Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Testing limits, Ragnar style; Part 1

"I decided to go for a little run" - Forrest Gump

Once the 5K was behind me, my nerves about the upcoming Ragnar were kicking into high gear.  I was sore, limping, and I was beginning to doubt myself.  Still, I went on my regular Monday night run with my team.  I needed to be with other runners, and it would be my last run before Ragnar that weekend. 

That run was not a good one.  I made it through four miles, but not without pain in my hip and a feeling like I had tree trunks for legs.  It was bad and I wasn't happy.  I then spent the week limping, and sitting at my desk didn't help matters at all.  Desk jobs aren't of much benefit when you're trying to keep limber.  

I had Ragnar heavy on my mind, but, I had so much to do before leaving for the race.  I had a parent meeting for Ethel's summer camp, Ethel's last day of school, and Fred's 'graduation' from the pre-k program at day care.  In the meantime, a friend of mine is a painter and I'd asked him to paint a couple ares in our house.  Of all weeks, he had the end of that week free to come paint - the days I would be gone!  :)  

At one point, I'd found the time to look up some info on runner reviews of the Ragnar Chicago.  I was trying to get some details about my specific legs and what others had said about them, but, ended up finding information that was much more valuable.  This blog showed me how to pack!  What a great idea to pack one outfit for each leg and put them into gallon sized resealable bags!  The next challenge was making the time to pack.  Hm.

My obsession with my three legs of the relay was quickly replaced with making time to pack, what to pack, and how to pack it all.  What bag would I bring?  Would I bring a pillow, or a Pillow Pet?  How many pairs of underwear?  Should I even bother bringing my toothbrush?

I tend to work best under pressure, and up against a deadline.  Given too much time, my ADD kicks in and I end up doing almost everything but the thing I should be doing.  Like right now I'm blogging, but, should be {insert household chore here}-ing.  See?

"The will to run is not as nearly as important as the will to prepare" Luis Escobar

After narrowing it down to two small duffle bags, I started by laying out three outfits, one for each leg.  It took careful thought, as one of my legs would be an overnight run, so I had to prepare for the possibility that it might be chilly.  It might rain at some point,  It might be blazing hot.  The beauty of the midwest is never knowing what to expect from Mother Nature.

I should have taken pictures of my stuff all laid out.  But I didn't.  I knew I'd forget something!  I decided to wear my running skirt for my overnight run because it has a pocket where I could keep my phone, in case a wild animal jumped me, in case I got mugged, or in case my hip gave out suddenly and I was so far ahead of all the other runners that nobody would pass me for hours.......what, can't a girl be prepared?

Anyway, with three outfits carefully chosen for each of my three legs of the relay, I was left to figure out what to bring for the rest of the race.  Obviously, I wouldn't want to sit in my sweaty, smelly clothes for hours on end between legs.  I also wasn't sure what kind of time or accommodation there would be to actually change into non-smelly clothes at any given point.  So I chose to pack yoga pants, two additional tech shirts, and three other pairs of underwear.  I did pack my toothbrush,  and threw in a hair brush and some sunscreen.  Next, I raided my cabinet of Gu and half filled a resealable bag with assorted Gu, chews, gels, and a tube of Nuun tabs.  Can't be too prepared, I figured.

I knew sleep on Wednesday night would be critical, as Thursday night would be spent in a hotel and the following 48 hours spent in a van.  I got myself to bed in the neighborhood of 10PM and agreed to obsess about packing it all up for good on Thursday.  After watching my baby girl finish her last day of first grade.  Please tell me, where does the time go?