Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Raffle Winners!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our raffle to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.  The final numbers aren't in, but between blog friends, family, and people stopping by the day of the event, we raised over $3,000, almost double our original goal.

 Now, without further ado, the winners:

Any standard SparkleTech skirt (a $65 value!)

Kathy M.


One Pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts!

Cindy F.


Simple Hydration Logo

Simple Hydration Bottle


Allied Medal Displays!

One medal hanger of your choice from Allied Medal Displays.

Matt E.

Runners ID, Cycling ID, Medical ID Tags

 FOUR lucky winners get a $15 Gift Card to RoadID!

Jennifer @ Runner Maybe


One pair of BTB 430 Sunglasses!


Belts from Hippie Runner to FIVE winners! 


Pair of Running Tights from Running Funky!

Rose @ Eat, Drink and be Meiri

Jess @ Run With Jess

Sarah @ Sweet and Savory by Sarah

Lisa F.


A Headband from BondiBand to THREE lucky winners!

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner

Alicia @ Lish Land


Compression Socks from Zensah!


Alicia @ Lish Land

Sarah @ Sweet and Savory by Sarah


A Belt and Headband from One More Mile!

Nikki P


Two Gatorade Prize Packs!

Matt E.

Amy @ Mommy Isn't Here Right Now


Two Bras from Handful!

Elizabeth N.


If you're a lucky winner, please send me an email at so I can get you hooked up with your goodies!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Final Thoughts on Ragnar

I still am having trouble consolidating my thoughts into one neat little blog post, so I give you the following:

Ragnar:  The Highs

- Supporting the other runners.  My favorite couple of hours was when Rachel was running her 11 miler in the 90 degree heat (mainly because I didn't have to hear her yap yap yap all the damn time*).  We parked our van at several stops along the route to give the runners water, ice, gatorade, and a little cheer.

Cheer, also known as eyepatches on the tatas.
Photo credit, and sweet flag skills:  Falon

World-class roadside support right here:

- Falon's tweets, and discovering the hilarity of the hashtag.  A few of my favorites:

Sleeping on the ground at ragnar. 

Ragnar is so fun! 

At exchange 17. Kimmie and Rachie are ready to pound out 3 together. 

- My team.  They were all so awesome.  We really were lucky to have pieced together 12 enthusiastic, happy runners.

Ragnar:  The Lows

-Running all by our lonesome.  We really didn't experience the same Ragnar as a lot of other teams:  no rowdy exchanges full of teams, no seeing the same runners over and over and getting to know the other vans.  We started too late for our pace, and bringing up the rear was lonely.

-The finish line.  This was a little spirit-crushing guys.  Long story short, we were down two runners due to a family emergency, my van was stuck in Chicago traffic, and the other runners were just waiting fifty feet before the finish line for us. For a long, long time, in the blazing midday sun.

I crossed the damn finish line holding my purse and wearing flip flops, stumbling through the sand.  Our team ran kind of together the last fifty feet, but it wasn't the triumphant finish we had imagined.  Tears were shed behind my sunglasses, and it was bitterly disappointing.

-The finish line medical area.  One of our runners had a bit of heat exhaustion and was dehydrated, and the aid station put her on a cot.  They did not have ice, cold water for compresses, or anything else that you'd expect from an event like Ragnar.  It was 90 degrees, and I'm surprised they weren't overrun by runners needing help.

So, the big question:  Would I do it again?

Yes.  Definitely.  I learned a lot, and I had a lot of fun.

However, the next one I do, I'd like to walk onto someone else's team instead of organizing one.  It was a lot of fun, and Rachel did most of the work, but it still was a tremendous amount of time and effort over a 6 month period, and I'd kind of like to see what it's like to hop on someone else's team and just go with the flow.

Also, I'd like to do a different one other than Chicago... any suggestions?


*Jab specifically crafted to elicit this face:  
wtf?  I thought we were friends?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Longest Day - 16 Hour Relay. Done.

Yesterday, Rachel and I piled into the van in the pitch dark of the early morning and headed into the unknown.

We planned to run for 16 hours around a track, one hour on, and one hour off, from 5am til 9pm.

We were a little terrified, but mostly relieved that the day was finally here.

We could not have imagined how extraordinary the day would turn out to be.  I'll write a full recap next week, but here is a video I made of our day:

Today, I feel... happy.  So, so happy.

I ran 39.25 miles. 


And I have the blisters to prove it.

(don't worry, blister pictures coming soon you sickos)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

16 Hour Relay Eve

The van is packed with all of our essentials:  a tarp, a kiddie pool, a bunch of coolers and tons of food.  To the casual observer, it looks like we'll be doing a little camping or some summer tailgating.  

Not exactly, but we will be camped out at the high school track for 16 hours while Rachel and I alternate one hour on/one hour off of running.  All day.

So it's a lot like tailgating but, instead of beer, it's Gatorade.  And instead of lawn games we have foam rollers and ice packs.  And instead of a hangover, we might not be able to walk tomorrow.

Looks like Mama Nature is giving us a little punch in the b-hole with the weather:

DayJun 20

Isolated T-Storms / Wind
Isolated T-Storms / Wind

Probably not exactly the weather I would have ordered for a 16 hour relay on the track, but it could be worse.

The plan is to start slow and get slower.  We don't have a mileage goal; we just want to get through this puppy in one piece, and stay strong for all of the people whose names we are carrying around the track with us.

We'll be running one lap, walking one lap right from the beginning, and we'll try to keep that up as long as possible.

We have a lot of buddies coming out to support us by running with us or doing their own run on the track.  I'm so excited to see everyone and experience what it feels like to run all day.

I am excited, nervous, and so humbled by the outpouring of support and well-wishes people have shared with us in the last two weeks.  The stories people have shared about losing their loved ones to Alzheimer's are just heart-wrenching, and I have come to fear this disease so much more in the last couple of weeks.

If you want to know a bit more about Alzheimer's, please watch this short but powerful video:

If you haven't donated and would like to, please donate and leave a comment on our raffle page to get entered for some seriously awesome prizes by these great companies:  SparkleSkirts, Aspaeris, Allied Medal Displays, Simple Hydration, Road ID, BTB Sunglasses, Hippie Runner, Running Funky, BondiBand, ActiveBands, Zensah, Polar Bottle, One More Mile, Handful, and more!

Also, check out how you can be a part of The Longest Day by doing our Virtual Race!  Head over here for details.


Here's one more way to win a prize from our sweet sponsors:

We will send a prize to the donor (yes, you must make a donation to enter, it's a fundraiser people!)  who guesses closest to the total miles Rachel and I run as a team tomorrow.  Good luck!

Thanks again for all of the support! 

Wish us luck tomorrow, it's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ragnar Chicago: We Ran. We Ate. We Wore Panties.

We were awake for more than 40 hours.  I may have set a new world record for number of times a human pooped in a porta-potty over the course of two days.  (My teammates even kept track for me.  That's love (or something)).

It's so hard to sit down and write this recap.  Ragnar isn't indescribable, but it's close.  

In a word, it was intense.

The adventure started at 6am on Friday morning.  Kimba and Amy Z drove to my house, and we picked up Jen, and headed to Madison to meet the rest of our team, The Panty Raiders.

The excitement mounted as we decked out our vans:  strings of frilly underoos (dubbed "funderpants" by our van), pirate flags, sweet signs, and our aptly named parrot mascot.

Panties flapping in the breeze... sounds poetic, but pretty noisy on the highway...

Our parrot, "Something Inappropriate"

Making the magic happen.

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the start line, and as lucky runner #1, I had the honor of starting us off.

Me, Rachel, Linda (aka Goddess of Team Spirit) headed to the start.

Sending me off with a high-five (photo credit Amy Zem.)
My first leg was 4.4 miles, and I expected to run 8:15 miles or so and save my strength for my next legs.  It was 90 degrees and my body had another thing planned for me:  9:00 minute miles and pleading for death the whole time.  I ran for awhile with another girl, and I swear every minute or so one of us would go "Oh my god..."  or moan, or whimper.  It was pathetic, and horrible.  Single hardest run of my life.    But, I made it, ran right into my sweet Falon at the exchange, and sent her off with an awkward, inadvertent full-contact handoff.

The rest of my girls braved their legs in the beating sun and scorching heat, and soon we were ready to rest while Van 2 took over sometime in the early evening on Friday.   We headed to a restaurant, and then to exchange 12 to wait for our next turn.  Most of us set up camp on the grass and tried (mostly) unsuccessfully to catch some Zs, although I was able to doze off for 30 or 45 minutes.

When I woke up, it was dark, and considerably colder.  And quieter.  When we had parked at the exchange there were hundreds and hundreds of vans, but a few hours later, there were only a few dozen.  No one really thought much of it, but it was a sign of things to come.  (insert dramatic foreshadowing music...)

Soon we saw Jamie's headlamp coming towards us, and I was off.  The first half mile was through a park, and there were three or volunteers telling me where to go.  It was hard to see, but I followed the glowsticks of the volunteers towards the opening of the trail.

It was crazy.  You couldn't even see the trees on either side of the trailhead - it just looked like a big, black hole.  As I ran up to the volunteer I said, "Oh my god, that looks terrifying!" and he said, "Yup!".  Awesome.

It was just before midnight, and the moon hadn't yet risen above the trees, so it was inky black.  Black black.  I cannot even tell you how f*cking dark this god forsaken trail was.

I ran like someone was freaking chasing me.  It was just under five miles, and I ran 7:40 miles the whole way, just 20 seconds per mile off my 5k PR pace.  I hauled ass.  I sang pirate songs to myself.  Out loud.   I forced myself to smile.  I was pretty sure I was going to die.

My moments of panic were interspersed with this feeling of awe with what I was doing, and it was amazing.   This was one of my favorite times during Ragnar, but man, it was scary.   Oddly enough, I only saw one other person on this leg.  (dum dum dum...)

I ran it in, and handed off to Falon again, and drove while she, Amy, Lisa, and Kim ran their legs.  Soon it was Rachel's turn, and I changed into a fresh outfit and headed back out into the night to accompany her on her three miler.  It was beautiful, and not nearly as scary with another person to talk to.  We talked about our plans for after the leg... eat, change, and catch some SLEEP.  It would be about 6 hours before I would have to run again.

We did not see a single soul the entire time, and we were about to find out why.

We ran into the exchange, ready to hand off to Van #2, and Rachel handed the slap bracelet to Marcia.  She didn't start running, she just stood there.

I heard someone say, "OK guys, they're pulling us from the course.  We're in last place... we started too late."

The words were just spinning in my head.  Why wasn't Marcia running?  We all walked back to the two vans, and I just couldn't understand what was going on.  Were we DQ'd?  We were only half-way through our legs!

Eventually, I learned that our Van #2 was going to triple up on two legs - effectively skipping four legs and handing it back of to runner 1 of Van #1.  Me.  Apparently, due to the heat and length of the legs, our van pace was much slower than what we had predicted when we signed up.  All other teams our pace had started at 6am, a full 5 hours before us, and the teams that started with us were miles and miles ahead of us.

We headed to the next exchange, and instead of the chatting and laughing which had kept our van going the past 18 hours or so, it was silence.  Confusion.  A little anger.

I started my last leg, tired and achy, and I was upset.  This was not how I thought we would be doing Ragnar - skipping legs and doubling up.

I was pretty pissed off until about a half mile into my final leg.  I came around the corner and was stunned by a glorious sunrise on Lake Michigan.  I found my phone and snapped a picture and texted it to my van.

After that, I enjoyed every step of my last leg.  I was sad to see the "One Mile to Go!" sign, and when I climbed back into the van, I was wishing I had just one more leg to run.

Stay tuned for the beach-front finish line and my final thoughts on the race... I'll give you a hint.  It wasn't all fun, and it wasn't what I expected.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's here.

Ragnar.  It's happening.  Right now.

In 24 hours, I'll be done with my first leg, driving around with some sweaty hot girls cheering and wearing ruffly panties and singing pirate songs.

Ragnar Chicago sent out a heat advisory warning.. looks like mama nature is giving us a heat index over 100 degrees.  

I f*cking love running.

P.S.  If you're a Twitter-er...  Tweeter?  Twitty Twitty Bang Bang?  Follow us @ThePantyRaiders and keep up to the minute with our shenanigans.

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