Tomorrow, I’m running the 5 Mile Prospect Park Turkey Trot.  I’ve done this race every year for 4 years and it’s always hard.  I haven’t done much running lately so I’m a little scared.  Pretty soon  5 miles won’t be so scary because I’ll be training to be part of an amazing 12 person relay team for the SoCal Ragnar in April 2014.  Today, I’m lucky enough to have found one of my soulmate bloggers (who will also be one of my Ragnar teammates), Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood give her story about how she went from recreational runner to Ragnar.

How To Run With The Big Kids, CarrieHi everyone! I’m Carrie from Family Fitness Food.  I’m so happy that Melissa is letting me drop in on her little bloggy space today to share some thoughts with you.  I met Melissa back in June at Fitbloggin in the most random of circumstances – on the very last morning, we set out for a 5K run and we just happened to fall in step with each other.  I can’t believe we didn’t meet earlier in the weekend – it was like saving the best for last.

Something happens when you run with a person and discover so many shared interests – from running, to nutrition to parenting to living close to each other to even sharing similar religious beliefs.  You make a true friend in a very short amount of time.

Upon returning home from Fitbloggin, many of us have kept in close contact.  Pretty easy to do with a bunch of social media obsessed bloggers.  I know Melissa has already talked about what is coming in up April, but a bunch of us that met at Fitbloggin have signed up to run the SoCal Ragnar Relay Race in April.

Back to what I said above – running with a person really establishes a connection like no other.

I ran the SoCal Ragnar in 2011 when I was a very very new runner.  What’s crazy is that I had only run a single 10K when my best friend from childhood talked me in to running Ragnar with her to celebrate her 40th birthday.  I hardly knew what I was doing.  Their advice going in to training was – “do a few two a day runs and you’ll be fine”.

I’m pretty sure the longest I’d ever run at that point in my life was about 7 miles.  I got in a few 2 a day runs and called myself ready.  And, scary enough – I was ready.

The Ragnar is a 200 mile relay from Huntington Beach, CA to San Diego, CA.  My team was made up of all San Diego people, I was the only LA person.  So, I basically met most of them (aside from my friend, her husband and one other person I already knew) at the starting line.

I knew going in to it that I was running with the big kids.  I had cheered my friend on to finish an Ironman several years before and she and her friend had done Hood to Coast several times. My friend’s husband is seriously fast, typically finishing in the top percentages of long distance races.  And then there was me.  But, I think the best thing that I had going for me was that I was new to running and had placed absolutely zero expectations on myself.  I was along for the ride and everyone was watching out for me.

I was runner #3 and I jumped right in and did my own thing.  I fueled the way I knew would work for me and I ran along and enjoyed the whole event.  Even the 2 hours of sleep that I got at the foot of a hotel bed and the shower at 4:00 in the morning (best. shower. ever) was all an adventure and fun. Other, more experienced teammates struggled with stomach issues and minor injuries and I just plugged along.


FamilyFitnessFood, Ragnar, Running

I think this is before my second leg. That’s me in the middle.

While I finished my 3 legs, I chose to skip crossing the finish line with my team and I hopped on the train back to LA to watch my daughter compete in a dance competition.  At the time, it was the right decision.  And while I hobbled around at the evening competition and laughed at myself for being so deliriously exhausted, it was a weekend to remember.  I’m very proud of those 14 miles that I ran.

I’m really curious how this time will go.  I know so much more about running now than I did then.  But, I think that may not be a good thing.  I’ve done a lot more running since then, which has brought on my share of injuries.  I put a lot more pressure on myself to meet certain time goals now than I did that first time.

But, I’m also super excited to get to hang out for 2 days with these amazing people.  It’s going to be a crazy time, full of stories and laughs and sleepless running deliriousness.

I can’t wait.

You can read all the little details in the recap on my blog.  Have you ever run a relay race?  Have you ever run with the big kids?

If you want to get to know the lovely Carrie even better, connect via her blog, Twitter (@CarrieSinCA), Facebook page, Google+ and/or Instagram – MB/TVRD.