Thursday, January 10, 2013

Run, Drive, Sleep? Repeat --Part 2 of my Ragnar Relay FL Keys Adventure

Continued from Part 1.....

 We got to the next exchange around 10pm. After I ate, changed, and got myself situated, I leaned the van chair back and finally snuggled in for a 2 hour nap. Some teammates sprawled out on the van seats, others took sleeping bags and found a nice grassy area. 

We got the call that Van 1 was about an hour out around 1:30 AM. I fired up the Keurig and started getting myself prepared for my 9.9 miles through Islamorada.

Van 1 handed off at 2:44 AM, and just like that, I was gone on my second leg! 

I started out great with negative splits going from 8:23 to 8:11 to 8:06, all the way down to 7:55 in mile 4.
It was super dark and kind of scary, but wow the stars were beautiful. 

I was going along fine, then I started to get REALLY HOT. 
Like, marathon-training-in-the-dead-of-summer hot. 
I felt like I could hardly breathe in some spots. Isn't this supposed to be January?!

I had brought my little amphipod water bottle with me solely for washing down a Gu, never imagining I would use the majority of that water pouring it down my head and neck as I ran those last few miles. 

As my pace started to slowly creep up again (8:22, 8:40, 9:08-WTF?!) I started getting so angry at myself. Why had I not hydrated more in the van? Why didn't I train harder? Why am I being such a wuss? I live in Florida, I should be able to handle a little bit of heat! There are people depending on me! Move your feet dangit!!

I saw my team somewhere around that 9:08 mile and they graciously gave me a cold bottle of water to pour on my head. The next few miles were much easier thanks to that, even though they apparently got yelled at by a local for being loud. Thanks y'all :)  
I handed off to Bob at 4:07 AM with an average pace of around 8:20 and 14 total baptisms! While the pace wasn't exactly where I'd hoped, the baptisms made up for it. 

Leg 2...check!

Back in the van I went, and continued navigating duties. Bob and Emily were up next, and they both had fairly long legs. With as dark and as hot as it was, I knew they'd need support.

Rachel rounded out our night runs with a beautiful sunrise over a bridge in Marathon, Florida. 
With the exception of some not-so-beautiful moments. But I will let her tell more about that. 

Glenn finished off our 2nd leg at 8:50 AM Saturday morning. We had about a 5 hour break, so we grabbed some breakfast at a local cuban place and headed to our final major exchange. 

We power napped, "showered" with baby wipes, and changed up for our 3rd and final leg.

Ragnar sleeping area? Or refugee camp?

Pic stolen from Rachel -- us rocking out the lululemon ruffle skirts! 

I knew my final leg would be tough. I knew it would be hot. But I never anticipated it being SO tough and SO hot. After 26 hours with only 3 hours of sleep and no real meal schedule to speak of, I was a mess and running solely on adrenaline. 

Clint handed off to me at 1:29 pm. I had 4.1 miles to go, and I was finished!
My splits were acceptable for that amount of heat - 7:42 (went out too fast), 8:15, 8:20, 7:58.

Except for that 4.1 was actually 4.4, so when my Garmin went off at mile 4 and I looked up and didn't see the exchange yet, in my head I was yelling  
And I'm pretty sure it was showing on my face when I came across the final exchange. Because people kind of looked frightened. 

But at 2:03 PM, I was finished.

 2 1/2 hours total running time, 18.9 miles, and 26 total "baptisms" -- I just Clowney'd my first Ragnar!

I cheered on the rest of our team through their final legs and was getting excited to be so close to Key West.

After Glenn took off on his last leg to finish, we all drove to the end and anxiously awaited his arrival so we could all run across the finish line together.

The finish line! It's so glorious!

I took a  Blair-Witch-Project type video as we crossed the finish.

 Official Time: 
197 miles 
29 hours, 37 minutes, 37 seconds

After a much needed shower, we all headed down to the dock for a well deserved champagne toast at sunset.

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers along the way and to all of the local residents that put up with our hootin and hollerin at all hours of the day and night. 

 Also thanks to Matt for being the best captain ever, the entire team in Van 2 for trusting me to navigate through the darkness of the everglades, and to Glenn for responding to my email inquiry about joining the team in the first place. Thanks to Octavian for being brave and letting Rachel and I teach you how to use the foam roller for the first time (we may or may not upload that priceless footage to youtube!).
Many thanks to Bob for helping Prateek take out the back seat of the van and agreeing to stash it at your house so we had more space for all of our gear.
And of course special thanks to Emily for broadening my horizons on giant rat invasions and to Rachel for bringing back my southern accent, even if it was only for a few days.

I can't lie, I am still kind of on the Ragnar hangover/high and keep having flashbacks of all the good times we had. As crazy and daunting and mentally and physically challenging as it may have been, for some reason I'd love to do another one.

(Did you hear that? It was Prateek begging me to get a grip on life and stop acting like a lunatic!)

 I'm not certain what my next race will be, but I know for sure that it will be sooner rather than later. I have already been bitten by the race bug and it's only 10 days into the new year.

1 comment:

  1. PERFECT, Mary!! I'd do another one in a heart beat too!! I think we need to plan for Napa next year?!