Things I Unexpectedly Learned at the 2013 Ragnar Relay

This past weekend, I ran my booty off at the 2013 Ragnar Relay race.  For those who don’t know, it’s a 200-mile, 12-person relay race completed in less than 36 hours.  My team finished in just over 32.  No small feat, y’all.  Of course, with all new things, I learned many lessons along the way including the following:



Train for hills (lots of them)

First and foremost, I barely trained for this race and that was my fault.  I ran up to five miles and crossfitted a couple of times a week before race day.  For the most part, I winged it.  If I ran the relay race over again, I would train extra mileage, but most importantly, I would practice running hills.

Nearly every freaking leg, this past weekend, included some sort of uphill.  There is apparently no flat ground in Maryland.  A mile and a half into my first leg, I questioned if I was even going to finish!  It took everything in me to keep moving upwards.


Overpack (more than you think)

Similar to my experience with the hills, I had no idea what to expect in terms of the amount of clothing to pack.  Obviously, I brought different running clothes for each of the legs and I also decided to throw in a couple extra items of clothing for hanging out in between the legs.  My friends know me as a light packer, but – for this rare occasion – I recommend packing a number of shirts / pants for down time in the van.  Running clothes get stinky (we used plastic bags to store our sweaty clothes) and even some of my in-between shirts suffered from abundant sweat production.  It was nice to have a clean shirt handy! :)


The government shutdown impacts Ragnar Relay

Yes, people!  The government shutdown impacted three of our legs, which basically meant that we were not allowed on any trails that traveled through the District.  Ragnar offered an intriguing solution.  For the three affected legs, we buddied up so that two team members ran together.

This proved to be a fun experience!  I ran with one of the guys on our team who, similar to me, also didn’t train enough of the distance / hills beforehand. He struggled a bit on his first, longer two legs even though, I knew he could do better.  So, me being me, I pushed him on our last two-mile leg together!!  At the end, he even said “let’s finish this” as we upped our pace a bit as we crossed the exchange line.  Afterwards, he thanked me several times for encouraging him!

This made me so happy!  I love to inspire people to go after their dreams, especially in the physical fitness arena.  So, I am counting this experience as one of my RAKs, specifically #25 Inspire someone.

Have you encouraged someone recently?

When a Woman Needs Flowers : day one.

Epic Fail: Carrying Groceries: day two.

Tips for Donating Clothes: day three.

Letters to Home: day four.

Say Thank You: day five.

Things I Unexpectedly Learned at the 2013 Ragnar Relay: this is day six.

Have you read about 31 days and/or visited other bloggers’ series?

Other 31 Random Acts conducted yesterday (that I know about!):

Thank you for your RAK love!

Are you performing a random act today?

15 thoughts on “Things I Unexpectedly Learned at the 2013 Ragnar Relay

  1. So, I’m a little behind, but have the first day of the challenge still before me … can’t wait.

    I love when we’re presented with an opportunity to encourage that we might not have expected. Don’t you love the idea that he might do the same for someone on another hill on another day?

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