What the heck is Ragnar you say? Well, let me tell you. Ragnar is an overnight running relay race. We have a team of 12 people and each runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles. It last 2 days and 1 night and teams run across 200 miles starting from San Francisco and ending in Calistoga. We eat, sleep and get to stink up a giant van together. Should be amazing!
My dear blogging and running friend, Laura, suggested I join her team when someone dropped and I jumped at the chance. I don't know any one else but her, it should proved to be great experience.
I've been mentally preparing for the past week. Here's what it will all look like:
Starting Friday morning I am meeting with my van mates at 5:00AM in Oakland. We head to San Francisco where we do a safety briefing and get ready to start. I get to start off our team (I don't know how I got this lucky). My first leg is a short distance (4 miles) and I get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge! Like I said...lucky! After that, I jump in the van with the rest of the crew while another runner starts leg 2. We go until leg 6 (Van 2 runners take over from there) and we get a break. At that point, we will get lunch, maybe relax a bit then get ready for our second tour around 6pm. This is going to be a longer one. We start this time in Petaluma and my stretch is 5.7 miles. This leg is labeled "Hard." Let's hope I do ok. We go through the same sequence of runners and run until about 1:00AM. Laura has the last let and she has to run at night. I've heard the stories about people getting lost...ek! I said I would run with her, but let's face, I may be too tired at that point. But, I'd want someone to run with me if I was at night - coffee will be my best friend this weekend.
We get another break at this point and get to eat/rest/possibly sleep. There are designated outdoor sleeping areas and people sleep in the vans. Who knows where I'll end up.
We start back up Saturday morning and my 3rd and last leg is labeled "very difficult." I have no idea how they rate these runs, which scares me. This leg is 8.3 miles through Napa. I am fairly confident I'll be close to dead at this point. But it's my last one, so I can hang in there.
Then the rest of our runners go and Van 2 runners get to finish off the race. We should be done by 4:00PM-ish on Saturday. Post race festivities include free wine from Mumm! Whohhoo...perks of wine country being the end point.
(Started packing on Sunday...)
sunscreen, bug spray, fuel belt, head lamp, fresh wipes, Hammer Gels, Cytomax, Garmin
So what I have been doing to prepare? Since I've been training for Nike, the miles have been in the bag. But the running several times a day, that isn't. I have however, been doing 2 workouts a day for a few months. I've been waking up at 5:45am and doing Jillian Michael's 20-minute workout or Biggest Loser Yoga then running in the afternoon. I am hoping that pattern will be good enough training. Who knows. I've come to expect nothing!
Since I've been getting up and working out, I've had to adjust my morning meal a bit. I've been trying to meal plan for the week more, and this includes breakfast. Lately, each Sunday, I make my breakfast for the week. This is the easiest breakfast I've ever made and it has proven to be helpful when I have a wardrobe malfunction, or Bailey takes longer than usual on our morning walks.
Ok here we go...Hard-Baked Eggs.
I hated hard boiled eggs as a kid. In fact, I never even ate them, because I couldn't get past the smell! My mom would make potato salad or egg salad and the house would smell like poo. Why would I want to eat something that smelled like poo? Then I started running and found out eggs are like a wonderful drug when it goes to post-run or workout food. They are full of protein, help with inflammation, they keep you full longer, and not to mention, they pretty tasty.
So why baked instead of boiling? When I started warming up the idea of eggs in the morning, I knew scrambling would take too long for me, but the smell of the boiling eggs makes me sick. Then I saw idea on The Kitchn and couldn't resist trying. After I saw that, I did some research and found it was supposed to reduce the smell, make it easier to peel, and makes the egg creamer. Plus you can stick them in the oven and walk away while they bake. I am a multi-tasker, so this was a good option for me. Then each morning, I grab 2 eggs and a piece of fruit and I am out the door. Give them a try, its worth a shot.
Oven Cooked Hard-Baked Eggs
by Alton Brown via the Kitchn
What you need:
1 dozen eggs
a muffin pan
bowl of cold water for a post baking dunk.
Preheat the oven to 325*. Place the eggs in a muffin tin and place the tin on the middle rack in the oven. Set the timer for 25 minutes. When they are done, let them set for about 5 minutes and then place in a cold water bath until they are cooled. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
You can place the eggs direction on the racks if you don't have the pan, but the pan helps when them not moving around and its easier to get them in and out of the oven.
**Note, the fresher the egg, the harder to peel.**
What do you like to eat for a post run or post morning workout?
What tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated to get up in the morning?
Wish me luck for Ragnar! I'll report back next week, given I don't get lost somewhere in wine country!