Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ragnar SoCal Recap Pt 2

     Van 1 consisted of Thomas, Katie, John, Caitlin, Hillary and Paige while Van 2’s line up was myself, Tay, Martha, Bonnie, Cat and Colleen.  After we arrived back at the hotel we worked out a plan of when we would meet back at the van to decorate it, get some food and make our way to the first major exchange. 
     Once we finished the decorating we grabbed a bite to eat at a local chain place that I can’t remember the name of, but it reminded me of Panera Bread.  
     With full bellies we started toward what we all thought was the first exchange but what we really did was start a tradition of going to the wrong place.  We were ten minutes from major exchange 2 NOT 1 when Martha realized the mistake.  We got our shit together and with the help of Tay and GPS we were headed to the right spot.  We were now in a time crunch as we needed to get there, check in, go through the safety briefing and I had to be ready to meet Paige as she came into the exchange.  The only road we could take was a 4 lane road that narrowed down to a 2 lane and to top it off there was an accident there to slow us down.  Just past the accident we were at a light and in the wrong lane so when the light turned green I mashed the gas, squealing the tires and basically drag raced the car next to us, with our mini van to get in the left lane. It freakin' was fun!!!  We ended up making it to the exchange with plenty of time to check in and get ready.

     We got a text from Van 1 they were pulling in and with the crazy sea of vans there was little chance they would find us but Colleen did her best to signal them!!
     I waited at the exchange shoot for Paige, the whole area was electric!  DJ spinning some great tunes, runners in cute and funny costumes were everywhere cheering on every runner that came in and out of the exchange. 
     I saw Paige coming at me with her tutu on, the whole team formed a tunnel for her to run through.  When she reached me we gave each other a hug and off I went, back through the team tunnel. 
     This was my longest leg at 9.8 miles and I was dreading it due to the elevation climb I was going to have.  My legs felt a little stiff but they seemed to get better a couple of miles into the run.  I got to the first turn where I was supposed to cross traffic and then turn but the volunteer said to just turn.  I went about 2 blocks then there was a sign to cross traffic and continue so I did.  Then 2 blocks later I was to make a right turn, crossing back to the other side and continue running.  It was so frustrating going back and forth but because you were at intersections and you had to wait for the lights to cross and that just killed my avg pace.  The next 5 or 6 miles weren’t that bad, no major turns and mostly flat with a few rolling hills.  After that though, holly shit was it a climb.  Don’t get me wrong it was steep but not as steep as I thought it would be, but it just kept going up with one small flat spot in the middle.  I got to just under a mile, my legs were on fire and I realized my power walk would be faster than my running.  After my legs cooled down a bit I could see the exchange and my adrenaline kicked in and I ran it out to the finish. 
     Tay took over at that point and Cat took over driving so I could recuperate.  We cycled through most of our van with no major issues till we headed to exchange 11.  There was a major traffic jam getting into the parking lot and the volunteers they had didn’t know what the heck they were doing.  We were still sitting in traffic when I had Martha help Colleen get ready and the two of them jumped out of the van and headed on foot to the exchange.  They just made it as Cat was coming in and we finally got into the parking lot.  We collected Cat and headed to the halfway point for Colleen’s leg to cheer her on...
...which was good in theory, except Colleen is freakin’ fast and got there before we did.  Once we realized she was past us we burned rubber to get to the major exchange point to meet up with van 1.  We were waiting in the turn lane at the park when we saw Colleen cruise by us.  Unfortunately there was another traffic jam and it was much easier for van 1 to collect Colleen and meet us just down the street.  We talked with van 1 for a few minutes and made our way to the mid-point hotel to relax.  By this time my little headache had turned into a full blown migraine and I was feeling like shit.
After we checked in we went across the street to a wanna be Denny’s that had horrible service.  We waited almost 20 minutes to be seated and another 20 before I decided to just head back to the hotel, take some meds and try and kick the migraine. 
     Once we all cycled through showers we really only had about an hour or so to rest, which led to one of the funniest parts of the trip.  Not long after we crashed, I started to hear through the wall a couple having a pretty good time, well she sounded like she was enjoying it anyway.  The funny part was that no one else heard it and it became a running joke the rest of the trip!

To be continued…


  1. It's so fun to see what Van 2 was up to--thanks for the recaps! I love the pic of Colleen with the flags ;)

  2. Agreed, nice look into Van Two!