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How to have a Ragnarly, dude! relay race September 5, 2014

Posted by bettyjoan in Races, Running.
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Today, we are a week out from Ragnar DC – squee!  I started re-reading posts this morning from Ragnar TN back in 2012, and it got me all excited for the fun that is to come.  But, I also started getting a little anxious about logistics and packing – after all, there are a LOT of moving parts when you’re talking about 12 people, 2 vans, 200 miles, and zero sleep.

There are oodles of blog posts about how to pack for Ragnar.  When I was prepping for Tennessee, the chronic overpacker in me got really frustrated – you want to have everything you could possibly need for 3 different “mini” races (and for lots of potential weather scenarios), but you also can’t take up so much room in the van that you don’t have any left for the really important stuff (otherwise known as your teammates and a cooler).

So, rather than put together yet another in-depth packing list, I’m going to talk about the things you probably DON’T need to bring to Ragnar…

Lounging/non-running clothes – Okay, so I’m not talking about clothes for partying after you finish the race, or PJs for in the hotel the night before the start.  I’m talking about clothes for DURING the race, after you have completed one of your legs and the waiting begins.  While I definitely recommend bringing three separate running outfits, there is no point in putting on “regular” clothes in between.  You probably won’t have time anyway.  Make sure you have flip flops or slippers or other comfortable non-running shoes, and call it a day.

Enough food for a small army – Yes, you will definitely eat a lot during Ragnar.  But, not everyone likes the same things, and even ONE person’s tastes will vary during a 30+hour period (for example, I liked pumpkin muffins at the beginning of Ragnar TN, but I had eaten so many of them by the end of my second leg that I never wanted to see another one as long as I lived).  Make sure you have plenty of hydration, and sure, pack some portable and chewable fuel, but remember that you can usually stop for food at least once or twice during the journey.  I distinctly recall both a Zaxby’s AND a Cracker Barrel stop during our van’s off time.  At the time, they were both the best meals I have ever had.

Full size pillows – They take up a LOT of room.  Chances are, not everyone will be sleeping at the same time, so you could always use folded up sleeping bags and/or blankets to rest your head.  If you have one of those airplane neck pillow things, all the better – it’s small, and it works for both sitting up sleep AND laying down sleep!

Your pet – I love my furbabies as much as the next person.  Probably more, come to think about it.  But as much as you don’t want to take Fifi to the kennel while you run around the countryside, do the humane thing and spare your dogs/cats/cockatoos the misery of being crammed into a van with a bunch of crazy, delirious humans.  Plus, you don’t want your best buddy breaking loose when one of your teammates, in a sleep deprived haze, opens the door to the van before you’ve actually put the leash on.

A bad attitude – Seriously, just don’t.  Ragnar is FUN!!!  If you come expecting to have a good time, meet some cool people, and enhance your existing friendships, you’ll be in great shape.  The opportunity to be tired and cranky will most certainly present itself, but don’t take the bait!

Anyone else have tips on what not to bring?


Music to tri to July 27, 2009

Posted by bettyjoan in Uncategorized.
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To help us cope with our triathlon withdrawal, one of my wonderful teammates made everyone these fabulous CDs, chock full of tri-related music.  Songs like R.E.M.’s “Night Swimming” and Cake’s “Going The Distance” are great, but my favorite track is numero uno.  Once you read the lyrics, you’ll understand why!

“The Triathlon Song”

Well it’s 5am and I’m ready to go.
A little stretching and a cup of joe.
The stars are fading from the sky.
Got that early morning high.

Lots of miles, lots of sweat
It was worth it, I’m all set
Got my wetsuit on and I’m ready to fly
Damn, my tires are pumped and so am I!

Well, swim, bike, run
Yeah, it’s so much fun!
Here comes the morning sun
But I won’t be first and I won’t be last
But I’m knowing that I’ll have a blast
I’m in the swim: feel that morning chill
I’m on the bike: hammer up that hill
I’m running fast: like I knew I would
And it feels so good!
Well it feels so good!

Barely made it to T1 alive
T2 was quick, just 1:05
My biking muscles are ready to fold
Come on, running legs take hold

I’m sweating buckets everywhere
Two liters low but I don’t care
I’d give my wife, my house, my car
If I could set a new PR!

Well, swim, bike, run
Yeah, it’s so much fun!
I’m not stopping ‘til I’m done
Well, I’ll crawl on in as a last resort
But man, I love this sport!
There’s the finish line I never thought I’d see
I hear the crowd, they’re all cheering me
A final burst, like I knew I could
When it feels so good!
Well, it feels so good!
‘Cause it feels so good
To stop