Friday, April 26, 2013

Ragnar Relay SoCal - So little sleep, so much fun

Tean #82...born to run ULTRA wild (best team ever)
It's hard to explain what makes a 200-mile relay in SoCal so much fun. You are...
- locked in a minivan for 30+ hours with a bunch of sweaty runners
- driving from exchange to exchange and getting barely any legitimate rest (especially on an ultra team)
- running in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, potentially for a couple of hours
- or...running in crazy heat in the middle of the day with no shade or breeze
- living on energy bars and energy drinks with hardly any "real food"

But at the same time...
- you gain a true appreciation for running water, especially when there is soap available, too
- rest rooms in a Rite Aid appear oh-so-luxurious
- that pizza at the finish may be substandard but man, nothing has ever tasted so good
- you learn a LOT about yourself and others running on no sleep (I learned that my teammates are all different shades of truly amazing people. no joke.)

The SoCal course is not as scenic as it could be, until you reach the coastal part north of San Diego (finish), but it's definitely not boring. The atmosphere is amazing, perhaps because everyone is out there to have fun and accomplish something together, as a team. 

The ladies
The mileage for each runner seems to change a little each year. The advantage of a regular, 2-van team is clear - the ability to get a few hours of sleep and either start late in the morning (van 2) on Friday or finish early on Saturday (van 1) and have the opportunity to meet the other van relatively clean and refreshed at the finish line. As an ultra team you get to run more miles and miss out on sleep. so clearly, why would you ever not choose an ultra team?!

This year, I had the joy of running that last leg to the finish line. This was the most fun, ever. In spite of a few glitches, of some minor confusion over where the finish line actually was, the abundance of traffic lights that forced me to stop, oh and difficulty locating my team so we could cross the finish line together.

Last leg - I am pretty sure I was having fun
Getting home, I was completely exhausted and proceeded to sleep for 13 hours, no problem. Even though I did not run all my 30something miles (thanks Janelle, I love you!!!), I was afraid I had made my knee injury worse (which I previously swore to give time to recover). Thankfully, that did not seem to I will pretend I never ran on it and keep resting. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Now...when can I sign up for my next Ragnar?

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