I feel like these Ragnar recaps need taken out back and put out of their drawn-out, long-past-due misery.
Uhhh but yeah one more after this. Heh…
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By the time I started feeling back to normal – the wind and cold left me chilled and cough’y for a couple hours – it was almost time to gear up to run again. Not before a quick nap with the bagel chips and Garmin, though…
I knew I had another tough leg coming up – 12.3 miles with the first 8 steady & gradual climbing – but our team decision to throw pace and times out the window helped keep me
from freaking the fuck out mentally stable beforehand.
SR had a long 16miler before it was my turn, and we planned to meet at her pass-through with water. Having a “job” helped keep my mind off dreading the freezing cold nighttime uphill march I had ahead of me.
But, in the first (and one of the very few) hiccups of the weekend, we sat there at ex17 and waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually Lee calculated that she’d have to be running 10 min/miles to have not come through yet…
SR doesn’t run 10 min/miles.
We sped to the next exchange, luckily arriving before she did, and I took the bracelet from her yelling apologies over my shoulder and feeling like the worst friend/relay teammate in the world.
Unfortunately being so pre-occupied with relay guilt led me to forget another important running chore that became painfully obvious about .4mi in…
(Thanks to whoever “Vote for ____” was and that sign you put out in front of the M Resort. It was a great wind/bare butt blocker)
After my quick pit stop it was time to zone out and lock in for the climb. After the mental stress the turns in my first run caused, I was grateful for a mindless straight shot this leg. Even if that meant running uphill INTO 20+mph winds the entire time.
JUST KIDDING. Fucking wind got real old REAL fast.
But I reminded myself EVERYONE else was dealing with the wind and the climb, and probably some of them said they were going to run 8-flat on the weekend, too.
“No way anyone’s running as fast as they said they would on this leg. Every single van at that exchange is all, ‘where the fuck is so-and-so?!’ and they’ll come in like ‘man that blew! what a shitty run!’ But it’s relay and you love it, so suck it up and keep your head down! Pass this guy!”
Focusing on “kills” instead of pace helped keep me sane. I told myself that each step/mile was getting us closer to the finish and each “kill” closer to a win, and that positive thinking no doubt got me up that hill in one piece.
At mile 5 I broke into the gummy bears I brought for fuel, but in the cold I was barely able to get any in my mouth let alone chew them. I swallowed a few whole out of desperation, but the risk of choking seemed worse than depleted glycogen levels so I pitched them.
FINALLY, completely frozen but surprisingly still feeling ok, we leveled off and the exchange came into sight. A 4.4 mile FLAT leg was all that stood between me and warmth/food/sleep!
Leg 20 from the Ragmag
But, what the heck? Is that Brian? OMG what is he doing in shorts and a sleeveless shirt?!!!
Me : “NO. No! Get back in the fucking van! You’re not coming with me! It’s too damn cold!”
B : “Shut up, I’m running.”
So he did. And after 4 or 5 “Huh?“s when I’d try to mumble a one-word answer through my frozen face to his good-pacer conversation attempts he finally gave up and laid into a silent and really-freaking-freezing 40 minute run a few steps behind me.
#SaintBrian strikes again.
(thanks again, really. it was great having company and worrying about you getting pneumonia the whole time. and I’m extra glad you ended up not.)
Garmin died so I played the “it’s gotta be just up there!” game instead of asking him how much further we had to go, and eventually that 1 MILE TO GO sign DID show up. We flew through at what felt like 7’s (but was really 8:40 something) and finally handed of to K to close out run #2.
99% sure this is from her first run. If not, those Delaware roots left some thick skin and cold-weather tolerance in those legs…
Immediately after exiting the chute I grabbed on to B and laid down in the rocky parking lot – dizzy, lightheaded, and on the verge of passing out. I’m not sure if it was fuel, weather, effort, or that I’m just a pansy, but it was a bad feeling and I could tell by the look on B’s face I was making a hot mess scene and needed to pull my shit together if I didn’t want to get shipped off to the med tent.
After regaining some composure and actually being able to stand upright on my own, I got to chat with Shannon a bit and finally made it back over to the van to continue our trek towards daylight.