Last I left off, we were catching some zzz’s late on Saturday night after completing our first legs of the Ragnar Relay! (Need to catch up on Part 1? Find it here.) Saturday was going to be my tough day – 5.6 miles in the morning followed by 9.4 in the afternoon.
Sleeping in a van that night didn’t make it any easier.
The two guys in our van had packed heavy-duty sleeping bags so they opted to sleep outside on the ground Friday night (*note: it was not exactly warm – probably in the 40’s with a heavy mist/fog). We thought the school the next exchange was occurring at would be open for us to sleep on the gym floor, but no cigar. I curled up in the back seat of the van and did manage to catch a few hours of shuteye. Around 3:30, we got a text that the last runner in van 2 was running. That meant it was time to wake up. We wrapped ourselves in blankets and went to wait for her at the exchange… and we waited.
Soon we were back on track though, and my mom started getting ready for her leg – 5.6 miles. We were hoping she would get a pretty view of the sunset, but with all the fog that didn’t really happen. While she was running, I ate a Clif bar, pulled on my headband (SO helpful for disguising my sweaty/unbrushed hair!), and tried to warm up a little.
Before I knew it, my mom was running into the exchange and it was my turn! I was a little bummed that the other runners near us had a few minutes lead on us and were running just fast enough that I couldn’t even see them, so this pretty much felt like your typical solo 6 mile run. Except for the fact that I ran this pretty dang fast! I was trying to enjoy it, but I think part of me just wanted this leg to be over so I could eat breakfast. 🙂
In an effort to make myself relax and not worry about pace, I turned my GPS watch so that the screen was on the underside of my wrist. Still, I ended up running it pretty speedily (I wasn’t exactly complaining but I was a little concerned about those 9 miles I was running later that afternoon!) Average pace: 8:28/mile.
Then it was my other teammates’ turns! Jay headed out to do another 2 legs – here he is coming into an exchange, giving a high-five and heading right back out!
Once we’d all finished our second legs, it was finally time for a nice sit-down breakfast. I think by this point, we were all pretty pumped to eat something that DIDN’T come in a wrapper. I didn’t photograph breakfast, but I had a piece of French toast, some eggs, and a couple pieces of bacon. Perfect running fuel (given a few hours to digest that is)! It was so much fun talking marathons, nutrition, and running with my teammates, many of whom I didn’t know very well before this relay.
After filling up on lots of coffee and big breakfasts, it was nap time. We headed to the next exchange area to relax a bit while Van 2 ran. Fun fact – the school we were at was Meghan Trainor’s high school!
I just put the seat in front of me in the van down so I could stretch my legs out on top of it, pulled my headband down over my eyes, and absolutely PASSED OUT. There was a lot of activity with vans pulling in and out of the area and plenty of runners chatting nearby, but I was tired enough that none of it mattered. I woke up around 11:30 feeling much more refreshed. I was also happy that it was finally warm!
By then, it was almost time to run again and I began trying to prepare myself mentally to run over 9 miles. I wouldn’t hate that distance normally, but usually I would have a full night’s sleep and I would run that distance early in the morning before the heat of the day. But hey, that’s not the Ragnar Relay, right?
But more on that in Part 3…