Friday, May 25, 2012

Ragnar assignments!

Since I'll be taking pictures and enjoying myself pacing Lynne in Berlin (hey, that rhymes!) I have decided to shift my focus of training to the relay...I should have plenty of fitness for Berlin to run a 4:15, which is Lynne's target. The key thing for both is to make sure we don't get injured ahead of time!

The race goes from Marina green in San Francisco to Calistoga...via Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Napa = 187.4 miles. The relay divides the distance into 36 legs: about 5 miles per leg on average. There are 12 runners in 2 vans, each runner runs 3 legs...each "+" in the map below is a handoff point (I think slap bracelets are used for this).
There are different mixes of runs...shorter/longer and hillyness so that different runner levels can all compete, which is great.

I'm runner 10 (2nd van) and doing 20.8 total miles. This is the 2nd longest total miles but I think I will be able to handle it fine.

The Ragnar website takes in each persons 10k pace as a calibration and which legs they are running and then figures out the possible average pace for the entire team (they have a lot of data on this by now!). Our average is listed as 8:58m/m, this means we will take about 28 hours to complete the course.

The starts are staggered on Friday based on this average speed to make sure that everybody finishes before dark and with time to enjoy the post race fun on Saturday afternoon. There is a requirement that the average for the team needs to be better than 11m/m ..slower than that and they can't start early enough to get there before dark on the second day.

I'm more worried about getting lost so I plan to study the maps carefully and also enter all the legs (and not just min)  into google mymaps so I have them on my phone.

Some advice I've gotten from another teammate that has run these before is that your half marathon pace is a good target...(adjusting for hills of course) so I will plan for that. My half marathon pace on the flat is about 8:22m/m mas o menos, if I'm well trained.

It's clear I'll need to do lots more hill training than usual as there are some lumpy roads on the way to Napa.
The first leg :

This next leg is "Moderate". 

The last leg is 8.8 miles and also "Very Hard"..has +300, -300 up-down. It's on the Silvarado trail on the east side of Napa valley..I ran this road during my first marathon in 2009 (except i was going the other way).

Pretty nice running along there but could be hot if it's afternoon (should be) and sunny (as it often is up there). 

I've discovered a lot of changes to the legs in the last few days, as well as some math errors, etc. One of our team members says that they aren't noted for super organization in that way and there may be changes at the last minute...not easy for two vans full of organizers, nerdy planner types to hear.

I guess this makes sense, because there are a lot of roads and places and permissions involved in something like this....glad I'm not doing that work!


  1. That looks like a lot of fun to me :-)

    And I am ever so grateful that you will be pacing me in Berlin!! My serious training starts already next week :-)

    1. Good to hear. No hills in this race so probably you should do more half marathon and 10k pace intervals instead.

      Short hill sprints (e.g 8x10-15secs) are good for building strength tho.

      It will be a lot of fun and I will take a ton of pics.

      So far about 35 Maniacs are signed up:

  2. Your first couple legs look tough, but doable. The heat of the day and the body on less rest sort of messes with numbers some. But I ran my last leg faster than I thought I could on my first relay...mostly, I think, cuz I knew I could sleep after that! :)

    What a great friend you are to pace your friend. :)

    1. I'll definitely play it by ear. One person in our group says she ran super fast at night because she couldn't see the huge hills she was running.;)

      My only goal is to enjoy myself and run reasonably well.

      Re: you just did the same thing! (paced ur friend)

  3. Sounds similar to the Brew to Brew relay I ran at the beginning of April, only with less emphasis on Beer. That was my first relay, there is definitely some extra planning involved.

  4. Looks like this will be a really scenic course. I have always wanted to do a relay- someday....

    Interesting that the suggested pace to shoot for is HMP. I wondered about how you would pace with so many broken shorter runs.


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