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Ragnar Relay

2013 Year in Review

  • Run/swim/bike a combined total of 1500 miles. Didn’t happen. I was right at 1,000 miles.. pretty far off. 
  • Run 3 half marathons this Spring. DONE. 
  • Complete 3 tri’s this summer. Only did 2.. stupid injury. 
  • Don’t die during the Ragnar Relay. DONE. 
  • Run a sub 2:15 half marathon. DONE. 
  • Cook dinner every night for an entire week. Totally forgot I set this as a goal..
  • Grow an herb garden and use it! Nope. I have a feeling I will never do this.
  • Balance between my goals, John’s goals, and what’s good for the girls. Reaching goals take sacrifice for all parties, and it’s very easy to become selfish with what you want, and not what’s best for the family. I’d like to think I did this! 
  • Take the girls on a weekend trip.. somewhere fun but within driving distance. DONE. The cruise counts, right??
  • Be able to do the splits. This is laughable that I set it as a goal..
  • Continue with cross training and weight training. DONE… Err… still a work in progress! 
  • Clean up my eating… being more mindful of what I am putting into my body. Still a work in progress…
  • Go to a Pro Football Game. Another one that’s probably not going to happen. 

I haven’t set my goals for 2014 yet.. I’m a little disappointed that I missed so many. Oh well! Let’s take a look back at how EPIC 2013 was.

We started off the year with C turning 4…

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And then I ran Ragnar Relay FLK… I still can’t believe I did that.

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We went to the National Title game… and I was photobombed by my brother in law.

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We had a snow day…
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I ran Mercedes.. and officially crushed my sub 2:15 goal.

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And then 2 weeks later, I ran Tuscaloosa and PR’d again..

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I went to Texas for the final BlissDom…

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C discovered her love of a knee pop..

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I went up to DC and ran Nike Women’s with Molly… No PR for me, but still was one of my favorite races.

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I did another Tri.. this one with J and I placed in my Age Group again.

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We went on a cruise… and had a fabulous time.

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On the cruise, I got this super sweet bruise from an EPIC Dodge Ball game.
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Tried some Energy Bits… loved them so much I became an ambassador. (Use RUNINHIGHHEELS for 15% off!)
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We went to the lake and Addy drove a Sea-Doo…
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I raced twice in one day.. Triathlon in the morning and a 5K at night.

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C found out just how dangerous treadmills can be…
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We had our yearly girls trip to the lake…
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And I got injured… not at the lake. Just injured in general.
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We went to the Georgia Dome and hung out with some Hokies… Hubs photobombed pictures with “number 1″.
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We took the girls on the Carnival Conquest…. and had a fantastic time.
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We went to a few more football games….
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and The Lumineers in concert.. photobombed once again by my brother in law.
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Mom and I took Addy to the American Girl Store in Atlanta.

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I got out of my comfort zone and ran with groups of unknown people… sometimes seeing these gorgeous sunrises over Birmingham.
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I ran a comeback 10K.. and PR’d it.
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Photobombed once again by the number 1…
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And I ran Magic City again.. cursed it until the end and crossed the finish line with C.
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All in all.. 2013 was EPIC.
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2014 has some big shoes to fill… Hope it can live up the expectations.

Are you sad to see 2013 go??


Ragnar Part 2

So, when we last left off on Ragnar Part 1, we were settling in at our first exchange.

We ate dinner at the exchange, and I got heckled by a 13 year old boy over my Beat Notre Dame button.. let’s be real. I put him in his place.

The alarm went off around 1:30 am, for Mary’s leg to start. I think she ended up starting around 3 am.


While she ran, We decorated the inside of the van…


I had yet another twilight run, this time a 4 mile run across the bridge into Marathon Key. Most people would be all, “Oh how awesome!” But you know who lives around bridges? Birds. You know who has a gigantic fear of birds? THIS GIRL.

The exchange fell on some gravel rocks and sand, so I had to be super careful coming in. But, we still did our handoff…


Getting back in the van, everyone was all, “Oh Rachel! Did you see the beautiful peacocks on the side on the bridge? They were gorgeous! They had these beautiful feathers!” No. Rachel did NOT see the beautiful peacocks on the bridge. Rachel got the beautiful scenery of the used condom on the bridge and the crap that someone took and tried to cover up like a cat with toilet paper. Yep. You read that right… someone dropped a deuce on the bridge and LEFT IT. Who does that?!

But I did see this gorgeous sunrise after.. so that kind of makes up for it, right?


After everyone finished their legs, we headed to eat breakfast at a Cuban place.. it was delicious. Then we headed to our final major exchange.

It was another high school, even though people were asleep in the gym like a refugee camp.


I, myself, rolled out a yoga mat in the grass. And my van mates took pictures.. rude.

Wanna see the inside of a van that 7 people have been living in for 30 hours? 

Mary and I planned some stellar matching outfits for our final legs…

Major props to Lululemon for these amazing skirts.


After what had to be the hardest 2 mile run in my running history, I was done with my Ragnar legs!



Since Glenn was bringing in the final leg to Key West, we raced to the hotel to drop off the van and get to the finish line so we could all cross together.

Everyone was digging on Coach’s shirt….

Mary and I at the finish… awesome lady who talked me into this crazy adventure! 

The only females on the trip.. Me, Mary, and Emily. 

Van 2 representin’! 

Celebration Champagne at sunset… yes, please!

Beautiful sunset!! 

The group that made it down…

After eating a delicious dinner, Mary and Prateek said I had to experience a bar crawl on Duval Street since I had never been to Key West…

We started out… somewhere. I can’t even remember. That’s sad.

But second, we went to Hogs Breath. We didn’t stay long.. their band was taking a break.

We went to Sloppy Joe’s next, where apparently, I found a lucky penny? Who knows. It was apparently a big enough deal to necessitate a picture.


Mary and I did the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble.. which has apparently, not made it’s way into Key West because we got accused of making up the dance before coming into the bar.. Nope. I don’t make them up, just rock them.

We headed next to Irish Kevin’s.. where I showed the awesome signs of knowing how to rock a cowbell and got called up on stage to showcase said talents during Blister in the Sun.. I wish I had the video of me telling him to dig into his little bag for something for me to bang my stick on. I’m sure it’d make my parents proud….

Surprisingly, I woke up feeling good the next morning. Mary and I went in search of a hot tub, but we didn’t have one, so I settled for a hot bath.

We met the group for breakfast, where I had some delicious french toast.


I had a friend try to disrupt my meal.. but Clint was nice enough to shoo him away.


I also made a new friend….do not be jealous, I saw him first!!


You don’t want to miss the back end, y’all!


We visited the Southernmost Point…


On our way back to Miami, we relived our Ragnar adventures and stopped to try to find Glenn’s lost hat at my final exchange.. I am not sure how I missed that it was an adult store, but after all of my “That’s what she said” jokes, the van agreed that it was a fitting choice for my 3rd leg.


All in all, Ragnar cannot be put in appropriate words. Yes, these people may have been strangers in the beginning, but we now share a team bond. It was an AMAZING experience and I would do another in a heartbeat.. in fact… anyone want to run Ragnar Napa Valley?!


Ragnar Part 1…

Have you been waiting to hear about the EPICNESS of Ragnar?!

Because I have a LOT to say.

I headed out Thursday afternoon on my second flight EVER by myself and my first solo time changing planes… I was nervous, especially since they kept delaying my flight. But I made it with no problems.


Mary, Prateek, Bob, and Emily picked me up at the airport and we headed to the hotel to meet the rest of the team. I knew our Captain, Matt, was super organized, but the man owns his own laminator. And for this girl who can’t find her way out of a paper sack, I was so happy to get laminated directions of each of my legs.


I branched out, once again (I did that A LOT on this trip!) and ate some Cuban food at Versailles.. it was delish!


We headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next day and get some shut eye… and I didn’t sleep very well. I woke up about 2:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep until almost 4, and my alarm was set for 6 am.. since I was apparently the high maintenance one of the group, I had to get up first and get my shower.


We ate breakfast at the hotel.. our last real meal for 30 hours and headed to Publix for necessities like water, gatorade, peanut butter, and apparently stuffed potato balls (AMAZING. Have you tried these?!)


We headed to the start line to decorate the vans. We had an inside joke about R.O.U.S.’s (Rodents of Unusual Size) since something called an Gambian Pouched Rat had invaded part of The Keys. The are about the size of a large house cat.


The boxes to check off our completed legs.. and a spot for our “Baptisms” or Kills for some of you. (A kill is when you pass someone. You keep a tally of it and it makes you feel awesome.)


Team Saints and Sinners at the start line…


The only girls… PS Miami does NOTHING for my hair.


Van 1 set off and we had several hours to kill…. so we ate lunch and just hung out at the major exchange.

Mary was ready to Clowney her first leg!


I got the awesome task of being the first of our Van to wear night gear… awesome, right? No. Not awesome.


Octavian and I came up with our handoff… it’s awesome.


First leg was 7.6 miles and basically a slow incline the entire way. It was tough and HOT and HUMID and HOT… and did I mention it was HOT? It started cooling off once the sun started going down and it felt pretty good. But I must say, the first half of it, was HELL. But I had 5 kills.. not bad. 3 of them I passed at a traffic light, but whatevs.


After Glenn handed off to Matt at Homestead Speedway, we headed to the next exchange to eat and get some shut eye…


Yes. This is how people sleep during a Ragnar. On a sleeping bag. In the grass. Unless you are me. I kicked the boys off the back bench and snuggled in for some of the best 3 hours of sleep I’ve ever had….

If you want to read Mary’s part 1… here it is!

2013 Goals.

I think setting my goals for 2012 seriously helped me stay focused, so I decided to do it again for 2013. I also want to do a monthly re-cap of how I am doing with these goals, just to keep me in check! Here are my goals for 2013:

  • Run/swim/bike a combined total of 1500 miles.
  • Run 3 half marathons this Spring.
  • Complete 3 tri’s this summer.
  • Don’t die during the Ragnar Relay.
  • Run a sub 2:15 half marathon.
  • Cook dinner every night for an entire week.
  • Grow an herb garden and use it!
  • Balance between my goals, John’s goals, and what’s good for the girls. Reaching goals take sacrifice for all parties, and it’s very easy to become selfish with what you want, and not what’s best for the family.
  • Take the girls on a weekend trip.. somewhere fun but within driving distance.
  • Be able to do the splits.
  • Continue with cross training and weight training.
  • Clean up my eating… being more mindful of what I am putting into my body.
  • Go to a Pro Football Game.


What are your goals for 2013? Should I add anything to my list?

Happy New Year, Y’all!!

If We Weren’t All Crazy…

… We Would Go Insane…

There comes a time in your life when you realize that you are off your rocker completely. As a runner, I tend to get weird looks when I talk about races, PR’s, distances, time goals, etc. But, the looks that I am getting about this one, top them all.

Earlier this summer, a friend and I were talking about a Ragnar Relay. They were describing it’s awesomeness, and I’ll admit, it sounded like a good time. Not sure what a Ragnar Relay is? Well, the easiest way to describe it, is that a team made up of 12 runners (Or 6 if your Ultra crazy) covers 200 miles in distance while essentially leap frogging each other. Each runner takes 3 legs totaling anywhere from 12-20 miles, depending on which runner you are. Oh, and you basically live in a van without showering, sleeping in a bed, or eating real meals. Yes this sounds like my kind of fun. Is it out of my comfort zone? You betcha. You know I don’t camp or generally like the outdoors, so I know this is a stretch for me.

But when Mary put out feelers for needing a team member for the Florida Keys, I jumped at the chance… well. Actually, I thought long and hard about it. But, I felt like the universe and stars were aligning since it happened to be the weekend that we are going to Miami anyway for the National Title game. We start in Miami on Friday and run down to the Keys. On Sunday, we come back to Miami and J flys in… perfect timing, right?!

Still unsure of what a Ragnar really is? Here is a video I found… I’ve watched a LOT of them.

I think the real challenge will be trying to pack for a trip to Miami AND a 2 day race in ONE bag. Any tips for that one?!

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