Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ragnar Relay (Wasatch Back) 2010

Well I did it. I finished another Ragnar Relay! After last year, I seriously considered not doing it again. Between the lack of sleep and the irritated stomach, I wasn’t sure I could …stomach…another go-around. BUT, I am SO glad I did. This year was a lot less stressful for me. For some reason, I was more nervous about each run, but my body was able to remain stable and I wasn’t reaching for the Imodium every five minutes.
Spencer, Kati, Lisa, Bryan, Stein, Ashleigh (aka Van 2)
 Ashleigh is 14 weeks pregnant and did AWESOME!
Bryan was amazing! He runs so fast!
 Spencer cracks me up. This picture makes me laugh every time.
 Lis was such a good team captain, and she rocked the Ragnar!
 The best exchange (19)! The volunteers were awesome!
(This next part is mostly record keeping so I can remember everything, but it does include the story of the fall and pictures!…so maybe it’s a little interesting).

Our start time was 10:30am this year, which was about an hour and a half later than last year, and therefore, van 2 didn’t start running until about 5:30pm. 
I was Runner 11. Full of hills. Supposedly easier than the two “Ragnar Hill Runners”, which I was last year. You reach the highest point of the entire relay.  All of these things didn’t sound so bad. I was definitely up for something somewhat challenging, but wasn’t against having it easier than last year. Well…it wasn’t easier than last year. Whoever said Runner 11 is easier than Runner 9…lied.
Anyways, my first run (7:30pm) was 3.8 miles and deemed very hard by the running manual. This little dozy was 2.7 miles straight up to Snow Basin, and then another mile straight down. I thrive on downhill, and I couldn’t wait until the last mile for the downhill…the only problem was, I still had miles of pure uphill to accomplish first. I won’t lie; I was mentally defeated by that mountain the moment I set foot on it. I had told myself that I wasn’t an uphill runner, and that my training runs uphill were less than adequate. I could have done a lot better, but I let the hill get the best of me. My last mile (downhill) was accomplished in 6 minutes and 32 seconds, which I’m pretty sure was because I was so upset with my performance on the first two miles. I finished in 38 minutes. I was not impressed with the way this relay was starting…
I look excited, but trust me, I was freaking out.

 Aw, the mist.

Not excited with my time...
Second Run: 5.5 miles around Rockport, considered moderate. The second run was the one I thought the least about. do you gage, moderate? I choose to think Moderate meant Easy. And…for the most part, I was right. This run, at the gorgeous time of 6:30am, was windy, and chilly. I was bound to make this run more successful than my last. I was on a team. This wasn’t just my time, this was theirs too. And so I started, and so did the side ache. I ran the full 5.5 with a chilly side ache, but I did it with a smile on my face. 50 minutes isn’t an amazing time, but I would take it.
 This is what you look like when you haven't slept all night after running and sitting in a car for hours.
Third Run (the fall): When runner 8 was finishing up their 3rd run, our team captain received a text message saying “Due to an unforeseen obstruction, runner 11 will have 1.5 miles added to their last run.” I had already committed us to being finished with the whole thing at 6:30pm, and that was being ambitious; therefore, the news that my 5.4 very hard mile run was now going to be 6.9, had me less than thrilled. As I was preparing for the run, I just kept repeating that I didn’t like to head out for a timed run, when I didn’t know what terrain I was about to encounter. 
The first 2.8 miles of the run were the same as expected. I finished the top of “Ragnar” (Guardsman’s Pass), and then ran down the backside. I passed eight people in the first 2.8 miles and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then, I reach a spot where my team has pulled over to give me water and one of my teammates says “Kati, this is the last time we’ll see you before the end of the run. Can I give you this water?” I decline because quite frankly, I can’t run with a water bottle in my hands (and neither could anyone else, given that I found about five water bottles on the trail as I was running). Anyways, there was a volunteer sitting at the opening of this trail, which was about 2 ½ feet wide, and she mentioned that I would be trail running for 3.5 miles. Okay, and off I went. I was somewhat cautious in the trail because how embarrassing would it be if I fell and had to show up at the finish line all dirty and bloody (maybe that was my signal to the universe to show me or something). After passing one more person, and running two more miles (incline and decline), I come out onto this dirt/gravel road that is about a 6% decline. At this point, I am running right behind a girl that is about 15, who is so concerned that I was going to pass her that I held off until she started to walk…and then I passed her. The gravel road went for about a half a mile and I could see the opening to the next trail run, along with a water station to the left.
The girl I had just passed stopped to get water and the volunteer at the water station proceeds to try and get my attention. I can see her out of my peripheral vision, put my hand up and say (probably more like yell) No thank you. She keeps waving her hand with the water and starts coming closer. By then, I start to take out my headphones to hear her and I look over.  BAM! I am sliding down this dirty loose gravel road. Panicked, I hurry and get up; just in time for two volunteers to say, “Are you okay? You need to go find one of the biker volunteers to get you some help.” First thought: and what is this biker going to do? Put me on his handle bars and ride me to the finish? I don’t think so. While hyperventilating I say “No, No, No, I have to finish. I have to finish. I told them I would do it in under an hour.” And off I went. Two people passed me as I entered the trail, and I followed the girl with the pink camo for the next 1.7 miles to the finish. I don’t remember much of that run, and in all honesty, I have no idea how I made it. But I finished…in exactly an hour (for the record, the run actually ended up being 7 miles). 
 So ready to finish.
Once I crossed the finish line, the adrenaline wore off, and I realized that I was pretty beat up…so much for not coming across the finish line dirty and bloody. Immediately, I ask for an Aid Station. If you know me well, you know I don’t ask for help. I knew this wasn’t something I could deal with myself, at that moment. One of the finish line volunteers states “No Aid Station here, you have to go to the Canyons.” Great, thanks. Thankfully, Lisa is prepared and has a nice first aid kit in the car. I might have looked like a burn patient, but she cleaned off the wounds and wrapped me up, so I could be momentarily okay. Thanks Lis! hands don't look so good. (notice the elbow)
 Look how pale I good.
The Finish: We make it to the Canyons, find what is left of our van 1, take a few pictures, and wait for Runner 12 (Spencer) to cross the finish line. As Spencer approaches, we all gather and run to the finish line together…at 6:37pm. Even with all of our mishaps, we still did it. I was so excited and all I could think about was getting down the gondola, finding Mr. Army and going home.
 Hamburger hands, bruised hip and calf and ripped pants :(
Most of the team at the finish line.
Go Spencer!! 
Mr. Army was so gracious to really clean out the wounds, and re-wrap so I didn’t look so much like a 2 year old that decided to place both hands on the stove. Sadly, I hadn’t eaten in too many hours, and my body freaked out, and I almost passed out.  Don’t worry, I’m okay.
All is well today, and I can’t wait for next year!!

 Calf bruise and hand cuts as of today...sorry, not showing the hip.


Gold-E said...

You're freaking amazing. I can't believe the nastiness of that fall. OUCH!! Good job getting 'er done!

Caitlin said...

You are brave! That is a brutal race, way to go, I am super impressed. And now you have some battle wounds to prove it :)

Lisa Louise said...

battle wounds are looking pretty awesome :) I'm glad you still enjoyed it though, who's excited for next year baby!!!

Annie said...

I've always been jealous of your running skills. This is so awesome! Congrats on a great race, even if you did end up with some pretty bad scrapes. Youch! I always kinda love having some 'battle wounds' after I've done something cool, though. :)

Jen said...

You are one speedy runner! I've never been in van 2 and always wondered what it is like. Great recap!