Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ragnar 193 mile Relay with the Class of 90
Wow what a few days I had last weekend. I was luck to be on a team of old classmates for the Ragnar relay race from Winona to Minneapolis; all in all 193 miles of heat, hills, and no sleep. Many months ago when my friend Steve asked me about running with the guys on a Armstrong class of 90 team I thought the idea was pretty cool, but I had no idea until race day how cool it could be.
So as one could imagine not everyone had kept training like crazy the last 20 year. But that did not matter as it was all about getting it done and in my mind showing some Falcon/ coach Kleyman pride. I was in van #1. We where short 1 guy so Steve, Rob H, and myself each had to run 1 extra leg. That was no big deal as all three of us had been running the most from the group.
Leg 1: After taking the tag from Steve I raced out along the road. I tried to stay nice and easy as I knew I had lot's of running ahead of me on the day. The sun was out and it was hot and muggy. I felt good making my way along the road. I was also super glad to have my Garmin on to keep me in check, but I was also happy that the pace felt very easy. Leg one was a pretty non eventful one for me. I was excited to see my team as I handed back off to Steve after 6.2 miles of running. I believe I averaged 6:55 pace for the leg.
Leg 2: As I was about to start my second leg I was starting to feel that competitive twitch in me start. Having both team vans there to see me off was big. I was very proud to be there with them and wanted to show them I would not let them down and run a great leg. The sun was going down so that also made me excited as I love running that time of day. After getting the tag from Steve I set off on what looked like on paper as a hilly both up and down leg. In the first few miles there was like millions of nats bugs flying around. Made for some good protein snacks! I was feeling great keeping the pace at like 6:30ish. As I made my way toward the big 2.5 mile hill I knew to do what I do in the ultra's and crank it down a bit pace wise and keep a good rhythm. I can not tell you how great I was feeling as I passed people and as each 1/2 mile went by I was getting more and more excited about passing people. At the top of the climb I got a water and just said let er rip. On the long down hill I was keeping the pace around 5:55 to 6:00 min pace. I think I passed like 12 people alone on that hill. As I approached the end of the leg there was one more runner in front of me. I put my head down and pushed all the way to the end. What a feeling, I crushed it!! It was one of those times I wanted to just keep going and going. In the end I was like 5min's faster than Steve and hoped. I averaged 6:53 pace( with lots of the leg at 6:30 pace or better) on one hell of a 8.4 mile run.
Leg 3&4: This is where it was getting hard. Dude I was so tired from the long day. We had just slept in the car for 1 1/2 hours and I could not stop feeling droggy but I knew I needed to get it together as once Steve started I had only like 19 min's or so till I was up. Seeing Matt Wendorf come in running so hard over the bridge got me going. Hell the team was trying hard so I needed to man up. When Steve tagged me it was like 4:30ish in the morning? and I was easing into the start of my run? crazy. After the early 1/4 mile I started to get my groove. There was not many people to chase at this point, it was all me and my mind. I broke the run into two parts. The first leg of 3.8 miles then then the last leg of 3.4 miles. I was shocked at how good I was feeling running so hard with no sleep at this time of day. I went thru the first leg at 6:44 pace. Now came the hard part. I wanted to keep fyling along but my head was saying dude there is no body to chase and you are tired. I am pound to say I kept pushing. I crossed the line in 22:23 for the segment which was 6:37 pace. Boom I was done and real excited.
Over the next few hours I watched my team push themselves as hard as they could and I felt good. Good about how I ran and good about being a Armstrong Falcon!! I am very proud of each runner on the team, we all did the best we could on that day. The guys are already talking about doing it next year. I am not sure yet if I will be able to but I know if it works out I will be there as one of "Ricks Kid's" (coach K) and proud of it.