musings on running, life, and everything in between

Ragnar, the doldrums of post-semester/post-race, and making plans

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We had our planning meeting for Ragnar Chicago last night. I was captaining two teams, i.e., 24 women, so we were solidifying last minute runner swap-outs, discussing logistics, and figuring out what we needed to do in the next 4 weeks. This will be my third Ragnar Relay–all Chicago. For those not familiar with Ragnar Relay‘s, it’s a relay race from point to point over the span of 1-2 days. They are national and there are road races and trail versions. Teams vary in size from 6-12, and for those most brave/insane, teams of 2 (people do it!). Ragnar Chicago is from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL and covers 200 miles June 12-13. I’ve captained a team the last two years. This year, the response from my running group was so immense that we had enough women to have two whole teams of 12. We decided to do a “competitive” team and a “relaxed” team. You see, the last two years, my team has placed third (though I think we got cheated, ha) and second. We’re going for the gold this time! Both groups of women are AWESOME, and my only sadness is that I can’t actually be in the same van with all of them.


Ragnar 2014: We ran as “runaway brides/maids,” hence the bizarro costuming!

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Ragnar 2013: Superhero/supermoms

It’s been kind of crazy captaining two teams, though, as we’ve “lost” two runners to babies/pregnancy and several to injury. I’ve done the crazy-early registration in August–so we are teams 26 and 27 (out of about 400)–so alot of folks commit early without knowing what will happen in the winter/spring. It’s been a little bit of a scramble plugging everyone in, and a bit heartbreaking losing some of the runners, but there’s always next year….or Ragnar Tennessee, which was a dream last year that didn’t happen. This year, though…we’ll see 🙂

My most recent sad moment was replacing Jenny. With barely 4 weeks left, she still hadn’t been cleared for running and is still have some niggling in her ankle (btw, ankles seem to be a very mysterious, complicated area of the body). I know that she can mentally do it, but I was afraid she would hurt herself further trying to push herself. Seriously, though, how can you not love/miss a girl who will tag other people’s vans like this during the race?

We love fast girls

Still, I really want her to get stronger and recover fully before making the demands of another long race on it. The one upside is that my friend Kelly, who ran Ragnar with us in 2013 but had a baby recently, will be replacing her. I told her she should just bring the baby, but don’t forget to NOT lock the baby in the van by herself (true story, a team did this in 2013…).

The semester has finally ended, grades are in, and now it’s just wrap up meetings, etc., and it’s a few days before the Schaumburg Marathon. I feel weirdly rudderless right now. I have Ragnar on the horizon, but no other major races. I don’t have a solid training plan still, and I’m just tired. The idea of potentially running another marathon in a few days horrifies me, and I’m glad I didn’t register. Still, I can’t help but feel like there’s something wrong with me or just shake my general sense of malaise. I think it’s always hard when you exert a great effort to accomplish something and afterwards you’re left with all this space. Part of me wants to be ok with just resting, getting stronger, and being quiet. But if you know me, you know that those things are not things I’m very good at. I know I can think about training hard for Ragnar, but I did a horrible speed workout on Tuesday (granted, it was windy), and ran a two-a-day yesterday of some short runs in my new shoes (I decided to give them a try) that was meh, and it’s not exactly getting me excited. Not like the excitement of building mileage and getting ready for a big race. If you’ve noticed, even Jen K. has been missing from the blog (she messaged me earlier if I was missing her, ha).

Anyhow, I would love any suggestions for revamping my excitement back up? Trying some new things? What do you do in between big races?

team win

Ragner 2013: One of my favorite all-time race photos. This, for me, shows how it’s about the journey!

Author: runNerdier

Marathoner. Academic. Mom of 2 ankle-biters.

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