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Friday, November 5, 2010

Enough about the Ragnar, already!

Sorry, but I’ve got more photos to share!

Running at sunrise

Have you ever witnessed the sunrise and moonset simultaneously?  Utterly amazing.  If it weren’t for the Ragnar Relay, I never would have.  I was able to even appreciate it mid-way through my third relay leg of a 6-mile run with a bum knee.  It was that spectacular.

And at moonset.

My first hand-off

So here’s my report on my personal performance.  My first and most difficult leg was 8.8 hilly miles and I felt great and did better than I thought I would.  My right knee wasn’t an issue like I feared and I just plugged along and passed a butt-load of people – that always feels good!  I ended up finishing that leg in 80 minutes, so about 9 minute miles.  Some might snicker at that, but for me that’s great!  My second leg was 4.3 miles.  It started off with three killer hills and then flattened out.  My knee was definitely talking to me, but I wasn’t feeling like it was hindering me at the time, though my time averaged about 9:30-minute miles.  That leg was less than half the distance of my previous run but felt just as long to me.  The exhaustion was starting to set in.

Waving our street-crossing flag.  Safety first!

After our van completed our second legs, we settled at the main nighttime rest stop/exchange station to try to rest/sleep for a few hours.  We were traveling in a huge Suburban, which was fantastic for traveling but not so much for sleeping.  We’d brought our sleeping bags but it was just too cold outside so we hunkered down and tried to rest in various positions inside the ‘Burban.  I didn’t sleep but figured it was still good to relax and rest for a while.  My third leg was supposed to be 3 miles downhill.  Heaven.  Well, we had to do a little switch-a-rooing because one of our poor teammates got sick, so I got to run her leg.  The good news was that it was mostly flat.  The bad news was that it was friggin’ 6.9 miles!

I totally look like a professional, don't I?

I knew my knee was going to give me fits.  It wasn’t feeling great even at rest.  But I was hoping for the best.  And I got the worst.  No, I acknowledge it could’ve been worse, but it didn’t take me many steps to realize that it wasn’t going to be pretty.  I kept up a jog as long as I could and then would have to stop and walk as fast as possible.  Then I’d force a jog again and I went on and on like that for 6.9 of the longest miles ever run/walked in the history of the world.  I think my jogging pace matched my walking pace and my teammates kept offering to jump in for me, but I told them I could do it as long as they didn’t mind me doing verrrry sloooooow miles.  I experienced what it felt like to be passed – it stinks.  You feel slow.  To my credit, I did pass two people!  Sure one girl was tying her shoe but she never caught up and the other one was also just going incredibly slow and, amazingly, my pace was faster than hers!  She was probably a recovering chemotherapy patient or something and here I am griping about an injured knee!  I was actually pretty chipper and cheerful, yelling to the other runners passing me by because I was feeling pretty good.  I wasn’t working as hard as I could because I was being forced to go so slow.  That’s what was most frustrating: I felt good enough to push it but my knee just wouldn’t let me!  It took me as long to finish that leg – 80 minutes – as it did my first run which was a good 2 miles longer!

I find that as I’m further away from the event, I’m already starting to romanticize it a little.  I was even discussing with one of my teammates some training methods on how we could improve our times for next year.  What?!?  We actually care?  We actually might do it again?  We also discussed how it’s like having babies:  I can’t believe any of us do that more than once; but we do…and we love it!

See ya next year, Ragnar!


  1. Sharon
    Thanks so much for stepping in for us at last minute. You were a rock star and it was fun having you on our psycho team. You summed up Ragnar just about the same way I felt about it. 1st run is a blast with everybody full of energy. Night runs are different but I enjoy them the most. Wish I could sleep have not done that in 2 years. Last run was a killer I had to push myself to the limit. Good thing I know I have 11 other teammates that are cheering for me. Loved finishing to "We are the Champion" It made it all worth it. I will be out there again next year!!!!

  2. Sharon-
    You did great and an awesome job!! It's so funny to read yours and think i was thinking the same thing on parts.
    I love your blog I also have one with my perspective of the Ragnar as well.
    Since your new to blogging if you need any help with yours feel free to ask i've had mine a few years and would love to help.

  3. Sharon, I must really love you as it has taken me so long to figure out how to even respond because of my limited computer abilities. I thought your Blog was great. You are amazing. It was fun to read and see what you are thinking. I am very proud of you. Love mom