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.