Monday, September 27, 2010

We're Kind of a Big Deal

Ragnar Relay
12 People. 2 Minivans.
197 Miles
Start: 6:30 a.m. on September 24th in Cumberland, MD
End: around 4 p.m. on September 25th at National Harbor in D.C.
Each person ran 3 legs varying in length and difficulty.

I was in van 2, runner 8. Which means I ran my first leg (5.6 miles) in the heat of the day (97 degrees) up a mountainside. Have you ever run uphill and finally see, in the distance, the top of the mountain? You feel such relief as you reach the peak, about to cruise downhill. Except, when you get there, you see that it's just a hairpin turn and what lies in front of you is not a glorious downhill slope, but more mountain as far as the eye can see. If you haven't, let me tell you it's devastating. If I had not sweat away any trace of fluid in my body, I would have cried. It was bad.

Just standing around being kind of a big deal.

My second leg (5 miles) was around midnight. It was fantastic, which was a huge surprise for me. I didn't feel ready for it. I didn't think my legs would even function after that first experience. But the weather was cool and the course was mostly a gradual downhill slope. It was me, the moon, some old country roads, a few cows and I enjoyed every second of it.

A bunch of the team sporting the required night gear.

My final leg (6.1 miles) was the next day around noon. It was hot. Again. I followed the Rock Creek/Capital Crescent Trail near D.C. I was officially spent. Having a difficult time putting one foot in front of the other. I reached the top of a small hill and look up to see the spires of the D.C. Temple above the trees. I felt rejuvenated, if only for a few minutes. It was incredible. Blah, blah, blah more running and feeling miserable and then... I finished. I was done. It was over for me. I may have shed a tear or two brought on by a complex combination of exhaustion, joy, pain, pride, etc...

Van 2 peeps.

The team met at the finish and waited for the text from Dan, our last runner. He let us know when he was about a mile and a half out, so that we could meet him and cross the finish together. I believe his text said something about his legs being mush and he felt like he was dying. Maybe. I can't remember exactly. He rocked it, like the rockstar he is, and we all ran with him for the last 100 yards or so. And it was done. We had cumulatively run nearly 200 miles on little to no sleep, cramped inside two minivans and all we could talk about at the finish was doing it again next year.

The boys. Staying classy.

This experience was unforgettable and I had some pretty amazing company.

Team We're Kind of a Big Deal sporting our medals, which were kind of a big deal.


Grandma Gale said...

Wow! I am so impressed! What an accoomplishment. So is it a fundraiser or what was it for? Maybe just to show us that you are crazy or will do anything for a couple days away without the kids... which would be understandable. Great job! By the way, your kids are adorable and we wish we lived closer.

Shiloh said...

HUZZAH! I love that you guys did this. Now that we are all hooked on the ragnar, lets do one together next year. You, me, val, and some other crazy people who love the ragnar.

Valerie said...

Amazing-town, Howington. Seriously, great, great job. I love the hairpin turn story--that's a low moment for sure. But, ugh, you have to love those night runs.

Shiloh, I'm in. Let's to somewhere flat, like Florida. Or Kansas.

Rachelle said...

yup, you're right. you're kind of a big deal!

sweet job.

Southern Belle said...

That sounds so fun! Way to go:)

David and Rachel said...

Dang girl! I just ran 3.5 miles in the Akron Marathon this last weekend and I thought that was a big deal, but you definitely top that. Way to go and you should be so proud of yourself!!

skumar said...

I wanna do it too!!!

Patrick Stevenson said...

Annie, thanks for being my teammate. You're a ROCKSTAR!! As I was running it was always nice to see you guys pull up in the van with water and gummy bears. I can hardly wait for next year, and I'll make sure not to eat your Olive Garden leftovers next time!!

Three Little Brown Kids said...

I loved the whole thing and would do it again in a heart beat!