It all started at 3:30am. The night before, Scott’s 3 cousin’s spent the night at our place (the 4th cousin met us at 4:00am) and then we packed it up and drove to Logan. My stomach was full of butterflies. Was I really going to do this? Really? Even as we drove, I kept trying to think of a way out of this predicament.
I committed myself to the Ragnar race. It was too late. I mean, I could “run away,” but I am so gosh dang slow, anyone from my team could have out run me and dragged me back. I had to do it.
I kept my goals for myself quite simple. Goal #1: Survive. Goal #2: Complete all three of my legs (13.1 miles). Goal #3: Run more than I have ever run. Goal #4: No swearing or flipping the bird (this was going to be the hardest one to accomplish. I like to cuss some, only some, and that darn middle finger tends to have a mind of its own).
But, I am proud to say (yes, in this circumstance I am prideful) I completed all 4 of my goals.
My first run as around 9:00/9:30am time and was 5.1 miles. The funny thing, for some weird reason, I don’t remember much of this run. I guess it was okay. I remember the kindness of other runners as the ran past me, “You’re doing so good” or “Just a little more, you can do it.” I kept my finger down. I only swore in my mind. Just kidding. Other runners were very kind and very supportive. So many different types of runners out there too—speedy ones, slow ones, walkers. It was all good, all for fun. Even the different communities were awesome—passing out waters or squirting us down with hoses or misters. I did not meet one mean runner. That is all I can remember of that run—I did see a water fall and I do remember the road sloped to the left and my left foot took a beating.
My second run was 4.2 miles and I ran that around 9:00pm. I was looking forward to this one—cool weather, flat terrain—I should be fine. I actually stood there at the transition going, “COME ON!! Hand me the baton. Let me get this done!” I was revving to go. (Can you believe that?)
Well, I wasn’t fine. My feet took a beating in the first leg—blisters a blooming. I used mole skin, I thought all was well. OH, NO!!! About 2 miles into the run and my left foot was on fire. It hurt so bad. New blisters formed and I could barely put my foot down (I had tears in my eyes, but I was determined to finish). There was actually one point I thought, “I’m going to take my shoe off. I’m taking it off. I am. I can’t wear this shoe. I'm going to chuck it as far as I can.” But that would have been counterproductive. I felt like I was wearing a heating pad on my foot--our team name was the "Burning Sensations" and I was having a burning sensation of my own.
This leg I walked most of it. It hurt. It hurt bad. I got to the end, flopped myself in the cool grass, and whipped off that shoe so fast. The damage: blister on the heal; blister on the pad of my foot that snaked its way in between my big toe and the middle one; blister on my pinkie toe; and my fourth toe was no longer a toe at all—just a gigantic blister. I placed that foot in the cold grass and wondered how in the world I was going to complete my 3rd leg in the morning.
Once done with this section, my 5 teammates in Van 1 went to Kamas, Utah to a high school to sleep while van 2 ran their legs of the race. We slept on the gym floor. There were so many other runners there, you would have thought the place would be crazy with talking and laughter and chit-chatting the night away. Nope. None of that was happening. Everyone was dead to the world. I didn’t think I would be able to sleep, but amazingly enough I did. I was exhausted.
Third leg of the race, my run was 3.8 miles mostly downhill and started around 9:00am in the morning. So how did I do it with blisters, you ask? (This part is gross. You may want to skip down a little. Just as a warning.) Well, I popped every blister, squeezed them flat, and wrapped the heck out of them with tape and moleskin. (Picture above). My socks were loose. I had purchased new socks right before the race (a big no-no, because they didn’t fit right—too big) and so one of my teammates gave me one of her tighter socks to wear (yes, dirty, but at this point it didn’t matter). I was excited for this leg and determined to run most of it. What I remember most about this leg of the race was the fact that my support van (my team) was nowhere to be found. Usually, they hand you water every mile or so and check to see how you’re doing. I got to mile 2 and no van, no water.
I had to bum water off another van for another team. I ran a lot of that downhill leg and my stupid team members never saw any of it. Nope. It wasn’t until I had made it down to the main highway when they finally came to check on me. At that point, I didn't need them. (In their defense, we had one team member who was very sick and they had to take her to find a honey bucket—that’s a crapper unless you didn’t know—and a honey bucket it is NOT).
THEN, as a lovely, lovely surprise, the Ragnar people went and stuck a small dirt hill at the end of my run—I was NOT expecting that. I usually try to run the last mile or so, but not on that one. That little hill kicked my behind. Oh, and one thing I noticed too, it seemed like whenever I got the last mile marker of a leg, that mile seemed to take FOREVER. What’s with that? When I climbed up that hill and saw the Ragnar volunteer who called out the numbers so the next runners could get ready, I asked him, “Who the heck put this hill here?” (Notice I used the “Utah” cuss word here . . . wink, wink—keeping to my goals up above).
Yes, I did it. I ran/walked my behind off—I told my team members that I was a walker, and should they happen to see me running, well, that was just a bonus). I felt stronger my 3rd leg. I really did—blisters and all. Once my foot went numb, it was great J
Actually, the whole thing wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. We were super stinky, but we laughed a ton and had a good time. Would I do it again . . . you know, I never thought I would say this, but maybe I would be willing to give it another go around—and maybe next time I would be even better at it J
** Van 1 of the "Mom’s in Motion"—there were actually times I did run. I did. You just never saw it. You caught me at the wrong times (the I-am-too-pooped-to-run-this-stupid-race-anymore-just-get–me-to-the-end-wrongtimes, except for leg 2 in which I walked most of it because my foot was on fire). And Holly, you rocked it my sister-friend. Thanks for the sweaty hug, you crazy runner you and you can drink my water anytime! You guys are awesome—just like I knew you would be. It was so cool to see you and cheer you on—Sam, Erica, Melissa, Holly, Melodie, Lisa. That was fun for me—even when Holly whizzed past me. (Notice I didn’t even once flip her the bird or curse her in my mind.) You just better not have marked me as a kill, because that would be wrong and pathetic—I’m easy prey.