Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ragnar 2013

I have said it before...I'm not a runner.  I really do respect runners though.  They are so disciplined.  My running looks more like a trot.  Furthermore, I really only run when I have something to run for.  When I was younger, I ran for a team...I ran after a ball, to kick it into the goal, or pass to someone so they could kick it into the goal (preferably someone from my own team).  But just run?  Blargh.

Now, I run for races.  It gives me a deadline and motivates me to get out there an do it.  And, over the years, I've come to like running a little bit.  I still have a long way to go.  I still don't love it, but I think I can one day.

Last weekend, I loved running.  Yes.  More than "like," I loved it.

A few months ago, a friend told me there was an opening on her Ragnar team.  What is it?  Ragnar, Napa Valley...the best relay race ever.  Starting from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and ending in Calistoga.  200 miles.


I was really looking forward to running Ragnar.  However, I was sorely unprepared.  I had wanted to run while I was in Utah, but it was so hot, I just couldn't.  (or decided I couldn't...whatever)  Shortly after returning from Utah, I hurt my back.  And not just a little.  For about 3 weeks, I was in extreme pain.  I was icing my back all day long, going to a chiropractor 3x a week, and still needing help to get up in bed.  After only 3 weeks, I was beginning to think that I would never feel better and would have to survive the rest of my life feeling pain.  Oh how my sympathy grew for those with chronic pain.

I wasn't able to run for a while.  And Ragnar was quickly approaching.  Before Ragnar, I was running a painful 13 minute mile.  I could barely run a mile straight.  My back had really taken a toll on me.  I told my team leader, Scott, that I'd be much slower than anticipated.  He didn't care.

At the starting line with van 2.
Eric and Scott Summers, Christie Killen, Kari Carlson, me, and Beth Headly.
Van 1 had been running all morning, and we were waiting for their last runner, Jennifer, to come in so Beth could start off our 1/2 of the team.  Since I was the last runner in our van, I felt no pressure to be all geared up and ready to run yet.  
Ragnar came.  I bought my reflective vest, a head lamp, and a flashing back light.  I had snacks, 3 running outfits packed, iPod set...I was as ready as I could be.

Wine country.  It was gorgeous.  I appreciated the beauty of the landscape far more when the others were running.
That weekend was gorgeous.  It wasn't too hot.  We got plenty of rain.  And it was an all around good time.  I was pretty happy that my first run, 5.9 miles, was kept at an 11 minute mile.  My second run, at 4:30am, was a 10 minute mile.  I was pretty excited.  I was the last runner in our van, which meant we were able to go to a hotel and try to get a few hours of sleep before we had to run again.  My 3rd and final run was difficult.  It was only 5.5 miles, but I had a big headwind pushing against me, I was tired after not sleeping for over 24 hours, and I just didn't have the strength.  BUT, I did it.  I brought us home and it was exhilarating.  I loved it.  And I want to do it again!

Yeah!  Team "Running on Fumes" makes it to the end.

1 comment:

Rob and Marseille said...

it seems like a ton of my friends did relays this year and wrote awesome descriptions on their blogs. makes me want to run one!


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