September Update and Ragnar Recap

Let’s see… where do I begin? It’s been a while… A lot of training has taken place since my last post and things are going well. **Knock on wood**  I ran a total of 76.68 miles throughout the month of September… not quite the 100 that a bunch of friends were striving for this month, but I’m sure I’ll get to that number in the coming months based on my training schedule.

So, during my last post I gave a recap of the Charles Street 12 mile race… well, the next day, I decided to try something new for recovery. I had purchased from Groupon a pack of 3 sessions of Cryotherapy. If you aren’t familiar with Cryotherapy, it’s basically all alternative to an ice bath to aid in muscle recovery. You have to get naked and stand in this cylinder thing for about 3 minutes. It’s faster (and dryer) than a traditional ice bath. I cannot say it’s warmer though because it was *brrr* really cold, and I only went to the level 1 option for beginners. Apparently it can get WAY colder than the temp I had to endure. Here are some photos of my experience 🙂

I will do it again, but I’m sad to say I haven’t made it back out there just yet.

Since then, I had some typical Tuesday and Thursday 45 minute runs, Track workouts are still my “go-to” for Tuesday evenings. I don’t know if they are helping with my pace really, but I appreciate the structure of them and the company of others on the track as opposed to me just trying to go out there and “wing-it”.

A few weeks ago, my training called for a long run of 13 miles, so I met up with some of my bad-ass lady gang friends who happened to be celebrating a few birthdays. Some ran longer, some ran shorter, all in all, it was great to have company.

The ladies that I stuck with for most of my 13 miles were doing intervals. And the Galloway method that I’m following, while it recommends running intervals, that is something that I hadn’t done yet – with any sort of structure anyway – I would mostly run, but just walk when I felt that I needed to. For this group the intervals were 90/30 I think, if I remember correctly. That’s 90 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking. I tried this and Tailwind in my water bottle for the first time and I felt pretty great! Of course, it’s not the first time I had run 13 miles so I haven’t yet reached uncharted territory.

My next weekend run, after this 13 miler, was supposed to be an easy weekend – training called for 3 miles on Saturday. I had other plans in mind though… I was signed up for a Ragnar Relay run. Me, along with a group of 11 other amazing women formed a team called “She Runs This Ragnar” and we ran a total of 204 miles from Cumberland Md, to DC. I was runner number 2, and my mileage wasn’t all that bad. Less than 14 miles total over 3 different legs of the relay. The most taxing things about the Ragnar Relay series is not having much sleep – if any at all, and then you’re also afraid to eat too much or too little because you don’t want to upset your stomach knowing that you have to go back out and run again in a few hours. This was my second road Ragnar – 3rd Ragnar total and IDK, it just didn’t seem as exciting for me this time around. I didn’t even get excited about the race until around 2 days before. I remember when I did it last year, that it’s all I thought about for MONTHS! I ended up having a blast, which I knew I would, it just took me some time to get excited that’s all.

To start off our Ragnar journey, we had to all meet at a central location, load up into 2 – 12 passenger vans and make the drive up to Cumberland near the start. We had to get there on Thursday night and rent a hotel because our start time was 4:30am on Friday. It was dark on the 2 hour drive up and we were trucking right along, probably about 30 minutes from our destination, and BAM! There was a swerve and a lot THUMP on the side of the van… I was sitting in the back so I didn’t see it, but apparently we hit a deer (sorry Bambi!). None of us knew what to do, the driver was asking if we should pull over, but we all told her to see going because, let’s be real here, what were we gonna do – perform CPR, try to drag it out of the road without getting hit ourselves? I dunno.. so we kept going and finally arrived at the restaurant we had a reservation for dinner before checking into our hotel. We finally got the chance then to look at the van, and oddly enough, there was no damage. I don’t know HOW we got that lucky, I mean, the thump was LOUD, but since it hit the front/side-ish of the van, I think that helped a lot. Some of us thought this might be  good sign that the deer might just be okay but that certainly didn’t stop us from talking about it all weekend. One of our favorite quotes after this occurred was “Walk it off Bambi!”. Classic. *Sorry to any PETA people who may be reading this and get offended… it truly was an unavoidable accident.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our Ragnar weekend. Oh, and according to my FitBit, I got a total of 1 hour and 58 minutes of sleep on Friday night during Ragnar – Ha!! It’s a crazy adventure, and I really had fun marking off my “Road kill”! (Road kill during Ragnar is just the amount of people that you passed during your run, not actually killing things – calm down).

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The Tuesday after Ragnar, I tried a track workout. THAT was painful. It was slow going, and I don’t think I completed ALL that the coach had laid to for us that day, but it was great to shake out a little of the Ragnar pain. Oddly enough, the following Thursday I joined a local running store’s Pub Run, and pushed it HARD with a friend that I ran with and ended up getting a 5k PR during that run. Don’t know how I managed that, because I was definitely still a little sore, but I think more than anything I just wanted to get it over with.. LOL!

Finally that has me caught up to today. Dopey training called for 15 miles, but a local run club had put on what they called a “Metric Marathon”. Distance was 26.2K or 16.3 miles. Longer than my plan called for, but I wanted to have the company of others and I wasn’t exactly sure what route I would have run for 15 miles all on my own. No worries though, the interval timer that a friend had that I talked about earlier – I found one on Amazon and bought it. I wanted to survive, so I set my mind on running intervals, but at 3/30… meaning 3 minute runs and 30 second walks. I wanted to do a little more running than the last time I tried the intervals. I fully had the expectation to run this by myself though because not many people like to run intervals, and this was a small race anyway, not a big production, so I had cued up Kevin Harts book on Audible so I could have something to listen to and occupy my mind while running. I have a feeling that will be hilarious to listen to – especially in Kevin Harts own voice, but I didn’t get the chance. I did wind up having friends to run with for the most part, and even though we separated eventually, I thought it was too late in the run to get started on the book, so I’ll save that for my next long run. I suppose this ran counted as a PR also, because it’s the furthest I’ve run so far!

During this – my farthest run, it was a total experiment. First time with the intervals, first time with my new hydration pack, and I had tailwind in 1 bottle, plain water in the other bottle. I also took 2 – O2 Gold before the run. This is a supplement from Advocare that is supposed to aid in the way your body uses oxygen while running.  I sipped on the tailwind every few miles. I had 2 cliff blocks at mile 5, then again and mile 10 and finally at mile 14. I prefer the Honey Stinger chews, but am trying to use up the last of the Cliff Blocks that I purchased earlier this summer when they were on sale. I’d have to say, I felt really good during this run. A little sore after – found some new spots for chaffing that I never chaffed before… go figure…but that’s what training is all about, right?

Onward for a kickass October!


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