Wow!! This weekend was crazy! Finally fell asleep Thursday night at 11pm. I laid down at 9, but couldn't relax. Finally after forcing myself to lay still and not think of the race, sleep came to me. My alarm went off at 2 am to give me some time to get showered, and fit in a hit to the snooze button once or two. But at 3:30 we finally were all loaded up and on our way.
We arrived at 5:30 in time to check in and make the safety briefing before Nikki, our team captain and runner #1, started. At 6:30 she took off and the race was on!! She rocked out her 8.5 mile leg and then Brianne was up.
|We had to wear these lovely head lamps from 5pm to 9am. Yes, even though the sun was up. (trying to make a cute face through my nerves and disgust for having to put this thing on even though the sun had been up for an hour. Didn't really work. LoL!!)|
I was 3rd for my first 7.1 mile leg. It went relatively fast. I felt great and the run went pretty smooth. I finish in about 55 minutes, which I was pumped about. Emily, Lisa, and Matt finished off their runs for a collective total of 38 miles, and then at about 12 pm van two took over.
While van 2 was popping out their 36 miles we drove to get some food and change. After getting as cleaned up as we could in the Target bathroom sinks, and pissing off a few people waiting for us to be done, we headed to the next exchange. It was busy. But we scrounged up the last bit of shade left and tried to get a few "Z's" before it was our turn to run again.
I probably only got about an hour of very broken up sleep, but it wasn't long before it was Nikki's turn to take off again.
As always I followed after Bri, and she pasted me the baton at about 9pm for my second leg. I was stinkin nerves about this one, and for good reason. It was 6.3 miles, which wasn't that bad, but the catch was, it was going to be all uphill. The only way I was able to run through the whole thing was my husband came to run that leg with me.
It started out pretty easy. The first mile and a half was just a slight incline. Miles 2 to 2 1/2 was down in a wash, which sucked running on sand, but was really distracting. By the time I was out though, my calves were pretty worked. But my hubby was there and I felt really uplifted and motivated. We were making about 9:30 minute miles coming out of the wash as the incline came back. After about another 1/2 mile, my calves were filling it, and in a moment of weakness I told my husband, "You know, I think I would rather have one big hill and get it over with then this slow steady incline." We both laughed as we got to the top of the hill, and started to head down for the first time.
It was only probably 150 yards until we turned the corner and I saw it. I felt my spirits just crumble and cursed myself for the earlier comment I had made. There it was!! The mother of anything that could be considered a "hill". I moaned and looked at my husband. Pour guy. What had I drug him into. He was such a good sport though. He just smiled at me and said, "You think you can keep our pace." No, it wasn't a question. He was taunting me. He knows how competitive I am and he was trying to keep me going.
Not wanting to back down, I gritted my teeth and pushed up the "hill", which I nicknamed Burtha. Half way up I was whimpering, and it was another 1/3 mile before we reached the top. The rest of the run was slow and steady up, but I was tired. I didn't finish in under an hour like I wanted, but at that point I was just proud I ran the whole thing.
Our van finished the rest of our legs at 12:30 am and we went on to the next exchange as van 2 started up again. We finally got all settled in at 1:30 and slept till 4:30 before it was, yet again, our turn to run.
Bri took over, after Nikki, for her run at 5:15, which gave me enough time to start to get nervous about my 9 miler coming up right after she was done. My calves and hamstrings were really tight and sore and 9 miles just sounded so long after just running 13.4 miles and only 3 hours of light sleep. I worked the whole next hour on trying to stay calm.
I stretched and decided to put on my relaxing music instead of the normal heavy metal to keep myself relaxed through my run. This is how it went:
Miles 1 and 2: Uphill. Hamstrings warmed up and immediately start to cramp.
Mile 2 1/2: At the top starting to head down and hamstrings loosen. Feeling good.
Miles 3 and 4: Feeling great!!
Mile 5: Back up hill we go. NO!! Instant hamstring cramp.
Mile 5 1/2: At the top. Muscles don't relax again when I start back down. Trying to distract myself.
Mile 6: Laugh at the guy that just past me that looks like Forest Gump. Still in pain.
Mile 7: Legs starting to go numb. Left calf starting to cramp. Just keep telling myself, "I can do this. I can do this."
Mile 8: 1 mile left marker. Had to fight back the feeling to burst out into tears. Sudden boost of adrenaline and push faster. "Almost there!! Almost done!!"
Mile 9: Pass off the paton. Smack Emily on the butt as she takes off and hug my team. So happy to be done and feel so proud of what I accomplished.
|Our Decorated Van!!|
In the end, I loved almost every minute of this experience. I say almost, cause I would never want to run back up "Burtha", but there is another Ragnar going out of Las Vegas in November that I'm eyeballing. I know, I'm crazy. But as per right now, I'm recovering. Mostly just tired, but a little sore. Back to my baking addiction tomorrow ;) And I'm gonna take at least Monday's run off to let my legs recover. Will be posting some new recipes agains soon, but until then, Have a great week everyone!!
Here is some more amazing photos. I'm aloud to say amazing cause most of these aren't mine. Matt Blonde, the 6th runner in our van, is an awesome photographer and took these. Here is a link to his sight. Seriously!! If you need a photographer, and you live in Phoenix, check him out.
|"Don't you dare pass me!!"|
This guy was hilarious!! He seriously ran at almost a 45 degree angle to the right. Pour guys was probably just trying to keep it together, but his run gave us a laugh.
|Cheering Emily on!!|
|These girls are warriors!! Grew to love them through this.|