Remember how I did this last year? I was invited on to a great team, and had a fun time being introduced to the idea of relay running.
From that time last year, and now, I have met some REALLY COOL people. In fact, they were the ones I did Red Rock Relay with in last fall.
They put together a team for Ragnar and I was a lucky enough girl to be invited to be with them! Legally Dead - you are da BOMB-DIGGITY!
Our start time was 6:00am in Logan, UT. We were to report one hour early. That means we met Salt Lake area about 2:30am. I was starting off with only a couple of hours of sleep. My plan was to nap until I was scheduled to run. Let me just say.....you know that thing about best laid plans? Yeah......didn't happen for me.
We checked in, decorated our vans, got our stuff, took a picture and watched our first runner take off!
Our first piece of business was to find a bathroom and some food. Nothing says breakfast like a hot dog from the Mav!
Those young bucks KILLED it!
(Mon Capiton - WF)
Our first runner out was LL or Lil Guppy. She killed it. She always does. She is a great runner who consistently posts fast and steady times.
This was my first leg:
Not bad. It was hot, just the way I like it. Got a few roadkills. And overall enjoyed myself. I wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but it was a good run.
Once you get your leg over with, it then becomes the battle of how much do I fuel and drink knowing that I will be running again in a matter of hours. Guppy's homemade Oreo's are just the ticket!
I stretched, cooled down, and went back to cheering the rest of our van.
Once our last runner finished up the leg for our van, we met up with the young kids and passed the baton back over to them for 6 legs. We headed into Morgan and hit up a Subway, then off to the next exchange to some rest.
One of the funnest things is to check out the other vehicles and see the team names and how they are decorated. Other than our team being my favorite - I love this one:
At our exchange, I pulled out my sleeping bag and we all crashed in some shade at a picnic spot near a lake. I am thinking it was Echo resavoir, but I could be wrong. We had a few hours, and while I was really hoping for a shower, I settled for an hour or so of sleep.
Next thing I knew, the sun was starting to lower, and we were being radioed on the walkie-talkie that we were going to be starting again.
I changed into some dry, clean clothes, washed my face, and got ready to tackle what I knew was to be a long leg.
We were passed the baton, and Guppy and Rumpy both did their legs great! Guppy had all uphill, and Rumpy had long down hills, but they both killed it.
This was my next leg:
Sah-weet! Dark and no support. Oh and my borrowed flashlight was growing dim. 'Sokay, I reminded myself that I LOVE the nighttime runs, that the course was relatively flat with some minor grade changes and it would be alongside the lake. That should be beautiful. And if I saw any of that lake, I'm sure it would have been pretty. Instead I was watching the road as carefully as I could with what little light I had. There was hardly anyone around me because by now the running pack had thinned. My leg had mostly men running it anyway, so when I did get passed, it was by a dude. It was a long run, and I tried to gauge my time on my heartrate monitor any chance I could get with some light. Usually when one of the dudes passed me, I would sprint to keep his light for a little bit.
I finally saw the mile marker left. The sign that tells the runner there is one more mile. I tell you what, those are the longest miles of all!
I saw the chute and started to push. All of a sudden, I could feel someone breathing right down my back. I thought, NO! I just didn't have the heart to get passed once more! I ran as fast as I possibly could and we were both tearing towards the chute to cross, at the last second, he passed me. All I could think was SHI**! Unfortunately, I did more than think it. I said it. Outloud. And because my ipod was blaring in my ears, I said it VERY.LOUD. For a second, I didn't realize why all the people around were looking at me and either smiling or laughing. My slip of the tongue was apparently quite amusing.
I found my teammates and while I was frustrated at being passed so many times and at the time it took me to do it. I was giddy with the knowledge that this leg is the furthest distance I had run since my injury. 9.9 miles. I did it in 1:33, so I will not complain too loudly. It felt great. I had found a groove that I could have kept at for quite awhile. And so while I was ticked that I had been roadkill for so many men that night, I was pleased with myself.
Back into the van, and our last 3 runners legs before we could take an extended rest. By now the sweat was cooling on me and I was freezing! I covered my whole self with my blanket and tried to doze. Not easy, and I didn't get much. All I could think about was a hot shower!
After our van finished up, we passed off to Van 1 and headed to our next exchange which was a school in Heber. We pulled in, and at the doors saw that the PTA was doing a fundraiser. Two bucks and you can shower. Two more bucks and you can sleep indoors. Four more bucks and you can have some breakfast there. I told the lady we wanted it all. Pulled out my checkbook and told everyone to go hit a shower! I wasn't taking any chances that someone might think they could swing with out one.
Oh the blessed shower! Hot water and soap. Heavenly!
The sleeping area, was the gym floor. I hadn't grabbed my sleeping bag, so I rolled up in my blanket burrito style and laid on the hard floor. I think I got another hour or so before it was time to wake back up, and get ready for our last legs.
As we were loading we couldn't find our runner 12. Benny. He had been feeling sick since before we had even left Salt Lake, and after his last leg he had been spewing. When he woke up, he was a no-go for his final leg. One of the young bucks - Tyler, stepped right in and agreed to take his leg. Oh, the beauty of being young!
We headed off, and of course, before I am ready, it's time for me to run again. I knew this would be my hardest leg:
It's known as the "You've got to be kidding me" hill:
The others gave me some great advice, walked me through what to expect and instilled some confidence.
Once Rumpy passed off the bracelet, I took off. I remembered to conserve some energy since the first part was slightly sloping down and fairly flat before it started the uphill climb.
I was hoping for at least one roadkill this leg since I didn't get any my previous, but as soon as I set my sights on a runner ahead, he turned around, saw me and took off. I threw out the idea of a roadkill and just concentrated on running.
It was hard. Very, very hard. Granted it was only about a 5k, but it felt like it was straight up hill. There were times, I couldn't run it. It was actually just as fast to power walk it. I had wanted to be able to say I ran the whole thing, but once I realized that goal was unrealistic, I decided to just push as hard as I could and just enjoy the ability to be able to do it.
So I would run until I absolutely couldn't anymore. Then I would powerwalk for a few minutes, catch my breath, get my quads to stop screaming, and then run again. By the time I was done, I can say that I ran a good 85% of it and powerwalked the other 15%. I can live with that. Also, I finished in 47 minutes. I can live with that too.
Once I handed off to KL - and he tackled the Ragnar hill, I could completely relax. I was done! Done with all my legs. I finished them. I finished respectably, and I had a GREAT time.
This leg of KL's is the hardest.
Another cute thing was this dude whose wife and daughter were following along and cheering him on. Every so often the little girl would get out and run with her daddy.
It was so cute and she was adorable. Watching for her team - letting them know "we're coming!" It even brought a tear to Rumpy's eye.
Our other runners tackled their legs and we finished so strong. The finish line was very congested and we missed running in all together, but we met right after, got our medals and posed for pictures. I looked around at everyone and none of them even appeared to be tired. They looked like they could turn around and run some more!
Van 1 and Van 2 told one another goodbye and headed back to the Salt Lake area. After a quick stop for some food that didn't consist of cookies, pretzels, oranges, chocolate milk or shot blocks, we made it home.
Once in my neighborhood, I was greeted by this:
Best sight ever!! My Splenda and Sissy all in the same place? Bliss!
Another picture to document my happiness and then it was to a hot shower!
Leg 1: 3.5 miles; 31 minutes - 4 roadkills
Leg 2: 9.5 miles; 1:33 - 0 roadkills
Leg 3: 3.5 miles; 47 minutes - 1 roadkill
Legally Dead - anytime you need a runner, just say the word. I am yours! And if I get the chance to run Ragnar again, I would totally take Runner 9 position. Just to beat my own times!
This was a great race on so many levels. One - the great people. You can't spend 29 hours together and not bond in some fashion. And the things we would come up with to talk about? Poor Tyler, the few hours he spent in the "adult" van might have him scarred for life. There were guys I met for the first time, and yet we are cheering each other one, encouraging each other and supporting one another. It's a great thing.
The second is that I could do this event and not hurt. No knee pain, no hip pain. My quads have been a little sore, but other than that, I have felt fantastic. Compared to where I was six months ago - it's night and day. The human body is an amazing thing!
I am a lucky, blessed girl.