Monday, November 19, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book Three

If you missed the first two posts about Ragnar Tennessee, here are the links to books One and Two.

My second leg was a night run.  I don't have any pictures of this run since it was pitch black outside--holy moly it's dark out in the country!--so I'll share a few random pictures from other parts of the race that don't really fit in elsewhere.

LOVE the Ragnar tattoos! (Anne, me, Kate)
This was taken while Melissa was running her first leg,
right before I climbed my mountain.
Why yes, yes I am.  ;o)
This was taken by Kate after I climbed the mountain.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Melissa passed me the bracelet at 9:38pm Central Time, 10:38pm according to my body's clock.  I wasn't too exhausted at this point.  Often times, I'm still awake at 10:30pm even after running at 5am.  Plus, I had a good meal at dinnertime.  Our van finished our first legs around dinnertime so we moseyed on over to Las Margarita's to eat.  I had two enchiladas that were dee-lish and made my hungry belly very happy.

There I was, running through Winchester, Tennessee.  Never heard of it?  Me either.  But according to the map, it has an airport, so it can't be that small....?

In the beginning of the run, I was running through a small downtown area, there were a few turns and jogs, but they were well marked.  Driver Kurt found two different parking lots to park and wait for me to pass by. 

My team did not get out to scream and cheer like lunatics for this leg.  We had been warned by Ragnar that they were in jeopardy of losing their permits in this area so we had to be very, very quiet while we ran through.  There were Ragnar signs at every mile that read "Respect the Residents" to remind us. Almost our entire van ran through this "quiet zone".  We found places to park for each leg, but we whispered our cheers and high-fived our Rummers.  Quiet fun is totally doable, we just had to get creative.

At about the 2 mile mark, I ran out of the downtown and into the dark.  It was very dark.  There were no more streetlights, no more houses.  It was a very isolating feeling.  I wouldn't say that I felt scared, but I'm glad I knew my team was just a mile or so down the road in the van.  I run in the dark all the time, but my "dark" neighborhood is much different than the pitch black road out in BFE, Tennessee.

While I wasn't (too) scared of the dark, oncoming traffic terrified me.  There were signs on the road, similar to construction signs that warned drivers that runners were on the road.  Most people read the signs and either slowed down or, if there was no traffic coming from the other direction, they crossed over the yellow lines to give me plenty of space.

There were a few drivers who weren't so courteous.  There were several drivers who never turned their high beams off and blinded me (in their defense, they may have forgotten that their brights were on, or they've never been a pedestrian and don't realize that, like oncoming traffic, you should dim your lights) and there were two drivers who actually veered toward me instead of away from me.  Jerks.

Any time I saw a car coming, I moved off the road and onto the gravel shoulder.  There were a few areas where this wasn't possible.  There were a few times that I noticed myself moving toward the middle of the road to run.  What can I say?  It's habit.

I got to cross a bridge, although I wasn't sure it was a bridge until I looked at my Garmin map and saw that I crossed a lake on my leg.  It was so dark that I thought that maybe I was running over water, but couldn't be completely sure.

I think the dark, the traffic and the cold temperature all contributed to the pace of this leg.  Also, it was pretty flat.  Well, flat compared to the mountain that was my first leg.

Garmin Stats
Distance: 5.66mi
Time: 56:03
Average Pace: 9:54mm
Elevation Gain: 194 feet
Elevation Loss: 156 feet

(According to Ragnar's elevation map: elevation gain was 240 and elevation loss was 227.)

I wish I had a picture of the sky for this leg.  The stars were so bright.  We don't get to experience that in the city.  It was beautiful.

When I got to the exchange and passed the bracelet to Anne, I couldn't wait to change my clothes.  I was freezing!  I needed to get the wet, sweaty clothes off as soon as possible.  I ended up changing my clothes in the van while Kurt drove toward Anne's exchange.  That's the thing about Ragnar, you lose all modesty.  I'm pretty sure every single one of us were naked in the back of a van full of people at some point during this race.  All of van mates were polite and averted their eyes.  I'm pretty sure they did, anyway...

Special thanks
~to Angie, Greg, and Kate for taking some of the pictures used in this post, the previous posts and will be used in the next few posts.
~to Mary and Kurt who took 2 days off work to drive our team around Tennessee for the weekend.
~to my fellow Rummers. Without you, I would not have had this wonderful experience.
~to my husband, Randy, for holding down the fort, keeping our children alive and supporting me and this crazy idea.


  1. What a pretty picture you found! Wish we could have seen so much more of this during the daylight. :) Maybe next time.....

  2. Agreed. Nice documentation. I esp love the Awesome pic ;)

  3. The night time legs were my favorite, but the dark of the night creeped me out too! What a great run!


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