I’ve never run a relay so I decided for my very first one, I might as well make it an ultra. On July 19th, my Ragnar Ultra Team will be covering 200 miles as part of Ragnar Northwest Passage, starting near the Canadian border and continuing down to Whidbey Island. Lauren pulled together the team and Rira, Robyn, Bethany and Jessey were all crazy enough to join the fun. I’m runner #3 and will my legs are 12.6 miles, another 12.6 and 8 miles. I’m in awe (and thankful!) of my fellow teammates that took the hard mileage. I think Robyn and Jessey have a 16 or 17 mile run, in addition to all the other miles they have to run. I’m not going to lie… I’m perhaps a tad nervous about this one. I know it’s going to be a blast hanging out with these ladies for 30+ hours but I’m hoping that I don’t slow us down too much and/or pass out on the side of the road in the heat.

Sidenote: Special shoutout for Lauren to being such an organized team leader. Thanks for all your hard work!

Oh, and here’s our meetup photo from May’s Miles and Margs where Lauren suckered/convinced Robyn and Rira into signing up. (Photo stolen from Stacie).Image

So about this training for Ragnar thing. I googled “train for a Ragnar ultra” and there isn’t exactly a Hal Hidgon “run an ultra relay race” plan so I’ve just been following my scheduled marathon plan. I did come across another runner’s blog that said you shouldn’t run an ultra relay unless you’re already in marathon shape. I am nowhere near marathon shape right now. Gulp. I reached a total of 26 miles in training last week and rearranged my weekend run to do longer back to backs. I skipped a 3-mile run during the week and combined it with my Sunday 3-mile run, for a total of 10 miles on Saturday and 6 miles on Sunday. I woke up at 6 am on Saturday to get my run in before it got too warm, despite the fact that I love sleeping in until 7:30 or 8am on the weekends. I let myself sleep in on Sunday which meant I had to do my 6 miles at the gym since it hit 95 degrees in Redmond.

My mileage is increasing to 28.5 this week, with 4 miles tomorrow, 6 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 11 on Saturday and 3.5 on Sunday. I’m going to attempt to run my 4 miles outside in the 80 degree weather since it might be good conditioning for Ragnar. I grew up in Florida and my fellow native Floridians would be ashamed of me if they knew what a heat wimp I’ve become. In my defense, I haven’t lived in Florida since 2002 and my body has definitely adjusted to Seattle’s moderate temperatures. 

If you have any tips for surviving an ultra relay race, let me know. These are a few of the tips that I’ve read on other blogs:

1) Eat as much food as possible for an ultra relay, especially protein
2) Bring Immodium to help with stomach issues
3) Baby wipes. We won’t have time to shower so this will help reduce the stink
4) Put outfits into zip block bags and label them for each leg

I’ll post my full packing list when it gets closer. Any other tips?? I’d love to hear them!