Monday, June 30, 2014

Wasatch Back Ragnar 2014

Wow, what an experience my fourth Ragnar turned out to be.  Pro Compression, my very favorite brand of compression socks, gifted us a team this year...thank you Pro Compression!!!  Holly, Jorge, Josh and I all knew we wanted to do an ultra.  We wrangled Jessica, Holly's sister in law, into joining us and even convinced Julia to join us.  This was Jessica's very first Ragnar, I am so impressed that Jessica was willing to do an ultra not knowing what a regular Ragnar was like.  She is a brave woman.
We had a 9:15 a.m. start time...perfect!  Holly was up first and then it was my turn.  Holly and I have pretty horrible luck when it comes to the weather when we are doing a race.  This time we got extremely lucky, both Holly and I had perfect running conditions for all of our runs...hallelujah!

AutoMaxx let use this Suburban...we like to call it the Beast.
Jake was not only our driver but at times our photographer.

Team Pro Compression
Josh, Jorge
Jessica, Holly, Me, Julia and our driver Jake #allofthejs
We decided that Holly should be Jolly and I should be Jeph...just so we could fit in.

I went into this run extremely worried that it would end up like last years, you can read about that HERE.  My left ankle had been bothering me a bit, luckily I found out last Saturday that running slow helped a lot.  I had gone on a 10 mile run with Holly and felt my ankle A LOT.  I then ran 5 slow miles with  my kids and I felt nothing.  I had to tell myself repeatedly that it was better to run slow and  finish uninjured than to run my normal pace and end up hurt.  I watched my Garmin quite closely, not to keep a fast pace but to keep a safe pace.  Maybe that's why this was such a great experience, I took my time and actually enjoyed the scenery and the fact that I was able to run.  My first run started close to 11:20 p.m.

I don't think the 6.7 miles was "hard" all I know is that it was beautiful.

More beauty!

The cloud cover made the temps perfect and there was a tiny drizzle from time to time.

Holly got some action shots of my first run.

Did you notice how cute my shoes are?  Josh did and pointed it out every chance he got...I think he may have been making fun of me a little but that's okay.  I took my family to Utah Run to pick up the new Saucony Kinvara 5's for my birthday.

They are heavenly...see they glow :)
I believe I got 27 kills in those 11 miles.
I was very good about doing my dynamic stretches after each run and drinking my Tru Moo, after my last run I said forget chocolate milk I want Dr. Pepper...and that's what I had.
He's da man in da pan! 
Julia during her super hard first run.  Luckily the rain made this part much better than usual because it wasn't so dusty.  She rocked it!  I'm so grateful for the friends I have met through running.
My second run started pretty close to 9 p.m.

  I ran the first part alone and convinced Jake to join me on my 4.2 easy mile run, he doesn't really run but he was nice enough to join me anyway.  I married a good man :)  I got 46 kills.  I ended feeling great!
We got a little bit of sleep while Jorge did his crazy long 19 mile night run.
My final run started at 9:15-ish Saturday morning with perfect weather, it got a little warm by the end but nothing crazy.  We really lucked out this year.

Running much slower this year made this leg so much better, I didn't have to walk at all except through the water stations.

I held back a lot on the huge downhill because downhill running is what causes me problems with my calfs.

Jake ran me into the exchange to finish off my Ragnar. 81 kills on my last leg...yeah buddy! I felt amaze balls and had so much fun.

Dr. Pepper for the win!!
I'm so thankful that Jake joined us on this grand adventure.  He is the best! 
We are just like 2 people :)

Let's finish this thing but first let's take a weezie!

Just a little gun show, we had to show you how cute our shirts were.  Utah Run made them for us and we love them.

The view at the top of Ragnar Hill is amazing.

We chatted with the Pro Compression gal for a bit, I believe her name is Suzanne and she is as cute as can be.  She gets to travel all around for Pro Compression...lucky!

We finally finished...YAY!!!  Julia had to leave after her third leg, we were sad to see her go.

Outtake numero uno with Nacho...Jake and Jess wondering what the heck Nacho was doing.

Outtake numero dos with Nacho...Holly and Josh wondering what the heck Nacho was doing.

And there's the money shot :)
We had so much fun but I was told at the beginning of Ragnar that what happens in the burb stays in the burb so all I will say is YUP! :D
This was by far my favorite Ragnar!  I loved everyone on our team, we all got along and there wasn't any drama.  We had a few set backs at exchanges that slowed us down a bit but everyone did their best and had fun doing it. Everyone on my team amazed me but Jessica REALLY amazed me.  She was awesome, not only was she entertaining but she did an ULTRA on her first Ragnar...and the girl can twerk like you wouldn't believe.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon 2014

Sunday (June 1st, I wrote this but kind of forgot to post it...oopsie) I woke up before my alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. and got ready for the big race.  I met Jorge and Holly outside at 4:30 to head to the starting line area.  As we drove I pulled up the weather on my phone, it was 63 degrees, which would have been great but the humidity was 77%.  I had a feeling it was going to be a rough day, you can train in high elevation, you can train hills but in Utah you can’t train for humidity.   Holly and I did some people watching as we ate, visited the porta potties and got photo bombed my Skinny Runner (Sarah) and Run Eat Repeat (Monica).
I LOVE Holly's eyes...who dat?
We lined up in our corral, corral 2, where we saw Sarah, Monica and Kristin (Stuftmama).  We all wished one another well and we were off.  I started out feeling pretty good, which considering how I felt on the 3.5 mile shakeout run the day before, I was grateful to feel like I did.  I’m so grateful we train on hills, hills, hills, because this course is super hilly.
Let's run a marathon but first let us take a weezie
There wasn’t a lot of talking between the two of us which is never a good sign.  We were working hard to maintain a good pace.  At mile 6 I had 3 Margarita Shot Bloks, I was so grateful that I had picked some of those up at the Pro Compression shake out run, they saved me.  I knew I would be sweating a lot due to the humidity so the extra salt was needed fo sho!  Thank you Pro Compression, Sarah and Kristin for hooking us up with some free goods.
I felt pretty good until about mile 12-13, I think, the whole race is kind of a blur.  There was a funny little guy on a bike who told us to “Get da money!  Go and get da money!”  I told him we would go and get da money.   He passed us on his bike a few miles later, still saying “Get da money, get da money!”  He was fun J
I run with my own personal photographer

This was my favorite part of the race
At about mile 16 I started to feel my calf and hip flexor wanting to cramp up…NOOOOO!  I took more Margarita Shot Bloks and prayed for a miracle.  My calf calmed down but my hip flexor did not.  I was so mad, we were on our way to a 3:30 finish which would be a PR for me and one I have been chasing for 2 years now.  However, having been injured just last year I was scared to push through too much pain for fear that I would end up injured again.  I backed off a bit and it killed me to do so.  Holly mentioned that she was cramping too.
At about mile 18 the 3:30 pacer passed us, I was so sad but couldn’t really do anything to keep up with him.  At this point I was actually wondering if I would even be able to finish the race.  It was HOT and I was not feeling awesome.   Holly and I started dumping water on ourselves, and each other at this point. I would feel good for about 4.6 seconds and then right back to feeling like death.
Mile 19 was for Jake and I’m glad it was, it helped push me through.  Then the beast of a hill came and we climbed and climbed and climbed for over a mile.  That part of the race really sucks…like a lot!!! Holly chatted a little with a feller who had run this race all 17 times.  He was impressed with our hill climbing abilities and wished us well.  I will say that Holly and I didn’t walk once, most people were walking the hill, I think I knew that if I walked I wouldn’t start to run again J
At some point, I really don’t remember where maybe around mile 22-23, someone smacked me on the butt.  I thought it must be Jake but why the heck would he be out here on the course.  I said, “What the HECK?!?” and turned around to see Sarah cruising by us.  I wanted to try to keep up with her but there was no chance of that happening so I just watched her run off into the distance.
Mile 24 was for McKenna so I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Having miles dedicated to people really helps me, I wanted to walk so many times but thinking of others helps to keep me running. I also remembered seeing a guy with a shirt that said “I run for those who can’t, no excuses.”  I love that and thought about it a lot as I ran.
There was a point around mile 24 where the course turns so you are passing people going the other way.  I heard someone say, “Stay focused Utah!”  I didn’t see who said it but it was the feller Holly had talked to on the beasty hill.  That gave me a little boost, thank you random citizen.  It was at about this point we were started seeing people going down.  The paramedics had someone loaded in the ambulance and we saw at least 3 more people go down in the last 2 miles.  It was like Boston 2012 all over again.  I just wanted to be done.  I felt my face get flushed a few times and I got the chills which is never a good sign.
One thing I really liked was that the last few miles there were coaches out on the course giving tips, drop your shoulders, concentrate on your breathing, lean forward, etc.  I have a tendency to tense up so it was helpful to have them remind me to relax and run.
Mile 25-26.2 was for Kobe, as usual, thankfully we had a little downhill finish. 
My cute supportive family 
We watched Aloe Blac for a bit 
We finished in 3:37:15.  I couldn’t believe I had done it faster the year before in 3:35:35.  That was only 2 weeks after running the Ogden Marathon and I felt great the whole run.  Last year wasn’t near as humid and the sun wasn’t out, great running conditions.  The humidity and sun killed me this year.  I did finish 9thin my age group though which is pretty amaze balls!
I’m so glad that Holly and I were able to come down to our favorite land and run together.  It’s not every day you find a great running buddy and even though we didn’t talk much we still had fun seeing San Diego while we tried to “get da money, get da money!”