Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ragnar Napa Valley: Part 2

Ragnar Napa Valley
September 19 - 20, 2014
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Somewhere about 2 in the afternoon, it was my finally my turn to run. I was excited and antsy and for whatever reason, nervous - not like I've done this before or anything - and needed to get myself together! My first leg was 6.6 miles, and I knew there was one beastly hill but the rest flattened out and should be bearable (hint: not true). 

Tina and Kate had both killed their first legs and it was finally Kim's turn to go! She had about 4.5 miles and was ready to rock. Finally, we heard our number and got ready to roll. Kim came flying in from her leg (she killed it!), and we were off. I had run into a friend from grad school in the store at Exchange 6, and her teammate (who I met at So Cal while trying to find said friend) recognized me and was also their runner 10. We said we'd try to pair up for our late-night run, but sadly she took off for her first run about 15 minutes before me. Oh well. 

Ha. That word, bearable. Never mind the fact that it was about 90 degrees out, but hit a heat index of almost 100, and it was brutal. I got not even to mile 2 before pausing to walk, doused myself at the water station and just hoped I'd make it through. I hadn't brought a handheld waterbottle at all (total fail), nor my phone, so just hoped for the best and that I'd make it through these 6.6 miles. My leg consisted of a zoo of roadkill - frogs, birds, opossum, deer - and unfortunately, not tons of scenery! 

At the start of my leg, just across from the exchange. 
Have I noted that ALL THREE of my legs were no van support? Not even partial. For you newbies, this means that my van wasn't allow to pull over anywhere to get me water, food, whatever, mostly due to the lack of shoulder space on the road or a runner being on a trail and not on the road. However, I think given with the heat index, there were tons of vans pulling over, I guess risking being disqualified?, and supporting their runner. 

Admittedly, I turned a few teams in while we were driving previously (on some really stupid places they were pulled over), but I was grateful when a van person ran across the road and handed me a bottle of ice water. No way I was gonna turn those kids in! About two miles later (just about 4.5, 5 maybe), I stopped to talk to a van across the road (who also refreshed me with a new bottle of water). Thankfully, I have Tina's phone number memorized (from college, no less), so I had this girl text her to tell her I was fine, but it was hot and I would be longer than anticipated. 

Finally, the one more mile marker showed its ugly face and I just wanted to fly - I zipped past the girl that I had leap-frogged with the whole time, and apparently made it so fast, my team wasn't ready for those coveted exchange photos! Bummer. 

I said at the end of my leg I wanted chocolate milk and cookies. My awesome vanmates even fed me the cookies! <3
It was finally over. Holy crap. I had never felt so horrible or defeated after a first Ragnar leg. I think there was a steady stream of obscenities that came out of my mouth and I was not happy with how that had gone at all. Well, it could only go up from here, right?

Alright, Leg 1, done!
How do you survive runs in 100+ degree heat indexes? 

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