And now it’s time to bring it on home with my third and final leg of the 2014 Ragnar So Cal relay. Seeing as I passed out after my second run I was feeling wide awake, as refreshed as one could feel after sleeping in a minivan with 5 other people, and ready to get in my last run. It was 5am in the Taylor Made parking lot somewhere in California that Garth and I started stirring and getting ready for our early morning runs. I can’t tell you enough how awesome he is. He had to run more miles than anyone else and never once complained about a single thing. It’s like he was a machine and just knocking them out like training runs! My morning wasn’t completely smooth, however. I hadn’t gone to the bathroom in 12 hours so I was dying! Imagine the smell in this porta potties, okay? I went in, checked for toilet paper, and then almost gagged. I hurried but was a mess. Almost until I ran I was trying to make myself throw up to just get it over with. … never happened. By the time we got to the transition area where I would start running I was feeling much better, thank goodness!
In typical form, Garth came up faster than expected and I bolted off ready to enjoy another sunrise. This time I started at 7:28am right at the beach. I had barely started running and found myself in a sort of round courtyard. There were two paths open. One went up a crazy staircase, the other to the beach. I got excited! I looked at the volunteers and said, “Do I get to run on the beach???” Imagine my disappointment when they laughed and said no, pointing to the stairs. Clearly I didn’t practice running up stairs when I wasn’t training for Ragnar! At this point I hadn’t walked at all, so dammit I wasn’t going to do it on this last round. To the stairs I went! They went on for so long, but at the top I was able to look down and see all of the vans and runners below, pretty cool! I ran from the stairs to Highway 101. Never did I think I would be racing on the South Coast Highway 101!
It was probably my favorite setting of my 3 legs. The street was lined with quaint shops and restaurants all starting to preparing for opening. The shops that really caught my eye were hard to pass up without lingering to look in. First was a bamboo and tiki lounge shop… that’s so me!! And next to it was an antique shop with Marilyn Monroe in the window. Too darn cute! The rest of the street was just the same. Other local runners were out, as well as people walking their dogs. Again, it was pretty quiet even though I was on a major road. Only a few stoplights hindered me this time, much better than on my first run. Of course I wanted to see the end, but also I was loving it so much I just tried to take it all in and enjoy it while it lasted. The air smelled of salt water, I saw some seagulls, it was just perfect!
I had a slight rise in my path that then would drop down a bit. But before that drop all I could see ahead of me was a massive hill. How could they do this to me?? Throw in a monster hill in my very last couple of tenths?? But fate would be nice to me. I crested my mini-rise and saw the next directional sign turning me toward the beach and away from the hill. Hallelujah! Seeing that sign was a relief, and at that same time my final song came on… mind you I had made a playlist of songs that reminded me of Southern California, but it was just on random… if you remember I started with Sugar Ray’s Every Morning. The song I finished to as I ran toward the ocean and Man Friend waiting for me? Sugar Ray’s Fly. Absolutely perfect bookends to the coolest running experience so far!
With that run I had some kills, but at the moment I can’t remember. I finished at the beach in Encinitas, California and I finished with a HUGE smile! I absolutely loved every minute of Ragnar and cannot wait to do it again!
Prior Ragnar Posts: