It’s DAY 2! I was shocked that I wasn’t having stomach problems yet, and glad that I was feeling good. The night time runs were actually my best, which was shocking to me since I don’t normally like running at night out of fear and I was pretty nervous about these legs of the race. I had two more dark runs to complete before my final run of the entire relay. I was starting to feel tired. It was hitting me that we’d been awake for almost 24 hours.
I donned my headlamp (first time actually running with one, crazy I know) and my night time vest and off I went… at 1:07 at night! I thankfully only had a short leg to start it off and it was pretty flat. I ran with my friend Sandy, and she really pushed me to run fast. I think this may have been where my ankle started to hurt (not because of running fast but because of overuse and the hills). :/
I ran from 1:07 AM – 1:25 AM.
After being done with this leg, I knew I was more than half way done. A few things I didn’t know about Ragnar is that it’s basically an open course. You have to wait for stop lights, cars, everything. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic out on my midnight run and my early morning run, which was nice! Made the stop lights much easier. The morning run was when the wheels fell off basically.
We slept as much as we could in the van, but needless to say that wasn’t much when you’re moving back and forth, sending off runners and having lights going on and off. I was really nervous for this run and got all geared up, I knew it would be relatively cold, but my stomach was starting to give me some issues. I started off and immediately knew I had to find a bathroom. Ruh-roh. I finally found a mobile station and took care of business which helped, but my stomach was a bit angry for a few miles so I took it slow and this is also when my ankle was really hurting. It was a tough leg for me. I knew I had to push through it and just find the exchange and each step was closer to the final leg I had to run. The sunrise was amazing and I tried my hardest, but obviously my pace was slowing down :( I ran from 5:52 AM – 7:17 AM.
This was the LAST leg! I knew I would have to push through it and then I would be able to ice my ankle, eat normal food and cheer on Team Sparkle to the finish line. This was another tough run for me, but I knew it was almost done and I needed to try as hard as I could for my team. It was warm out again, and I ran from 10:55 AM – 11:49 AM.
I tried out KT Tape for the first time on my ankle and it did help a bit! I do now how to wear it for my next race to help when my ankle tries to heal.
It’s not everyday where a unicorn takes you into the finish line! I also pretty much LIVED in my Skins Compression pants after my third leg. I took them off between runs to air them out, but I am SO glad I wore them. I have never worn full on compression pants but wow, what a difference they make, and I’m not just saying that. I have great compression socks and sleeves but this helps with the quads and it band area.
The girls from the team all told me to wear them the night after the race, so I got home, washed them and put them back on to sleep and I felt about 90% back to normal the following day. It was a Team Sparkle Miracle! Smart ladies, I tell ya. I didn’t have any soreness in my quads or calves which I had throughout the race, especially with all the hills we were running. I’m now a firm believer and love how they fit. Thank you Team Sparkle for the Skins Hook up. I’m sure B won’t like my new checkbook draining habit.
I just ran 30 miles and didn’t sleep for 48 hours! The entire team was pretty exhausted at this point, but we knew we were only a few miles away from the finish. We cheered on the rest of the girls and before we knew it, we were nearing the finish line! We had planned a special tribute to the Boston Marathon and those affected by the bombings with Blue and Yellow Skirts and unicorn Team Sparkle visors.
I can’t tell you how amazing it was being with this group of women during this challenging event. There was not a time where I wasn’t inspired by their mile splits, encouraged by their attitude and energized by their spirit. They are all nothing short of incredible and I’m so thankful they were all by my side as we ran throughout the many miles, day and night. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and I truly appreciate all that they did for me. Big thanks to Kelly, Carrie, Elise, Brenna, and Linda for making this weekend so special to me!
Julie ran Ragnar too! It was great seeing her out on the course quite a few times and her husband was actually our driver, he was awesome!
I could barely jump, let’s be honest, my legs were barely working. I don’t know where these girls get their energy! In all honesty, I would definitely train much differently if I am to run a Ragnar ultra again. I was no where near trained for the hills or the heat, which I could change with a few simple adjustments. I felt confident only on two legs of my race. I know that now that I have one under my belt my next time I won’t be so nervous and will know what to expect. This experience reminded me a lot of my first marathon, where I was so nervous I psyched myself out and had a bad experience. I guess I am just a nervous runner and once I know what is going to happen I am much more comfortable with it. I know my ankle is having some issues because of the overuse on hills, which I was not prepared for at all, next time I would for sure train almost exclusively on hills. I would also increase the time on my feet with a few longer runs and more speed work. I hope to one day be a part of Team Sparkle again soon, so I can redeem myself and my pace for the entire weekend!
Such a fun experience, and a challenge to say the least! I am so thankful I did it along side such a great team. Sparkle was abundant all weekend long, and I’m going to keep spreading the Sparkle, because it just makes things so much happier!