After my first run I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself. I basically only did a handful of 2 mile runs to prepare for Ragnar and that’s it (thank you, Meniere’s Disease for killing my training plan), so the fact that I just powered through 7.5+ miles with no problem left me excited about my next run. Before I could run again, however, my 11 teammates all had to get in a run of their own. This gave us a lot of downtime, which I might cover in a later post. I started the race at sunrise, and my second run was coming up. In order to do that one I had to decorate myself with a reflective vest, headlamp and flashing red tail light. Plus it was cold out, seeing as we were in the evening hours, so I was wrapped in a blanket until the final possible moment. Carrie and I hurried to the transition point, sure that Garth would be finishing any moment. I didn’t even have time to start my music or get a signal on my Garmin and he was there. I tossed Carrie my blanket and set out for my turn to run!
The transition area was a bit of a sticky situation. It was basically in a long narrow parking lot on the beach side of Camp Pendleton. I saw Garth come in for the finish and had to wait for the race people to give me permission to cross over to get the slap bracelet and take off. One cool thing I learned is after I started running Garth was given a pint glass basically declaring him a bad ass for running 11.9 miles at night with zero van support! (Meaning we couldn't stop to give him any food or water. We never even got to see him run at all on that leg.) So anyway, I was off and running. My Garmin was NOT getting any signal at all. I ran six-tenths of a mile (I’m guessing) before I was able to get one. Sometime in that first bit of running I managed to get some music playing as well. Once all was working I relaxed and continued powering forward.
It was completely black outside. I don’t even remember any area lights at all. The only lights I could see were from vans heading to the transition area and the headlamps of fellow runners. It was so peaceful. Even with my music quietly playing I could hear the footsteps of fellow runners as they got closer. I did get passed by a member of the team that ultimately won Ragnar! It was like my slow ass racing against Steve Prefontaine… but even with the impressive speed of that runner…. the guy in the shiny blue Speedo was very nice and told me I was looking good and to keep it up. I cracked myself up when I told him, “Thanks, you too. Keep going!” Yeah, I’m sure this elite really needed my encouragement.
As far as MY running, I was feeling incredible! I never knew how far I was since my signal didn’t happen until I had been going for quite a while. I didn’t even care. I just kept running straight and pushing at what felt like a middle of the night 5K pace, although I know it was a bit slower than that. My run was only 3 miles long, and even in that time I managed to have 3 kills (passed 3 people) …. two of them being dudes! The path was basically flat, and straight – with occasional zig zag action following the road as it bent around islands of palm trees. The beach was over to my right but I couldn't see it over the hill of trees. Darn. I could see stars though!
Being a straight road with zero area lighting, the final transition area was very easy to see from afar. A mass of lights was ahead and I just focused on that and kept pushing to make sure I could get in those 3 kills that I was plotting! This hand-off was different. Instead of giving Man Friend the slap bracelet I came flying in for my finish and he was handed a card with a time stamp on it for my finish time. (Meaning the time of night it was, not how long it took me to do it.) According to our fb posts, it was 9:49pm I got back in the car. From there we had to drive to Man Friend’s starting area to get us around Camp Pendleton, where he would hand off the time stamped card. I was hardly in the car before I passed out. I know I woke up to wish him well on his race, and then I got up to see him hand off to Elizabeth as well. I was pretty much exhausted! But what a beautiful night for running. I love night running! That leg was pretty perfect conditions and I kept myself at a nice, speedy pace, making for a very happy runner! 2 legs down, only 1 to go!
Prior Ragnar posts: