To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ragnar Northwest Passage - The Pre-Party

I don't even know how to start writing about what proved to be a completely awesome, unexpected weekend!  I ran basically 18 miles with zero training. If negative training is possible, then that's what I had. On a Saturday I was asked if I wanted to join a team. By the time the next Saturday came I had already run 2/3 of my relay race legs. That right there might show how crazy this whole thing was! So let's back up....

To recap the prior blog, my non-stop crazy running life came to a mini-retirement at the end of 2014. I spent 2015 going through IVF and being pregnant. 2016 I was pregnant, had a baby, and resumed doing a few 5K races here and there, but not nearly the amount of regular running that I would typically do. That brings us to 2017. I have been running a lot more, but feeling relaxed and no need to go do any crazy distances.  Two or 3 miles here and there and I was happy. I kept wanting to really kick it into gear and get back to longer distances, but just hadn't done it yet. That has now changed!

Once I agreed to fill the vacant spot on the team I immediately started working on a packing list and getting my stuff in gear. Having done a Ragnar before I knew that I already owned everything I would need, except for some snacks. I had this cute new bag I've been wanting to use, so my mission was to fit everything I would need into that and my small backpack that held my shoes, small towel and Chawel. ... What's a Chawel? Only one of the greatest things ever! It's this towel/blanket/sleeping bag thing. There is a hole in one end for your head so you can actually wear and/or use it to change clothes without everybody seeing your business.  Life saver!! I used it all weekend as a pillow, blanket and for changing. I highly recommend this for anyone considering a relay!

Thursday morning was my final shower before work. Aww, showers.... Once I finished my 4 hours of work I rushed home, had a quick lunch and was out the door heading north to meet the team. Thankfully Shawn drove me up there because I am pretty sure I'd have had a lot of trouble finding courage to go up to a stranger's house all by myself! I was worrying about getting there after being stuck in Portland traffic and feeling like I was going to be the last to arrive .... I was the first! You know what? It wasn't horrible! Immediately I met Kari and Katy and felt relaxed. Tabitha arrived right after I did and we learned we were in the same van. I knew right away this was going to be a great time!

Soon everyone, minus two, had arrived and we were enjoying some food while sitting in the grass talking. Of course my food consumption was slim to none, since I have a very hard time eating with people, but I tried, dang it! We all grabbed our new team shirts and loaded up vans while also doing the beginning work of decorating. Photos to come on that in later blogs! Speaking of vans!!! As soon as we rounded the corner I started squealing in joy... TWO FULL SIZED VANS!! If you followed my prior Ragnar you may recall we had 6 people crammed into 1 small mini-van. So much room for activities in these enormous vehicles!! I ended up having the entire back row, unintentionally, and it became known as my apartment. I had guest quarters that I did share sometimes. I'm not a jerk!

Let's speed this up, shall we? Around 8:30pm Van 1 loaded up and began our trek to Blaine, Washington. Blaine is right on the US/Canada border. I started in Southern Oregon, so this was a long day on I-5! The road in Washington was horrible. 4 lanes merging to 1. Bumpy as can be. Ugh. I was happy to be done. Not ghetto at all... we ended up sleeping in the van in a motel parking lot only yards from the Canada border. Oh how hard it is to be so close, yet so far!

I'll wrap this up here, and pick up with the start of Day 1 when I summarize my first excruciating leg! Next time we meet we will officially start the Ragnar Northwest Passage!

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