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Ragnar Relay New England, so much fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Those of you who read my last blog know I jumped into this thing 4 days before we were to head out on our 200 miles in about 24 hours. I was handed the opportunity to be part of a team of people I had never met, but I jumped at it anyways!

I met Valerie for the first time when she came to pick me up so we could ride down to Hammonassett beach to meet "Van 2" of our team. Van 1 was starting out at Yale in New Haven CT but it would take them about 5 hours to make their way up to us. So, down we drive to meet the other 3 members of our half of the team... BTW 1 person dropped out 2 days before so I took his slot plus kept the first and last legs of my slot.

Val and I were sort of annoyed driving down, we were down a man, people had been dropping out left and right (that's how I joined so last moment). Neither one of us had ever met them but held all of this against them anyways. lol. We get there, and see our teamates. immediately I think "oh no"... they were in jeans and shirts, every ones else was in running gear... on top of that, they inform us that our DRIVER is dropping out too and that they planned to drive us to all the excchanges... so they are running, driving and NONE of us are sleeping. I was ready to drop out... but I didn't.

As we are walking over to get our gear check and safety training I said out loud " we look like the bad news bears walking over here". The name stuck. So 3 guys, 2 girls and one soon to be leaving driver have now connected to create our van 2 team.

Our driver stayed with us for the first leg, she was absolutely miserable, I still don't know what was going on but she was so unhappy it put a damper on everything, No one felt comfortable, on top of the fact that we didnt know each other. Well, the three guys sort of knew each other and Val and I had gotten acquainted on the way down but that was it.

So I was the second runner and the last runner for our van (position 8 and 12). Chris, #7 was geared up to run from Hammonasset to the next exchange. As the time for van 1 to appear got closer, it was good to see the guys change into their running clothes. lol

The other van came, we took a group picture and Chris ran off and we jumped in our van to meet him at the next exchange so I could run. I was so excited to start! ( I am trying to give you guys all the details but I also want a record of it because it was so amazing). I think I saw the people in van 1 twice, maybe 3x... not sure. But we didn't get to know them at all and had no team vibe with them, which is sorta unfortunate.

We get to the next exchange, I hit the porta potty and wait for Chris to arrive, I was sorta nervous but super excited. He came through, slapped the slap bracelet on my wrist (that's the baton) and I was off at about 3:00 pm. I felt fantastic, I started cruising at a 7:45 pace and finally slowed myself down about 1/3 of a mile in because I still had 4 more legs after this 6 miler! lol. I ran through a small town of CT and finished up with an 8:22 pace for my first run. I was pretty happy and my team was really happy with that result (my van).

Now I had about a 2-3 hour break until I run in position 12. So I change my shirt and bra and make the fatal error of forgetting to change my socks. Stupid, rookie mistake that resulted in 2 blisters on my right foot. We cycle through the rest of our runners, and then I am up again. This time for a 5 miler. It's about 7 pm now and I am wearing a reflective vest over my running gear. I thought my legs might feel stiff or tired for this leg but NOPE, I felt great again! I ran this leg at an 8:23 pace, staying right on track, I was thrilled.

We now lost our driver, her mom picked her up at this exchange between me and runner 1. So the guys are now driving us. I have to say though, the mood in the van lighted up immensly now that she had gone and we started having actual FUN with each other. YAY! Now we had some comraderie and serious laughs going on.

Our team had 3 hotel rooms to use while we were between legs1 and 2 so we ate a sub at subway then headed to our rooms around 9:00 pm. we all showered, Val napped ( I couldn't, unfortunately) but at least it was a place to stretch out and lay down. At about 11:30 we got the call that it was time to drive to the next exhcange (an hour away) to meet the other van for our legs. Chris was up to run at about 1:00 am. He came in, ran right by me because you really couldn't tell who was who, I called him back to me and I headed out at 2:00 am for my third leg of about 5.6 miles. This was the coolest run for sure, a little scary but super fun. The first 3 miles were on sort of a main road, so there were some headlights and taillights along the way, that helped, especially to see the hills. There was one point where I thought I had hit the wall then saw the tail lights of a car going up, up and up some more. Once I realized I was on a hill I felt much better and sucked it up. The last 2.6 miles were on windy back country roads, I could see about 2 feet in front of me, I was so scared I was going to fall! lol I didn't though and finished this leg at an 8:59 pace (YAY still sub 9) lol. I was so out of it, I couldn't remember words and I couldn't stop yelling, I had no volume control whatsoever!

Val ran this leg of position 12, she was position 11 so she just tacked the 2.4 miles on to her 3.5 miler and did a 6 mile leg. I am SO glad I didn't have to run again at 5am. I slept in the van as much as I could but every exchange brought slamming doors and loud voices. We were lucky enough to be done by about 5:30 which meant we had more time in the hotel room! YAY. This time I think I got about 1.5-2 hours of solid sleep.

We had to head back out at about 9 am. grrr, I was tired.. I actually, at the next exchange met some girls and I was talking to them about how I was running 2 positions, there for had 2 more runs this day and they tried to talk me into giving at least one of them up, I will be honest, I considered it. But I knew, I would regret giving them up more than I would regret feeling like crap. So I decided to keep them. The weather was amazing and other than being tired my body felt fantastic. Chris ran, and I was up again at noon. I started out feeling really good, my vanmates passed me at mile 1.5 and I yelled "feeling pretty great so far". It hit me around mile 4.5 but I knew I had only a mile and a half to go so I powered through and actully felt good again by mile 5 or so. I finished this leg at an 8:40 pace, slowed down a bit but I was so elated at the end, so glad I ran!

The final leg I ran was the FINAL LEG of the relay started around 3:00 pm. I actually got to run into Harvards track and cross the finish line. I was definitely tired for this leg but it was so short (like 2.2 miles) that I knew I could do it no matter what. I ran through the streets of Boston, it was super flat (thank goodness) and felt pretty good, I got to the final track lap and my team wasn't there... crap... so I kept running through the finish line without them so we could at least get our time recorded and went off looking for them. About 10 min later, I saw them waiting for me at the entrance to the track... I had to break it to them that I had finished early... lol we all headed to the finish line to get our pic taken together and medals etc. This leg I ran at an 8:07 pace.

Overall, this was one of the most exhilerating experiences of my life, I personally ran 25 miles in 24 hours... Ragnar Relay, best 2 days in 1 ever! Actually my van of 5 strangers is hoping to run this next year as an ultra (we need to add one more, Bekka?) We wound up being friends to the end... lol

ETA my goal, rather than having any time goals were not to let anyone pass me during my legs of the relay. So I learned at the time that anyone you passed were called "kills" and anyone who passed you were called "deaths"... it was a good way to take your mind off of the mileage and turned it into a game, ! so i wanted to add my Kills and Deaths tally.

Leg 1 - 1 kill, 0 deaths
Leg 2- 2 kills, 0 deaths
Leg 3 - 1 kill, 0 deaths
Leg 4 - 2 kills, 1 death - the boy passed me at mile 1.5, I passed him back at mile 5 and beat his butt to the exchange YEAH!
Leg 5- 3 kills, 0 deaths
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow I am so impressed. It sounds like it ended up fantastic apart from cranky pants to start with. What a journey you must be one strong cookie. I am so proud of you. You made me exhausted just reading your story.
    Well done you totally ROCK.
    3611 days ago
    I enjoyed reading your recap. I so badly want to do a relay like this. It's on the "to-do" list. I may have to wait until next year, but I will be doing it. This relay is probably second only to Hood to Coast in terms of popularity.

    Woohoo! They were glad to have you! Good thing you didn't back out. What would they have done without you? You totally RAWKED IT!
    3611 days ago
    Sounds totally awesome!!!!
    3611 days ago
    I just need to edit something, I forgot to talk about my challenge not to let anyone pass me during th relay... editing blog.
    3611 days ago
    what a wonderful blog to share, thanks for all of the details, you really inspire!! what an experience to be proud of, you deserve it and thanks for sharing!! emoticon emoticon
    3612 days ago
    omg. I have so many thoughts about your experience..here i go..so sorry that it started out crappy. Why would she drive if she didn't want to be a part of it. Debbie Downer!! Glad you didn't have to have her the whole time (hopefully she isnt reading this). And it irks me when people drop out of things when others are counting on them, not my favorite personality trait. But wow! i'm so glad you posted all of the details. I loved reading this. Sounds exhausting! but an exhilerating experience. Hmmmm...me? wellllllll..i'd have to get faster. I'm tough to get to commit to anything right now, with classes, work, my lack of quality running, i wouldn't want to give my 'all in' and then disappoint you. I always have to juggle Dean's schedule and responsibilities with DS. I don't have much in terms of babysitting options (you know the drill). But, truthfully, i'd be good for a short leg or two! You never know!!!

    Jumping High Five to you for taking leap of faith, doing something 'out of the box' and living life! I agree with CC, you run like the darn wind! So proud of you for all of the hard training you've done. Losing those 10lbs helps too!
    3612 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/23/2011 9:36:11 PM
    Sounds exhausting, but like it was so much fun! Glad you didn't let your initial reservations about your team ruin it for you. Awesome job on your legs of the race! You have definitely piqued my interest in relays.
    3612 days ago
    congrats on your race girl! sounds like fun and such a new experience. i am so jealous of your speediness but in a good way!
    3612 days ago
    Wow! This race sounds so awesome!! If bekka doesn't run- I'm totally game. I love relays it's always so much more fun just because you have a team and it can push you even more.
    Sounds like you did some good times to- congrats!
    3612 days ago
    It sure sounds like an unforgettable experience! I'm really glad you kept those 2 legs that people wanted- I think you are right on about rather giving it your best shot than sitting out!

    You are an AMAZING runner = they are lucky to have such a great new team mate and tons to look forward to next year!
    3612 days ago
    Oh my goodness, what a wonderful story!! I love it!! You are THE WOMAN Meg!!

    I can't believe how damn fast you are. Shows what hard work and dedication will do for you! Nice job chica!!
    3612 days ago
    Wow! I'm so happy I stumbled onto your blog! You gave me some great insight!
    I was just invited to run the Hood To Coast 200 mile relay in Oregon the end of August!
    I'm excited and can't wait.
    It's going to be real different for me as it's all hills and I live in flat, flat Florida!!

    I'm so happy to hear you had a great time even with the beginning not being so great and not knowing anyone! And wow! Even after lack of sleep and all those other runs, you still finished fast! Woo Hoo!

    3612 days ago
  • TAMTAM64
    Wow - what an adventure you had! I do admired the way you jumped at the opportunity to do this relay. Spending that much time with people I didn't know would have worried me a little bit (more like major stress out LOL).

    You ran so great - just think you just about ran a marathon. :) And you made new friends along with way.

    Totally awesome experience - I'm in awe of you!

    3612 days ago
    Megan, what a great race! I think those 2 day relays are much harder than the one day-ers since it's really hard to sleep. You did GREAT! And despite all of the set backs and not knowing your teammates, it sounds like it was a fantastic experience! Nice job on your blazing fast times, too!
    3612 days ago
    Bravo! That's an experience you'll treasure for a long, long time. Awesome.
    3612 days ago
    WOW, what an exciting yet exhausting experience! I was so tired reading about all the times that you had to get out there & run again & again...I'm glad that you didn't quit & in the end you made some friends with your unlikely team! You had incredible paces...congratulations!!
    3612 days ago
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