Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Captain Ogre on steroids

Captain's Hat
Done! How does it feel captaining two Ragnar Northwest Passage teams with 18 runners total, 3 vans and a humongous pile of Orange? Fantastic!

I'll admit it. I was a little stressed the last couple weeks. There are a few things you can count on when captaining a Ragnar team:

The aftermath. Relay gear disgorged from the vans.
1. Inevitably, you will have to replace a runner last minute. In this case, I had to replace a runner on both the regular and the ultra team. Now we did have a back up runner in place for the ultra team because those were the bigger shoes to fill. So five days before the race, this runner was registered onto the team.  And fortunately we were able to grab an excellent replacement runner for the regular team too. That meant though that i was dealing with a lot of new to the team runner questions while i was still figuring pace charts, confirming runner order and setting our drive times. Yes, this changed because all of a sudden on the regular team, we had a replacement runner who was much faster than the runner she was replacing. Mentally I was prepared to shuffle the vans around so the regular team could run with 11 runners instead of 12 but fortunately it didn't need to happen.

2. Difficulties while picking up van rentals. I was lucky. I'd had my van rental agreements in place for at least six months prior with a known company and a good (corporate backed) rate in place. I was actually a little more confident that we would have no problems getting our vans this time even though we picked them up late Thursday. I was hearing reports of teams not having vans available through their rental company even though they'd had reservations. It always makes me so nervous.  Really, what are you going to do at that point? How many people plus gear can you fit into our Toytota Corolla? It still seemed to take forever to pick up the vans but at least we had them!

3.  Oh yeah, the running. As captain, I never ever get a chance to think about what I'm going to be running. I don't really look at my legs or even think about food. And I realized the last couple days that since i was running on the ultra team and was going to be what would considered Van 1, it was completely different timing than what i was used to.  I really think this is a good thing. I was nervous in general about running this relay as an ultra but not nervous about my legs in particular. I knew I'd complete the distance, end of story.  I hoped to at least maintain close to marathon pace but was prepared to be a lot slower and that was ok.

It all went smoothly overall. Race day ended up being hotter than expected and we all suffered for it.  Some suffered more than other and felt some pretty severe effects of dehydration. Fortunately we had a couple of nurses in our vans and they were able to give some very good, professional advice which helped our runners out.

I felt brain dead and just annoyed with the continual neediness at work on Monday (so two days post race). And I realized that after handling 17 other runners with a lot of needs that I was done with neediness. Haha! And then I got another very good night's sleep and felt a whole lot better. Physically, I was less sore than I expected. I'm taking it easy this week though for sure.

Next Up: The Ultra Experience.

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