Monday, October 31, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 2

For my readers who are unfamiliar with Ragnar Relays, their road races are 200(ish) miles long and teams are made up of 12 runners (6 runners for an ultra team).  The 12 runners are split up into 2 vans.  Runners 1-6 in van 1 and runners 7-12 in van 2.  The locations where one runner finishes and another runner begins are called exchanges. 

To begin, Van 1 heads to the starting line where runner 1 begins.  Each runner in van 1 takes a turn running and after runner 6 is finished, van 2 meets van 1 at exchange 6 where runner 7 begins.  After runner 12 is finished, van 1 begins again.  Each runner runs three times.  Runner 12 ends his/her third leg at the finish line where the rest of the team is waiting and all 12 teammates run across the finish line together.

I was in van 1 as runner 3 so we went to the starting line.  Our start time was 6:20am so we were all up bright and early.

At the starting line.
Meg, Kari, Jenni, Pam, Gracie, me
Here's the line up for van 1:
1. Jennifer
2. Pam
3. Me
4. Kari
5. Gracie
6. Meg

A few miles into Jenni's first leg, I went live on Bondi Band's Facebook page:

Posting as Bondi Band on their Facebook page was one of the highlights of the weekend for us social media junkies.

My first run, 3 miles, started at 8:38am and it was already hot.  I took my time, took a few pictures and enjoyed the scenery.  For three miles I thought to myself, "I'm running in freaking Hawaii!"

About a mile in.  I was on a bridge, there's a waterfall down there!
Mile 2ish
Every Ragnarian's favorite sign.
After our 6th runner finished, van 2 took over and van 1 went in search of food.  We found a pizza place.  I have no idea what it was called and I don't even know what town we were in, but we filled our hungry bellies and we changed our clothes in a bathroom with plumbing, as opposed to a porta potty or in the back of the van.

It was raining when we came out of the pizza place and when we got to exchange 12, where van 1 would take over the running again, we saw this.

I've never seen the end of a rainbow before but we saw it then!  The rainbow touched the ground on the driveway so the vans driving into the exchange to park were driving through it.  It was so cool.

We had no cell phone service at this exchange.  We had spotty service throughout the race but there was absolutely nothing for service at the exchange.  Our van drove down the road a bit to try to find service so we could contact van 2 to find out how long we had before they showed up.  We never got a hold of I said, spotty we went back to the exchange to wait.

Then it got dark.  Really dark.  And cold.  And Windy.  The six of us huddled in the van.  We had a rough idea of when our runner 12 would come in, but no one was in a hurry to get out of the nice warm van to try to find van 2.

Around 7pm, teammates from both vans connected in the dark parking lot and shortly after, runner 12 came into the exchange!

Jennifer was wary about running alone, in the dark, down a mountain, in the wind for 9 miles so Pam volunteered to run with her and then run her own leg (she's a beast).

At 9:12pm, it was my turn again.  I got to run 8ish miles in the dark.

I love the dark.  I'm afraid to swim in water with fish, but I love running in the dark.  How messed up is that?

I was mildly nervous about this leg, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the dark.  I've been dealing with a minor but nagging hip injury for the past 2 months.  I hadn't run more than 4 miles in the last month to hopefully rest my hip enough to heal least to make it feel better.  It felt better, obviously it was healing and I knew I'd power through my runs in Hawaii whether I had pain or not, but I'd really rather not hurt.  Luckily, my hip did just fine.  It was a little stiff, but no pain.  Whew.

I was hoping to Facebook Live during my night leg, but since I had no service, there was no Live.  I took a regular video but it will only load sideways.  Sigh.  Technology.

But I did selfie with the One Mile To Go sign.  Of course I did.

After all of Van 1 was finished with our second legs, we talked about heading to the next major exchange (exchange 24), where we would start running our third legs, and taking a nap in the van.  This is what our team did when I ran Ragnar Tennessee, and I think this is the norm.

However, after consulting the map, we discovered that exchange 24 is only a 40 minute drive from the house we were staying in for the weekend.  The better idea was to go to the house and nap laying down.  On a bed.  And take showers.  Yes.  It was unanimous.

We all took quick showers and had only a 2 hour nap to make sure we got to exchange 24 before our runner 12.

Van 1 at exchange 24, ready and waiting!
My third leg began at 8:26am.  The temp was already in the 80s and getting hotter.  Ugh.  I dislike running in the heat.  Not that I expect y'all to feel sorry for me; I was in Hawaii, after all.

My leg was 3ish miles long and Pam wanted to run it with me (after she ran her own leg).  She'd discovered that with the extra leg she ran with Jenni, she'd be close to having 26 miles total...but not quite.  We runners have a strange adoration for things 26 (point two) so she ran my three miles with me.  I love running with friends.

Check out this pic that Jenni snapped of Pam and I heading into the exchange.

It looks eerily similar to the Moms Run This Town logo:

Coincidence?  Nah....

Since I've been home, I've been asked, more than once, what it was like meeting Pam.  Pam is the founder of Moms Run This Town and is a celebrity in the MRTT community.  When I found out that I won this trip, I was excited to go to Hawaii to run and thrilled to be running for Bondi Band, but I was even more excited to meet THE Pam Burrus.

Pam is exactly how I imagined she'd be: beautiful inside and out.  She's kind and funny and supportive and encouraging and upbeat and generous and helpful and a lot of fun to be around.

Pam is everything that MRTT stands for.  It takes a special energetic and dedicated person (with just a little crazy thrown in) to create and grow our awesome community of women.  Women are not always easy to deal with (what?!?!) so she also has to be patient and understanding...often.

I really enjoyed spending time with her cramped in a stinky van for 200 miles.

Hang Loose Haoles finish line photo!

I couldn't resist a selfie with the scenery in the background!
And that's it.  My Hawaii trip came and went in a blur.  There was a lot of laughter, quite a bit of running and a noticeable lack of sleep.  It was everything a runcation in paradise should be...and more.

About the clothes...
Leg 1: I wore the Vixen in Razz (on sale now!).  I adore the ruffles at the bottom, the asymmetrical lines and the 5.5 inch shorties underneath.

Leg 2:  I wore the Redemption Capri in Stargaze (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  These are my absolute favorite capris (I have three pairs).  They have a zippered pocket in the back and they fit like a dream.

Leg 3:  I wore the Cascade in Enchanted (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  I love the layered look of this skirt and the 5.5 inch sorties underneath.

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 1

I've been home for a week and I'm still having trouble finding the words to tell y'all about my Hawaiian Adventure with Bondi Band's Ragnar team.

I'll just start at the beginning and show you lots of pictures of the gorgeousness I got to look at for 4 days.

My plane left Columbus on Tuesday night.  I had the last flight out of Cbus to LA so I could have the first flight out of LA on Wednesday morning.  Yes, that meant I'd have to hang out at LAX all night, but it also meant I'd get to The Big Island at 1pm and have much of the day left to enjoy.

I wasn't alone in LA all night.  Another teammate, Jennifer, was also flying into LA Tuesday night and had a long layover.  We were on the same flight out of LA at 7:45am.

Exhausted and excited.
I'm guessing it was around 3am.
I barely remember Wednesday night.  After being up for 36 hours, I think I passed out before my head hit the pillow....but I do remember the sunset.

Sunset Wednesday Night

There were three Moms Run This Town chapter leaders on our team.  A few years ago, an associate at a local running store mistook our group name for Moms Take Over This Town.  He spoke the truth that day.  We do, indeed, tend to take over.

With Pam and Jennifer
We have a thing for unicorns.

Thursday morning, we hiked to a lagoon.  Rumor had it that sea turtles hang out there and we can swim with them.  We can swim with them, but we can't touch them.  There's a hefty fine for touching the turtles so we were careful to keep our hands to ourselves.

The Big Island is more rocky than sandy.  We hiked over fields and mounds of igneous rock to get to the lagoon.

Hindsight: hiking over all that rock the day before we begin a 200 mile relay probably wasn't the best idea but....Hawaii.

Oh, how I love palm trees.
The Lagoon from afar.

This dude was just chillin' on the beach.  No one touched, promise.  We were told that our touch can remove protective oils from the turtle.  I'm not sure if that's actually true, but no one wanted that to happen so we didn't test it.

I sent this picture to my little ladies and told them I found Squirt!  Finding Nemo reference....anyone?


We saw lots of turtles.  They didn't come near us, but they didn't seem bothered that we were there, either.
I'm really glad I learned to swim last winter.
The current pushed me to areas where the water was over my head several times.
We took a few team pics on our hike.  Well, not the whole team, one of our teammates is the Nathan rep and he was working packet pickup so he couldn't hang with us until after the event.  There were two other men on our team.  One was the photographer and the other didn't want to be the only dude in the picture.

The ladies of Bondi Band's Hang Loose Haoles

Hangin' Loose
As far as "sight seeing" goes, this was all I did.  Thursday night, the ladies of Van 1 went to bed early because we started running at 6:20 on Friday morning!

The rest of our sight seeing was done on foot as we ran across the island.  In my teeny tiny humble opinion, it was the best way to see the fabulous Big Island.

I'll stop here.  I don't want to break the Internet with all of my pictures.

The rest of my story will come in a few days.

Have you ever run a Ragnar?  This was my third.  I've also run Tennessee Road and West Virginia Trail
Have you ever been to Hawaii?  First timer, here!

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.