Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ragnar Recap: #safetythird

This weekend I completed my sixth Ragnar Relay.  This time it was Ragnar Cape Cod.  This was a sponsored team, specifically by Nuun Hydration.  The fast and dirty is the course was great and we had a fucking awesome time.  See?  The fun made itself.

The muppet leg warmers were the brainchild of the team Captain.  You can pick him out in this picture by his coconut bra.  I wasn't sure about them at first, but apparently people fucking love fuzzy shit.  Seriously.  I got more comments and compliments on my furry green calves and the associated outfits than I ever have for getting dressed up like a normal person or trying to look pretty.  To quote one of my temmates "We're bringing people joy with our muppets."  #wannapetmymuppet

This Ragnar groups was a varied and interesting as the others I've been on.  I knew 4 of the six people in my van (5 if you count myself, but do any of us really know ourselves?) and everyone else was a new friend not yet made.  In true Ragnar form, the team was a mixture of every kind of profession you can imagine and even included a world-class triathlete.  I have met more awesome people through Ragnar than anywhere else, with the exception of CrossFit (because those people are pretty damn awesome and our box team is totally going to THE GAMES and that's really off topic).

This race runs from Hull to Provincetown, MA.  It runs through fantastic old neighborhoods with incredible old trees, beautiful flowers, and houses that were built when the country was new.  We landed in Boston on Thursday and promptly met up with two men in tutus and a woman with a hula hoop and hit the town for some drinks.

The Blueberry Collins was delicious.  I may have had 3.

Once we'd had some lunch (I had haddock with vegetables) and plenty of social lubrication, we went for a little walk along the harbor.  When we returned, lo and behold we had a flat tire.  I should mention that Ragnars never go smoothly.  There is always, always a wrinkle.  A bad storm that delays flights until the 11th hour, family emergencies that cause runners to drop out, illness, injury, the rental car agency running out of vans, extreme heat, extreme cold, altitude sickness, etc.  Part of a Ragnar is rolling with the punches and coming up with solutions.  It helps to have useful people in your group when these situations arise. When a tire goes flat, it helps to have a man in a tutu.

See? Useful.

We got the van squared away pretty much just in time to head to the North End for the team dinner.  We ate at a restaurant just down the street from the Old North Church.  Italian, but with enough non-pasta options to keep me honest.  

We had a nice meal and met the folks we'd be spending the next 36 hours in close quarters with and headed to the hotel for some shut-eye.  

I was in Van 1 this time around.  My Ragnars have been split 50/50 between Van 1 and Van 2.  I think I can fairly say at this point that I prefer Van 1.  I like starting early in the morning vs. sleeping in and heading out later in the day.  I get antsy waiting around.

The temps were damn near perfect.  55 degrees and overcast with a few light sprinkles.  My first leg was only 2.4 miles and I clocked my first mile at 9:17.  That is tooooo faaaaaast.  If I only had that 2.4 to do I likely could have gone balls to the wall for the remainder, but with 2 more legs (10 more miles) and 24 hours without sleep in my immediate future?  Yeah.  No.  Mile 2 was a 10:17, much more realistic.  We continued to kick ass and take names for the remainder of the morning, after which we handed off to Van 2 and broke for lunch.  We wend to a place called Haddad's and I had lobster chowder, bacon wrapped scallops, home made potato chips, and one fried pickle chip (just one, because they looked fantastic.  I was not disappointed.)


We headed to the next exchange for a little rest and recuperation.  It was along a canal trail which allowed us to watch the anchor runners come in.  It was a very picturesque location.

I have no idea who this is.  She just happened to work well in the frame.

Drew and Emily were stretching on the slight incline up to the railroad tracks.  It looked for all the world like they were mooning incoming runners.

I fart in your general direction.

Before taking the hand off we went on an adventure involving a roundabout (called a Rotary in MA) and met numerous Massholes on the road (not my term-the waitress at Haddad's introduced us to that one-but I used it a lot).  Anyplace where the roadside signs have to remind drivers to "Use Yah Blinkah!" has many remedial drivers.  Once we were "active" again, it was time for some dark running.  My night hand off happened at around 9pm and I was off into the pitch dark for a 5.2 mile jaunt up a hill.  

The town of Sandwich has a no headphones ordinance.  I had to run uphill, in the dark, with no music.  Worst part?  I had that stupid ass motherfucking Frozen song running through my head and no way to kill it.  NO.  I DO NOT WANT TO BUILD A GODDAMN SNOWMAN.  My vanmates oh-so-helpfully played the song for me right as I started.  I spent 5 miles converting the lyrics to many cruel and vulgar alternatives.  I ran that fucking hill.  I did not walk at all.  I finished that leg well ahead of schedule and sprinted out the end to beat a girl who killed me and I subsequently zombied.  She thought she was going to edge me out at the end.  She was wrong.

We wrapped up the night legs at a good clip and headed to the next major exchange for some shut eye and an indoor bathroom.  While waiting for said indoor shitter, we discovered that women were using the 3 (THREE!) stalls to CHANGE CLOTHES.  The woman behind me in line (clearly from Boston, probably around 50 years old) was LIVID upon learning this.  She began hollering into the bathroom "Ah you shitting me?  Ah you seeeeriously changing yah clothes IN THA STAHHL? That is SO RUDE!  Ah'm gonnah shit my pants out heeyah.  Yah ain't got anything the rest of us don't have!  Get ovah yahself!"  It was wicked hilarious.  Where did I change clothes, you might ask?  In the parking lot.  Next to the van.  I'm 36 years old and I've had three kids.  Get an eyeful. #rugbyup

My third leg started at 5am, so I was running as the sun came up.  The third leg was pretty, but it felt a lot harder than the first two.  I will admit to walking a bit of the last climb.  I didn't need to be a hero at that point, and still finished ahead of projected pace.  I wore my muppet legs and brought joy to the people.

After Van 1 finished up our work we found a breakfast spot with cocktails.

The place was called Laura and Tony's Kitchen.

There was a Rachel Ray review on the front of the building (which kind of looked abandoned, but was hopping with Ragnarians and locals).  $3 Mimosas and Bloody Marys.  They make their own mix!  And there were lots of from scratch baked goods (that I didn't eat).  They were pretty accommodating to our teammate with Celiac as well, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  I won't lie.  After this breakfast and 90 minutes of sleep in the preceding 24 hours?  I was...silly.

We proceeded to the finish line in P-town for post race festivities.  The finish line is below the Pilgrim Tower with the eating/drinking/relaxing area above the town.

Picturesque doesn't begin to describe it.

We finished as a group around 2:15pm (just shy of 30 hours total) and went into Provincetown for cocktails and sightseeing.  It's a combination of cute and kitsch that I guess you'd expect from a seaside tourist town.  I got lots of looks and comments on my outfit (they probably thought I was a drag queen.  Big feet, too tall, mini-skirt, and muppet legs.  I bummed some maple fudge off a teammate (soooooooo delicious) and we headed back to the van.  A couple of vanmates got held up, so Susan taught me to hula hoop, and Emily and I practiced handstands in the grass by the parking lot.  I don't have a shot of the handstands, but here's a little clip of the hooping.  In my defense, I got it pretty much right away and had been doing it for a bit before Em got this video!
Hmmm...I hope this works.

This race was a hoot.  The course was great, the team was great, the weather was great.  I felt strong the whole time.  We ate well and drank well and had a #fuckingblast.

What's with the hashtags? Let's just say everything is funnier at 2am.


I can't wait for Ragnar #7...Adirondacks.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers.  

And a big giant congratulations to my CrossFit family for making it to the Big Show in California.  Proud doesn't begin to describe how I feel.

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