It’s been a busy June already and we’re still in single digits. And, it’s not going to let up anytime soon either. Next week my little brother is getting married and then I’m running RAGNAR (it always must be spelt with capitals — like you are yelling it) on Friday and Saturday.
I love RAGNAR.
Despite getting heat exhaustion last year and nearly dying. Okay, I wasn’t anywhere near death — but, after eating Little Caesars Pizza at the finish line I thought I was a gonner. The combination of heat exhaustion and pizza on the stomach was seriously one of my worse decisions.
This year — I’m staying away from the pizza. Besides — I heard rumors they have Costa Vida at the finish line. It might not be free — but after running two days straight — I’ll throw my money at that.
I am running this year with some friends from up north — which basically means Logan around here in Utah. Joanna, Michael, Monica and a few others that aren’t friends yet, but will be by the time we spend WAY too much time in a car together.
It’s going to be a lot of fun.
We got assigned our legs yesterday and I am runner 11. I’ve been runner 11 before, but the course map has changed a lot the past few years that it’s not the same legs. Especially since we don’t run up RAGNAR Hill anymore. But, that’s a post for another day.
I am running a total of 16.3 miles among the three legs — so I’ll be able to count the race towards my 180 races (races must be 13.1 miles or longer to count). My first leg is a moderate 4.4 miles, while my night run is a doozy 9.7 mile run. Then my last run is an easy breezy 2.2 mile run before I exchange it off to the final runner.
My midnight run is the 9.7 mile leg — which I am not necessarily looking forward to. I won’t lie. I’ve loathed all of my midnight runs during RAGNAR — mainly because I’d rather be sleeping. But, as soon as I am done running I am always instantly cold and feel gross. I want an immediate shower and change of clothes.
But, the leg I am running is also pretty much the same one I ran a few years ago in the middle of the night. The same leg I almost ran right into a skunk at mile two of an 11 mile leg. Not to mention it was unsupported so I had to bring my backpack and rely on a couple aid stations for aid. Not really fun.
Plus, when I got to the exchange — I just felt gross and wanted an immediate shower. I’m such a diva when it comes to that — I won’t deny that. The same thing goes with camping. As long as I have a shower or semi-flushable toilet I’m happy.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for my midnight run — I really am excited overall for the experience. RAGNAR is just fun — it’s fun to bond with others — new and old friends — out on the road and in the car. I’ve never come away from a RAGNAR where I haven’t met or bonded with a new friend or had some epic experience.
This will be my fourth RAGNAR and fifth relay — so I guess you could say I am somewhat of a pro — or RAGNARIAN. I don’t think I could ever go a year without running a RAGNAR especially Wasatch Back. It’s basically in my backyard — how can I NOT race it, right?
One of these days though — I do want to run a few other RAGNARS. Like — Vegas, Southern Cal, Northwest Passage and some of the trail series. Maybe not this year, but I think 2017 would be a good year for multiple RAGNARS?! Anyone else want to join me?
Before we get TOO excited for RAGNAR — I first have the Drop 13 Half this weekend down Big Cottonwood Canyon. This is one of my favorite races and canyons to run. It’s beautiful, fast and fun. Everything I look for in a great race.
This past week I’ve been feeling pretty good about my runs. I got a 4.4 miler in the other day — it wasn’t downhill, but I felt good for most of the run. The legs were a bit heavy in the last mile, but I think I was just pushing it a bit too hard on the rolling hill terrain.
But, if last weekend’s run down the canyon is any indication — I should be fast enough to come in anywhere around 2:35-2:45. That’s my goal. Last year I came in around 2:35. I feel like I can approach that. But, I’ll be happy anywhere within that 10 minute range. I just want to run my best.
I’m getting stronger especially as I am dropping weight and I feel the strength and energy come back. So I have no doubt that I’ll get back to where I want/need. My goal race is really the Nebo Half — I want to run a 2:20 real bad.
But, before I get there I need to take care of the tasks at hand and continue doing what I need to now. And, I need to remember that my main goal this year racing wise is to be prepared for my 50 miler in October.
Either way — I’m hoping to fly down Big Cottonwood on Saturday! WOOOOOHOOOOO!
STREAK DAY #6: 1.0 mile (6/6/16). Shakeout run from Saturday’s run. Was planning on doing two miles, but fought a lingering migraine all afternoon and evening — so stuck with my mile run minimum to keep my streak alive. Planning on a longer run tomorrow to make up for it. #rsd6 #running #race2m @josherwalla @joshruns180 @streakingjosh
A photo posted by Streaking Josh 🏃🏻💨 (@streakingjosh) on
STREAK DAY #7: 4.4 miles (6/7/16). Yesterday’s migraine nearly derailed today’s run too, but I stayed home to fight it and felt better around 3pm. I wanted to run outside and just go as far as I felt comfortable. I didn’t want to get stuck with a recurring migraine too far from home. So I reassessed myself throughout the run. Well, I got 4.4 miles in so I’m happy with that. No speed, worked on consistency and just enjoyed being outside feeling better — migraine free! #rsd7 #running #race2m @josherwalla @joshruns180 @streakingjosh