Tuesday, January 8, 2013

RAGNAR!!! Hemingway Hustlers II. Van 1, Leg 2

Things got real this leg for our van. We all did long(ish) mileage, and some on some very rocky, crazy terrain. All of our legs during our van's second legs were over 7 miles, except one. We left from the Homestead Speedway. This year was a little less cool in that aspect. Last year the last runner from van 2 ran a lap around the track before the exchange. This year it was a weird turn around in the parking lot. 

Either way our first runner got started just as it was starting to get dark out (and cooling off, ever so slightly). His run was interesting because it ran through a scary neighborhood, a large jail, and then a crazy unpaved path. He kicked ass. 

Our van all lit up!

Larry ran 8.2 miles on a gravel road in the middle of no where. His leg was one of the hardest because there were insane rocks and all the vans drove right by the runners. I was more worried about rogue alligators hanging out by the canals. He killed it. Also, we never saw any wild life :(

Pre- run (you don't want post run Larry pics)

Holy reflection. No car was going to hit me on Key Largo.

My run started well after midnight. I was feeling good and ready to get started. It was a gorgeous, but humid night. Again, I probably started out a little too fast. And again, I was just SO freaking happy to be running with good music on, through a beautiful night. I started feeling my knee around mile 3. I was still passing a bunch of people and looking forward to seeing my van peeps. I passed them a little after mile 3 and things began to go a little down hill. I knew this run was going to be a challenge to get through and I knew it was going to be mind over matter. (or mind over knee)

Around mile 5 I had the thought that I had no business running this far on an injured knee and was stupid for even attempting this. I walked for a about a minute but I knew I would see the van again, so I got my run back on. Seeing people cheering really helped me and kept my spirits up. I walked a couple of times after seeing them but really pushed myself to keep running. One of my mantras in races is "one day you will look back on this- how will you remember it?" That did help. So did the other teams cheering along the way. It was slow going but I pushed through to the finish. Just over 7.9 miles and I kept a 10 minute mile pace.  Normally, I would not have been happy with that but under these circumstances, I was pretty pleased. 


I was a little confused at the end of my leg. Last year they directed us into the high school and we finished on the track. This year we just ended on the sidewalk. I had saved a little extra for the turn and track, but didn't end up using it. Regardless, I was proud of myself for finishing. 

One of the things I truly love about Ragnar is that while you have a blast with your team and van-mates, each run is a little personal journey. Running through the Keys in the middle of night was such a unique experience. I had time to really think about how lucky I was to be running, and how much I wanted to recover properly to keep running. Pain or no, I wouldn't trade that run for anything. 

I would trade the painful 3 hours of sleep I got in the back of our Navigator. It sucked, but totally revived us for one last push to Key West. 
(Next year I am voting for a hotel/van/tent anything not tiny backseat to sleep)