Ragnar Florida Keys…..Thru My Eyes

2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Part II

When I signed on to join a 12 person team for the Ragnar Florida Keys race, I knew that I was signing on for a “train wreck”, so to speak.  I knew that everyone was expecting fun, fun, fun but I also knew that a different type of “fun” would be the reality.  If you aren’t a person who can kinda “roll with the punches” then this may not be an event for you.  The team members and the personalities of the team can either make or break the event.  A good group of team members will get you to the finish as smoothly as possible.  A bad group, well…. I don’t even want to think of how that would go down.  As I said, I had a good team and we made it to the finish.

Ragnar Keys_team at finish

We started with 12 team members and were quickly down to 10.   The ability of this team to “roll with the  punches” meant that it was an inconvenience losing a couple people, but no big thing in reality.  We divided up the remaining miles and just planned to do what we came to do …… run.  We moved toward the finish, as efficiently as possible, one leg at a time.  No big thing, we came to run.

Running a long distance relay, with 9 other people means that you hurry up and wait.  We were either waiting to run, waiting for another runner to get ready, waiting for another runner to come in, waiting to check on & offer support to another runner, waiting for the other van to move thru their legs, waiting in traffic, waiting to get some food, waiting to get some sleep……… waiting.  Hurry up and wait.  No big thing, we came to run.

When you do get to run, it’s not like a traditional race where you are surrounded by 500 to 40,000 of your very best friends but rather similar to a training run where you are out there, quite often all alone, slugging out the miles.

Ragnar Keys _bridge awaiting runners

It’s solitary.  Sometimes along a lonely stretch of highway.  Sometimes along a beautiful bridge. Sometimes picking your way along a gravel road beside a canal with gators. Sometimes in town, in the dark, trekking sidewalks, fighting off a pimp and his ho pedestrian traffic.  Sometimes on a desolate trail or path thru migrant worker fields where they shoot fireworks at you “for fun”.  No big thing, we came to run.

The SWAG for this event was average and included some fueling options (cliff shot blocks and a few other options that I didn’t really look at cuz I brought my own Rehydrate Gel), a Leslie Jordan tech tee & a Ragnar tattoo.  No big thing, we came to run.

Ragnar Keys_swag

At the finish line we received a Ragnar 2013 sticker  and our medal, which happens to be a handy bottle opener.  I have already used it to open a “few” Corona Lights.  Cool but nothing too exciting.  No big thing, we came to run.  

Side note……the bottle opener medal is actually a VERY cool thing to me.  I don’t display or hang my medals and this is actually something I will use on a frequent basis.  However, others might not get the same type of “use” out of it that I will and therefore may not get as excited over it as me.  Personally, I’d run another 200 miles just for this medal/church key to have a friend which I could throw in the boat.  🙂

Ragnar Keys_medal - sticker  image Ragnar Keys_medal-bottle opener

There was a finish line party.  We all received a free beer.  There were a few vendors and a place to purchase food & beer.  The party was on the beach.  Cool but nothing too exciting.  No big thing, we came to run.

Ragnar Keys_finsh panaramic

Ragnar Keys_finish - water- hotel

Ragnar is a runner’s race.  Its a self supported event where you (and your vanmates) need to take care of everything from start to finish.  If you expect a party and a lot of hoopla, you might be disappointed.  If you come to run, then you will be thrilled and elated at the finish to have completed an amazing adventure. 

Ragnar Keys_ me finish - water

  ** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

New Adventures…..

A new adventure is underway. 

A redemption run of sorts. 

A new chapter to be written in an old and tattered book.

A new set of friends to be made.

A new goal to be achieved.

A new relay to be ran.

Hmmmm……which one to choose?


You really didn’t think I’d let this go, did you?  I may have had to sit out of the 2012 Madison to Chicago Ragnar due to a last minute injury (details HERE) but baby, I’m back!  Whooooooop!!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

7 Days til Ragnar – 7 Things I’ll Be Packing

We are 7 days out from Ragnar Chicago and it was a rough day in TTF land, luckily I had the day off from actual “work”. The day started well when I went to the pool and swallowed a ton of TRI Smart Water.  Wow, they swim fast compared to me.  Wow, they kick up a lot of water in the pool.  Wow, they pull a good current when you are surrounded by 4 of them.  Wow, I suck at swimming.  Wow, I’ve never seen the pool so busy.

After the swim, I only had time to squeeze in a 27 mile ride on the trainer before hitting the chiro.  Today she tried acupuncture since my body doesn’t respond like a “normal” person.  Being special isn’t so great in a situation like this.  I’m gonna post this “needles in the foot” pic again for my mom those of you who don’t have facebook or follow me on twitter.

After the needle fun at the chiro, I went directly to the foot surgeon for a more needle action in the form of a cortisone shot.  He infused the cortisone with an anesthetic in order to numb the foot out for a week or so.  Let’s cross our fingers!  Ragnar here I come…..Dear Foot:  Please comply!

In developing a list of 7 things I “need” that are possibly not going to be in every runner’s bag, I started with the important stuff:

  1. Ice bag.  I have a gel ice bag that I’m planning to beg my teammates to stuff in the cooler.  I need it.
  2. Motrin.  I need it.
  3. Merrill Encore Ice slip-on shoe.  Although this is probably the ugliest shoe I have ever purchased, I’m glad to have it.  I bought it off the clearance rack at REI and it holds my plantar fascia up and keeps my feet feeling “ok”.  I need them.  But they are ugly.  I’m considering getting a sandal just like this too.  🙂
  4. Toothbrush.  I know we won’t be having a lot of time to shower  but I’m hoping to be able to at least brush my teeth.
  5. Tortilla-Peanut Butter- Dill Pickle wraps.  I know this sounds disgusting but I actually like peanut butter and pickles together and I think this will work well for me food wise and I’ll be able to avoid the soggy bread issue.
  6. Rehydrate Energy Gel – This is a new product which totally rocks.  It is easy on my tummy and has an excellent lemon taste.  I still can’t get over how awesome this stuff is and am looking forward to our long term relationship. 
  7. A freakin’ AWESOME attitude.  I think this is probably the most important “item” on the list.  We are going to be tired, cranky and the worst thing we can do is take it out on each other or somebody else.  In order to have a good time, each person is responsible for bringing a good attitude.  Ever heard the saying, “if you aren’t having fun, it’s your own fault”?  So let’s bring it, rock this thing and have some fun!!

What would you take on your relay run adventure?

** Happy Relaying ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com