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My Ragnar Runcation Survival

You’ve got three choices in life: give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got.

Who said this?  I have no idea, but I find it inspiring and true.

I should have sat down and recapped my Ragnar Florida Keys experience sooner, but I was only home two days last week and just didn’t have time.  But now so much of it is a blur.  Come to think of it, the experience was a blur while I was experiencing it.  No, drugs were not involved, but lack of sleep may have contributed to loopiness.  No worries though, because I KNOW I had fun and I know I did the best I could do, and I’m pleased with the results.

This was the fourth time I have done one of these relays, and the third time I had to run from Miami to Key West, which are the only two places in the US that were warm that weekend apparently.

My amazing twelve person team met up on Thursday afternoon, packed our two vans full of running gear, munchies, and our fun-loving selves, and took off for Miami.  Then we had to decorate our Ragnarrhea #2 team vans appropriately, which according to some is not appropriate at all.

Meadow Muffin, a stowaway, turned out to be our team mascot.

Meadow Muffin, a stowaway, turned out to be our team mascot.

More inappropriate images of our van.  You have been warned.

the front

driver side

our rear end

It’s safe to look now.

I was in van #1 (which means my recap will come from our van’s point of view), so we sped off in the darkness towards the start line, making it just in time for runner one’s 7 a.m. start time.  Then our first set of runs was fast, as these were the shortest legs for most of us and we were all coming in faster than expected.  Yes, even I was able to cut about 40 seconds off each of my 3.6 miles of my first run, having only been running again after an injury for 2 1/2 weeks.  It was all good though because 800 seems to be the magic number of milligrams of ibuprofen it takes for me to not feel my leg (ok, so maybe some drugs were involved).

Then we attempted to sleep outdoors, in the daylight, at Homestead Miami Speedway because you sleep when you can at Ragnar.  Some were more successful than others.

homestead sleep

The night runs were longer and I had to run 7.1 miles, 5 of which were on a torn up sidewalk (but I had some encouragement from an elderly couple waiting outside a restaurant, who clapped and cheered for me, though I’m sure they had no idea why I was out there running in the dark).  This would not have been a big deal if I had daylight to see and my leg wasn’t a concern, but whatevs, I just took more ibuprofen when I finished, stretched as much as I could and we camped out at another outdoor exchange under the stars…until it rained.  Most of my vanmates ran for the cover of our van at that point, except our next up runner who slept right through it.  And that’s fine, except we couldn’t find him again when the other van called to let us know their last runner was on her way.  Eventually he surfaced and we got to our next exchange in time.

By this point we were starting the cycle of our last legs of the race and we were still making good time, though I had already slowed down on my middle leg.  Once the sun came out, we all slowed down a bit.  It was hot, steamy, and mostly shadeless the rest of the way.  My last leg went over two bridges, and those were the best parts because a cool breeze came off the water, reviving me.  I checked the mile splits for this last 5.2 mile run once I finished and was not at all surprised that I had slowed a little with each mile.  My legs felt great (even the injured one- more ibuprofen), but the sun was cruel and hateful.  Usually Ragnar posts signs that say, “One mile to go,” but I didn’t have one of those.  I had two signs that were even better: “Half a mile to go” and “A quarter mile to go.”  At that point I knew I would make it, and Katy Perry chose that time on my playlist to “Roar,” so I sang along and made it!

Considering how nervous I was of reinjuring my leg and having to walk most of my runs, I only walked a short amount on the last stretch, and since I shaved off some time on my first run, even though I began to slow down, I didn’t go beneath my predicted time until my last leg, so I almost evened out at the expected rate.  As a whole, our team rocked!

That's me roaring in the middle! Love this team. Love this picture.

That’s me roaring in the middle! Love this team. Love this picture.

In our division we came in at 58/309 and 116/478 overall.

Can you spot our team's "signature"?

Can you spot our team’s “signature”?

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About caverns of my mind

Author of MEMOIRS OF AN ORDINARY GIRL series http://bit.ly/tlklaes

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