Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ragnar So Cal 2016

Pretty much right after running Wasatch Back, I decided I wanted to run So Cal after having and finishing nursing our next baby. Putting together a team for Wasatch Back was relatively easy. And finding the first 10 runners for So Cal was also pretty easy, but finding the last 2 runners was so so hard! I asked everyone I could think of and then asked/begged most of them again. Rog was being really stubborn about it and said it was my thing - I had to find the runners. Finally he gave in and asked one of his Young Men leaders from when he was growing up in Southern California. He immediately accepted and had a friend who also wanted to run. Our team was finally complete!

Dividing the team into 2 vans also proved to be difficult. Everyone had someone (or a few someones) they wanted to/had to be with. Rog and I really wanted to be with Bill and Mariah, but it just wasn't going to work out that way. We're just going to have to keep running Ragnars with them until we can finally be in the same van.

Van 1 - Jackie, Britta, me, Rog, Irving, Amber

(Amber is my BFF from my childhood, Britta is Amber's SIL, Jackie is Britta's BFF, Irving is our BIL.) 


Van 2 - Scott, Mike, Dallin, Bill B, Mariah, Bill P

(Scott was Rog's YM leader, Mike is Scott's friend, Bill B was in our SF ward and ran Wasatch Back with us, Dallin is Bill B's son.)


After I had 12 runners committed and divided between the 2 vans, everything went relatively smoothly which was good because by then we didn't have long until the race!

While we were training for the race I was worried Rog wasn't getting in enough miles and didn't think he would be ready for his 7 mile leg. My training was going extremely well, so I suggested we switch our first runs. He didn't end up taking me up on the offer and did great considering his lack of training. Before he started training he had done a lot of physical therapy sessions for his plantar fasciitis. His feet were a lot better, but still not 100% (don't know if they ever will be). His physical therapist recommended these shoes for running. We call them his Hulk shoes. 


I cut out the logo from our team shirt in vinyl to put on the back window of both vans. I did the same thing for Wasatch Back and it was pretty easy since our logo was all one color and a pretty simple design. This time our logo was much more complex and included multiple colors, so it took significantly longer to cut out and assemble on the transfer tape. But it looked pretty awesome and we got a lot of compliments on it, so it was worth all the effort!


On Thursday we flew into LAX, rented a car, met Irving at Amber's house in Oceanside, dropped off a car there, got food for both vans at Costco, met Van 2 to give them their share of the food, and then finally made it to President Borgquist's (Rog's first mission president) house in Fountain Valley where Rog, Irving, and I slept that night.

Amber, Britta, and Jackie picked us up at President Borgquist's house and we drove to the start line to check in and do our safety briefing. 


I was the 1st runner (infinitely better than being the last runner). At 7:30 I was off and running. My first run was embarrassingly short (2.3 miles) and easy (about half was along the beach and then the other half was flat in neighborhoods).


One huge difference between So Cal and Wasatch Back was that you had to stop and wait at lights.


I ran 2.31 miles in 18:18 for an average pace of 7:55 and handed off to Irving.

We stopped to give Irving some water and Amber pumped while we waited for him. We were going to offer him some of her milk, but we didn't think he would find that funny, so we just gave him regular, boring water. (But we all had a good laugh about the idea of offering him water or breast milk.)


Irving handed off to Rog who had his 7 miler ahead of him. 


He ran 7.18 miles in 1:15:25 for an average pace of 10:30 and handed off to Amber.


Amber handed off to Britta.

 We stopped to give water and offer support to our runners whenever we could. I'm pretty sure in this picture Britta (in the middle) is saying, "Oh my gosh, it's so hot!" It was only in the 70's, but when you're running and the sun is shining down on you, it sure feels hot. I was incredibly fortunate that none of my runs ended up being in the heat.


One of the best parts of Ragnar is cheering on your runners. Britta had brought a cow bell that was so fun to have. Speaking of fun, Amber, Britta, and Jackie were the funnest trio. I'm glad we got to be in a van with them!

You're supposed to use these flags anytime you cross a street to support a runner. Rog may have been a little silly with his flag usage. And his makeshift shirt hat certainly helped his look!


As a courtesy to the runner after you, it's a good idea to take the slap bracelet off and let it air dry a little before you pass it off (especially at the beginning of the race before it's just gross beyond repair). Britta forgot to do that and when she went to slap it onto Jackie's wrist, Jackie may have overreacted a little (or a lot).  


Jackie handed off to Bill B and van 2 was off and running. Each Ragnar has a leg that is longer and much more difficult than any other leg and this was the one! Bill ran 12.2 of very hard difficulty in the heat of the day and earned a special medal for it. (He also ran a 9.7 very hard for his 3rd leg. He and Bill P were definitely the all stars of our team!)


The way the course worked out, Van 2 had the majority of the distance and difficulty. This was a major bummer because whenever we met up with them at exchanges all they could talk about was how easy our runs were and complain about how hard their runs were. Our van had 2 gimps (Rog and Irving) and 3 of the 4 ladies had a baby one year or younger (me, Britta, and Amber), so I felt like our van was justified in taking the easier half. I just wish Ragnar could have made the course a little more balanced between the two vans, so we didn't have that conflict. Van 2 totally rocked their legs and I think (hope) they had some fun too! They sent us this picture and said our team name should have been Running for Ice Cream instead of Running for Donuts.


While van 2 was running we stopped at a Chipotle that had a burger place (can't remember which one) next door for lunch (I was craving Chipotle and others were craving burgers). Then we went to Amber's house to shower and rest a little before our next runs (even though I didn't feel like I needed to rest at that point since my first run was so easy). Amber's parents were at her house taking care of her boys for her and it was fun for me to see them because they were like my second parents growing up! 

I got these huge inflatable donut tubes to tie on the roofs of the vans. We tied ours on while we were at Amber's house and got a picture before heading back out to run. (I don't think van 2 ever used theirs.)


It wasn't really dark yet, but it was technically nighttime hours, so I had to put on all my safety gear.


Exchange 12 was a "virtual exchange" because the course skips over a section of the coast (Camp Pendleton). When your team member from van 2 came into the exchange up north a volunteer would radio down to a volunteer where van 1 was waiting and then they'd tell you when you could go. While I was waiting for that to happen I realized I had forgotten to put on my number, so Rog ran back to the van to get it for me because they wouldn't let me go without it. Mariah came into the exchange while I was waiting for my number, so I had to wait a minute or two (seemed like longer at the time) before I could start.  


My second run was a little longer and a little more difficult than my first run (some hills up and down), but not too bad. The sun was setting and it was beautiful! I started at 6:45 pm and ran 3.88 miles in 29:55 for an average pace of 7:43.

Rog and Irving had decided to switch their second legs, so I handed off to Rog.


Since I handed off to Rog, he didn't run with the Garmin and I don't have his stats for that run. It was an easy 2.8 miles. He handed off to Irving who handed off to Amber. Then Britta and Jackie decided to combine their second runs (7.5 miles total) and run together. Both of their runs were supposed to be moderate, but when they got in, they said they were harder than that. It didn't help that Amber, Britta, and Jackie were all starting to feel sick. They all had some of a salad Amber had packed and we think that was the cause because all 3 of them got sick. Since Amber ate the majority of it, she got the sickest, but Britta and Jackie weren't feeling too great either.

We drove to exchange 24 (at a golf course) and got some sleep while we were waiting for van 2 to do their second runs. All us ladies just slept in the van. Rog and Irving slept in a sand trap. 

 

After an hour or two of sleep, it was time to get ready for my last run. It was a little chilly standing there waiting, so I bundled up in a blanket that I handed off to Rog when Mariah got in and it was my turn to run.


I ran a couple miles to the coast and then the rest of my run was along the beach. I didn't know if I would even be able to see the ocean since it was going to be completely dark, but when I got there I definitely could and it was a very cool experience to see and hear the waves crashing on the beach in the dark. I could also see a lot of stars which greatly added to the beauty. This was the run I had trained for and because I was ready for it, I was able to enjoy every minute of it. I actually had a very real spiritual experience where I felt so much gratitude for this beautiful world and the bodies Heavenly Father created for us. I came in on such a runner's high! 

My Garmin says I started at 2:37 am and ran 7.75 miles in 1:04:21 for an average pace of 8:19 (although I had it all synced and ready to go, but it went into power save mode before Mariah got there, so I had to sync it again while I started running which I think took about .15 of a mile). 

I passed off to Irving who passed off to Rog. He started at 4:10 am and ran 3.58 miles in 37:19 for an average pace of 10:26 and passed off to Amber.

Amber really wasn't feeling well and had 6.3 miles of hard ahead of her. (It was such a bummer she was feeling so sick because I know she was looking forward to that run.) It took her longer than we were expecting and we were starting to get worried, so we texted her to make sure she was ok. She texted back that she was and came in a few minutes later and handed off to Jackie.


Jackie passed off to Britta who finished off strong for our van. She caught this guy with a tenth of a mile to go and they raced to the end. He even put up his arm, so she couldn't pass. It was fun to watch! (I stole this picture from her Instagram because it had to be included!) 


We had a lot of time to kill while van 2 finished up, so we went to breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. Amber and I shared this huge Apple Cinnamon Flapjack and it was so big, we couldn't even finish the whole thing.


At some point our donut started to come loose and we could see it flapping around up there. As we were driving over the bridge to Coronado Island, it flew off and was lost forever!


We stopped to get donuts for the team as we definitely needed them at the finish line with our team name being Running for Donuts! Then we played at the beach a little. 


Rog couldn't resist getting in for a swim.


And he had to get a picture with this awesome Ninja Turtle Van.


Amber had been feeling a little better after finishing her last leg, but then got a whole lot worse while we were waiting for van 2. Rog and Irving gave her a blessing and she started feeling a little better (at least ok enough to stay to cross the finish line with the team). We hung out in the van and made her sip Gatorade to rehydrate. 

While we waited we tried to make ourselves look presentable. My hair gets greasy so easily and was just gross beyond repair. I had hoped there would be somewhere to shower at the beach, but because of the drought the showers were not running. (So don't look too closely at the rest of these pictures!)

The finish line was a little disappointing compared to Wasatch Back's finish line. It was cramped and a whole lot less organized, but we were all just happy to finish and get our medals.


And of course our donuts too!


Total time: 30 hours, 26 minutes! Not bad for 190.5 miles.

We had a fun team. I'm so grateful for everyone who ran with us and made it all possible!

Amber was a track star in high school and ran on scholarship at Utah State University. (She set high school and college records!) Ever since I started running we have been trying to run a race together, but it never worked out until this race. It was so fun to run with her and see her family. 


Bill and Mariah get the award for traveling the farthest to run with us - all the way from Arkansas! I'm so grateful we run Ragnars with them, so we have an excuse to see them at least every few years. We're already planning on Ragnar Austin in 2017! (Mariah is going to be the captain since Rog says I can't be captain again for awhile.)


Irving was the only Phillips we were able to recruit. It was fun to run with him!


And finally I'm so grateful for my Rog. Ragnars are really my thing and he's a good sport to do them with me. He complains a lot, but always ends up having a good time.


After the finish line we drove to Amber's house to get the car we had left there. Rog, Irving, and I stopped to get some food. (In-N-Out for the guys and Chick-fil-A for me because I am not a fan of In-N-Out!) Then we drove to President Borgquist's house and said goodbye to Irving. He drove to his parent's house to spend the night there. We showered (best shower ever!) and talked to President and Sister Borgquist for a few minutes until I literally started falling asleep while talking to them!

In the morning we got ready and packed up while listening to the first session of conference. (Unfortunately we missed all the Saturday sessions - good thing we were able to read/listen to them after.) Then we drove to the airport to return our rental car and meet our kids, Grandma Lori, and Papa George. (They earned the title of Super Grandma and Super Grandpa by watching our kids at our house while we ran and then flying to LA with them, so we could all go to Disneyland together.)


We had so much fun running, but missed our kids and were really excited to see them and start the next part of our trip!


A few days after Ragnar (after we got home from Disneyland) I sent this text to Mariah in the middle of the night asking who was running. I guess I still had Ragnar on the brain!


When we sold my CRV and got our minivan, we had to take off my Ragnar sticker. I was excited to get a new one to put on the van. Before I could put it on I had to cut out a 2014 (A LOT harder than it sounds - had to get the font, size, and spacing just right, so it would look good with the 2016 next to it.) I finally got around to it last week!


Hooray for another fun and successful Ragnar!

4 comments:

Megan Goodrich said...

You almost make me want to start running! Sounds intense, and fun...I'm impressed by all of you. And hooray for blogging! I enjoy your Instagram posts but am excited to hear all about your new life in Oregon in greater detail!

tracy said...


How is life in Oregon? I can't wait to hear all about it! All of you running is an inspiration to fatty pants me!

tracy said...


"Our next baby?" I may be crazy, but i'm not dumb! Do tell! :)

Lori Ririe said...

Incredible write up on your Ragnar experience. Great photos with the exception of the one of that scary lady holding sweet Logan!