Here we are getting ready
That's Kim from www.twinlane.blogspot.com Note the
words on the back of the van "Show us yer Booty". It will be important later.
We had pirate flages, and panties on a rope, and an inflateable parrot on the exterior of the van. There was also a stuffed parrot duct taped to the dash. It was a van of pirate awesome.
That's Rachel from Running in Real Life, Kimbu, Kimba, Lisa, Falon from Falon Does Marathon, and moi.
We started at 11am. It was fucking hot. In fact, that doesn't even truly describe how hot it was. It was damn fucking hot. Crazy, freakishly hot. 90 freaking degrees. In Wisconsin. In early June. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the heat. It was anxiety producing for me, because I didn't want to fail my team, but I also didn't want to die.
My first leg was brutal. I followed Kimba, who is a fucking running machine. Seriously, she finished a long ass, brutally hot leg looking like a damn fashion model. Me? I looked like this:
Less than fashion-modely.
And that was before I started running. There is video of me coming into the exchange, and I looked half melted and pissed off. To borrow Falon's terminology, I wanted to fuck that leg in the face. I was slow as shit, and felt worse. It. was. so. hot. I handed off to Rachel, who is a running rockstar in addition to being the most organized person on the planet. I should have taken pictures of the race binder. It was a thing of beauty. I'm pretty sure that chick could run the world.
After we finished our first legs, we had some downtime. A meal was in order, so we hit the Pinecone in Lake Mills. They had these in the bakery case:
Cream puff as big as your head. Eclairs as big as a baby.
I really wanted some bakery, but I resisted. I did however have eggs with double bacon. Bacon? Is the candy of meat. It was delicious. File that under sodium replacement.
We hit the major exchange to try to sleep. It didn't go well for most of us. I fell asleep briefly, but couldn't stay asleep, so finally just said fuck it and stopped trying. The exchange was crazy busy at first, but got eerily quite after a couple of hours. That's when we started thinking something was up. Van 2 finished up, and Kim was off into the woods in the pitch dark, headlamp blazing.
The night legs were....interesting. Some of us were exhilarated, others terrified. Me? I was just grateful it was cooler. I did 3.9 miles in the pitch black, all alone. I had a moment of brief panic when a thug looking kid stepped out of the dark with 1 mile to go, but I had my phone out so the panic passed quickly. I'm pretty sure the fact that I'm big and ugly, combined with sweaty and dirty put off any sort of attacker. He was also relatively small, so I'm pretty sure I could have beat the shit out of him if I'd had to.
At exchange 18, we met Van 2 and found out that we had started at the wrong time for our pace. There were several teams in the same boat, so we all jumped a couple of legs and double or tripled up running so everyone would get to run. We arrived at the next major exchange exhausted, frazzled, and jumpy.
Blah, blah sunrise. We need to pooooooop!
We devised a plan to jump leg 2, and double up leg 27. It was 6:30am and pleasant, but the sun was freaking hot, and by 8am it was clear there would be no let up on the heat. Falon and Lisa killed leg 27, and Kimba fucking tore up the trail on leg 28. Me? I was sent off by Falon with a "Fuck this leg in the face". It was 4.9 miles of shade free dirt track. I wanted to die, and I was full of fail. I swore and walked and ran and walked and walked and ran and cursed and wanted to cry. I stumbled into the exchange feeling like a bag of shit, and handed off to Rachel.
Look how fucking pretty I am after 2 days without a shower.
In the meantime, a team member was having a family crisis. Jen from found out a family member was hospitalized, and needed to leave the course. Van 2 was awesome and supportive and got her to the train station so she could try to make her way home. The fabulous Linda from Mom Running from Cancer stayed with her, and as a result missed one of her legs. Linda is seriously the most wonderful person. I got to run with her during our Madison meet up in March, and she is just positivity personified. I wish I had half her drive and enthusiasm.
Blah blah blah, backstory, backstory, backstory, and we were stuck in traffice trying to get to the finish to meet our intrepid finishers from Van 2 Jamie from Running Diva Mom and Amy Zem from Running is Cheaper Than Therapy so we could cross the finish together. Kim was fantastic in the role of driver, even though I'm pretty sure she wanted to punch Chicago in the butthole. She almost had the opportunity when we looked out the left side of the car and saw a big, hairy butt hanging out of the car next to us. Well, the car did say "Show us yer booty". It was bound to happen.
We finally made it to Montrose beach and crossed the finish line in some hot ass sand. Marcia and Amy G were also in attendance...we were missing Linda and Jen, but we crossed. The sand was hot, there was no shade and no ice, and the medical tent was a bit of a joke. After a brief break in the shade we were all ready to get the fuck out of there.
The finish was weird. I hardly remembered the last 36 hours, and even though I ran(ish) all my legs I felt like we didn't really finish. We all worked so hard and went through so much, and we certainly weren't the only team that doubled up (in fact I heard several teams discussing it at the finish), but it still felt surreal.
So how would I rate my Ragnar experience? It. was. awesome. I have never laughed so hard or suffered so much in my life. Ragnar was harder than childbirth, but way more fun. I met a bunch of incredible women I never would have met if not for this event. Thanks so much to Kim and Rachel for letting me be a part of it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I will always remember handing out ice and water at our impromptu water stops, and the look of exhaustion turned to gratitude on the faces of the runners who took ice and stuffed it in their sports bras and shorts and hats. Meeting and cheering on the other teams, facing fears, sight seeing, getting pulled over at 2am, sweating, and laughing, and shouting, and dancing, and wearing panties on the outside of my clothing. Thanks also to Jamie for the killer swag bag, it was so much fun to dig through it all and try everything out!
Back: Kim, Marcia, Rachel, Falon, Lisa, Kim, Me,
Front: Linda, Amy G, Jen, Jamie, Amy Zem
Seriously, how can you not love this team idea?
I love these girls. All of them.
Van 1, with the first layer scrubed off.
I haven't looked at the results yet, mostly because I don't care. I got my medal, race shirt, and decal for my car, so I'm good. Speaking of the medal.
It's pretty badass. Also a bottle opener.
So what did I do to celebrate? Well, I had two beers and some pizza. Paleo fail, but I fucking deserved it. I also slept a lot so that I could get up and go to Crossfit this morning and have my ass handed to me. Seriously, I can't feel my quads. I also blistered my hand (and ruptured one blister) doing jump pullups.
Now what, you might ask? Oh yeah. I have a marathon coming up. And more Crossfit.
Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with me? I've clearly developed masochistic tendencies. And on that note, I'm going to chow some Paleo waffles and go to sleep. I'm on the third shift for the next two days. Glutton for punishment? I think so.
This was a long ass post. Did you make it to the end? I owe you a meat cookie.