Monday, June 20, 2011

They called me "Ragnar Girl."

"The way I see it- and race veterans will back me up on this- races encapsulate the best aspects of our sport, which can make races incredibly moving experiences. The camaraderie. The emotion. The wonderful variety of body shapes and sizes. The challenge of something pure. The simplicity of the task. The inclusiveness you feel among participants. The respect shown for speedsters and slow pokes alike. For the price you pay to enter a road race, you really get a lot out of it!
Of course, racing also involves anxiety. Doubt. Even Fear. But that's all part of the attraction. Meaningful ventures always come with these feelings. I'll be the first to tell you that I've been a basket case before some of my races- so much so that I could hardly talk. But this just makes it even sweeter when you meet the challenge once that starting gun goes off, and conquer it. There are few better things in this world than the feeling you get after a race well run- whether that means winning it or finishing it."
-Kara Goucher

I have a hard time forming my feelings into words and putting them out there for everyone to see. It seems that when I experience something big that my words always fall short of what it actually felt like to have that experience.

Just getting my body working so that I could run this race was an experience on its own. I was prayed and shocked (literally) into a healthy state so that I could run up a mountain this last weekend. It worked!

This race was my most fulfilling Ragnar Relay to date. Our team, "Desperate For A Party", was full of inspiring and encouraging women that pushed me forward when I may have felt like I was sliding backward. We laughed, we cried, and we ran 192 miles together. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Van 2 ladies: Mindy Kohler, Katie Cummings, Lindsey Harvey, Darcy Haas, Me, and Kalie Chamberlain
Sometimes it's fun, or funny, to see people that you ran with in other races. To read more about "Compression Socks", click [HERE].
Lindsey started us off well, so she earned herself a cookie!

My heart rate was 133 BPM BEFORE I started my first leg! Excited much? I ran the 3.9 with a 7:22/mile average, beating my previous 5K PR time. (The first 3.1 I ran at a 7:19/mile pace).
Kalie had the first of our tough legs in Van 2- running 3 miles up Trapper's Loop. She ran so fast she beat the van to the exchange by 5 minutes!
Only Darcy would run a killer uphill leg with a smile like this.
This one's for YOU, Fast Cory!

If you don't think you can do a Ragnar, then you should talk to this lady:

When you are in a car for 32 hours and 21 minutes, your true colors are bound to come out.
Still smilin' after our first legs, waiting our second at East Canyon. Temperatures dropped fast! It got to 38 degrees at night and we were grateful for the hot cocoa!

Van 1 finishers! Mandy Bonner, Lori Halls, Melanie Means, Kristen Pitts, Marissa Hermanson, Laura Means
Katie and Darcy are still pumped!
The BYU Track Team, who won the race outright in 18 hours 38 minutes, could have learned a lesson from Lindsey and Katie's smooth exchange here. The BYU team tripped over the cones as they went through. Tisk tisk. I'm sure it cost them valuable seconds on their time.
Mindy and I- Ragnar runners! Mindy started Guardsman and I finished it.

Gotta hug my girl! Have I mentioned that there's nearly a 1 foot difference in height between the two of us?

See this guy in the green? He's the only runner I saw on the course that I couldn't catch. I wasn't passed by a single runner, and I passed 19 people up Guardsman. People were cheering me on from lots of other teams. The camaraderie up this leg was like human propellant- how could I slow down when someone yells, "You go, Ragnar Girl!"
"They don't call it Ragnar for nothin'." -Darcy Haas
Cried my way to the exchange with Darcy running by my side. I ran the Ragnar hill in 48 minutes and 16 seconds, placing 13th out of all the women teams that ran the Wasatch Back.

Kalie and I- she's still my friend after allowing me to sucker her in to run this race.

Um, they might be faking it at this point. Waiting at the finish line for Darcy to bring us home.
Secret to finishing a relay race strong? Always put your strongest runner in the last position!
Team Desperate For A Party: Back- Marissa Hermanson, Kalie Chamberlain, Lindsey Harvey, Mandy Bonner, Kristen Pitts, Melanie Means, Katie Cummings, Lori Halls. Front: Me, Mindy Kohler, Darcy Haas, Laura Means
I didn't exactly accomplish the goals I set for myself this race, but it didn't matter. I ran faster at some parts, I slowed down at others, and I took the time to savor the journey- and that is what matters.

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