You may remember that a couple months ago I was struggling to get my running mojo back this year. With no race in site, it was too tempting to just have fun lifting and skip my planned longer runs. I forced myself to run a “long” run of 6-7 most weeks, but anything more was pushing it. Then a strange thing happened. Social media helped me find that elusive desire to run. I woke up on a mid-June Saturday morning to this tweet from one of my Ragnar teammates from last year:
I instantly had a total case of Ragnar withdrawal. I wanted to be out there with them RIGHT. NOW. (And in case you are wondering, the comment refers to the fact that I may have had a very large amount of light-up & reflective gear that made me stand out just a tiny bit.)
That one tweet motivated me to get out the door and run far(ish). I went out that morning and did 9. And I didn’t die. In fact, I felt fairly good.
Later that week, this happened:
Mind you, this is not just any team. This is the amazing team I ran Ragnar Great River with last year. After talking to a few key people I needed in order to make this happen, I put my name in the hat. Time for training to really get serious! For the first time since before I completed the Dopey Challenge in January, I had real, genuine motivation to run.
Why am I so excited to be doing Ragnar? If you are not a Ragnarian, it is hard to understand. I do not enjoy camping. I like to shower immediately following a workout. I am weird about what I can/will eat before running. But yet I voluntarily choose to live out of a van with five other sweaty runners for almost two days, sleeping out in a field (or on a hard gym floor) and fueling with whatever we can pack/prepare in our van. There is something magical about Ragnar moments. The moments like these where you can act like a kid and it is totally acceptable.
During Ragnar, reality ceases exist for a brief time. For two days there is no stressing out over life’s daily issues; no thinking about work or what I need to accomplish next. Contact with the “outside world” is minimal as cell service is spotty. In my normal life this would drive me insane, but during Ragnar it is peace.
While on my long run last weekend, I found myself daydreaming about the overnight run. Before my first Ragnar this was one of the things I was most terrified about. I am not a “nighttime runner.” And wouldn’t it be creepy to be out there alone? It was, in fact, my favorite running leg at both of my Ragnars. It is cool, silent, and just somehow makes you feel alive to be running through the dead of night while everyone sleeps. (I’m not going to lie, seeing the blinking of a fellow Ragnarian’s “tail light” is nice once in awhile too, though!)
Running a Ragnar exposes you to things you might otherwise let pass you by. It makes you stop and look around. Here are a couple of the more awesome things I saw last year.
If that’s not enough to get you up in the morning with some motivation to run, I don’t know what is!
I can’t tell you how good it feels to have my running motivation back. Yes, I am a little more sore, tired and hungry. But it is a good feeling! Once I get through August 14-15th I will have to figure out what comes next, but for now you will find me back out on the streets and trails!
Have you ever run Ragnar? Do you need a race on your schedule to stay motivated?