Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ragnar So Cal: Part 3

Ragnar So Cal
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

When we left, I was finally passed out on a van bench at our second to last major exchange. When I finally woke up, it was just about 6:30 am (a solid four hours of sleep, people!). The sun was just starting to pop up and people were definitely buzzing about. After a final costume change, fighting in the porto lines (which really, were not terrible by any means considering it was a major exchange), it was go time! Kasey was due in just about 8 am and was right on time, and I left about 8:03 am.

My legs felt sluggish instantly. Even thought I had compression socks on as soon as I finished that 12 miles, and I had slept in them, and was wearing them for my last leg, I just felt it. Ooph. This was going to be a looong 8 miles! This leg was beautiful though - Carlsbad is not an easy run, as it's just enough rolling hills to be some work, but it's one of my favorite areas in the greater San Diego area. The flower field (even though it's not open yet), strawberry fields were blooming, golf courses... and then that glorious block of the auto mall... but then crossing under the 5 freeway, and then we were on coast for the last 4 miles or so. It was a gorgeous Saturday morning, so there were cyclists, runners, and folks out and about everywhere, who in turn would start cheering us on, or giving us some last little motivation.

Boom. 5 minutes under projected!
I started some intervals. In my head, I remembered my projected time to be 1:20 (lord knows why), so I figured I'd be happy with a 1:30 finish on these tired, tired legs. So I kept up with my intervals, up until just before the 6.2 marker. Then, I said I'd walk to 6.5 And then at 6.5, I said I'd walk to 6.75, and then finally said I was allowed to walk through mile 7, but had to then run the last mile into that final exchange for me. And boy did I  - the last mile was mostly flat, but naturally, the last 100 yards into the exchange were uphill and around a corner. Rude. Last mile: 9:15. Ha! Walking works wonders, eh?

Flamingo & cowbells. Duh.
And then... I was done! And as tired as I was, the ultimate runner's high hit me. I was hanging half out the window, cowbell clanging, and screaming at the top of my lungs for every Ragnar runner we passed (and hell, even those non-Ragnar runners). Trista and Heather laughed and said, "Yeah, I think this is called 'runner's high'!" So much fun. And that was how we spent the rest of the morning - cheering on runners, windows down, cowbells going. It's the last leg that hurts the worst and you just want to be done, so we tried so hard to cheer on anyone we came across to give them that little boost.
No complaints! 

Before we knew it, we were on to the LAST major exchange after Heather took off on her last 4 miles or so. It was at the gorgeous Pines Gliderport - clear on the top of a hill overlooking nothing but water and we got to watch hangliders for an hour or so while we waited on Heather. And then like that, there she was! Van 1 was done - holy crap, we did it!

And then we had a solid 7-8 hours to kill - we made the most of finding food (thankfully, found a plaza with numerous places in one), so we all gorged on anything from Chipotle to Five Guys to Panera... and probably could have eaten more.
Van 1 = done! 

We also headed back up to Del Mar to get checked into our hotel for the night, as we risked the hotel being over-sold. And why not, we had the time! After checking in, and finally being happy with food, we headed down to the finish line to camp out and wait on  our Van 2 ladies. The finish line parking was a little chaotic -- all the vans had to park in the garage at the SD Convention Center, which wouldn't be a problem if it was all tight, small spaces, with vans already parked wherever they pleased, so it made for a stressful entrance into the area.

The finish line itself was fine, though as time went on, a lot of vendors started packing up early and moving on out. We only made our way through the Ragnar swag shop anyway, and finding Italian ice (the important things), and then camped out and snuggled under blankets as the wind picked up over the afternoon. Somewhere around 6ish, Van 2 arrived and somewhere around 7, we knew Kasey would be in at any minute! We found her mom, who was hanging out on a bench near the finish, ready to be our own finish line photographer! The best.

There are much better ones out there, but you get the idea. :)
Team Adventures in Runderland

And then it was to dinner, and quite literally straight to bed. A glorious weekend over with drives back up to LA, cleaning the vans, dropping girls off at the airport, and calling it a weekend. Womp. Thanks for bearing with me to take three weeks to write this up - gone are the days where I was on my blogging a-game, eh?! I promise, there's lots of things going on so I'll have a lot more updates coming a little more regularly now!

Happy weekend! Any exciting plans?

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