl into a ball of WAH WAH WAH out in the woods!

I also then struggled to enjoy the finish line because it was all of 30 minutes after I had finished; I was still feeling mentally beatdown; didn't eat anything (only drank some Ultima) after my run; obviously couldn't partake in free pizza or beer (which of course felt quite unfair); and meanwhile van 1 looked like a bunch of fresh, relaxed, happy daisies. Jerks. (Not really. But that's how I felt.)

I began to feel so crappy that I wasn't even sure if food was what I needed. I knew I needed sleep (I was ungodly tired) but otherwise couldn't pinpoint my problem. On the ride home, I did eat what I had intended to eat post-run, but slowly, and I finally started to come around to just needing sleep. I tried to read but couldn't really absorb anything. Didn't want to nap for fear I would feel even worse driving home from Alex. Eyes were red as hell; I looked like a druggie. I actually broke down and cried on my drive home, just feeling so much emotion and exhaustion. I carried my shit inside, put my cold food into the fridge, took out my contacts, and crawled into bed. No shower. No anything. No fucking ability to care. It was 5pm. (I think.)


Overall, I can't decide whether I would do this again.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting. It helps now that I know better what to expect in terms of zero downtime or sleep and constant people & talking & noise & driving. I'd want to sign up so as to be the slowest person in the fastest van, since that would maximize the downtime outside of the vehicle! I found that I struggled with all that sitting most of all, more so than the lack of quiet, which I had expected to be my main issue.

I would also have go into it with a van full of better friends, not 2 total strangers, 2 coworkers (nice & awesome people that I've chatted with plenty, but not real close friends), and only 1 friend. The main thing I disliked was that the other van barely felt like part of our team. I felt very separated from them, which was hard - I had expected we would be interacting a whole lot more than we did, so that was extremely disappointing.

It was a fun experience overall - definitely an adventure, and not something that took a whole lot of training to accomplish. I just think I'd rather have spent those 18 hours tooling along with my friends on trails, sharing the running, not just the between-running. More like the Train & Stay, for which I can not fucking WAIT!

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