Well, we did it. The Ragnar.
Which means I ended my racing season this year with a BANG! And I took approximately one photo. (See to the side). Which doesn't really speak victory.
But okay, you want to know the truth before I tell you the glitz and the glam? I had forgotten how much I HATE the feeling of being so morbidly exhausted and having to run a ridiculously long time in the middle of the night.
But that's not very classy of me to start my experience with a straight-up complaint, especially since I was team captain and spent months yelling into my phone "join my teeeeeeam! itwillbeSOFUN!!!" And this is actually my 4th relay race, 2nd time as team captain, and I spent HOURS organizing the team, securing hotels and rental cars and food and race gear, managing all the expenses, and training my body up to a 30 mile distance so the team would have a thigh muscle woman to assist if anyone dropped or needed help completing their runs, preparing with three of my own Ragnar simulations where I'd run intense routes a few times a day, and then wake myself up at the crack of daylight the following morning to run again through my bitter exhaustion.
So was my body ready? Yes.
Was the team incredible and ready and full of fun? Yes.
Were we going to have a rip-roaring time? YES.
And then for some reason I gave the absolute worst pep talk ever on earth just before my whole team departed on Thursday morning to go to California - "Listen, I know I snagged ya'll into this with an exorbitant amount of exclamation marks, but ya'll are going to get diarrhea and be tired like you've never known and be sore for daaaaays and wipe blister mucus from your feet on the ride home, so GET IN THE CARS RIGHT NOW!" But the race ended up being beyond everyone's dreams and every last one of them, including all those were weren't even runners before, are now converted to this race, and half of them are ALREADY signed off for another one.
But myself.... well, after leaving my house on a Wednesday morning, spending a full day preparing for take-off, gathering the team, packing the vans, driving all the way to San Francisco, racing for 35 hours, sleeping for an hour and a half, crashing at a hotel, feeling the weight of having to accommodate to many people all at once, driving all the way back to Provo, saying goodbye to our teammates long after dark, staying up until 2 am to clean, vacuum, and return the rental vans with Ryan, getting to sleep for 3 seconds and then rushing into work, somehow summoning some sort of alert mental energy for 8 hours before I could FINALLY go to my house that night - well, that was almost a FULL WEEK of living out of my race bag. And then the very next day I started my period. So I'm sure one could understand why I wanted to quit everything in my entire life and burrow into an introverted coma blanket hole for fourteen years. I really don't know if Ragnar will ever make it across my to-do list again.
But back to the run just after that selfie. That run. Wow. THAT is why I run. Hands down the BEST run of my entire life. It was midnight, and I had 6 miles to go. Already having run two legs that day, totaling 17 miles in one day and plenty more to go the next. Everyone was sitting in the van in the dark of night, done with their runs, winding down for bed, and I had to wind back up to go outside in the freezing and take the baton from Ryan to keep the race going.
He came cruising through the exchange shoot, passed off the slap bracelet to me, and I took off. My body really didn't experience any resistance on this race, and I don't say that to hoist myself up, but really, I shredded myself training for this race, so physically, it hardly even touched me. The battle came from not being able so sleep. After running a few steps, my body woke up enough to realize the black streets were all mine for the next hour. So I cranked up my music and went hard.
Everything fell into perfect cadence. The beat of my music, the heavy breathing of my lungs, the burn of my legs. And I was flying. I jumped off the sidewalk despite all the threatening signs to stay on them, and I soared passed people. Not just a subtle pull in front of them. FLYING by them. 1, 2, 3 people 8, 9, 10.... 14, 15, 16... 20, 21, 22... 35, 36, 37 people down ... one mile to go and I text my team. Later they tell me everyone was shocked, because I was going so fast that the upcoming runners weren't even near prepared. Everyone was dashing around to beat me to the finish line, and just barely in time. I charged into the pass-off, my whole team waiting, and I handed-off the bracelet to Audrey. Then I walked far into the darkness to take a quiet moment and breathe it out. Drenched in sweat and body shaking. And feeling sad that such a magical run was over.
I've never run so fast in my life. It was incredible! And I couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night. It was completely transcendental, and I was queen of the world! As far as ridiculously sweaty queens go. Plus, Ryan said he was like, way into me that night because of how intensely I killed it. So............................................ ;)
So let that be my crowning glory!
Upward and onward,
Some photos gathered from my teammates. This was such an awesome team. These are some of my favorite people.