August, 2011

Three months in and things are going well. The job is keeping me busy, adding new tasks on a regular basis, while improving workflow and methodology too. It does not seem like 90 days ago my tenure of unemployment ended. Time flies when you have a purpose and structure flowing in a daily routine.

July also marked the second Ragnar Relay I started, and finished (with extra miles). Starting the event, I was set to run 3 times for 8.5 miles, two 2.9 mile legs. 14.3 miles without training, who would do that? After running 17.5 miles during the Ragnar Relay, Las Vegas in 2010, I figured, why not try for less?

As with the Vegas event, extra miles were aplenty for our team. Starting out with a team of 11 (instead of 12) we were already tempting fate. Fortunately for us, one of our team members was training for the Burning River 100 and offered to pick up the extra legs as her training. Fantastic!

After our group of 6 runners finished up their first legs, one of the runners suffered from heat exhaustion with a possible side of dehydration. She had to end up in the ER to get two bags of IV fluids put into her system. Our team captain picked up some pain and numbness during her run, so she kept the other runner company in the hospital.

That left our van two runners short, being the idiot that I am, after running the single longest distance at one time earlier in the morning, I attempted the second longest run of my life: 7.5 miles. This was a combination of a 4.1 and 3.4 mile legs back to back. My legs were feeling pretty good as I finished those legs as the sun descended below the horizon. Trouble almost popped up as I was cooling down and felt tendons popping with each step in my left ankle.

The next morning came around, time for run #3, a 5.5 mile leg of steadily increasing hills. Starting slow and steady as to not aggravate the tight muscles, I kept (what I thought was) a moderate, steady pace up the course. That 5.5 miles seemed to go on endlessly! Each time a Ragnar course sign would appear, I would look for the chute and my team’s next runner, such a torturous run. Finally, the chute was in sight, a large number of teams were there watching for their runners to run into view. Utilizing the last bit of reserved energy I had, my legs churned faster as I sprinted to the exchange.

Photos later showed me nearly collapsing as soon as the exchange was made. A dip in a frigid lake and a hot tub helped keep me from being sore or tight the next morning. Northwest Passage was another incredible event, and I can not wait for the October Las Vegas run to arrive!

It was said after last year’s Vegas event, this time, I am serious! I will actually train! Shocking, for sure. After running a respectable 12 minute mile average for the first 8.5 miles, slowing to a 16 minute mile pace for the 7.5 mile section and an embarrassing 20 minute mile pace for the last 5.5 mile section, I need to step up my game!

That being said, this morning was the first where I woke up and started on my conditioning. One day down, 80 more to go until Ragnar Relay Las Vegas 2011!

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