Ragnar Napa Valley
September 19 - 20, 2014
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
I really did not intended this to take a month to get done! Holy wow, time has gotten away from me. Good thing my memory is pretty sharp.
After my first run, and seeing Jill and Kristin off for their first legs, we found our way finally heading to the major exchange (12). It was really just a massive parking lot, it seemed, but the energy was certainly alive at that point. Deliriousness, I'm thinking. And probably something to do with all the Van 2s dealing with 100+ heat indeces, so it was probably a lot of deliriousness at that point!
|NAU alumni representing!|
Heather had prepped me for this one, since it was about dinner time, and that there was a huge shopping complex with a Dick's, Chipotle, oodles of food, and a Whole Foods not far from there. We were happy campers - after a quick emergency compression-sleeve trip to Dick's, a stop at Chipotle, we joined the hoards of people at Whole Foods to grub up and eat dinner, finally! 70% of the parking lot were Ragnar vans, at least.
After dinner and some essential van cleaning, we headed off to the next exchange to rest (yes), sleep (not so much), and do this... obviously.
Yours truly, apparently the queen of all things Ragnar temporary tattoos. Everyone got marked up, and then we all found our way to our own place to sleep. Tina, Kristin, John and I in the van and Jill, Kim and Kate all went out the grass at the huge community center we were at. The local rugby club was using the showers as a fundraiser, but as I had promised folks, you just hit that point where you'd rather take a 20-minute nap than you would a 5-minute (though hot) shower. I was right. I eventually fell asleep, for maybe two hours or so, and soon enough, Jill, Kate and Kim came back because the sprinklers had gone off! Thankfully they weren't soaked, but wet enough to be unhappy. Apparently the sprinklers had sent a whole ton of folks packing.
Soon enough, Van 1 had made their way to the exchange, and after a stretch session with the trainer at First Aid, I got ready to head over to the exchange with Tina for her night leg! She was most nervous about this one too, mostly about getting lost, but I promised that as long as she found people to follow, she'd be fine.
|At least she had a pretty exchange! They had done all these lights the whole length of the corral... individual lights.|
Tina was off. I kid you not, we were following directions, trying to find our way to the exchange, and finally found the madness (it was really just the side of the road in a business complex and not conducive to large vans and runners). We were about to park, and I was going to text her to check on her (she runs with her phone), when I got a call from her! ...that's not good. I couldn't make it out, so we hung up and called back. She had fallen, and cut herself up pretty badly (though how badly she didn't know given that it was 1:45 am and pitch black), so we found our way back to her near her mile 2-ish. Turns out, the trail/sidewalk had combined, and got loose and she tripped and appeared to have skidded on her hand - her palm was torn up, fingers road rashed and bleeding and her knee rashed pretty good. Kate took off running for her, and thanks to nurse-in-training Jill, we spent nearly 20 minutes on the side of the road cleaning the poor lady up (sorry to make you re-live all this, Tina!). The only humor out of the situation was the group of about seven or eight college students, clearly on their way home from the bars, asking what we were doing, and did we need their help? Drunk Girl #2: "Can I help? I'm REALLY good with bandaids!" Us: "No, hunny, you just keep walking." Though not at all funny in the situation, it provided some good relief afterward.
We found Kate, exchanged her back out for Tina who then got to run her last mile or so and still finish out her leg. Trooper, I tell ya what. (Side note: apparently she wasn't going to call me, but a lady who was right behind her when she fell made her - thank you Ragnar stranger!)
|Morning aftermath. :(|
Soon, we were getting ready to send off Kim, so Tina and I spent awhile cowbelling and cheering at the exchange waiting for Kate to come in and send Kim off on her night leg. As soon as we got Kim off, it was my turn to pysch up and get ready to roll. Fact: Despite doing (now) three Ragnars, the night legs are still the worst for me - they are terrifying. I hate them more anything. Yes, it's cooler, yes the weather is usually nicer, but mentally... they overpower me.
My night run was about 8.4 miles in and out of Santa Rosa - a gorgeous little city (home of Charles Schulz), but also country enough that there were enough trees and shadows that scared the crap out of me. As noted, all my legs were NO van support, and this one was clear as to why: two lane highway, and we were running against traffic (obviously) at 2 am. Not a good situation for turnarounds. I was determined, though, to make it better than leg 1, and ran with what I had in me to get a solid 8.4 mile run in!
|Night leg selfie.|
During the day, I'm sure that leg is amazingly gorgeous - I could make out cornfields, some vineyards, tons of trees and a pretty tunnel of trees we ran through at some point. I'd never been more excited to see the one mile to go sign and gave everything I had for that last one mile. 8.4 miles, 1:22 and change, and something like 8 minutes over projected. Told you, night legs win!
After my night leg, I changed and passed out for a few more hours - thankfully. I can't remember when I woke up, but it was just before or just after Kristin (#12) headed out, so we were near the next major exchange! Time kinda flew, despite how over time we were. We got to the exchange, said hi to our Van 1ers, got Kristin through, and stopped at first aid for Tina (first aid is only at majors, and we hadn't been to a major since Tina's spill). The awesome guy got Tina super wrapped up, gave us extra supplies to clean up later, and sent us on our way. BREAKFAST.
Over breakfast, Jill analyzed all our next runs and gave us the run-down: hills, flat, rolling, short. A quick pump-us-up before we headed down the road. After breakfast and some playing catch-up on our legs and kills, and brushing our teeth on the side of the road, we headed out.
Last legs, here we come!
Have you ever fallen while running? Did you keep running?