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Monday, June 28, 2010

Ragnar Raley Re-cap

Summer hit us hard the past couple of weeks and we've been AWOL making memories with our friends and family but I finally have a moment to reach back into my cyber world and re-cap my favorite relay race I participated in a few weeks ago.

The Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay covers 188 miles and is one of 12 relays Ragnar has in the U.S. It was actually the first one they created and it has become a VERY popular race here in these parts. This year marks my third and it was better than ever! The company in your van makes all the difference and we were a wild and crazy bunch so it was a blast!

This relay has you create a team of 12 people split into 2 vans of 6. Then you leap frog your way to the finish with each participant doing 3 legs. The legs are categorized into "Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard" according to distance and grade (elevation loss or gain). My three legs looked like this...

Leg #2 - Exchange 13 - 8.5 (Very Hard)

Leg #3 - Exchange 25 - 4.8 (Easy)

"Victorious Secret" team picture...BEFORE

Rachelle, Robin, Gentry, Lindsy, Sheena, Me

Comin' down the home stretch to my first exchange.
Distance ~ 7.8 miles
Time ~ 59:24:65 min.
Average pace - 7:36 min/mi

My cute little family cheered for me along the course. They were so adorable yelling for their Mama. I even had to stop and give them each a smooch! Here's a quick family pic at the end of my first run before we hopped in the van to support our next runner. Love them!

Team Picture after we all had finished our first legs and were taking in a little R&R.

Chowin' down on some free salsa from Rubio's
Left - Me, Sheena, Robin
Right - Rachelle, Gentry, Lindsy

For the night runs we were required to wear a reflective vest, a buttlight, and either wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight. A whole lotta gear but there's been some pretty bad accidents and a couple fatalities so it was understandable.
Showing off the gear.

Here I am coming down the decent from Snow Basin to meet up with my second exchange. Distance - 8.45 miles
Time - 1:04:46
Avg. pace - 7:40 min/mi
The first mile was a pretty steep uphill and killed my average pace but I ended really strong and was able to bring it back down. My last mile was 6:23 min. I'm a sucker for a long downhill.

Waiting to start my last leg. Wahoo!

Even though this was categorized as my "easy" leg it was by far the hardest. Just a flat blacktop on tired legs and no sleep. I had a hard time keeping up my pace and was about 15 sec. over per mile than I was projected. Oh well, ya do what you can.
Distance ~ 4.87 miles
Time ~ 37:46:42
Avg. pace ~ 7:45 min/mi

Van Decor - All the vehicles get decked out for the occasion. This van had a "bumper dumper" and I couldn't resist.

Finish Line

We got a lot of comments on our shirts. People thought they were custom made but I actually just found them at Walmart and had a Logo company put our team name on the back.

"Victorious Secret"
Ragnar 2010

Lindsy, Me, Robin, Sheena, Gentry, Rachelle

Team pic...AFTER

Here's a complete team picture of our combined vans.

If you've never participated in a relay or been apart of a triathlon team I HIGHLY recommend it. It's a change from the ordinary and you can have such great commodore among your team. I've got friends for life and many wonderful memories!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Zapped my Quads/NSAID's

I had a cousin in town a few days ago and we broke out a map and set our course for a long run through the mountains. It would have been about 9.5 miles...had we turned at the right place. We did the first 4 miles at a pretty good clip so before we knew it we were at the bottom of trail and had missed our designated short cut. Not a big deal but now we had a little more black top to cover. I felt really good and ended the run really strong. After re-mapping our route I found we had done 11.35 miles at a 8:20 pace and about 2/3 of the run was downhill. Longest run of the season for me. Hooray! I think I could have gone a few more miles too.

It's a good thing I didn't though.

The next morning I went to hop out of bed and about collapsed on the floor. Hmmm. I thought my quads were firing just fine but apparently they weren't quite ready for all the decent. So now for the past couple days I've been cross training, icing, and medicating myself.

Motrin is my friend!

With that said I'm reminded of the precautions for runners who use any type of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to help with pain and inflammation. I know it's pretty common for runners to pop a few Ibuprofen before a run and there are some pretty major side effects from doing this so I thought I'd throw a little review up here for ya.

The most common NSAID's include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Motrin.

Acetaminophen, another pain reliever is not and NSAID so choose Tylenol as your medication of choice.

What they can do for you - Reduce muscle discomfort, inflammation, and swelling.

Why you should never take one before, during, or right after a run - NSAID's can cause nausea, stomach cramping, and diarrhea. And because running itself can create stomach discomfort, the meds make you extra prone to these problems.

Taking too many NSAIDS can stress the kidneys (NSAID drugs are processed out of the system by your kidneys) and impair their ability to function, which can contribute to dehydration or over hydration, especially if you don't ingest both water and salt during long runs. Your kidneys are already working overtime during a long run or race and when you are dehydrated they are under even more stress. Adding these drugs to the load on your kidneys can cause kidney damage.

Have you ever witnessed a runner collapsing when they seemed otherwise healthy? Here's an example of what could happen.

Taking NSAIDs pre- or midrace can be risky. Don Davis, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, found this out after he won the 1994 Seagate 100-K Ultramarathon in Toledo, Ohio. Though he finished strong, Davis, then 49, was diagnosed with acute kidney failure four days later. He was hospitalized for 11 days and lapsed into congestive heart failure before his kidney function was stabilized.

During the race, Davis battled an injured calf muscle by popping ibuprofen every time it cramped. In nine and a half hours, Davis took 2,400 milligrams (the 24-hour prescription maximum). His injured calf was leaking myoglobin, a protein the kidneys must process out of the bloodstream. His doctors said the ibuprofen was inhibiting the kidneys from doing their job and a toxic backup resulted.

To reiterate, you should not be popping Ibuprofen or other NSAID drugs while running. Here are a couple of things to do instead:

  • Choose Tylenol for pain control
  • See a doctor to treat the underlying injury, rather than running through pain.
  • Ice the painful area before and after running. Ice for 10-15 minutes at a time, but not longer.
  • Talk to your doctor about a topical pain reliever that will not impact the stomach or kidneys
So I'm popping my Motrin and taking it easy today with a little ice and massage to the thighs. But when I set out again for a run tomorrow I'm going to curb the NSAID until at least 4 hours after I'm done.

See ya on the road!

P.S. - I crushed my 5k PR last Memorial Day. I finished in 21:39. Hooray! I was thinking once I reached my goal of sub 22 I would focus on my 10k but now I'm tempted to go for sub 21. Hmmm...

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