Monday, April 17, 2017

#Ragnar4Rett Recap: Part I

I can't believe it has already been over a week since I ran my THIRD Ultra #TeamSparkle #Ragnar4Rett Relay Race. 2017 was my third year taking part in this beautifully difficult challenge and every run is just as meaningful as the one before. But let's not get ahead of ourselves too much. If you haven't read out my PRE-RACE RECAP, do it NOW!

We left off on our PRE-RACE RECAP with laying out our #FlatSparkle for the following morning and hitting the hay.

#FlatCarlee: A purple Sparkle Athletic skirt, pink PRO Compression socks, pink Handful bra, purple and pink QALO wedding bands, purple
Road ID bracelet
, Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Altra Running shoes (complete with Shwings), pink and purple Momentum Jewelry wraps,
PROBAR BOLT chews, and a purple Sparkle Athletic visor. Oh yeah, and we can't forget our Girl Power 2 Cure CAPES and the buttons
that have a picture of each of the girls that the miles are dedicated to (legit, these are our super power!)!

Elise was able to talk the Ragnar officials into moving our start time (originally it was slated for 8am, but finally she was able to get them to adjust it to 10am once she reminded them multiple times of our paces and ETA). A 10am Huntington Beach start time required an 8am Orange meet-up time to snap some pictures and get the van packed for the journey.

Our home for a little over 24 hours

Jumping for joy to start our #Ragnar4Rett journey!

After getting some award winning shots (thanks to our official photographer, Skyler) we were off to the races... literally! Thankfully this isn't our first rodeo (it was actually Elise's sixth time running it), so we had everything planned to the T.

Elise was kind enough to braid my hair... I MUST learn how to do this myself!

We knew we'd need to check in, grab our slap bracelet (the 'baton' used between runners), watch the safety video {which reminds runners that "only a toilet is a toilet" and that "breaking and entering is illegal" (um.... WHAT THE CRAP?! These both seemed to be new, so I have no idea what happened between last year and this year but sounds like there have been some sketchy folks on the course...), and pin on our bibs before taking more beach team shots.

Even though we are wearing capes, the real super heroes are the girls and their families that we are running for!

These ladies... I have no words... They are AMAZING!

Last year I was the one having issues with jumping... This year it was Emily ;) 

And this one can either be titled "Cell Phone Coverage" or "Progression Jump" since it looks like it might be
the same person in different stages of the jump ;)

At the starting line, ready to ROCK this race!

This year I was runner 4 and 10. (We run as an Ultra team, meaning we only have six runners whereas "normal" teams have 12. As an Ultra team you have the option to either run back-to-back legs {i.e. be runner 1 & 2} or run the same position in both "vans" {i.e. be runner 1 and 7}. Although you have shorter break times, we have found running 6 shorter legs works best for us (not to mention the legs seem to be broken up a little more evenly that way.)



I always get super nervous before ANY race (even fun runs), and Ragnars are no exception. Thankfully after I get my first leg done I seem to be more in the swing of things and the nerves tend to go out the window.

My first leg was one of my shorter runs (for some reason they seemed to get harder and longer throughout the race... NOT the way I'd normally pick my progression through the event to go, but that's where the team needed me ;)). The run ended up being 3.14 miles. There were a few LONG traffic lights (yup, this is an "urban race", meaning none of the streets are closed for automobiles, bikers, other runners, etc...), but the adrenaline of the race along with the emotions of running for my three girls battling Rett Syndrome helped push me to finish in 22:38 (an average pace of 7:13 and within a few seconds of my current 5K PR time) and with 3 road kills (how many Ragnar Runners we passed).

I like me some downhill... even if it is barely noticeable!

It was pretty toasty out there, but it could have been worse

Heading in towards the transition area!

I thought I NAILED this hand-off... I didn't realize I muffed it till I turned around and saw Allison searching
for the slap bracelet that was rolling around on the ground!

I ran my first leg for Ashanti, Giana and Brooklyn! 

Between my first and second leg we grabbed Subway for lunch. (I will chat more about it in tomorrow's recap, but let's just say I think one of the hardest parts of a relay race is staying properly fueled and hydrated throughout the 24+ hours... especially when you are running every 3-4 hours and don't have time to really digest food.)

Get in my belly!

My second leg was my shortest of the race. The majority of this run was on a bike trail, which was nice because there weren't traffic lights or intersections to have to contend with. Also, this one started around 5:45pm, so the temps were starting to cool a bit. I was able to run these 2.48 miles in 18:22 (an average pace of 7:24) and with 14 road kills. Although the pace was slightly slower on this one (maybe the quick breaks at the traffic lights in my first run gave me a few seconds to recover and push harder), I still felt strong.

A little down, a little up, and NO TRAFFIC!

Starting to cool off for the day

I ran my second leg for Kaylie, Kenzie and Genesis Nahomi! 

Between my second and third legs, we stopped for dinner at Chipotle. I decided to pass on that (Mexican didn't sound like it would sit well in my tummy), but opted to have THE MOST DELICIOUS Uncrustables EVER (if you have never had the peanut butter and honey version you are truly missing out... I suggest heading out and finding them STAT!).

I don't even think this was the hunger talking... they are just THAT good!

Because of Camp Pendleton, the military base in Oceanside, Ragnar had to get creative with how to get around it. Their solution is a "virtual" transition. That means Van 2 will finish at Doheny Beach and Van 1 will then start at the Oceanside Pier. What they do is have the officials call to let them know when their teammate finishes so they can start.


Well, that is all well and fine if you have two vans, but for the Ultra teams that isn't an option. We are required to grab a sheet of paper with the finish time, drive down to Oceanside (the travel time is normally about an hour), and then turn the paper in when we get there - that way Ragnar can remove our travel time so we are not penalized for the non-run time. Thankfully, since the drive time is removed, we had a few extra minutes to snap a sunset photo at the beach.

The six of us are only together for a short amount of time (normally one of us is always running), so to get a shot with everyone is pretty
special... Especially with this background! 

Since we run about a quarter of the 189 miles in North County, the hubby and pup decided to come cheer me on. I knew they'd be at the end of my third leg so I was pumped - not only because it's great to have a cheer squad, but also because I knew that would start my tough runs. I am very familiar with where I'd be running (it's right around the corner from our house and goes pretty close to our church) and has quite a bit of uphill. I was stoked to have friends cheering me on from their backyard as I ran by and loved being able to help fellow runners by telling them where the crest of the next hill was and what to expect around the corner. I was able to run these 3.87 miles in 30:37 (an average pace of 7:55) and with 24 road kills. Even though my pace seems slower, I felt super strong, especially with the climbing.

Like I said.... UPHILL!

Once you started running it warmed up quick


I ran my third leg for Alexandria, Henslee, Brook and Sophie!

And, with that, we are half way through my legs so I should probably call it a day (or else I risk some of you falling asleep on your keyboard). Thanks for making it this far (if you're still with me) and remember to stop back tomorrow for the next installment in my #Ragnar4Rett journey (I'm hoping to finish my remaining three legs)!

Have you ever ran for a cause before?

1 comment:

Reca said...

I thought road kills were actual dead animals! I feel terrible for my πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ tweet reply now. 😳 And I do love animals, but I'm used to seeing wild animals on the road. I get sad when it's a pet. I think I just dug a deeper hole. 😳

I love hearing the details of these races as I've never done a Ragnar before.