This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Physically, mentally, emotionally…you name it. I was challenged from every direction possible, we all were.
The best explanation I can give you is imagine getting less than 3 hours of sleep for 36-48 hours, no consistent food sources and at no consistent time. Have no time to roll or prep for your run, maybe a minute to stretch and then run the better part of 17 miles over 3 legs in the heat, humidity, trails, concrete, hills (OMG the hills) of the scenic Midwest with 12 folks you may or may not know (I knew 1 and had met 2 before), and finish under 36 hours ending at Montrose Beach in Chicago after basically living with each other in a van the entire time!
In those 36 hours I laughed, cried (a lot on leg 3), van danced, navigated, dropped off / picked up / and met runners mid run, cheered folks on, took care of the ill, bitched about the hills and the freaked out running a trail in the dark, sprained a foot, slightly dislocated the other ankle (there’s a lot of give in it so it slips around) and still ran across the finish line, on the beach, in a sandstorm!
It was a huge leap of faith that I took the plunge head first, as did all my teammates. We all had to just give in and put a ridiculous amount of trust in complete strangers. Neither of these comes easily for me. I also learned in the value of a team and community, which is something I don’t get a feel for often as I do most of my training alone.
But after all the challenges, I can tell you without a doubt I am a changed person… as once you tackle something so freakin’ epic, you can’t possibly go back. All of us agreed this was so hard and so big, you can’t possibly return to who you were before. Nor would any of us want to. And we all want to run a Ragnar again, as a team!
I saw a post that Ragnar was a like a powerful drug. I didn’t get that before. I couldn’t have understood because until you toe that line…nothing compares. Literally nothing you have done before or even potentially after, will ever compare….hence that’s why they equated it to a drug. The only thing that’s bigger than a Ragnar, is another Ragnar!
I need to thank my teammates, especially Liz who got me involved in this epic adventure run-cation. A special thanks to Ragnar for taking care of us from crazy people, extreme heat and wayward dogs, and the volunteers (especially our own) who were our lifeline, and to my Mom who got up at 2am to have breakfast ready for 6 weary, smelly runners who were desperately in need of food, showers and sleep, only to do it all over again for another 7 folks a few hours later. I need to thank my coach and my massage therapists, a friend who suggested Infinite Nutrition (2 weeks out I realized I wasn’t going to be able to handle gels over that period of time) and to Todd at CRC for helping me get my shoe issues straightened out in the nick of time (Hokas still rule).
There’s a reason the tag line for Rangar is Find Your Inner Wild….