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Finished My Second Ragnar


This post is more of a “life” post than a strictly financial one. If you’re not into the “life” stuff, feel free to skip it.

I finished my second Ragnar race last week!

If you’re not familiar, Ragnar is a relay-style race where participants run for 24+ hours. We ran at McDowell Mountain, which is a trail run (there are trail races & road races). At this race, each participant runs about 16 miles, split up into 3 different legs, an “easy” leg, a “moderate” leg, and a “hard” leg.

I fancy myself a runner (though I’m incredibly slow…but I enjoy it and it’s something I do regularly, so even if I’m not speedy or great at running…..I still consider myself a “runner”). It was something I first got “into” when I first moved to Arizona 10 years ago and I’ve done it basically ever since. I usually participate in about 1 “big” race every year or so, and I do a handful of shorter distances each year (maybe one 5K and one 10K on average, plus in our area there are free Kids’ Mile races so I do 2-3 of those each year with my kids and they’re super fun! The kids still get shirts and medals and post-race food and drinks, etc. and it’s literally 100% free! So there <<< I still have a financial connection in this post, lol)

Even though I like to think of myself as a “runner,” preparing for this type of event is a PROCESS for me. It’s been interested to see how my teammates have approached it, as I’ve now done it twice. Several of my teammates across the two years have basically shown up with very minimal training and crushed it, no problem (though, in fairness, they are in-shape and participate in other types of exercise like rock-climbing, tennis, etc.) For me, it’s a 3-month long ordeal where I run 4-5/week and train my body to handle the long distance runs; then adding in 2-a-day runs, etc. It’s a lot of fun, though, as we often organize Team Runs and there’s a lot of camaraderie involved.

I debated whether to drop from the team multiple times this year. I didn’t feel well enough prepared. I was slower than everyone else. I missed an entire week of training when I got Kidney Stones.  It just didn’t feel like a good time in my life. For much of training, I was right in the middle of my move, separation-related stress, and general life chaos. It felt like taking time to run was a luxury I could not afford.

But then……maybe the training occurred at the perfect time in my life, too. Maybe I needed those mental “breaks” to just be out running. And the connection with my teammates, feeling their support and friendship.

Funny how sometimes the thing you think you just CANNOT do, is the exact thing you NEED to do for yourself in that moment in time.

We were slower this year than last (last year we finished in 23 hours, this year we were at 25 hours), but I felt stronger this time, had less soreness in the aftermath, and it was the same amount of fun.


In all honesty, I can’t remember the exact costs and registration isn’t open for next year yet so I can’t see what the current cost is. I know our team registered early so we got a price break and I want to say it cost $60 or $70 per person. I did buy some new running shoes (about $100), but the rest of my running gear I have owned for awhile.

Overall, I think my running hobby is pretty inexpensive. Most of my “running” related accessories have be re-used for years. I’ve had the same fuel belt for probably 5 years, for example. I’ve had the same headphones and headlamp (for night running) for over 2 years. Many of my running compression socks, sweat-wicking headbands and hats I’ve owned for a number of years, etc. And all of my training runs are free. I either run at trails by my house or the team has met up for trail runs at a local trailhead (also free). Given that I train for the race for a solid 3 months in preparation, that $60-70 entry fee amounts to 3 months of “entertainment” and team-building leading up to the big race. Not to mention the potential psychological benefits of getting exercise and Vitamin D, and of being able to unplug and be outside for awhile. It’s pretty powerful.

I’m 99% sure I’ll be joining the team for Ragnar 2019, too. I guess it’s just become an annual tradition at this point. 🙂

Halfway Thru No Spend October


No spend month has been uneventful money wise. But otherwise, quite hard. We are going through a number of adjustments on the personal level. And there are no easy days right now.

History Buff

History Buff has found a full time job. It’s hard manual labor and good on many levels. But it is also very hard for him to be up and out the door every morning having never done this. I’ve been supporting him by getting up with him at 4 or 5am and helping get him out the door.

He’s also had to borrow some money to get through these weeks with no income. He had to buy jeans (he ripped his) and keep gas in his car to get back and forth. (He will pay me back with his first check this week.)


Gymnast is struggling with being homeschooled again. (We both are, but I don’t know of any alternatives right now.) While this is mostly emotional and behavioral adjustments, it is taking a toll on the household. If you are a praying person, please pray both he and I can give each other grace and patience.

Sea Cadet

Sea Cadet is staying busy with his part time work and full time schooling. But he and History Buff are struggling with the changes and having to share a space after almost two years of having their independence from one another.


Princess is not happy with my decision to have her dual enrolled in the spring. She is loving the high school experience, and is sad that she won’t be on the high school campus full time. I did read everyone’s comments on dual enrollment piece, and we are only pursuing the core courses at the collegiate level.

Currently she will take English and US History, both required for high school graduation and guaranteed to transfer to Georgia schools. She is also registered for a welding class because she is LOVING welding and the courses at the high school are very hard to get into. (She has completed two welding classes at the high school and must complete three to graduate.)

Our cup really does run over with with emotional and physical transitions right now. Thankfully, the money pressure is off. And I start every day counting my blessings!

And one of my favorite blessings this time of year is the cooler weather and the chance to wear my favorite fuzzy socks…what are your fall favorites?

fuzzy socks

Reading Books

On the bright side…I’ve been reading a lot with our slower daily schedule and more downtime then I remember ever having! But I haven’t finished a single book. I just keep jumping around. Do you do that?

Currently, I’m reading:

I’ve also been creating a list on Amazon of other books to read as I get the time. If interested, you can see my list here.

I would love any recommendations you might have.