How did I get roped into the Ragnar Race? Well, I was talking to one of my running friends at work and she was telling me how they put together a team every year and asked if I have ever done the race. I haven't and I kinda felt left out. I love racing! Why hasn't anyone asked me to be on their team?!?! Not 15 minutes later, I saw a message posted on Facebook from Rick Amernick, President of DC Capital Striders, calling out for anyone who would be interested in racing for High Cloud. ME! ME! ME! I think that was actually my response. Just tell me where to be, what to bring and you can count me in!
As I mentioned before, our day started out at 6am. Half of our team met at the Huntington Metro, piled into a rented van to head to the start line in Cumberland, MD at Rocky Gap State Park. It was gorgeous. Our team's start time was at 10am.
|Starting line at Rocky Gap - Cumberland, MD|
2:26pm - Friday - 6 miles - 43:25 - 7:14 pace
After watching all my teammates in my van run their legs, I was totally ready to go! My adrenaline was pumping - all downhill and a paved surface? A cinch! Well, not so. The elevation charts provided were rather deceiving and it was an uneven, rocky, gravel-type of surface. This course was KILLER. The "rolling hills" were absolutely ludicrous. While I did end up at a lower elevation than where I started, there were some pretty hefty inclines. It was soooo much fun though. I chatted with each of the four guys I passed (hee hee)! They totally appreciated being passed by a chatty girl in a sparkle skirt. They were really good sports! I was just passed by one herculean-type of man over the course of the entire event and that happened at about mile 2 of this leg.
|"Chicking" boys in a Team Sparkle Skirt is fun!|
1:10am - Saturday - 6.33 miles - 53:24 - 8:26 pace
This portion of the race was mind boggling. It actually made me question my own sanity - who the heck does this kind of thing? Running/racing in the middle of the night on back country, foggy, dark roads, up a mountain?!? Well, obviously a few of us because there were over 200 teams of 12! My team dropped me off at the bottom of South Mountain in Keedysville, MD (elevation 400 feet) with a headlamp and reflective vest and wished me luck! They would see me in Middletown, MD - after my climb up to 1,100 feet! I knew it was going to be tough but I was not prepared for the "hill" I was about to encounter. It kept getting steeper and steeper. There was no end in site. Finally, it leveled off. Ahhhh - YES! I made it! Um - no little girl in the sparkle skirt - that was the easy part! The final ascent was ridiculous. I just told myself to just keep running, so matter how slow I was going. Just don't walk! I passed close to 10 people on this leg just because I kept moving. It hurt, I am not going to lie. Not my body, but my lungs. I was breathing hard and it FELT GREAT! It's such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction to actually conquer a tough run. I was as high as a kite as I finished. Extreme endorphin high. It was 2am.
My Third Leg - Race Leg #32
11:18am - Saturday - 8.58 miles - 1:09 - 8:04 pace
I luckily got some sleep between 3am and 5am cuddled up in my compression socks. I wasn't cramping or anything. Well, I wasn't cramping until I tried to take off my socks at 5am. It is a hell of a workout getting those suckers on and off. I seriously got a shooting cramp in my hamstring - taking off my socks. Ha. We hit the road again at 5:30am.
|A beautiful way to welcome the morning - Germantown, MD.|
|My team bonding as I ran.|