Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Southern California Ragnar Part 1

Where do I even begin with this?!

I can't believe it's been over a month since Ragnar SoCal. This was our 3rd go at one of the Ragnar Relays. Last year at SoCal '10, I met a wonderful group of people that have remained my friends and it seems like we've known each other forever already and it's only been a year!

Our second go at a relay was Ragnar Vegas 2010 but that ended up being a DNF for our small ultra group. But we will return for vengeance at the ultra distance again someday!

SoCal 2011- Huntington Beach to Coronado Island in San Diego!

Our start time was 6am on Friday, April 15th. So our plan was to meet up at our team captain's house in Burbank that morning at 4:30am *gasp*
Going into this race I knew that I had to get as much sleep as possible 2 nights before the race so that I didn't spend the entire time being a cranky zombie like I was last year when I only got about 2 hours of sleep the night before. So I got up at 4am. I had all my stuff ready to go and I waited for our new Van 1 teammate to pick me up. It turned out we live super close to each other. We got to Jen's house in Burbank just shortly after 4:30 and all 5 of us girls hopped in the van and headed to Huntington Beach!

So Van 1 runners: Jen F., Claudia, Jen S., Angelica, and myself. We were supposed to have six people in the van but one of our teammates (who had actually picked the LONGEST legs of the relay) dropped out 3 days prior to the race.

So we went into the race knowing that some of us were going to have to pick up some extra mileage just like last year. I offered to pick up an extra leg but I had not trained at all because I've been suffering from ITBS since October. So I was pretty nervous about being able to even run all of my own mileage. D:

Jen starting her first leg of the race!
We got to the starting line on time but somehow manage to miss our start time (my fault because I was trying to buy a safety vest that we didn't even need!) So Jen started with the next wave at 6:15am. Then we jumped in the van and drove to the next exchange to drop off her watch and gels since she didn't have time to grab those and she had 2 back to back legs to do!
Jen S. and Claudia waiting for Jen at the next exchange.
We met up with Jen, gave her her supplies and she took off again for her second leg! Rockstar!

Leg 1 was 5 miles on a trail next to a river. Pretty flat and boring and runners were pretty spread out. I was not in shape at all so shortly after 2 miles I was already tired hahaha. I knew it was going to be a LONG way to go for me this time around. I wore my tiger ears and tiger socks and all the cyclists on the trail kept laughing and giving me high fives. It was pretty funny.

Claudia, Jen, me, and Angelica waiting for van 2 at our 2nd major exchange.

Leg 2 was 5 miles alongside Lake Elsinore. I was pretty tired after my first leg so I was dreading this leg because it was 90 degrees out and all of it was facing traffic which gets kind of scary when the shoulder is very narrow. But after the first mile I felt great! I started to get that awesome runner's high and I powered on up the street to the next exchange. This was exactly what I had been missing all those months of not running. That feeling of freedom! I got to the exchange and Jen asked me how I was feeling, and I yelled "I feel great!"

Leg 3 was my night leg, thank goodness it was 8pm NOT 2am and it was super short. Just a little under 3 miles. It was still pretty scary though because at some point I was running all by myself in the middle of the road facing traffic because there was no sidewalk and no shoulder. The streets weren't busy but they also weren't well-lit so it kind of scary. I got freaked out a couple of times thinking I saw something move up ahead of me. D: I was so glad to finish this one!

Leg 4 was 7.4 miles in Carlsbad. It was BEAUTIFUL out there but boy was it a hilly leg!
This was Saturday morning after a short nap at a motel that my amazing teammates had booked ahead of time. I was feeling pretty tired but surprisingly my legs didn't feel like lead yet so I wanted to see if I could manage this leg. The longest run in months had only been 5 miles! 7.4 seemed like a challenge! There some crazy hills during the last couple of miles that seemed to go on forever! I walked a lot of the uphills but I still had fun and when I finally was able to go downhill, I flew down that hill like I had just stolen something haha! It felt so good to be DONE with my mileage! Now my teammates had to finish their legs and then it would be time for margaritas and maybe a siesta while we waited for Van #2 in Coronado!

Team photo minus myself at our 2nd major exchange.

Best tasting margaritas ever! We earned them!
So once all girls in Van 1 finished our legs, we handed off to Van 2 for one last time and headed to Coronado for some margaritas and lunch!
Right after Jen S. finished the last leg for Van 1! So happy!
To be continued...

I'm a total slacker...

Okay, so I'm totally awful about updating this thing but I really want to make it a habit.

1. Because it's a good way to hold myself accountable. And...

2. Because I miss having an online journal that I can look back on to remember certain experiences. It's a good way to keep track of your past when you start getting old and forgetting some of the cool stuff you used to do hahahaha...

So for starters, I've got a couple of races I've done this year (no serious running on my end) that I'd like to review. 

I finish this post with a picture of my dog, Render, because I take like a thousand pictures of her every day and I have to flood the internets with them.

Happy Running :)