Friday, June 29, 2012

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2012

So this year I ran the Ragnar Wasatch Back race with Ann and Kira, and a team they were on and I knew nobody else. What is Ragnar? Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. Our team was made up of 12 individuals, 6 in each vehical; each individual ran 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. I got to know the other three people in our van pretty fast. Besides us three there was a young man, Braden who is 18, from Kira and Ann's ward. There was Prashant, who was a brand new daddy and who also didn't know anyone, and Brook, who had taken over the spot when someone had to drop out (which was the person that Prashant knew in the first place).
All of Van 1 at the Start
Our team was called the Funner Runners

Our van was all first timers, and we missed two transition points (where one runner comes in and the next goes out). The first and second day for one transition we were a transition point ahead, and our runner was waiting for us :( Sorry Braden and Prashant!
It worked out though okay, we got to our guys.
There were also some pimped out vans and crazy costumes people ran in.
Crazy costumes and a van whose number was 666, that team was the "Highway to Hell"

I was runner two so I had legs 2, 14, and 27. My first leg was hard: hot and long. I made a friend and ran with him (he was an ultra runner, so he was running two legs at the same time) for most of it. That leg felt great, I had 17 kills! (A "kill" is when you pass someone).
Kira's first run was uphill for seven miles. The leg was called "What the Hill?!". Again, being first timers, we were misinformed, and thought it was a non-van supported leg, or that your van couldn't stop along the way and give you water. It was hot and dusty. And we were wrong, we could have stopped, but she did it and was awesome. Way to go.
After our first runs we got to go to my house (because we are actually along the route of Ragnar!) and Nathan made us all a chicken dinner and we got to shower. We would have tried to sleep some too, but I think we were still a little wired from the excitement of the race. Our second legs started up by Snowbasin, just up the road from our home.
This was a little boy, four or five, running with his dad on a leg
near our house in Mountain Green.
I thought this was absolutely awesome.
That is Nathan's dream, running with his kids.

My second run was short, and it went right by my house (which is why I wanted it). It was at 10pm, but Nathan packed the kids in the car, and waited by the entrance to our neighborhood, and he and James sat with the back end of the car open and watched runners with headlamps run by. James said he wanted to be a running person too. So cute! I loved getting a hug from him and it was great to hear them cheer me on. It was at night (my favorite time to run), and this was my home stretch, so I really raced hard. I ended up with my last mile being a 7:30 pace, which I had no idea how I did that except that I held nothing back, and didn't care if I was sick at the end, I wanted to go fast in my home area. For those that know me, that is not my usual pace. But it showed me that maybe I can pick it up sometimes:) That was fun. I finished that run with four "kills", and was never passed, but it wasn't very long either. I ended up switching my last leg the next morning, which was 3.3 miles, for Prashant's 7.8 miles. I really wanted to run more miles for the marathon training I'm doing, and it worked out for Prashant to go to his new baby sooner.

The hardest part for me was no sleep (or very, very little sleep!), and missing my little boys. We got about three hours in the car at a high school in Coalville. The next day I was a little grumpy, but I tried to hide it because I thought it rude since we were all in the same boat. My last run I decided to not use my iPod, and just listen and think. Nathan had shared an article with me earlier about how today people are deprived vs. being stimulated (regarding TV, music, i-anythings, cell phones), but are people deprived because they are stimulated. I believe that to be true. So I wanted to see how it was running without something electronic going. I was wearing my LiveStrong yellow bracelet from my Uncle Kyle, and when I was getting tired I would remember him and how he beat cancer, I can run a little more, be grateful for my body. Then I thought of my Papa who died when I was young of brain cancer and to keep running and enjoy life. Then all this thinking got me choked up :) A little counter productive when running, but that's okay. It was nice to just think and not have music, and I'll be doing that more often. My only injury really came on this run, I was getting a blister on one toe, but it went under the toenail, and the toenail started separating and is slowly coming off (very painful). This run was also up a mountain pass. 6-7% grade. And in the middle of the day. Nice and hot.
I still had three "kills" though. I also met another runner who passed me, but then I passed him, so we ended up running together and pushing each other on. I really do best when talking to someone else, and I love pushing people to do better.

Ann's last leg was all downhill, for six miles! She did so well, I was really proud of her.
Our legs ended in Heber, but the whole race ends in Park City. We drove to the finish line to wait for the other van and the last runner on our team to head through the finish line. However, I think we got to Park City at 2pm, and really I was done. I wanted to go home. My buddy Prashant had gone, and our other new friend Brook had her husband come get her, my little toe hurt so much I was limping, was so tired, sore, was grumpy, and missed my little family. Also I was getting a bit mad that this was taking my whole Friday and Saturday. I hadn't planned on it taking the whole second day as well. I only get so much time with Nathan home on Saturday's and I was missing it! Put all that together, and I lost it, started crying, and wanted to go home. So, call me lame, but I called Nathan to come get me, and I didn't see our final runner cross the finish. Ann said that by the time the final runner came through it was about 8pm, and she didn't get home until a little after 10pm. So a full two days of Ragnar stuff! We also had family coming in to stay with us on Sunday, so I needed to get home and get ready.
At the end before some of us left

So that was Ragnar.
Would I do it again? Probably.
I just can't commit at this time in life to a race a year in advance.
The feeling of accomplishment once done though was awesome .
I know now I can do hard things.


Kate said...

I always wondered what Ragnar was! I'm glad you filled me in! I'm super impressed that you guys pulled it off! That sounds super challenging. Nice work!