General Discussion Race Reports! » Ragnar Chicago Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Ragnar Chicago - RunOther

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 24m 22s
Overall Rank = /362
Age Group = 12 Open Mixed
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

We got to Chicago on Thursday afternoon. Brian and I grabbed a rental car and drove out to Madison on Thursday evening where we met the rest of the team for a pre-race dinner/meeting. I had shepherd's pie for dinner and a couple of beers. Good Ragnar fuel!!

We picked up snacks and race food so we'd have something to snack on during the race and headed to the hotel to sleep.
Event warmup:

After some breakfast (cereal, egg, fruit), we all met up at Tracy and Chris's hotel room to get everything packed in the car. Then we headed to the start line to watch Van 1 take off. We took some fun pictures and bought some shirts. Then once our start time came, we went to the line to watch the madness begin. After the gun went off, we headed back to the Van to get started with our day...a few errands and then off to Exchange 6 to meet Van 2's last runner so Brian could begin his first leg!!

I was worried because I had been having a lot of heel pain and leg soreness. My hamstrings were so tight that I could barely put my fingers on the ground with my legs straight. Normally I can put my palms down in front of my feet. Not today.
  • 2h 24m 22s
  • 21.01 miles
  • 06m 52s  min/mile

Leg first leg. Around 630pm, give or take.

LOTS of hills for the first 4 miles. I killed 5 in the hills. My pace was slow (for me) tho. I couldn't get under 7 minutes. I wound up at 702 average after the first 4 miles. The gang met me at the 4 mile mark to cheer me on. After that, it was time for a nice 4 mile trail run. Killed another 4 on the trails for a total of 9 for this run.

I wasn't too satisfied with my pace here. Although, I did get way faster on the trail since it was flat. But I was hoping for a more impressive pace than just under 7 minute miles.

Still, a decent 8 miler. I finished with a time of 58:15 and an average pace of 6:57.
  • .................................................
  • We decided to head to Exchange 18 right after runner 12 came in...we needed a rest (wound up sleeping for an hour in a high school gym on a wrestling mat after a little bowl of pasta).
  • .................................................
  • Leg second attempt. This was my night run...surprisingly, I felt better about this run than the first.

    I started off nice and strong and was able to stay that way. My pace was steady right at 655 or so the entire time. Not a whole lot of climbing here so I was able to ration energy better. I killed 7 on this one. 8 total, but got blown away by Superman. This guy just whizzed by my at Mile 1 and I never saw him again. Must have been one of the superfast ultra teams.

    Since the terrain wasn't as difficult, I'm not surprised I had a tad bit better pace here than the earlier one. Usually my pace falls off in the nighttime run since it's harder to navigate. But with less difficulty, and almost no light on the bike trail in the last 3 miles (so I couldn't see if I was running uphill or makes a difference when you can see it!!) my legs just "went with it". My effort was high though, I wore a long sleeve shirt for this one, since it was drizzly and cold. But damn, I was absolutely drenched upon finishing this leg.

    I felt my quads and knees after this one. I was pretty sure that wearing the heavier Newton trail shoes was the reason I was slower than I wanted to be, but I was having a lot of heel pain earlier in the day, so I'm happy with the decision to wear them.
  • ..................................................
  • After finishing this one, I was exhausted. We were still WAY ahead of our best case scenario, so we decided to head to Exchange 30 to sleep. When we got there we were told this place had no indoor sleeping and no showers. So we all slept in the was extremely uncomfortable, but we were so tired it didn't make a difference. Unfortunately, this is where everyone started getting sick. Christina started throwing up, Tracy felt flu-ish, Brian was nauseous, and I couldn't stop peeing and pooping. Sorry...TMI. Seemed like Jess and David were the only ones who were okay. Soon it was time to get up and try to get back to business.
  • ..................................................
  • Leg 33 was my final leg. I had decided to try my hardest to hit the pace I wanted...somewhere between 645 and 650.

    I decided to wear the Newton racer after feeling slow following the second leg. I think I made the right decision. My knee was hurting but my feet felt better. So I decided to go with the racer since it's softer, which made my knee feel better.

    I was nervous about my knee, but I was excited to be done soon. Since Christina was sick, Jess had run the last 8 miles of her leg...usually I'd be handing off to Jess (and I would at the end of this one) but this time she handed off to me! Two guys took off about 15 seconds before Jess came running into the exchange. I knew these would be my first two kills since they seemed to be tired upon taking off. I passed them about 10 seconds after I left the exchange. As I started off, I felt really tired and my knee was hurting. I had taken some Tylenol and Glucosamine/Chondroitin an hour before, but it didn't seem to be working yet. I went on but it was hard getting on pace. Still I was running strong.

    I passed another couple guys in the first mile. Finally, I had loosened up and my knee stopped hurting. I saw a bunch of people ahead. was time to work. I just picked them off as I went. Most of this run was on a paved bike trail. There was an Army platoon doing run work out kinda charged me up to see that I was running WAY faster than they were. I kept picking people off. By the time I was four miles in, I had passed 14 runners. There was a guy in front of me that I could see, he was also passing people, but I was running faster. I HAD to catch him. Every time we turned a corner, he looked back, saw me, and sped up. I just kept going steady. I figured he'd run himself out. I was right...cuz about a half mile from the finish line the course went up a few small hills. This is where I caught him and thanked him for being an awesome rabbit. I thought he might try to repass (he looked strong) so I kicked it up a notch...i was running sub 620 pace for about 200 yards but he faded back. I was only about 200 yards from the finish and I passed two more runners. I had roadkilled a total of TWENTY runners in my last leg of the race!!

    I was sooooo happy to be done. Now it was time for the last three runners to run it in. When David finished the race for us, we all ran across the finish line and celebrated with a post-race beer at the venue.

    What would you do differently?:

    Ragnar is so hard to make plans for, it's very hard to say I could do something differently. You go with the flow...make do with what you're given. All my plans were executed, so as far as doing something differently, I think just can't control what you're handed on race day.
    Post race
    Warm down:

    We all headed to our respective hotels to shower (holy shit, a shower was like heaven after being sweaty for 36 hours), change, and get ready for dinner. We had made reservations at a pub-type place and went there for some beers and food. I ate a steak, mashed potatoes, and fried onion straws. AWESOME. I had a couple beers to drink and enjoyed them immensely. We pretty much crashed hard after this.

    No after party, no all-nite craziness. I was asleep by 815pm...and I didn't know there was a world until 845 the next morning.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    I think the humidity and the hills limited my overall speed. I think my heavy trail shoes had a little play in that as well...on legs 9 and 21 anyway. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the speed I made.

    Event comments:

    I effing LOVE Ragnar. Doing races like these make me want to stop doing individual races and just do relays forever.

    Profile Album

    Last updated: 2011-04-25 12:00 AM
    02:24:22 | 21.01 miles | 06m 52s  min/mile
    Age Group: 0/
    Overall: 0/362
    Performance: Good
    Course: Leg 1...8.36mi Leg 2...6.22mi Leg 3...6.44mi
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Good
    Mental exertion [1-5] 5
    Physical exertion [1-5] 5
    Good race? Yes
    Course challenge Just right
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? Yes
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks?
    Post race activities: Good
    Race evaluation [1-5] 5

    2011-06-12 9:36 PM

    User image

    Chelmsford, Massachusetts
    Subject: Ragnar Chicago

    Fun times with fun people!!

    Thanks to all my teammates for making this a HUGE success!!

    Edited by Q 2011-06-12 9:37 PM

    2011-06-12 10:23 PM
    in reply to: #3545348

    User image

    New user
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    Subject: RE: Ragnar Chicago

    very cool!

    I am doing Ragnar in Washington State in late July.

    I know there are many, but maybe 3 big tips/ideas for my first ragnar? Either my individual pacing or group sched efforts?

    congrats and thanks!

    2011-06-13 8:42 AM
    in reply to: #3545404

    User image

    Chelmsford, Massachusetts
    Subject: RE: Ragnar Chicago
    linfieldpt - 2011-06-12 11:23 PM

    very cool!

    I am doing Ragnar in Washington State in late July.

    I know there are many, but maybe 3 big tips/ideas for my first ragnar? Either my individual pacing or group sched efforts?

    congrats and thanks!


    Thanks for the congrats!

    Yes, many tips...but three major ones...

    1.  Remember to EAT and drink.  As with any race really.  But with Ragnar, make sure you eat and drink DIRECTLY after your leg.  Waiting to eat and drink will only slow your recovery.

    2.  TRY to sleep.  It's hard to get to sleep during a race like this, but lying flat and closing your eyes is amazingly refreshing.  I didn't sleep much, but still, it was good to relax and think about nothing for a while.

    3.  Know EVERY detail about the legs you're running.  Sometimes signs get knocked down or some a**hole decides it's funny to turn one around or something.  Know your legs.  Read the race bible backwards and forwards.  Know something about other legs as well...especially the ones before and after yours.  It will help alot if the team knows something about each other's legs.


    Wow, Washington State will be awesome.  I love that part of the country. 

    2011-06-15 9:29 PM
    in reply to: #3545348

    User image

    Subject: RE: Ragnar Chicago

    Congrats, Jeff, and great job! Wish I could have been there, except when Christina was hurling. I remember how tough it was to sleep in the van during Ragnar Central FL; that's no fun.

    2011-06-16 9:10 AM
    in reply to: #3545348

    User image

    Williamston, Michigan
    Subject: RE: Ragnar Chicago
    Great job Jeff and way to pick them off inthe last leg!!! Go Q GO
    General Discussion-> Race Reports!
    General Discussion Race Reports! » Ragnar Chicago Rss Feed