Ragnar Relay Napa Valley (Part 2)

IMG_3187

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.

Leg 2

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.

IMG_3143

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.

IMG_3142

10624721_10152773117509116_8560800822838109304_n

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.

10616387_10152773122584116_1965796683343276278_n

10672406_10152773117274116_6336570248463445608_n

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.

10645205_10152773122824116_8694702101488096074_n

 

leg 3Leg 3 Map

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!!

IMG_3150

IMG_3152

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.

IMG_3163

IMG_3160

IMG_3165

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.

 10153727_10152773124109116_2898446606318431055_n

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

IMG_3157

IMG_3194

 

Ragnar Napa Valley (part 1)

IMG_3043

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.

IMG_3186

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.

10710501_10152463834874403_8336120071538975523_o

 

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.

10409343_10152773114899116_4031466929870747699_n

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.

IMG_3060

10628026_10152773115209116_6128268745844766826_n

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

IMG_3082 IMG_3079

IMG_3065IMG_3068

ragnar napa

10494744_10152773115674116_5087820513085747148_n

10687005_10152773115634116_1367538568381419318_n

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.

10153776_10152773116714116_6010688842671493680_n

leg 1Leg one Map

IMG_3105

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.

IMG_3112

IMG_3119

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.

 IMG_3120

Valerie and I after our first legs

Race Recap- Race on the Base

Last weekend I flew down to Southern California for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. I was running on a Relay Tri team. Chicks That (my company) also had a booth at the expo. Going into the weekend I had a goal of running the 5k in under 30 minutes. I had trained and felt sure that I would be able to do it.

8

10

I arrived Friday at 12:30 to start setting up with the help of my Aunt Cyndi. We set everything up and then waited for people. I had a great time figuring out decorations before hand and created an Inspiration Wall that people could come by the booth and write their inspiration for others to see. The Inspiration wall was a huge success. Everyone loved getting to “graffiti” the wall and share with others their inspiration for doing what they love and keeping them going. We sold bracelet and custom shirts and had a great time talking with all the people at the event.

5 6 image

Friday after getting home at around 9:30pm I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted but it was just one of those nights where you toss and turn and just don’t sleep. Knowing I had to be up at 4am to get back to my booth, I was hoping that eventually I would fall asleep. Finally I fell asleep but only had a few hours before I had to get up. When I got up I was so stiff and was wondering how I was ever going to run a 5k and get my goal time.

7

Flat Jessy ready for race day!

The amazing Julie was helping me Saturday with my booth and met me early to get started. When race time came I was so nervous. My feet and legs we sore from standing all day. I hadn’t slept much for the past few days and I was so hot (that California heat is killer). When I got to my booth that morning I realized I had forgot my Garmin and wasn’t going to be able to watch my pace.  Already knowing I wasn’t able to listen to music, I started getting discourage that there was no way I would reach my goal.

1969215_614241375325705_2113582280_n ML1_0003 ML1_0002 ML1_0006

I went over to the prerace meeting and met with my team. I was still determined to get my goal and PR but not sure how I would do it. As I walked with my mom over to the start line I was excited and was trying to warm up as best I could. After the first 100 yards I was so tired and my legs felt like jello. Half way through and I still had no idea how I was really doing and honestly felt like just giving up and walking. The thing that kept me moving was thinking of all the inspiration that people were writing on my wall. I thought of the little girl who wrote, “Be strog like a lion,” and the people that were running for their mom, brother, or grandpa. I thought about the girl who wrote “just keep running.” I knew that I could keep going and just needed to finish. As I rounded the corner to the finish line I knew I was almost done.

4 Before the Race with my other Toughies!

ML1_0046 ML1_0038 ML1_0035 ML1_0018 ML1_0013

Inspiration that kept me going!

Thankfully I finished and handed the timing chip to Scott and he rode off for his leg of the relay. I checked my phone and the 5k time said 30:11. I was disappointed that I was 12 seconds off my goal. I still got my PR but I really wanted that sub 30.  Looking back on it I know that I was so tired and my legs were already tired going into the race. I know that I should have been able to do it. With a watch and music I would have crushed those 30 minutes. It gives me motivation to do another 5k and to keep running! I know that I can do it and I am still so proud of that PR!

ML1_0046 564683_614290188654157_420477122_n 1508133_614296211986888_1813655702_n ML1_0005

Chicks That did great for the weekend! Everyone loved the wall and our products and I am excited to potentially do another expo in the near future! It was fun to just get to talk with everyone and meet other companies! All in all it was a successful weekend and I enjoyed Race on the Base.

3   1

My parents did the full Tri!

9

My Grandparents are amazing! They got first in their 5k and were at my booth supporting my all day!

ML1_0052

Family Race! (my uncle, Grandparents, parents and myself) at the Chicks That booth!

More about the rest of my weekend in a later blog! Have you done a Triathlon before? How did you feel?