Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.
Fortunately, I won't really need to do any long mileage (over 12 miles) to train. But, I will need to pick up those back-to-back long runs like I did while training for my ultra with one twist: in training, I'll need to run Saturday morning, Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning to simulate what it will be like during the relay. Something like this: 10 miles Saturday at 6am, 10 miles at 6pm that night and then 8 miles the following day at 6am.
When I first heard about the Ragnar Relay a few years ago, I was asked to fill in at the last minute for a team who had an injured member. My chiropractor knew I ran, and I was currently in training for a marathon. He had friends who were in need of one member and put me in touch with them because it seemed a perfect fit. I was happy to help out, until they explained what was involved: being stuck in a van with runners who haven't showered or slept for two days and through the night, and periodically running 8-10 miles. I thought who the heck would want to do that and politely declined. Even though I was a runner, the thought of being sleep-deprived in a van and running several long runs sounded silly.
But now, I understand. And now, this overnight running relay actually sounds fun to me, because we have an awesome team. I'm so excited to be running with Delia, Kim, Renee, Christian and Kay, with Jennifer helping out as our volunteer. Many of the girls have participated last year, and I know this will be another experience that I won't soon forget. We have some fast runners, maybe we'll even place! At the very least, we'll definitely have some stories to tell, and all feel a little closer (and, stronger!) when we're through.