Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ragnar Relay DC: Meet the #Hashtags (AKA the Runners)

I feel like I don't tell y'all anything anymore until it's just about to happen or already happened.  So yeah, this weekend (Friday and Saturday) I'm running the Ragnar Relay, Washington DC.   In case you don't know, Ragnar is an overnight running relay race.  Each team is made up of 12 runners who pile into 2 vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles day and night relay style.  Sounds crazy right?  I think it is.  I intend to blog all about it, from what I packed to how it went, but first I wanted to introduce you to my team and tell you a little bit about each one of them.  

First about the team.  We are #thehashtags.  We take #selfies and we #like #to #speak #in #hashtag #lingo.  Most of us know each other from CrossFit, but there are a handful of non CrossFitters in there too.  Nonetheless, we are all runners and this will surely be a bonding experience.  


Runner 1:  

Name: Pam 
Nickname: #Pami
# of Ragnars: 2014 Cumberland MD to Washington DC will be my 4th  
Completed Rangers:   2013 Florida Keys, 2012 Cape Cod (New England), 2011 Pennsylvania 

Best Running Moment:
1. Sharing the experience of running two Eight Tough Miles races with my sister in St. John, USVI.  Five miles up and three miles down from one end of the island to the other.  Breathtaking and unforgettable!! 
2.  Being able to say I ran the seven mile bridge on US 1 leading to the Florida Keys! 

Worst Running Moment:
1. Realizing why I needed a police escort through downtown Reading at 10pm at night - Ragnar Pennsylvania.  A tad scary! 
2. Wondering why I needed to sign an alligator waiver in Ragnar - Florida Keys!! Thank goodness no alligator sightings!!!

Runner 2:  

Name:  Patty  
Nickname:  #EnergizerBunny  (I would like to go on record saying that I did not come up with my own nickname.  #usnoozeulose 
# of Ragnars: Patty forgot to answer this for me :(
Best Running Moment:  My first half marathon with Pam, heather and Lisa, buffalo creek
Worst Running Moment:  Ragnar, key west, leg 2...no need for details...

Runner 3: 

Name: Laura 
Nickname:  #LauraMae
# of Ragnars: DC is my 4th
Best Running Moment:  Finishing my first Marine Corp marathon
Worst Running Moment: When I was training for my first marathon I tripped on a tree root and fell.   When I fell I thought I had broken a bone in my hand so I went to have it checked out.  While at the Dr’s office they were asking me a bunch of questions about how exactly I had fallen and if my significant other had anything to do with it.  They wanted to make sure I wasn’t being physically abused…yikes!

Runner 4:  

Name:  Joni 
Nickname:  #Foofy (given to me by my husband 25 years ago, and my kids even call me that sometimes)
# of Ragnars: Ragnar DC will be my second Ragnar.  My first was Cape Cod, two years ago.
Best Running Moment:  Training for my first full marathon (Marine Corps) at age 50! 
Worst Running Moment:  After a lifetime of inactivity, I completed a Couch to 5K program at a local running store 2-1/2 years ago.  Our "graduation" was the Silvester 5K in Harmony.  I was feeling great and so proud of myself during the run, until I was passed by a guy walking (yes, walking) his dog. 

Runner 5:  

Name:  Heather 
Nickname:  #Clarkie 
# of Ragnars: DC Ragnar is my 4th...but I don’t think I’m quite finished with them just yet.  My first Ragnar was in PA in 2011.  The following year was Cape Cod, followed by the Florida Keys.
Best Running Moment: I don’t really have one best running moment, but rather a collection of many great running memories.  Some highlights include:

The first race we did as a family, with Emily winning the women’s race, and Katie winning her age group in the mile.  They both had the look of pure joy and pride on their faces.  It was awesome! 

One of the first runs with one of my favorite running partners...we headed up the hill on Ehrman Road and had a funny conversation about friendship.  Luckily, there was a slot for me!

Running with Matt, Emily and Katie on our vacations.  Whether it was in Oregon, California, the Outer Banks or on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, I love that running is something we enjoy doing together. (Full disclosure, Matt and I may love the early morning beach runs a little more than our girls do!) 

I LOVED our first Ragnar in PA.  Having grown up in eastern Pa, I loved running through Lancaster County and taking in the fresh smells and the beautiful scenery.    My second leg started at Brecknock Elementary, where my husband Matt and I both attended Kindegarten!  For me it was a quick little trip down memory lane, with a van full of some of my all time favorite people!

Any run with the ladies that starts and ends at Starbucks is a great time, and almost a guarantee that the world’s problems are about to be solved!  The friendships that I have formed with an amazing group of women, the races, the non-descript vans, and just the day to day runs...they are all my favorite running moments!

Worst Running Moment:  My worst running moments can be summed up in a hyphenated word:  port-a-johns!

Runner 6: 

Name:  Kris
Nickname:  #MotherGoose 
# of Ragnars: This will be my 4th Ragnar (PA, Cape Cod, Florida Keys)
Best Running Moment:  Finishing the Marshall Marathon (Huntington, WV) in 2011.  I felt so strong after completing that marathon.  My husband met me at mile 20 to run me in the last six miles.  He was able to pick up my pace with each of those last miles.  Finishing was an awesome experience.  The finish line was located in their football stadium (in honor of those who died in the tragic plane crash) and as I ran through a tunnel of people, they handed me a football to cross the finish line with and this was all captured on the huge Jumbotron as I finished.  Also, I beat my 4 hour goal with a time of 3:57.  I was on a runners high for a long time!

Worst Running Moment:  Running the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon.  In short, my husband developed heat stroke at about mile 17.  He was taken by ambulance where he was admitted overnight.  In the ambulance he experienced some heart arrhythmias and seizures.  It was very scary.  I was very fortunate that I was running with him at the time so that I could help him.  On the upside, he recovered just fine and has gone on to run two other marathons!


Runner 7:  

Name:  Diana 
Nickname:  #DirtyD 
# of Ragnars:  Virgin 
Best Running Moment: My best running moment was running my first full marathon in Akron, Ohio in 2012 with my friend Angie. She stuck with me the entire race and pushed me to the end.  I then had the confidence and bragging rights of running the big 26.2! It was the best feeling, I love to run!😊

Worst Running Moment: My worst running moment was running my first Pittsburgh full marathon 2013. I had a bad race, my legs cramped after mile 16. I had to keep stopping and stretching it hurt so bad. My finish time was a slow 5:10 but I finished and always learn something new when it comes to training and fueling your body during training and the big race day. 

Runner 8: 

Name: Tracey 
Nickname:  #TheIntimidator 
# of Ragnars: Virgin 
Best Running Moment:  I have so many happy running moments.  My best would have to be crossing the finish line of my Half Ironman with my kids.  It was a feeling like I have never had before.  I felt like I could do anything at that moment.
Worst Running Moment:  Ending up in the medical tent after the 2011 Pittsburgh half marathon.  I am not sure exactly what happened, but I almost passed out as soon as I crossed the finish line.  After some rest and fluids, I was fine, but it was a scary feeling.

Runner 9: 

Name: Danielle
Nickname:  #Rockstar 
# of Ragnars: Virgin 
Best Running Moment: Crossing the finish line at the pittsburgh half marathon 2013. It was my first half and all of the energy, people cheering for me, and runners doing the full crossing at the same time gave me chills

Worst Running Moment:  Pittsburgh half 2014. My calves tightened up 2 weeks before race day and no matter what I did I couldn't get them to loosen up. And allergies kicked in the week before. I made it through the race but I felt horrible and was really disappointed in my time

Runner 10:  Susan (me) 

Name: Susan 
Nickname: #MomSwimBikeRun 
# of Ragnars: Virgin 
Best Running Moment:  I have so, so many GREAT runnings moments.  It's so hard to narrow it down to one.  If I have to pick just one, I'll say the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon.  I ran with my blog/turned real-life friend Kortni the whole time and it was almost perfect in every way.

Worst Running Moment:  Falling literally on my face during the 3M Half Marathon at mile 12. It also goes down as the most epic running moment as I crossed the finish line with blood streaming down my face.

Runner 11:  

Name:  Charlene
Nickname: #BackOfThePakus 
# of Ragnars: Virgin 
Best Running Moment:  The moment I saw my family cheering for me at about Mile 22 or so at the Pittsburgh Marathon. I was so mentally and physically exhausted and seeing the pride on their faces made it all worthwhile. A close 2nd would have to be crossing the finish line a few miles later. Who would have ever guessed that I would finish my 1st marathon at the age of 41?!?!
Worst Running Moment:  Definitely it was during the Quick Chick 10k last year. The race was less than a week before the Buffalo Creek 1/2 Marathon in which I was trying to reach a huge PR (for me). So, the Quick Chick was just meant to be for fun (Tracey told me about 50 times to take it easy and NOT race it).  Then a guy ran past me and said something encouraging.  When I smiled back at him,  he responded, "even the back-of-the-packers are smiling".  Huge low-point for me!  I seriously wasn't sure at that point if I was THE back of the pack.  The good news is that he ticked me off and I kicked it up a couple notches and set my 10k PR that day!

Runner 12:  

Name: Erica 
Nickname: #PghRunningMama
# of Ragnars: Virgin 
Best Running Moment:  Finishing my first full marathon Columbus in the fall 2011, and running my first sub 2 hour half marathon in the spring 2012. Both races I felt great and had reached some of my biggest goals. 
Worst Running Moment:  My latest half marathon, in June - Deckers Creek in Morgantown WV. I hadn't been eating enough the week leading up to the race. I lost a few pounds and felt great at the start, but completely ran out of energy and hit the wall by the 5th mile! Then it was a struggle to keep moving forward for the remaining 8 miles. I was mad at myself, it was my own fault. It could've been prevented and I knew better. It was a long trip, but a lesson learned. 

So there you have it.  12 ladies, crazy on some level.  I hope you've enjoyed getting to know all of them and I'll be back to report on all our shenanigans.  


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