#Ragnar4Rett - Thursday [Train Rides & Decorating the Van]
#Ragnar4Rett - Friday [Legs 1, 2 and 3]
And now we can begin ;)
Like I mentioned at the end of the previous post, I did not get ANY sleep while we were out running. The only real reason I knew it was "Saturday" was because of the time on my Garmin... [And I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures, but when it's dark out, nothing really turns out]
Leg 19 (Run #4) 3.61 Miles - This leg was listed as "easy" on the Ragnar website. Unfortunately for me (and anyone else running this leg), I think it was mislabeled... The distance was short, sure, but it was chalked FULL of hills. Sometimes those short distance runs can be deceiving!
From the looks of my splits I was able to make up some of my slowed time from the uphills when going downhill. And even though it wasn't a super long distance, I was still able to pass 12 people ("roadkills") and get another $60 towards Girl Power 2 Cure (for every "roadkill" we had, Sparkle Athletic was donating $5 towards Rett Syndrome research!).
Leg 25 (Run #5) 7.89 Miles - I have NO IDEA how I got this in my mind, maybe it was the lack of sleep or maybe it was just wishful thinking, but for some reason I thought this leg was supposed to be 2ish miles. It looks like I was looking at the leg AFTER mine... (I was looking at the info on the Ragnar site on my phone and I think it wasn't auto adjusting for mobile viewing, so although I thought I was under my runner number, I hadn't actually scrolled all the way to the left so I was off a leg...)
I pulled out my button and thought "Oh no, we must have switched the buttons on accident when we were writing all of the names on the van..." Yup, that is the delirium of no sleep talking I guess... Because my run was actually almost EIGHT miles! Oh well, guess it was time to put on my big girl skirt and get to runnin'!
All of my transitions were at "Major Exchanges". This means it was where Vans 1 and 2 met up for the "regular" teams. Elise was runner 6, which means she was technically the last runner in van 1 to finish and I was runner 7, which means I was technically the first runner in van 2 to start (as well as Elise being runner 12, which means she was technically the last runner in van 2 to finish and I was runner 1, which means I was technically the first runner in van 1 to start)... Does that make sense?
Anywho, the reason I bring this up is because the parking situation at all of these exchanges were TERRIBLE! Obviously Ragnar is doing their best (with staggered start times, etc) to keep folks somewhat spread out, but when ALL the vans are colliding in one parking lot it can get more than a bit chaotic. This exchange was up at Taylor Made. We were stuck in parking lot traffic for about 15 minutes and finally I realized I just would need to jump out and run over to the exchange so I didn't miss my hand off.
As I was waiting for Elise to come in, I heard someone yell "Carlee McDot?". I turned around and it was Chelsea (@PghCityGirl)! Who doesn't love meeting online friends in real life?! We grabbed a quick picture together and then I got ready to head out into the night.
The nice thing about this leg, similar to my third run (on the San Luis Rey River Trail), was I am very familiar with parts of this section. I run along the 101 in Carlsbad frequently, so I knew what the expect along the way once I got there. Getting there was another story! It was pretty dark out with lots of ups and downs, but I knew if I kept on chugging along I would get there. (Chelsea's van also passed by me while I was out running and gave me a little cheer to help motivate me to keep going - THANKS #GeorgesGirls!)
I think at this point in the night/ morning people were hitting their breaking point. I chatted with a couple of the people I passed and they were beyond thrilled that this was their last leg (well, for us ultra runners that was not the case). Although my times didn't show it, I felt incredibly strong during this leg. I even ended up passing 39 people during those miles!
I got to the exchange at South Ponto called out for Carrie... and nothing... "Carrie... Team 92.... Carrie" I felt like I was calling for Bueller. We were in a pretty small area, so I wasn't sure if maybe she was just behind some of the crowds, so other people who were waiting for their teammates to come through also started yelling for her too.
Six minutes after I finished my fifth leg Carrie got there. Remember how I mentioned I started at the Major Exchanges? Well, apparently our van (and most others from what I've heard) had a heck of a time getting out of those areas. They just had to sit and wait... And wait and sit...
And remember how I said I thought I had a 2-miler for that leg and it turned out to be Carrie's leg that I was looking at instead? That meant that I had to book it over to the van so we could try and get out of that parking lot and on to pick up her. #ParkingLotDrama
On the way to get one of our runners, we had made a wrong turn. While we were sitting at a traffic signal a group of guys ran up to the van. One of them yelled, "My daughter's name is on your van!" It just so happened that our wrong turn brought us by some guys who were out for a Saturday morning run and one of them had a daughter with Rett Syndrome who we were running for! #WhatAGodThing
|Jason pointing out his daughter's name, Camille, on the van!|
Leg 31 (Run #6) 7.08 Miles - And here we go with another Major Exchange... This time we were at the Torrey Pines Glider Port. Another crappy parking lot situation that we were trying to finagle ourselves into. Just like with Taylor Made, I realized I would need to get out of the van before we found a spot to park so I wouldn't miss Elise coming in. (I tried to meet up with Smitha and Jayme at this exchange but we didn't get a chance - bummer!)
I grabbed a quick picture with my button (and at least we didn't have to wear our reflective gear any more at this point) and jumped out of the van to head over to the transition area.
Before I knew it I was on my way out for my FINAL RUN of #Ragnar4Rett! This leg was listed as "hard" for the difficulty on the Ragnar information - and it lived up to its claim! (I would really like to chat with whoever puts the difficulty ratings on the runs... sometimes it just seems like it is based on the distance, but I think the hills, number of lights, section of the overall race, etc should also be taken into account.)
At this point it was heating up pretty quickly. Not only was it warm, but it was HILLY! There was a pretty steep hill going up to Birch Aquarium that I decided I needed to walk. I knew if I ran it I would probably burn through all of my energy and would really struggle for the last 5 miles of the run. (Yup, you can see the 11 minute mile in the recap below - OUCH!) I told myself if I allowed myself to walk this one hill I would make sure to run the rest of the time (which I did... even if some parts felt like more of a shuffle than a run).
I would say this was definitely my hardest leg of the entire race. I think at this point my body was just done. Around mile 5 I could tell I was starting to dehydrate (normally my first clue is that I stop sweating... and if you know me, you know I am quite the sweater...). I had brought water with me, but I think I probably should have taken in some electrolytes between my fifth and sixth run. The hills weren't that crazy, but there were quite a few intersections on this leg so we were continually starting and stopping (and by this time my body wanted to do more stopping than starting).
My splits for this leg were definitely the slowest of any of my other legs, but I have to give myself credit - I CAN DO HARD THINGS! And hey, one good thing about slowing down... My whole team was able to be there when I finished my final leg cheering me on!!
It was an amazing feeling to be coming in for my final exchange knowing I had completed 37 miles in under 24 hours, running for 37 specific girls with Rett Syndrome, and all with a smile on my face!
Now, don't think you get off that easily! There are still a few more stories (and plenty more pictures) to share!
This last story didn't come from my leg, but it was too sweet not to share. I mentioned it before, but one of our drivers - AJ - has a daughter, Magnolia, who has Rett Syndrome. Well, it just so happened that Kristen was going to be running for Magnolia on the first mile of her last leg. How perfect would it be if AJ could run with Kristen for Magnolia?! SO THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED! AJ threw on some shorts (but kept on his cape and sparkle skirt of course) and started Kristen's final leg with her. Now if you followed us on our journey, you know Kristen is a SPEEDSTER! AJ joked that he was very thankful he only had to keep up with her for a single mile.
|AJ is in front of Kristen in this shot, but it didn't last long ;)|
And now to the FINISH LINE! Elise texted us when she was about a mile from the end. For a Ragnar finish, you have to have your ENTIRE team cross the finish line with you. We all hung out near the end and waited for her to make her way towards us. And once she got to us we all ran across the beloved finish line!
|Just a few of our finishing shots!|
|The bling is BIG!|
|Jumping for joy at Mission Bay!|
|AJ, his wife Jenny, and their daughter Magnolia, along with #TeamSparkle |
and our "I Hate Rett #MagnoliasHope" shirts!
|BIG thanks to PRO Compression because they helped to #KeepItTight!|
|A nice "ice bath" in Mission Bay|
|Allison's daughter took this. She told us "SILLY FACES"|
|Reef helped our feet during the non-running times!!|
|Can you believe we helped to raise $54,000 in just two weeks time?!|
And just like that our adventure came to an end. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but one I wouldn't change for a billion dollars! I walked away with five amazing friends, two tired legs and one overjoyed heart!
Have you ever run on behalf of a charity before?