Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2012

I think I can actually say that I enjoyed Ragnar this year...last year I HATED it!!  We had quite the time filling our team, injury after injury and then of course those that just changed their minds.  I absolutely loved how our team ended up.  Jake and I were in van 1 with Holly, Jorge, Rachelle and Julie.  I didn't know Julie coming into this but man is she a hoot and she is CRAZY fast!!!  Rachelle kept me laughing, I loved being with such awesome, fast runners.  Of course it was a little hard knowing that I was by far the slowest runner in our van!! 

Jake hurt himself the week before but we still wanted him in our van.  Having him be the driver was nice but that meant we had to cover his legs.  My plan going into Ragnar was to do an ultra, 6 legs, the only problem was that I did not want to do his first leg, which was 7.6 VERY HARD miles.  That leg along with mine would have been 14.5 Hard miles in 90 degree weather, no thank you.  Luckily for me Rachelle was nice enough to do his 1st leg for me.

My first run was 6.88 Hard miles, it had a pretty steady climb but it wasn't steep.  I wouldn't call it a hard run, it was just really hot which made it hard, the course itself didn't seem hard to me though.  I did it in 53:02 with an average pace of 7:42.  8 kills!!  I only saw 8 runners on this leg and I killed them all!

Holly and I decided to do our night time runs together again this year.  We started with her run which was 8.4 Very Hard miles.  The only hard part was the first mile which took us 10:26, it was a very steep mountain and our legs felt weird starting out.  I started to feel pretty good but Holly was being very quiet which is very uncommon ;)  I asked her if she was okay and she said that her stomach was killing her.  She seemed to get worse and worse.  She wanted to throw up and I wanted to pee my pants.  We were running down hill which was making it very hard for me not to pee my pants.  Finally, Holly made me go off the side of the road and go in the bushes while she tried to throw up..aren't we quite the pair.  I still can't believe I did it but I did.  I felt much better even though I think I still whizzed all over myself.  I have not mastered the bushes yet ;)  Holly on the other hand felt horrible.  When we sent our team off we told them to go straight to Jorge's exchange and rest up.  We stopped at the next exchange where Holly decided that she had better call the team to pick her up.  I know exactly how she felt because I experieced it last was not fun.  She felt horrible for not finishing the night run with me but I actually enjoyed my run in the darkness of the night.  She did most of Jake's 2.8 Easy miles with me.  She told me to go ahead there at the end, I hesitated but decided to run to the team and have them go pick her up.  I'm not sure how many kills we had for these 2 legs, I think it was around 14 or so.  Holly kept a really good pace considering how she felt, she is my hero!

I ran through the exchange point to start my 4.9 Moderate miles.  I got 14 kills!  I stayed at a comfortable pace, I was afraid of bonking!  I remember looking at my watch at one point to see that I had already run 11 miles, what??  I was feeling good and just kept picking people off the course.  I was only scared for a minute when I saw glowing eyes looking at me!  Who knows what kind of wild beast it could have was probably just a cat!  My night runs equaled 16.1 miles.  My Garmin read 15.7 miles in 2:07:44 with an average pace of 8:08 minute miles.  I stopped my watch while we walked which is why there is .40 difference.  I hopped in the van and drank a TruMoo chocolate milk, I think TruMoo is what got me through this Ragnar experience.  I drank one after every run and I made myself eat quite a bit through out the day and night!

After our van finished up our runs we drove to the start of Holly's next run to get some sleep.  Jorge and Jake slept under the stars in sleeping bags, while us girls slept in the van.  I probably got 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep.  I couldn't get comfortable, my legs hurt and I couldn't make them happy.

My last run was the one I was most nervous about, how was I going to run 11 more miles???  Holly ran Jake's leg with me which was 3.3 Easy miles.  She started my 7.7 Very Hard mile leg with me but our team mates put the smack down after about 1 mile and made her get in the van.  I tried to keep a somewhat comfortable pace so that I could make it through.  After a nice downhill came an ugly 3.5 mile climb.  It was horrible and I thought it would NEVER end.  I got passed 2 times during this run but I got 78 kills!!!  I fought hard for those last couple of kills!  For you non-ragnarites a kill is when you pass someone!  I ended up doing 11 miles in 1:33:15 with an average pace of 8:28 min miles.  I'll proudly take my 8:28 pace, this run was HARD!!  I saw Jorge and tried hard not to cry, I seriously thought that this run would never end.  I passed off and walked into the crowd where I started crying.  Rachelle came and gave me a big hug and then Holly and Jake joined hug!!  Julie thought I had hurt myself but nope I was just emotional!!  My legs hurt pretty much everywhere and I was actually afraid that I had injured myself.  I stretched a tiny bit and then we were off to cheer for Jorge.

Our van was amazing, everyone (but me) ran super fast!!  As soon as our van finished Rachelle and Julie had to leave which brought great sadness to my heart.  Those 2 gals together crack me up!  At this point we were over the "sponge baths" and really wanted to shower but we didn't want to pay for it.  We found a river and believe it or not I sat in it!!  That is so out of my comfort zone...there are snakes in there for pete's sake! Oh, I nearly forgot that during my last run I almost stepped on an ALIVE snake...eeeeek!  It put a pep in my step for a minute.  So yes, I sat in the river for a good 5 or so minutes.  I did it more for my soreness than anything but it felt good to get some of that swass off ;)  We headed to the finish line to wait for our second van of misfit runners.

I will say that after this Ragnar experience I WOULD do it again.  I really loved this race!!  33.8 miles baby!!  I may have done it in an unconventional way but I did my ultra least in my own little crazy world I did!! I really wanted to get 2.2 more miles in so that I could get my 36 mile run in by my 36th birthday but Jake put the smack down.  Honestly, had I not felt injured I would have done it rather he liked it or not.  During Rachelle's last run I tried to run so I could see her finish and my leg said NO!!!  I had better not be injured or I am going to stomp on Jake's sore foot, just kidding!!!!

Van 2 seemed liked a fun group too!  Dave, Aimie and Trent are in our Ward and the other 3 people we just happened to stumble upon, they seemed awesome though!!  Thanks to everyone on our team for making it such a fun time!  And a special thanks for Jorge and Holly for being the team captain's, they were the best captain's a team could ask for!!

If this post didn't make any sense at all just remember that I am sleep deprived and my brain isn't quite working yet :)


  1. You are a beast! You CRUSHED ragnar! Great job Steph!

  2. Steph I LOVED reading your recap! You are seriously such an incredibly strong runner and so very inspiring to me. You completely crushed this Ragnar and you should be so very proud of yourself. I am incredibly proud of you!! You ran HARD legs, in the middle of the night by yourself, in the heat of the day, and on zero sleep. Seriously I admire your strength and am so glad I got to be a part of it with you.

    Also you are FAST!! You need to give yourself more credit because you are one speedy little Momma and you could totally kick anyone's ass with your massive muscles. ;) You rock!

  3. Great photos and a great write-up, Stephanie!