Ragnar Relay Del Sol Recap 2015

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For the fourth year in a row, I participated in Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona, going from Wickenburg to Mesa. It’s held in my home state so it only makes sense that I would travel west for the race – I get to run AND see family and friends!

Stacey, Justin, Omar, Nicole, and I began the day loading the van and getting coffee, and then we headed to pick up Marette. We decorated the van with our team name: “Crazy Cervezas,” and our slogan: “Stay thirsty my friends.” Since we were going with a beer theme, we had shirts made with the Dos XX symbol intertwined with the Ragnar symbol {see below}.

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imageEvery year, Ragnar Del Sol is near or on my birthday, making it the perfect way to celebrate. This year, my sister-in-law Nicole surprised me with cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy Gourmet Bake Shop and a necklace and button to wear! The Thin Mint and Nutella cupcakes were my favorite.
image-1We arrived at Exchange 6 about 45 minutes before our runner came in so we had ample time to check-in, listen to the safety briefing, take tons of pictures, and meet up with our Van 1.

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We knew it was going to be a hot day so we all started by chugging water! Soon, our runner came in and Omar was off to start the 7th leg of the relay. Unfortunately, legs 7-12 had no van support whatsoever so we couldn’t stop to give water—we just honked as we drove by. The day started to get even more hot as Marette {runner 8} took off. Again, we drove by, but offered our support in honks and cheers.

At that point, I was trying to get pumped up for my 13.5-miler, and I was feeling pretty confident. I chugged water, ate some GU chews, and went pee a few times {Funny story: one woman dropped her iPhone into the port-a-potty hole…but reached in and grabbed it out!! Everyone around was dying laughing, and maybe slightly disturbed!}. We messed around with Omar’s GoPro as we waited. Marette brought one too, which made for some really fun pictures and videos throughout the entire relay—I really need to invest in one.
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We heard the volunteer call Team 313 and I got prepped and ready to go with some music. Jeff got me some Beats by Dre Powerbeats {wireless bluetooth earphones} in pink! for Christmas, which work so well! I would highly recommend them. I always used to whip the headphones out of my ears with my arms while running so these are really convenient. The only problem is that you definitely have to have service for the bluetooth to work properly. My songs broke up the first 3 miles, which was really stressful, but then it was smooth sailing after that.

I also ran a quick first few miles—my first mile being under 7 minutes. I definitely jumped the gun. But, the rest of my miles were about 8-9 minute miles. It was a really grueling, hard, hot, hilly run. We had four water stops, which isn’t a lot when it’s 85-degrees outside, but I was thankful I brought along my Nathan belt and water bottle, which I refilled at each station. I did get a really bad chaffing burn from the belt though since I just ran in a sports bra, so there was a lot of skin-to-belt contact. I almost ditched it all at one point, but water was more important than a little chaff, right?

The route was pretty, but also boring. I “killed” 10 people but then there was no one else to look forward to passing. There also weren’t very many vans going by that were cheering, which was so unusual. But, I pepped up when I finally got out of the desert and saw a neighborhood and gas station—signs that my end was near.

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This leg is the longest Ragnar leg for any of the relay races, and since I traveled here for Ragnar, I’m really pumped I was able to do this leg, no matter how hard it was. Plus, I got a fancy shcmancy medal for it! #doublemedals

I passed off to Stacey {leg 10} and we continued on through the Arizona desert and through runners 11 and 12 to finish near Sun City somewhere. We were all pretty tired, hot, and hungry at that point and made the decision to grab some Barro’s Pizza, somewhere we’ve stopped at in past runs. This time though, I was not. feeling. it. I felt terrific right after my run, and then it just hit me. I kept puking {sorry, TMI} and had a terrible stomach ache. I think I was just super dehydrated, but I know I’ve never felt that bad for that long. I must have kept throwing up for about 6 hours and got maaaybe 45 minutes of fitful sleep. And I definitely wasn’t hungry. I went to a medical tent and they gave me some electrolyte mix to put in my water, which helped a little.

But, that’s the thing about Ragnar, you have to suck it up because you have another run coming up. And that’s just what I did. Luckily, the night runs are cool and crisp so I felt refreshed after I was done. I still felt a little sick, but I was beginning to feel a little normal {aka hungry}.

We got through our night runs pretty quickly and then went straight to our next big exchange in hopes of a little sleep, a good washing {with baby wipes}, and pancakes. In years past, our team always gets to this exchange too late when they’re all sold out of pancakes!

So, we rolled in, parked, and pretty much all passed out for about an hour or two.
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I woke up to the smell of pancakes from the front of the van—Omar and Justin made a trip for some. I promptly got up and ordered four plate-size pancakes {hey, I didn’t eat the entire night!}, but could only eat about two of them. They. were. devine. though. Then we had some dance parties and waited for Van 1 to come in.

We met up with our super-duper volunteer, Heather at this big exchange too, which was nice!
Everything was smooth sailing from there! We were able to provide van support for all these legs, which was really nice because, again, it was really hot out. My last leg was really short, and slightly downhill, so I was able to run it pretty fast. I ended with a total of: 20.9 miles.

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I just love this last part of the relay. There’s so much energy (because we know we’re almost done) and excitement going on, and we start getting into civilization and there are some really pretty legs along the Scottsdale Green Belt.
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We celebrated at the end with our entire team, wearing our awesome team shirts, sombreros, fiesta tattoos, medals, and some cerveza! I even ordered us these poncho beer koozies!
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We were all pretty sleep-deprived, hungry, and cranky at the end {myself included}, but it was still a Ragnar Del Sol for the books. I think since next year will be my 5th year in a row doing Ragnar Del Sol, I want to make an Ultra team to add a little change and challenge. Does anyone want to volunteer to drive? 🙂

{I know I never finished my Adirondacks recap, but I’ll post Part 2 soon – plus, registration for this September is open!}

xx

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