Exactly one month ago, my love for movement and health changed dramatically. 200(ish) miles of sweat. (No) sleep. Sun. Stars. My Ragnar SoCal experience was moving, motivating, and more than what I could have ever expected it to be. It was so monumental that it took me a whole month to soak it all up and gather myself to write this. By the way, I love alliteration.
First of all, shout out to my Team Dude Where's My Van, and a very special shout out to my dudes of Van 2 for inspiring and encouraging me for over 32 hours straight. These guys are total badasses! I'll save their badassery for another post though.
So you may be wondering, What is Ragnar? Well, Ragnarians (and Google) will literally say, "Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. You and 11 of your craziest friends (or 5 of your crazier friends for an ultra team) pile into two vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style. Only one runner hits the road at a time." Yup! That's precisely it. But for me, Ragnar was a 200(ish) mile, 32 hour(ish) relay race that I conquered with the love and compassion of 10 sweet strangers and a friend fueling me.
Leg 1: 4.3 Miles of Sun + Sweat
In the midst of the heat and hills of my first leg, I reignited my love for the sport of running--almost as if there was a blazing trail of passion trailing behind me. My favorite part of this leg was probably the surprise staircase I had to run up toward the end... and the seemingly impossible-to-climb hill that followed. Sike! My favorite part was the breezy off the grid, no van-support trail that reminded me of running's meditative powers. Exhilarating, meditative, free... until I got to the stairs. LOL. As I approached the exchange (that's what we call the little catching areas where we exchange the "baton"), I saw my dudes cheering for me. And just like that, crazy smiles, sweat in my eyes, and all, it was over... for the time being!
Leg 2: 4.6 Miles of Solitude + Stars
I'm pretty sure this leg was my favorite, mainly because it was a cool night run aka my favorite running conditions! As my headlamp illuminated my path, I ran through the night with ease and excitement. My favorite moment of this leg was halfway through when I ran past some uneven train tracks, listening to my dudes cheering me on at an adjacent gas station. I'm telling you, these guys are the raddest in the land of Ragnar! This was definitely when I found my inner wild, my pores oozing with passion in my solitude. 4.6 meditative miles of deep inner work.
Leg 3: 3.5 Miles of Meditative Movement
After Leg 2, I was starting to feel my right knee act up. For me, that's pretty good considering the fatigue and impact my body was dealing with for the past 24 hours or so. Listening to my body is something that my yoga journey taught me, so I traded my last leg with one of my teammates. 5.2 miles to 3.5 miles. Much more doable for me at the moment. This last leg took place shortly after Noon on our second day. It was blazing hot, but this leg was a total treat! Since we were Van 2, we ran the last legs of the relay; this meant that we were out of the inland/urban areas and along the coast now! Let me just put it simply: miles of ocean, dodging pedestrians, soaking up the sun, and pushing through pockets of mental traffic. It's honestly hard toward the last leg of your Ragnar experience. Your eyebags have a tendency to weigh heavily, as if to make it harder to run. Your legs feel a little like spaghetti. And you realize you haven't showered in almost two days, even through excessive sweating and rolling around in grass.
I have tons more to share with you about Ragnar. AND GUESS WHAT? Dude Where's My Van got chosen to run the Napa Valley Ragnar this November. This means that I'll be blogging about my training, posting tips, and reflecting on this amazing experience even more throughout the next several months. So if you're running a Ragnar, training, or thinking of doing any sort of crazy, fun, endurance race, stay tuned! Please feel free to post any questions or comments.
Big Love + Bigger Hugs,
For personal questions or direct contact, email me at email@example.com.
Growing up, I was an avid blogger on Xanga, Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress--you name it! Somewhere down the line, I felt like I lost my voice and stopped writing.
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