Another year, another Ragnar has come and gone. I have so many thoughts, observations, and so much I want to commit to memory. Now that you've met the team, I guess I'll just start from the beginning...
The night before the race, most of us were able to meet up at the Oiselle offices to organize all our goodies, eat a pizza dinner and decorate the vans.
|We forgot to take good pics of our decor, thanks dudes on Twitter for doing the work for us!|
|first meetup with van 1|
Leg 1: 6.8 miles
The first downhill portion of this run was rather nice, but it was canted a bit to the side and I was glad to get on flat road. It was a pretty long run by my standards, since my long runs as of late are around 8 miles. The views were lovely, but I could see for what seemed like miles ahead of me - which is mentally tough. Thankfully, it was my first leg and all that Ragnar energy got me through without a hitch.
|Awesome views, for miles...|
Leg 2: 6.5 miles
After our dinner at Skagit River Brewery and a little rest at La Conner middle school, we were back on the road around midnight. My much anticipated run over Deception Pass bridge was one of the best runs of MY LIFE. I was nervous about running in the dark with a headlamp; something I've never done before. But the rolling downhills through the forest were amazing. I felt like I was flying because it was the opposite of my first run: all I could see was the 10 feet or so in front of me (more than enough to run safely/see the ground) and then the majestic evergreens being illuminated every few minutes by the headlights of the vans going past. All the other runners on that leg were so happy to be out there, too. There was a lot of 'great job!' and 'strong running!' as we'd pass each other, and I passed 12 runners, averaging a 9:30 pace. And of course, there was the amazing light display they added to the bridge this year.
|Had to steal from Ragnar, because the one photo I took was super blurry and I was afraid of dropping my phone into the depths below.|
|a little comparison shot from when we visited with the kids about 4 years ago!|
|My vain attempt at sleep after dinner. I highly recommend a sleep mask, though.|
Leg 3: 3.5 miles
I was glad that I wasn't the first runner in the van this year, having to run right after sleeping. I had plenty of time to wake up and prepare for my run. That being said, I still felt like death warmed over - that's just par for the course for your last leg of Ragnar. You just get through it. It did not seem 'easy' and I averaged about a 10 minute mile. Somehow, I was smiling during this run, probably telling myself to 'fake it 'till you make it.'
After I finished up, we gave Morena some support about half way through her brutal last leg to the finish and then hightailed it over to said finish line.
Parking was super easy and we had enough time to return our safety flags and catch up with van 1 before spotting Morena and running across the finish line together. Apparently there were spots opened up for more teams this year, but you'd never know it - Ragnar ran super smoothly, as usual.
We sat in the grass and ate some pizza together and van 1 took off pretty quickly to catch the ferry home, as they were waiting HOURS for us to arrive. A con of being in van 1, and I distinctly remember this from last year. It's great to be done first, but then you have to wait, and wait, and WAIT to be truly done. I did spot The Oatmeal (again) as we were eating and encouraged Paulette to grab a pic!
I left him alone (save for the catcalls as we'd drive by him in our van) since I already got one a few weeks ago at a Beat the Blerch training run:
|with van 2 teammate Lauren, too!|
Speaking of van 2, at first I was thinking that it's the lesser of the two. But then I made a list of pros/cons, because I'm ridiculous like that.
Van 2 pros:
- You can sleep in and start later (ya know, if work or the kids aren't an obstacle in the AM)
- The scenery, in my opinion, is better than the van 1 legs
- You can eat a real sit down dinner at a normal hour after your first break
- You're more likely to get the middle of the night running (yes, a pro!)
- You don't have to wait for-ev-er at the end of the race to finish
Van 2 cons:
- The legs are WAY HARDER OMG
- There really is no good time to get more than 2 hours of sleep TOPS
And while I'm making a list, here are the reasons a minivan is way better than the 12 passenger van:
- So much easier to handle, for all those 3 point and U turns
- Much more comfortable/reclining seats
- More reliable, more likely to be a newer vehicle (last year our 12 passenger van stalled on us at least 3 times)
- You can open the back windows for more air, cheering and pictures
- I'm guessing they're cheaper to rent
- Cheering Amanada with "EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE YOUUUUU!" Because, we all totally do.
- Whisper cheering, 'natch. This is my favorite Ragnar tradition.
- Whisper cheering killlll, killllll, killll sorta horror movie style when our runners where about to pass (or 'kill') another runner.
- 'The Napoleon Dynamite Effect' of Ragnar - it kinda sucks while you're in it, but then it's suuuuuper funny and awesome after the fact.
- "Bitch eatin' crackers."
- I am an expert at U turns.
- "You do YOU."
- THE STRUGGLE IS REAL
There are probably a bunch of other things that seemed absolutely hilarious at the time, but I'm forgetting them now. I'm looking forward to the posts from some of my teammates. And if you ran Ragnar and blogged about it, I'd love to read your post, so please feel free to leave a link in the comments. I'm nostalgic already...