Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Madison to Chicago Race Report

I meant for this post to go up a few days ago, but that obviously didn't happen.  A quick trip to Iowa, poor Internet connection, and a lot of relaxation later, here's my 1st race recap of last weekend.

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Last year I had three not-so-good runs at the MC200.  This year, I'm happy to say, I did much better.  I am happy with how each leg went.  This year, I was runner #8.

The weather was the 50s, cloudy, and the night run was a little misty.  Couldn't have asked for better conditions to run in! 

My first run was 6.7 miles through Jefferson, Wisconsin, on county roads that had some rolling hills.  Our 7th runner got lost on his route, which was good for me because a lot of teams passed us.  This allowed me to focus on other runners to pick off during my leg.  The hills were good, and my legs felt great. 

The average pace for my first run was 7:21/mile.  I was happy and felt like I was flying.

Getting my music seemed like I was waiting forever.  Well..actually, I was. 

About ready to take get the bracelet in the hand off.  We're totally not a track team...look at how I'm standing. 

Van cheering me on on run #1.  I love this picture.

Handing off to our next runner.  He looks much more prepared for the bracelet than I was!

 My night run actually changed.  I was supposed to run 2.5 miles, but switched legs with our 7th runner because his IT band was hurting.  Yes, my team broke the rules.  So I ended up running 3.7 miles, outside of Milwaukee.  One of the roads I ran on at night was a winding road that had no street lamps.  I used the headlights of other runners as my focus, and picked off people as I went.  I felt great again.

The average pace for my night run was 7:08/mile. 

Do I look more like a construction worker and not a runner?  Too bad I don't have my headlamp turned on for this don't get the full effect without it.

If you've done a Ragnar before, you know that sleep is virtually impossible.  Even though we broke the rules again and had a camper for our "off" vehicle, sleeping was at a minimum. 

Our "off" vehicle.  Out of the 12 people on our team, 4 were from Iowa.  Go Hawkeyes!

I'm a person who needs a lot of sleep, so I knew my third run was going to be the most challenging.  Also, it was the longest at 9.9 miles.  The first few were through the northern Chicago suburbs and then it finished on a trail.  This was the only leg that I got passed by people - two ultra teams passed me.  I was so happy to be done with the run, but still felt good. 

The average pace of my final run was 7:47/mile.  I was happy with that, especially considering I started off way too fast (first two miles at 7:03 pace = not good!). 

Handing off after finishing my last leg.

Our 12th runner was concerned she wouldn't be able to finish her last leg - roughly 8 miles.  I ran the last 1.2 with her for support.

Here we on the left in pink and our runner #12 on the right in pink.

To the finish we go!

I'm feeling good about how I did in the race.  It is motivating to have a good race before my next training session begins.  Training for the Chicago Marathon starts this week.  It is kind-of funny, though, because my first long run is only 7 miles, so I will actually be decreasing my long run length. 

This race makes me so excited for my upcoming Northwest Passage Ragnar with Insulindependence. 

Remember at the beginning of this long post when I said that this was my first race of the weekend?  Tomorrow I'll post about the metric century bike ride I did on Sunday. 

Have you ever ran a Ragnar race....or two?  Did you find your 3rd run the hardest due to lack of sleep?


  1. Great Job!! I totally want to do a Ragnar someday! Thanks for sharing your recap & photos.

  2. Awesome! I'd love to try something like that one day. It looks like a lot of fun. GREAT pictures and wicked paces!

  3. Ohmages - 6 feet tall

    Jess and Scully - you definitely need to do one someday. Putting the experience in words does not do it justice. You've just got to experience it!