First, a quick update on training for Ragnar…I completed a 4 mile run yesterday. I was huffing and puffing but my leg/foot felt good.


I still have 3 weeks to get some endurance back.

My office closed early today for the holiday weekend. I figured i’d hop on a subway downtown and see where I ended up. It was one of those adventurous moments where I figured I’d let the universe guide me on how to spend my surprise free time. I jumped on the D train at 34th street. The next stop was West 4th street. Score! I was just a few blocks away from my old stomping ground….SoHo. It was a gorgeous Summer afternoon and I was giddy to just peek around. I stumbled upon the Burton store first. Burton makes mostly snowboard stuff but they had a huge wall of awesome backpacks. I finally decided on getting this turquoise one with a cute floral pattern not for any specific feature….just that the pattern was SO me! I’m planning on using it for my carry on when I travel to Cali in a few weeks. I’ve got to keep in mind that my “luggage” needs to do double duty for Ragnar Napa.

photo 5

The next store I popped into was the big REI flagship store. I got this cute collapsible pack that squishes down and folds over onto itself to form a compact little pouch. You can read its full description here. At $30 it’s a great deal and I’m super excited about it. I’ll be using for a fuel bag for my relay. It should hold some trail mix, pb&j sandwiches and water bottles perfectly.

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This is what it looks like when opened up.


and it squishes and folds over itself to fit in this nice little pouch for easy transport

I’m still on the lookout for a roller duffel bag. I’ll probably end up getting this one from LL Bean.

I’m really getting excited for the relay trip…I miss my running peeps!

OK, so I started to write this post months ago but only finished it today…

Sometimes I really want to be a “recreational runner”….the kind of runner who just gets up every day to run a few miles for general health and wellness…my life would be a bit more predictable and my weekends would be a lot more flexible…but the problem is (well it’s not a problem it’s a choice really) I LOVE running in road races…5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, relays… I have never been as committed to something as I am to running and I don’t know that I’d be that way if I was a recreational runner. It’s the entire process…from creating the training schedule to following through with all the training runs (including all the group runs) to completing each training cycle with the race itself that drives me. And having been injured for the better part of 4 months with limited running I have REALLY missed that.
I sacrifice a lot to lead a lifestyle that includes so many road races but the rewards are tenfold. So next time I feel like I want to be a “recreational runner” I’ll remind myself of this post and of my choice and what drives me.

What’s funny is I sometimes rant about being so busy and not having any downtime. Then I get a weekend with no running events and I’m BORED!

So how about you? Do you consider yourself a recreational runner, a runner with a serious race agenda, or just somewhere in the middle? Do you ever wish for life to slow down only to then feel bored and want your frenzied weekends to return? 

I’m probably going to take a little time away from the blog to enjoy my long weekend and just live in the moment. Have a great one and I’ll catch up with y’all next week.

Just 10 things I wanted to tell ya…

1. My wolf pack weekend in Atlantic city was so much fun! We celebrated Barbara’s birthday the exact way we celebrated Lisa’s birthday back in February. Dinner at Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse, some slot machine shenanigans (although this time I didn’t win $300) and a little dancing at the club. Oh, and you know, we drank lots of “coffee”.


WolfffffPACK!!!! (Left to right: ME, Gina, Lisa and Barbara)

Gina's daughters helped bake these cookies for our trip. So adorable

Gina’s daughters helped bake these cookies for our trip. So adorable

adult beverages

Adult beverages


Filet Mignon with some sort of poblano pepper i think


Allow me to introduce you to these bourbon toffee profiteroles with vanilla bean ice cream. Holy deliciousness

photo 3

Finally got to wear these purple patent leather heels! (They look like they are too big but it’s just the way i took the photo.)

2. I ran again this morning for 3 miles. My ankle is still pain-free but I’ve been getting some tightness behind my knee and hamstring. I have had this before and I am certain it’s just the whole “it’s all connected thing”. So in addition to foam rolling my peroneals I will pay attention to that area 5

3. Duncan got groomed and smells delicious!


4. I am on the hunt for a good backpack to use for traveling and hiking. Something that I can use as a carry on for my air travel and also road trips. I’ll take suggestions. Not looking to spend more than $100.

5. Frustrated with Garmin lately and especially GarminConnect, their online site where I upload my activities to. My activities aren’t syncing or uploading. Pretty sure it’s on their end. I always peek to see if others post similar complaints on Facebook and then I know I am not the only one experiencing the issues.

6. I can’t believe September is only 6 days away. Nuts!

7. I haven’t been hungry in the mornings, even on days that I run including today. I’m worried that my metabolism is going to be compromised from not eating until lunch time. I need to find something I can tolerate so early (that doesn’t rhyme with donut or cookie).

8. For all you dog lovers: Gina introduced me to this cool site called Packdog. I just set up a profile for the doodle. And sure enough discovered one of his “pawpals” Ned has a profile as well.

packdogss1 packdogss2 packdogss3

9. If you missed yesterday’s post I shared 10 tips for the best overnight relay relay experience

10. Hungry Runner Girl has a post up today about body issues. She asked how we deal with it. I replied that I try and focus on what I do love about my body. My favorite body part is my eyes.

I may have body issues but I love my eyes!

I may have body issues but I love my eyes!

So what’s your favorite body part??

I thought I’d share some tips compiled by myself as well as some of my teammates that will help you to have the best overnight running relay experience ever! First, if you’re not familiar with these type of events, you can go here for a little background info specifically about Ragnar Relay.

Without further ado I present to you my 10 tips for the best overnight relay race experience


1. Pack your running outfits in plastic zip close bags (I use freezer bag versions because they are stronger and have an area to write on) for each individual leg you are running. Then write on each bag which leg that outfit is for. For instance, you might be running the first leg early in the morning when it’s cooler but not so sunny so you might want a warmer top and not need a visor. But perhaps your second leg will be mid-day with hot sun. You wouldn’t want to pull the wrong bag and end up with your morning outfit for leg 2 now would ya?

packing for Ragnar Relay

2. Pack non-perishable meals and plenty of water. You can’t count on having the time or the resources to locate restaurants or grocery stores on the way. And trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting ready to run your 2nd or 3rd leg of the journey at the crack of dawn and be so hungry people start to resemble chicken drumsticks like the cartoons. Hard boiled eggs and turkey sandwiches kept in a cooler or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are some good options. Maybe a few pieces of fruit, some chips, trail mix and candy! You gotta have candy! I usually bring a small backpack/hydration pack so I always have access to my food and water but we usually also have a huge cooler in the back that we stock with water and gatorade the night before the event.

3. Bring double the amount of sun screen, bug spray and baby wipes and TP you think you’ll want. At night the skeeters can really bite you up and during the day you’ll be running with long stretches of sun on your face. Don’t risk getting burned because that’ll make you really uncomfortable. Oh, and Trust me on the baby wipe thing. You might step in mud or even worse, dog poo on top of just wanting to wipe sweat off your brow. And that leads me to #3.

you'll be using these for a long time....don't expect there to be TP, take your own!

you’ll be using these for a long time….don’t expect there to be TP, take your own!

4. Pack a backup pair of sneakers. If it rains, one pair might get really wet or perhaps you didn’t have enough baby wipes AND you stepped in dog poo. (this happened to me my second relay and i tossed the poo’d pair.)

5. Pack a beach towel and a hand towel. This will be great if you need to sit in the van sweaty. Also, it allows for some “modesty” if you opt to change out of ALL your sweaty clothes.

6. Pin your race # to your bottoms or use a running belt with those clips that hold race #s. This one is mainly if you think you might want to change your shirt after each leg but keep the same bottoms. It’s one less thing to think about. You have to have your number on at all times and wouldn’t want to rip off a sweaty shirt after your leg only to realize the number is still attached.



7. Team spirit is everything! Christi, who was our team captain for one of the relays had this to share: It’s all about who is in the van and their attitude towards the whole endeavor. It will only be fun if everyone in the van gets into it and supports each other, especially cheering along the course as you wait for your teammate to come into the check point.


props! are fun when you’re getting into the team spirit.


relay teammates that enjoy sunrises with Dunkin Donuts coffee together finish happy!

8. Decorate your van inside and out! Christi also suggests powering up a couple of strings of Christmas lights inside the van. It makes the van easily recognizable to the runner and makes the van feel cozy in the wee hours of the morning. (you can plug into the power adapter in the van. Many have them in the back of the vehicle) And using soap crayons to decorate the outside is a must! We’ve even created a little chart to fill in as each runner finishes their leg they can write in their finish time and cross that leg off as DONE!

Dusk was the perfect time to decorate the van with lights.

Dusk was the perfect time to decorate the van with lights.


soap crayons and markers are SO much fun!


9. Magic fun bag! OK, so Christi is also a grade school teacher so you see why fun is such a big emphasis from her contributions to this post. But really, if you’re not having fun then it’s not a successful relay. Coordinate with your teammates to make a magic fun bag that has items everyone will need or use — baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, noisemakers, snacks, sidewalk chalk to write messages on the path for the runners, bandaids

10. Film everything so you can make a video and remember what a good time it was years later. Here’s the video Roger made of our team when we did Ragnar New England.

And some bonus tips…

Jorge says: If you are doing the “ultra” category, respect the distance… Big difference— 200 miles is quite different between 12 runners and 6 runners… You can be quite festive with 12… With 6, it’s exercise AND discipline- you are either running, sleeping, driving, navigating, preparing to run or eating

Lisa adds: interact with the other teams, review the plan repeatedly but be flexible as it will probably change. She also says #RunningistheEasyPart

Roger adds: Don’t take yourself so seriously because it’s not really a race, but an event with friends and/or strangers. If something goes wrong, like you lose an MP3 player, don’t freak out but just laugh it off… Wear a horsehead mask or something else stupid to keep everyone (or at least yourself) laughing.

photo courtesy Roger (horsehead) Wright

photo courtesy Roger (horsehead) Wright

Oh yeah, the most important part of the relay is to know how to easily pass off the “baton” which is really a slap bracelet. I have to say I had a hard time with that. =)


successful transition at exchange 31

Any other tips? Share in the comments! =)


Hi guys. Happy Thursday (or possibly Friday for some of you folks across the pond!).

I ran a little over 2 miles this morning…still enjoying the pain-free, no aches, no tightness in the peroneal tendons or muscles miles. I even stretched and foam rolled right afterward. I’m starting to better understand what baby steps mean when returning from an injury. =)

photo 4

Duncan is stretching his legs too!



On Tuesday night the majority of my Ragnar Napa Valley relay team met for dinner at a cool German bar in the city called Reichenbach Hall, to go over some logistics of the race and figure some things out. Lisa is our captain and had the Ragnar “bible” which is basically everything you need to know about the course and the rules of the race in one big book. We’re pretty familiar since we’ve done a bunch already. But it’s always good to review.

German bar meant pretzel and split pea soup

German bar meant pretzel and split pea soup for dinner. I also had the Wild Raspberry Jam cocktail. Winning!

2/3 of our Ragnar Napa team "Call Me A Cabernet"

2/3 of our Ragnar Napa team “Call Me A Cabernet”

We discussed the pros and cons of each runner running 6 individual legs or 3 back-to-back double legs. It looks like we all netted out on the 6 individual legs. Basically it will keep each leg more manageable. So while we each might be covering 30 or more miles over the course of the 2 day event there won’t be so many double digit legs. (the entire course length is 205 miles!) For example: my legs will each range between 3 and 6 miles totaling 29.5 for the whole race. And then there was discussion of all the logistics as we all arrive coming in on different flights and then we’ll have to rent the van etc. etc. These relays take lots of planning. But they usually create some epic memories. =)

Speaking of figuring things out. I finally figured out how my boss keeps his pants from getting grease on them or getting caught in the chain of his bike. (he bikes in to work during the warmer months).

city slicker bike commute ready

this city slicker is bike commute ready

And I also figured out where Duncan’s water bowl could fit in the Subaru.

cupI’m really getting into the Ragnar Relay headspace which is great because it’s helping me to get that post up for you all with tips and such. I’ll try and get that up before the weekend.

So does anyone have an exciting weekend lined up? Anyone have an overnight relay like Ragnar or Hood to Coast coming up?