Friday, July 26, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #2

I got side-lined yesterday from posting the recap I was planning on because I seem to be a magnet for sinus infections lately. It always starts out as allergies and morphs into a week long adventure of hacking, sniffing, sneezing and losing my patience! 

But enough about me (oh wait this is MY blog)  and more about Ragnar. After filling our bellies some Red Robin we high tailed it back to the next major exchange to wait for van 1 and attempt to get some shut eye. Because it was after 8 pm we were instructed to put on our reflective vests and wear them anytime we were out of the vehicle. Essentially this equates to just living in it for the next 10.5 hours. Ragnar is very serious about your nighttime running gear. We were trying to dig our bags out of the back of the truck when we got 
Sleeping Area
warned again not even 10 minutes later- If you are out of your vehicle during the night time hours you MUST have your reflective vest on! We got suited up and the volunteer pointed us towards our accomdations for the evening, the high school gym or the soccer field. Since it was a nice evening Rosanna, Tyler and I all headed towards the field. I think the rest of the guys were off taking showers? All I remember is Mike very descriptively explaining what it feels like for him to run dirty and that he wasn't going to be doing that. So we picked a spot on the field far enough in to not be bothered by vehicle traffic. I have to say I was very surprised that there weren't more people outside "camping." I heard both the gymnasiums were filled with people. I did that last year- not the worst 2 hours of sleep I've ever had in my life but it was kind of gross waking up in a steamy room filled with 100+ runners still wearing sweaty clothes. The smell won't be bottled for retail anytime soon. Mike joined us in the field at somepoint but I quickly passed out and didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 11:30pm. I woke up to the wind whipping across the field, ok maybe not whipping, but it was cold enough that I was dreading crawling out of my sleeping bag for sure. We had a text that van 1 was a little behind schedule, as was to be expected down a runner. We packed up and headed back to the truck. I figured with about 45 minutes to go it was a good time to change into my running clothes for the next leg and freshen up a little.

Waiting for Krissy & Tim's exchange

Krissy came in a little while later and Tim shot off like a bullet again. I didn't take pictures during the night time legs because it was pitch black. I was expecting to run somewhere in the 3 o'clock hour but since we were a little behind it was actually starting to get light for my leg. We pulled up to the exchange where James would be coming in and I would be heading out for a second round and I had to go to the bathroom sooo bad. I don't know if it was nerves (yes, after all these years of racing I still get nervous) or if I legitamtely might pee my pants if I didn't hit the port-a-potties first, so even though James was less than a mile out I decided to go in search of a port-a-potty.....and I couldn't find one! I guess I should have taken note of the 3 other women squatting in the bushes but I couldn't believe they would have an exchange without a bathroom! So I did it- first time ever just doing my business in a bush on the side of the road. And yes I did legitamtely have to go the the restroom, it wasn't just nerves. I heard later on that the port-a-potties were back down a road where there was additional parking- so I'll know for next year! Side note: Ragnar had some of the cleanest port-a-potties I've ever had the "pleasure" of visiting. Either the racers are all really considerate or the crew did an amazing job with upkeep because I probably used them around 10 times over the weekend and not one single port-a-potty was dirty or out of toilet paper. Kudos Ragnar!

So after my visit with the bush I took off on my second leg (20) which was full of rolling hills. I took full
Deception Pass
advantage of the downhills, felt a little sluggish on some of the uphills but again maintained slightly under a 10 minute mile average overall. About 4 miles(?) into the run I got to cross Deception Pass and it was amazing! Definitely my favorite leg for this year. Even though I'm from WA state I've never just ventured through the Whidbey Island area so it was awesome to experience Deception Pass for the first time on foot. I saw several runners stopping to take pictures- and no, I did NOT count them as roadkills, felt like cheating. Since I was running without my garmin I had no idea how far into/away I was (6.5 mile leg), when a cute lady in a chevron skirt ran up next to me and offered some words of encouragement, "we're almost there!!" to which I replied, "Are we? How  far?" We were 5.6 mile in and I felt a rush of relief, less than a mile to go and just as I though that we ran across the mile marker. I learned my new running buddy's name is Bridgette and after van 2 was done running they were going to go back to her friends house who lives in Oak Harbor and shower/nap. I was only slightly jealous. No really, a hot shower sounded nice but I love that part of the experience of Ragnar is doing something out of the norm. I can run 3 times in 24 hours anytime I want, but doing it all while camping in a field, eating out of a cooler and living in your own sweat and filth- that's a once a year experience baby! (Ok two because I'm doing HTC in less than 30 days!) ;) Anyway, the last half mile we chugged along together up a slight hill and then she pointed out that the finish was right acround the corner and down a slight hill. I took off. Sorry Bridgette! LOL. Roadkill #5 that leg. I finished strong but was very happy to be done, and having Bridgette to talk to that last mile really made time go by much quicker than if I had been alone to get inside my own head.

Ragnar NWP Recap finale in a day or two...I got to draw this thing out ;)

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