You might recall from my two big races I did this spring, I'm not so good making a list and checking it twice. ("Remember that time at band camp when I forgot to bring my bike helmet to the half-Ironman? Good times, good times.")
I'm heading into what I'm officially calling Ragnumn (Ragnar + Autumn, kind of). Ragnar Colorado, in about two weeks, is up first, followed by Ragnar DC. I'm running Ragnar 'Rado with 11 members of what my friend and teammate Bine calls, "our village." Friends and mother runners who I'm blessed to have in my life. Hoping I'll feel that way after 192 miles. (Kidding, kidding.)
Being runner number 6 at Ragnar Colorado which goes from Copper Mountain to Breckenridge to Snowmass—yes, all ski areas; yes, my legs are classified "hard", "very hard," and "moderate" and total just north of 19 miles; and yes, it all feels very hard to me right now—will be a perfect dress rehearsal for Ragnar DC. I'm not sure what runner number I'll be yet as Team Dimity heads into our nation's capital, but I know one thing: I'll feel like I'm drinking oxygen along with my Nuun. Which is a win/win in my book.
But I digress. The packing thing. I asked for tips from you guys a few days ago on our Facebook page, and, as usual you did not disappoint. Below is a list of necessary items I've grouped, along with some not necessary, but helpful commentary. I've left out food and water (aside from the nutrition and hydration you'd drink on the run) because I figure you'll remember that. (Then again, I thought I would remember my bike helmet...)
I've also made a more streamlined PDF of this list if you want to download it for future use.
Running Gear Department
- 3 sports bras (a wet sports bra when you’re not running=freezing mother runner)
- 2-3 bottoms (capris, shorts, skirts, tights…whatever works for you and the temperature)
- 2-3 running tops (I’d vote for short sleeve with long sleeve over for colder legs: good temperature control. You can always tie the shirt around your waist.)
- 3 pairs of running socks
- Headwear: baseball cap or visor
- Garmin or GPS
- Water bottle(s)
- Hydration/nutrition to use while you're running
- Compression wear for lower body (socks, calf sleeves)
- Roller to release some muscular pain from lower body that comes from sitting/running/sitting/running
- 1 pair of warmer sweat pants for nighttime
- 1 fleece/sweatshirt/down jacket for nighttime
- 1-2 pairs of running shoes
- 1 pair non-running, slip-on shoes (flip flops, clogs)
- Winter hat
- Big Ziploc Bags (this is the MOST IMPORTANT tip, per mother runners: put each clean running outfit into a Ziploc bag, then return sweaty outfit into the bag, seal it up, and do not open it again until you get near a washing machine. "It also helps so then you don't have to post a pic of a thong after the race to figure out who it belongs to," says one mother runner.)
- Well-used towels for showers, wiping off feet, cleaning off spilled beverages, etc.
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Yoga mat or sleeping pad
- Small pillow
- Paper towel
- Cell phone chargers
- Small backpack—the kind you often get at races with strings for straps—to hold all your small things you need to grab quickly, like a headlamp, cash, chapstick, sunglasses, etc.
- People, US Weekly, other gossip mags to kill time (many people reported they didn't watch shows they downloaded or read books they brought)
- Music/headphones to get some p and relative q.
- Trash bags
- Colgate Wisps for brushing your teeth on the fly (or go old school: toothbrush + paste)
- First aid kit with plenty of band aids and/or moleskin for blisters
- Ibuprofen or other pain-reliever
- Immodium, Tums, or other stomach-related helpers
- Bug spray
- Baby wipes (good for a shower on the go)
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- A little kit if you get to use a bathroom (real soap, lotion, etc.)
- Hair things: ponytail holder, Sweaty Bands, etc
- Tampons + pads (hey: you never know. Aunt Flo may want to be on your team)
- Sense of humor
- Race bible and/or rules for each van
- Race bibs for each van
- Directions for the course for each van
- Cell phone numbers for all teammates
- Contact phone numbers of non-runner for all teammates
- Special medical information for teammates
- Reflective vests
- Headlamps/blinking lights
- Credit card
- Good but not necessary: extra keys for the van; battery pack for your phone
Cheering Squad Necessities
- A sprayer to douse hot runners with water
- Stickers or branded magnets to “tag” other vans
- Window chalk
- An extra, unique glowy thing (I'm kinda loving this blinking eyeball ring) so you’ll be able to quickly recognize your teammate at night in transition areas
Three good tips that don't fit neatly into an above category, but I want to share:
1. Make sure your bag with all your gear/clothes zips shut easily, or you'll soon have stuff rolling around everywhere in the van.
2. Put your name or initials on everything. (Including those aforementioned Ziploc bags.)
3. Make a non-mayo based pasta salad. An orzo/feta/tomatoes/olive oil/lemon pasta salad one mother runner made for a Ragnar was the favorite food in the van.
Again, you can download a less chatty version of this list here as a PDF.
Ok, so what did I miss? And what other tips do you have? Lay it on me: I'm gonna need as many strategies as possible to thrive in my upcoming Ragnumn.