I’m training for the Big Cottonwood Half right now with Team in Training. I started out training for the full, but had to drop down because of some family issues in July that prevented me from getting out to run. I fell behind in the training, and at my age it’s almost impossible to make up the miles without injuring myself. That being said I still had a 63 mile month in July. I am starting to get the first signs of shin splints, and that has me a bit concerned, but I think I can keep them from becoming full blown before the race.
In June, I finished my 6th Ragnar event. (The Wasatch Back for the 4th time). It wasn’t as fun as it’s been in past years. I’m not sure what it was. I know that I wasn’t properly trained for it (which probably accounts for much of the suck-factor). I was runner 6 again, which consists of a long nasty 6 miler out of Avon Pass, followed by a really nasty 8 mile leg up into East Canyon. Between these two legs I was able to catch about 30 minutes of sleep (awesome) and then kind of choke down part of a chicken caesar wrap at Snow Basin (not so good). So when I started up East Canyon on my second leg, I was totally under fueled. I started out strong, but about 3 miles in I began to feel light-headed and kind of disconnected. At about the 5th mile, I caught up with my van, and told them what was happening. I choked down a cliff bar, and some kind of fruit salad thing, and luckily didn’t barf it back up over the last 3 miles. I did feel lots better after eating and did manage to avoid a major Bonk.After I finished, we passed off to the other van, a few minutes late, but not too bad, and went off to catch some sleep. In past years we’ve always camped at a junior high school in Coalville. It’s warm, dry, sometimes quiet, and about half way to our next exchange at the fairgrounds in Oakley. This year, everyone (except me) decided to go on to the fairgrounds to sleep. Let me preface this by saying that the weather had been cool and wet, and so a nice dry school sounded better to me than a wet fairground… I’m just saying. So we drove about an hour and a half to Oakley, and after seeing how wet the grass was, everyone (except me) decided just to sleep in the van. I was so tired by this point that sleeping in the van was an idea entirely composed of suck, so, a little angry and fully frustrated, I grabbed my pillow, sleeping bag, and a tarp, and walked out to a secluded piece of grass. Took off my shoes, crawled into my bag, and was fully asleep in a minute. The next thing I remember was the morning sun. I felt Awesome!!! The rest of the van… not so much. While I was stretched out, warm and comfy, they spent the night cramped, cold, and awake. I guess that there are advantages to being a 6 time veteran of relay races, whereas the rest of the van was composed of 2 virgins, 1 who had done 2 relays and 2 who had done 1. So… live and learn, and always listen to the veteran. My one word of advice to anyone thinking of doing their first relay: make sure that you have a dark, quiet, comfortable place to sleep between your 2nd and third legs. It will make a difference. Trust me. And... if you cant find dark and quiet... sleep mask & ear plugs.
Terrible picture, I know, but it kind of
gives you an idea of the ugliness thereof.
The other thing that bugged me about this year’s Ragnar was the ugly factor of the shirts. Aqua marine with a blaze orange logo? Are you kidding me? Was there a sale? The one thing that I love about Ragnar is that their shirts are almost always awesome. Last year’s shirt is my favorite. I wear it all the time, whether I'm running or not. This year’s shirt might get warn… in the winter… under my running jacket and another shirt. Yep, it’s that ugly.