Lassen Hiking and Lava Caves

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I love where I live. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a pretty quick drive from home and I am able to go there pretty often. I love hiking and enjoying nature. Lassen is the perfect place to enjoy a day off work.

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In August my friends Sam, Meredith, and I decided to go hike in Lassen. We decided to hike to Bumpass Hell. Bumpass Hell is the volcanic area where you can see hot pool and stuff.

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A Few weeks ago, my friend Mindy and I went to Lassen and the Subway cave. The Subway Cave is located near Lassen. It is a cave/tunnel that was formed by Lava flow. I had read about it and was excited to go explore.

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We put our headlamps on and our jackets (it is 46 degrees in the cave) and headed for the cave. It was really cool! The Subway Cave is a cave/tunnel that was formed by Lava flow. I had read about it and was excited to go explore.

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After the cave Mindy and I decided to stop at Lassen National Park to eat our lunches. We decided to hike Kings Creek Trail to the falls. Every hike in Lassen is beautiful! The whole hike is along this creek and ends at this beautiful waterfall. We enjoyed every piece of the hike. There is this little bridge across the water and we sat for our lunches there. After talking and eating we decided to head back. During lunch we took off our shoes. With our shoes off we decided to hike the trip back shoeless. Since I love being barefoot I enjoyed this experience and can’t wait to hike again barefoot.

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Can’t wait till our next barefoot hike!

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley (Part 2)

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Our next runs were going to be night legs. Night legs are always really fun. The first leg for our van, Lauren’s leg, was so cool. The start was decorated with this long path full of lights. It really got all of us pumped for our runs! After Lauren took off I started getting all of my stuff ready. Night runs are crazy because it is so dark. Ragnar is awesome because they require everyone to wear a forward light, a reflective vest, and a rear blinking light on all night runs.

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My run started at a park in Santa Rosa. I was ready to get my run started so I could conquer the hill and know I only had one leg left to run! As Lauren ran in and slapped to me I started running up the hill. This hill was killer. I ran a lot of it but did walk a lot of it as well. After the fist hundred feet or so, it was really dark. There were no street lights and all I had was my headlight. The fog was also really thick and my light just reflected off the fog. I couldn’t see more than 3 feet in front of me. There were also a lot of tree roots coming through the sidewalk. This was by far the most dangerous run I have ever done. As I came into the next exchange I was so proud of myself. I killed the hill and I finished super strong.

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I was so excited I jumped up to slap the bracelet on Valerie. As I came down from my jump there were a lot of wet leaves on the ground and I slipped and fell straight on my butt. It was so embarrassing as there were about 50 people standing around and saw the whole thing. Thankfully I didn’t hurt myself but it was really funny.

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After all of legs were finished we planned to go get food. On the way we ran into a lot of traffic. We found out that the other van, between a couple of runners decided to take a detour and go get ice. They were so far away from their exchange with their runner coming in soon. We decided to go to the exchange to pick up their runner and Lauren (our runner) would run their next leg so they could get to the next exchange without worry. Lesson learned don’t stop anywhere between your runners. Just go straight to the next exchange. When we arrived at the exchange they still weren’t there and I started to prepare in case I needed to run their next leg too. Thankfully they showed up just before Lauren came in and they were able to finish the rest of their legs.

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After the craziness we went to find food and chill before our next set of legs. As soon as we sat down to eat, we got word that the other van was almost finished with their legs and we were going to have to run again soon. We packed up our sandwiches and headed for the next meeting place. Since Lauren had taken one runners leg, one of their runners took Lauren’s run. (I was so jealous because Lauren was finished with her runs and the weather started getting hotter and hotter.) Finally I was ready for my final leg. I waited and waited. It got Hotter and Hotter. I was started to get worried that the heat was going to be a major problem on my run.

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Finally I was able to start my last 2ish miles! With water in my hand I started running. It was so HOT! I was running by all these vineyards and grape vines and just praying for some shade. It was so hot that when there was a little piece of shade I would just walk through it so I could actually stay a little cooler. Finally I could see the finish line and I picked up my pace. The finish was beautiful with all these grape vines. I was so excited to be done! I had finished my second Ragnar!!

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When our last runner was finally off we headed for the finish line. We were all so excited to be Ragnarians and get to the finish line to meet the rest of our team and get our beers. We all crossed the finish line together and took a million pictures! Those of us who did both SoCal and Napa got our massive Gold Rush medals and took pictures as a team. Sadly Ragnar had not gotten our Napa Valley medals in time and we weren’t able to get our finishers medals. After all the pictures we headed to the party area and got our beers and hung out before our drive back.

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IMG_3164Our Fearless Drivers!

Every Ragnar is so AWESOME! We had such a great time. My runs sucked but I still enjoyed it so much! During every Ragnar I think “why the heck do I do this?” The day after through all my exhaustion I always start dreaming of my next Ragnar. I think the next one will be SoCal again in April! I can’t wait.

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Those of us that finished both SoCal and Napa got an extra medal that was huge!

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Ragnar Napa Valley (part 1)

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After the fun we had at Ragnar SoCal, Team Tough Chik decided we needed to do another Ragnar. At first I was hesitant to sign up. With the job I have now I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time to train and be able to take the time off work to go to San Francisco. For weeks our Mamma Chik kept posting that there were still spots left. After a few weeks I finally decided to commit to running in my second ever Ragnar.

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Signing up was the easy part. I wrote out a training plan, put on my running shoes, and started running laps around campus. Every run was like ripping my lungs out. I found out very quickly that running in altitude SUCKS!!! A few weeks into training I also broke my toe, jumping off a chair. I continued to tape my toe and put my shoes and run. Ragnar is all about overcoming obstacles and persevering through everything, after all.

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I was assigned the legs with the big hills. I don’t know if they purposely did this because they thought “she lives on a mountain, she can run hills.” Or if it was just my luck of the draw. My first leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill. My second leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill, and my third leg was thankfully 2.2 miles flat. I knew if I could just get through the first two legs I would be golden.

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As Ragnar approached, I started putting my outfits together and making a list to pack. I went back to my Ragnar SoCal blogs and looked at what I had wished I had brought. I was determined to make this Ragnar better than the last.

Finally Ragnar came and I drove down to San Francisco with Kiwi (my hedgehog) on my lap. I arrived at my Uncle’s house (where I was staying the night before the run) at around 1am. One of my teammates was planning to pick me up at 5:30am to get to the start line. I was so excited when she picked me up and so ready to begin this crazy 2 days.

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We all met at the start line to see off our first runner and cheer her on. It was so fun to be a team and to meet everyone. After the first runner was off our van (Van 2) headed to the Golden gate bridge to take in some of the SF sights and see our runner in. The atmosphere at the bridge was so exciting! One reason I love Ragnar is the people. Everyone is so friendly and CRAZY! It’s always fun taking with the other teams.

IMG_3086Our Van

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ragnar napa

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After pictures and hanging out we headed for some food and to get ready for our first legs. I was the Second runner in our van and knew I needed to be ready to go pretty quickly after Lauren started her leg. Part of me was excited for my leg and part dreading the HILL.

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leg 1Leg one Map

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My first leg was really hard. It was hot and the hill was crazy. It was like climbing a mountain. In total I climbed 569 FT in 2.7 miles. The hill was also completely stopped with construction. I was basically running on the white line of the shoulder with all these cars and construction. We even had to cross the road twice. I almost ran out of water going up. Thankfully right as I was drinking my last bit there was a water stop. After I finished my leg I was so hot and tired and so happy to be done with run 1.

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After all our legs we got food and went to the hotel for some sleep. At the hotel we were able to go in the Jacuzzi and take showers before sleeping for a couple hours. The time went way too fast and before we knew it, we had to get up and head to the next meeting point.

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Valerie and I after our first legs

Napa

The week of July 4 m parents and our good family friends (more like family) were staying in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is about a 4.5 hour drive from where I live so I decided I needed to spend my days off with them. I drove down on Sunday morning and met them at their time share. It was a beautiful drive.

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When I got there they informed me we were going to eat at the Russian River Brewery. I was very excited about this because while I don’t like wine, I really like beer. My cousin Cameron loves The Pliny Elder at Russian River so I was excited to try it. When we go there Jay ordered the sampler which has a glass of each beer so you can try all of them. After trying a bunch of different ones we ordered our beers and some Pizza bites. The beer was good and the Pizza was really good as well.

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The next few days were spent at Winery’s doing tastings.  The Napa Valley is a beautiful area and we enjoyed time outside. I really enjoyed relaxing and taking more time with family.

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I was even able to meet up with my friend Grace and her adorable kids. They live in Santa Rosa and it was awesome getting to spend some time with her and meeting her kids. I definitely want to go back down there another time to see them.

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I even found a cemetery to walk around

It was a great few days that were over too quickly.

Mt Shasta City with My Grandparents

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I few weeks ago I spent my days off with my grandparents. My grandparents have been spending the summer driving their RV up through California. They decided to stop in Mt. Shasta City so that I could visit with them. I drove out on Sunday morning and spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with them.

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We just relaxed and visited. It was so nice to not have much to do and just enjoy family. We ate good food, walked Cali (their dog), and read books.

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Mt Shasta City is a beautiful, small city. From almost everywhere in the city you can see Mt Shasta covered in snow. I really loved my weekend and getting spoiled by my grandparents.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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A couple weeks ago I went to hike in Lassen National Park. I planned to hike to Bumpass Hell which is the volcanic area. Unfortunately there was too much snow to do the hike that I had planned. I knew there was still going to be snow but I didn’t realize how much snow there was going to be. It was incredible.

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After driving around for a while I decided to hike to Echo Lake. There was still quite a bit of snow on this hike but it was beautiful! The snow made the temperature perfect for hiking. I still got hot and sweaty but wasn’t as hot as if I had been hiking in Redding.

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I am looking forward to hiking in Lassen again when there is less snow.

Quartz Hill Hike

It’s hard to believe I am so far behind on my posts. I have been so busy with my new job that I am too exhausted on my days off to write.
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A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to take my day off and go on a long hike. Fortunately before moving here, my mom bought me a book of day hikes in this area. I looked up a few hikes and decided on the Quartz Hill area and the Hornbeck Trail. It said that it was around 8 miles round trip. This was before it started getting really here.

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I set off around 10am and drove to the hike starting point. This hike was absolutely beautiful. It was all along and above the Sacramento River. I loved every part of it.

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It was such a perfect day out and it was so nice to enjoy the Lord’s beautiful creation. I took a few detours down to the water and the lookout so my hike ended up around 9 miles. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t totally prepared physically for 9 miles hiking. I was so sore the rest of the day and the next couple of days. I even ended up with blisters on my feet because I chose to wear older shoes.

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Next time I will be more prepared.

Ragnar Part 4- Last legs and Finish

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IMG_1996When we arrived at the Glider port at the top of Torrey Pines we were met with once again a crazy amount of vans. It was chaos driving in.  Finally we found a place to park and settled in for a little while. I knew I needed to sleep a little so I stretched out in the front seat and closed my eyes. I was finally able to sleep about an hour off and on. After I got up I realized that I might be sick because of dehydration and started drinking a lot of water and Nuun. After a few bottles I was starting to feel a little better. We walked around the glider port and waited for our other van. Finally they said they were on our way. We were so excited for our final legs. We were also pretty jealous of all the people walking around already finished with their final legs. Being van 2 is hard because van 1 is finished and so excited and we were just starting on a few more hours of running.

0182_ML1_02760171_ML1_0251Holding up our third leg

After a lot of pictures and silliness, Helen was finally running in. There we so many people there and we all cheered her in and cheered Amy off on her final leg. Once Amy was running we got in our van and headed for the next exchange. We stopped to get gas along the way. While we were at the gas station, my mom and I ran across the street to a liquor store to pick up some beer for Amy as she finished her leg. She loves beer and kept talking about running for beer so we knew we had to get her some. We stopped at one point in her run to check and see if she needed anything as well. The place we stopped was a blind turn and we directed a lot of people to turn there as the sign was hard to see. We were worried that someone was going to miss the turn. As she finished her leg and handed the bracelet to my mom, she was so excited to be finished with her final leg. We surprised her with her beer and headed to the next exchange.

0174_ML1_0266Helen handing off to Amy

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At the next exchange my mom handed off to Kathy and I started to get nervous for my last run. My last run was 7.5 miles. Thankfully I was starting to feel better and was looking forward to getting my run over with. I also knew that my run was supposed to beautiful around Mission Bay. Finally we reached my exchanged at Mission Bay and I prepared to take the slap bracelet from Kathy. When she finally came in I took the bracelet and ran off. I only ran a few feet before I got stopped at a  stop light still in the exchange. Finally I was able to run and hit the Mission Bay board walk. It was a beautiful area, even though it was very crowded. I enjoyed watching the people and making myself keep running. Thankfully I wore my garmin this time so I knew my distances.

 

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KathyKathy Ready to go

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0199_ML1_0305Kathy coming in

0202_ML1_0308Kathy passing to me

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At mile 2 my van met me with water and pictures. It was nice to finally be cheered on during a run. At mile 3 I turned a corner and was met with 31 stairs up. I thought I was going to die as I ran those stairs. I kept running and running and running. At one point there was a group of people standing on the side of the road cheering for all of the runner and holding beer yelling “this is what you’re running for.” It was a fun run but I was getting really hot and tired. My legs were starting to feel terrible. I knew if I stopped to walk for a little I wouldn’t be able to start running again. Finally after what seemed forever, I saw the one mile to go sign. After that I was hit with a lot of wind and smoke from camp fires. It made for a really long last mile. Finally I saw the exchange and all I could think of was jumping in the water. As I handed off the bracelet I took my shoes off and put my feet in the water. Such a good choice!

Jessy (3)

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IMG_2015My moment of joy after finishing!!

We had planned to meet Casey at about 3 miles and Tina would take over for her there. Casey’s feet were really blistered and she was hurting. After that 3 mile mark there were some big hills on her leg. As we waited for Casey I changed, foam rolled, and stretched. I was feeling really stiff and sore but was so happy to finally be done with my legs.

As Tina took over we cheered for her and went to the hills to cheer for her there. She gave us the Finger as we drove by. These hills really were killer. Next we met Tina at the exchange to see how she was doing. Tina is so funny. She came into the exchange yelling, “what do I do, where do I go.” We just looked at her and laughed. She decided she was feeling good and kept running. We then started heading to the finish line. After getting a little  bit turned around in downtown San Diego we finally made it to the convention center and the finish line. We were so excited to realize we were finally finished with our legs! We waited and waited and waited for Tina to come. It seemed like her leg was taking forever and we were worried that maybe she got lost.

0229_ML1_0339running up what is now called whore hill

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Tina running into the exchange through our toilet paper finish line

Finally we saw her as my mom and Kathy ran in with her. Once she was in the last hundred feet or so the rest of us met up with them and ran over the finish line together! We were all so excited to be finished and receive our medals. We took pictures and signed the Ragnar wall.

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0245_ML1_0369Our team at the finish!

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Van 1 had bought us all cupcakes so we celebrated together by eating cupcakes. After our cupcakes we headed back to the van and to find some food. We originally had planned to go to this Pizza place but it was too crowded (it was a Saturday night). Instead we decided to keep driving. I was driving and everyone else was sleeping in the back. I decided we should just stop at Chipotle closer to Shannon’s house.

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We ate our Chipotle and headed to Shannon’s house to unload and drive home. Finally by time I was home all I wanted was a nice warm shower and to go to bed!

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I loved the entire Ragnar experience! I was really proud of myself for running all of my legs without stopping and felt like I really accomplished something great! I am definitely look for my next Ragnar and may just be training for a half marathon in the near future.

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Ragnar Part 3- legs 13-24

When we left off we had just sent Tina on her First leg and were headed to Doheny State Beach.

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We arrived at Doheny state beach to wait for Tina to run in and hand off the slap bracelet  to van one. As we drove into the parking lot we were once again overwhelmed by the amount of vans that were in the parking lot. At this point we were starting to get really cold. We hoped out of the van in search for the other van and the Ragnaliens. As we walked through the parking lot we continued to “tag” other vans. (Tagging other vans consisted of writing TTC, Tough Chik, or stenciling our chik on their vans. Others put stickers of magnets on vans to show they had tagged it.)

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We finally found the mass of people waiting for runners and searched for the rest of our team. We finally found them with someone in a chicken suit. All but my mom quickly realized it was Shannon dressed up as a chicken. Mom took a little convincing before she understood who was in the chicken.

As Tina ran in she didn’t even notice Lisa standing there waiting for her and ran right past all of us screaming her name. Finally she stopped and handed off the bracelet. Then we headed to our van in search of some food. Ragnar gets you on a weird eating schedule. You don’t have time to eat when your van is running so you have to wait until later. We ate breakfast and then ate dinner with little snacks in between. Peanut Butter pretzels saved me! We ended up eating at Wahoos. At that point our main criteria for eating was somewhere we could sit down, inside, with a real bathroom, and that was open.

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Sleeping on the beach

After a quick meal we drove to the next major exchange at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater in Oceanside, in hopes of a little sleep before our next set of legs. I had been texting with my dad and uncle Paul, so as soon as we found a parking spot my mom and I grabbed our sleep stuff and walked to the beach. The rest of the group stayed and slept in the van. My mom and I soon found my dad and Uncle Paul sleeping on a big silver tarp on the beach. We layed out our sleeping bags and cuddled in for some sleep. I didn’t sleep at all as I kept checking the time, and updated pace calculator so we would know when they were close. I was so worried we would be asleep when our runner came in.

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After a few hours we got up and headed to the van to get Amy ready for her first night run. We all walked down to the exchange point and waited for Helen to run in. Her leg was only about 2 miles so we knew she would get there soon. As she came in we cheered and cheered for her to slap the bracelet on Amy and cheered as Amy ran off. Van 1 wasn’t at the exchange yet so we guided Helen up to the top of the pier where we could meet the other van. After some pictures, the other van found us and we were off to the next exchange. On the way to our van it started to rain a little bit. All I could think was, “Amy is going to kill us if it rains.” Thankfully the rain was short-lived.

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The night exchanges were weird and went by in a blur. Most of the team stayed in the van while one person and the next runner went to the exchange point. The previous runner slapped the bracelet on the next one and the guide and runner went to the car to go to the next exchange.

For all the night legs we were required to wear a forward facing light, a rear blinking light, and a safety vest while running. Anyone out of the van was required to wear a vest anytime they were out of the van. We had brought good running vests to run in but, also brought cheep construction vests that were nice to throw on when we were just out of the van.

My night leg came quickly and I was excited to get it done with. The Race Bible said my leg was 2.2 miles flat, so I knew I would do it quickly and without any issues. As I started my run I turned my first corner and all I saw was hill. Up the hill we ran, and then down a little, then back up, then down a little, then up some more. By the time I finally saw the “One Mile to Go” sign I couldn’t believe I was only half way. Thankfully after more up hill I finally saw the volunteer where we were to turn to go to the school with the exchange. As I was running to the corner I saw a Tennis ball in the gutter and almost stopped to pick it up for my pup. Finally we turned and ran up another hill to the school.

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I was so thankful my leg was done and was so tired after not sleeping and running those hills. I was also feeling really sick. I had started feeling sick after my first run. I think it was due to dehydration and the not  sleeping was just making it worse. Casey ran her leg, and Tina started hers. When Tina started her run we were looking at our clocks hoping that Tina would finish her run after the “night” hours. 6:30pm- 6:30am were night hours and we were required to wear our night gear. Lisa was estimated to have to run all of her legs in night gear and we really wanted her to have one run without it.

Amy (2)

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It was so cold waiting for Tina

0147_ML1_0219Cheering for random runners

0152_ML1_0224Go Tina

We met Tina at her half way point as we cheered and made an arch for every person that ran by. We were still really cold. I had my blanket wrapped around my like a towel and my jacket on and then my lovely orange vest over it. Next time I definitely need to bring warmer clothes. After seeing Tina and taking her night gear as it was 6:30 we headed to the next exchange. Once at the exchange we  met up with the other van and got ready for Tina to come in. Finally she came in yelling for the bathroom and running off to the porta potty. Finally we were ready for some breakfast. We headed to Pipes Café in Encinitas and ate some delicious breakfast. I was still feeling really sick but was able to pick at some eggs, bacon, and fruit. After breakfast we headed to our final major exchange.

0154_ML1_0226Marking off our runs!

0155_ML1_0229Waiting for Tina

Final legs and Finish coming up Tomorrow!

 

 

 

Ragnar Socal Part 2- Legs1-12

I know, I know… I’m so far behind on blogs! I am trying to get Ragnar finished by tomorrow and do a post about my North Carolina trip to post on Wednesday!  For now here is part 2 for Ragnar

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After meeting our Ragnar team on Thursday night and decorating the vans, everyone was so excited to start the next day. I went home that night and finished packing my things and got went to sleep, ready for the next 48 hours of craziness.

We woke up at 4:50am and put our first set of running clothes on. We were supposed to meet the team at 5:30 at the start line. Julie was coming to our house and the rest of the team was meeting at Shannon’s to drive to the start line in Huntington Beach.  As we arrived at the beach and the start line, we noticed hundreds of huge white vans, all decked out in window paint and decorations ready for Ragnar. There was such an excitement in the air as everyone couldn’t wait to start their race.

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The girls from our van helped Van 1 check in and get ready for their first legs. Lisa was ready for the start at 6:15 and got ready for the 6:15 wave. After more pictures we were so excited and ready to begin. Lisa started and we were off to the vans. Van 1 was to go to the next transition and our plan was to go eat some breakfast. Van 2 didn’t have to run until later so we had time to kill before getting to exchange 6.

0030_ML1_0044Getting all sorted

0025_ML1_0039Lisa Getting warmed up before her start

LisaLisa at the Start line

0040_ML1_0060Shannon and Lisa just before the start

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0044_ML1_0066 Go Lisa

10157258_10152308466879618_1432628590_nNuun was a great Sponsor and set us tons of Nuun and water bottles for Ragnar! so we had to take a picture with their sign!

We drove down the coast a bit and stopped near dog beach so that we could cheer Lisa on as she ran. We cheered everyone on and they ran by. It was fun to meet Lisa on her first leg and watch the sunrise at the beach.

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Lisa running by as we cheered!

After cheering on Lisa our Van headed to Coco’s to get some food. We ate plates full of bacon, eggs, and pancakes and then headed to our house to use the bathroom and print out some stencils for the van. It was fun laughing and taking pictures at the house to prepare for our legs. We decided we wanted to see if we could catch up with a few other Van 1 runners before we had to get to our exchange. We headed towards Mile Square Park to follow the Ragnar route and look for runners. Eventually we found Virginia running and yelled and cheered for her. We drove up a little ways and stopped to cheer her on and see if she needed anything.

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Virginia

Virginia Running

IMG_1929 10170866_10202772978539856_1063224300_nGetting a Selfie with Virginia at the light!

One of the most fun parts of Ragnar is getting out of the vans and cheering for people. We always made sure to cheer on every runner that came by. It was great to see the smile on people’s faces as we cheered for them.

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Cheering for Random Runners

After stopping for Virginia we drove to Angel Stadium so we could catch up with the group one more time before heading to our start. At Angel Stadium we cheered, took pictures, tagged vans, and had fun watching all the Ragnar craziness. Soon Van 1 arrived and Valerie was on her way to the exchange. As soon as Valerie came in Shannon was off on her first leg. Valerie’s family was waiting for her as she finished and it was great to meet them and see their excitement for her. Her daughter is a little “Toughie” in the making.

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At Angel Stadium waiting for the other van!

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IMG_1932Sword fights with Thunder Sticks

0061_ML1_0091Valerie Coming in

0065_ML1_0095Shannon starting her leg

0072_ML1_0102All but Shannon who was running at the time!

With Shannon running we had to head to the Great Park for our first exchange and to check in. At the Great Park there were so many people and vans. We were so excited and getting more excited every moment. Funny thing with being Van 2 is the nervous, excited feeling you get before a race sticks with you for hours and hours until you finally start your first leg. After checking in we listened to our safety briefing, where they told us all the safety rules that we needed to know. Once we listened to the Safety briefing we got our flags and shirts and did a bit of shopping. This major exchange was full of energy as people were waiting to start their leg. Once Van 1 arrived we hung out with them and made sure Amy was ready for her first leg. Soon we found out the Helen was near and we went near the start to cheer for her and wait for Amy to start.

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Checking in

0089_ML1_0127Helen Slapping the bracelet on Amy

AmyAmy Starting her leg

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As Helen came in we cheered and cheered and watched as she passed the slap bracelet to Amy and Van 2 was off. The great park was CRAZY. It took is an hour to get out of the parking lot. While waiting to get out of the parking lot the Ragnaliens (my dad and uncle’s team) passed us going into the park. Amy asked us to meet her at mile 3 and 6 of her 9 mile leg to give her some water. We missed her at mile 3 as we were sitting in the traffic but found a place to meet her around mile 7. We stopped in the Asics parking lot and cheered for Amy and the other runners. We gave her water and headed off to our next exchange to get my mom ready for her leg.

Mom’s first exchange was at a small church. We arrived and got through the craziness of the parking lot. Julie did a great job of getting us through the cars and an amazing job at parking that beast. With Mom read for her run we waited for Amy to arrive at the exchange. Finally Amy came and slapped the bracelet on my mom and she was off on her first leg. With her off and Amy recovering we started toward Saddleback church for the next exchange.

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Julie’s Awesome parking

0096_ML1_0137Mom and I waiting for her start

Theresa

Nervously waiting

0101_ML1_0143And she’s off

As we were driving into the parking lot we remembered that we needed to get ice so we drove back down Glen Ranch (slowed to cheer my mom on) and stopped at a gas station to get ice and cold drinks. As we drove back into the parking lot we noticed my Aunt Cyndi standing on the corner as a volunteer! Once parked Kathy got out and got ready for her first leg. As she was getting ready Julie and I walked over to see my aunt and watch for my mom to come in. As we walked over we found my mom standing there waiting. OOPs. I ran to find Kathy and told her my mom was already waiting. We ran over and my mom slapped the bracelet so Kathy could start her first leg.

Theresa (2)

Mom waiting for us to show up

Once Kathy was running her leg we headed to the next exchange to meet her. My leg was next. As we drove to the exchange I started getting ready and was feeling really nervous. This leg was 6.7 Miles unsupported. Unsupported means that the van was not able to stop on the course and cheer for me or give me water. 6.7 Miles was a really long run to have no support.

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IMG_1968Waiting for my start

As we arrived at the exchange I finished getting ready and went to the bathroom one last time. Once I was ready and we thought she would be coming soon we walked to the exchange. This exchange was kind off the side of the road. We waited for Kathy to come as I got more and more nervous. At this point I was just ready to start running. Finally Kathy arrived and I was off. Well I was off for like 100 feet until I got to the stop light. Once the light was green I had to wait for another stop light so I could actually start running. Finally I was off and heading to the trail. This leg was on the Aliso Trail. I was a beautiful run and I was feeling really good. I got really bored pretty quickly though. Without people cheering for you or other people with you it’s just not the same. At one point a rabbit passed in front of me and I got so excited. Finally I hit the water stop and was hoping that I was at mile 4. I ran and ran and ran. I was so worried that my uncle was going to pass me on this leg. I really didn’t want to get passed by him. After what seemed like an eternity running by myself I finally saw my mom standing at a corner. When I saw her I was so excited! I knew I had to be almost finished. She started to run with me and finally I saw the exchange area. No One mile to Go marker. After a super narrow right turn I saw Casey and slapped the bracelet on her wrist! I was so thankful to be done.

IMG_1976So happy to see someone!

Jessy3Mom running in with me

Casey finished her leg and the Ragnaliens caught up with us at the exchange. As we started Tina off, we watched as my cousin Cameron finished his leg and their last runner Melissa started hers. Then we were off to the major exchange point at Doheny State Beach.

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Waiting for Cameron

Casey (2)Casey Finishing her leg

IMG_1966Cameron finishing

Part 3 hopefully coming tomorrow!!