Thursday, April 21, 2011

All the Single Ladies.....RUN RAGNAR 2011!

The Run has come and gone, All the Single Ladies ran the 200 mile course from Huntington Beach all the way to Silver Strand State Beach on Coronado. Yes, we ran and danced our way down. The best/worst event of my life started with a sleepover at the Hannon Court girls house. Thursday night we painted our fingernails black and gold, got our stuff ready to pack into our 2 vehicles and then turned in for the precious 4 hours of sleep that would last us through the next 2 days. 3:30am came, and we awoke. It's amazing what adrenaline and excitement will push you through. 3:30am is ridiculously early! We got ready, packed our vans and were headed out to the starting point, Huntington Beach, about a 1.5 hour drive north of us. We parked our vehicles, of course had to draw our names all over them, get out the cameras to take our pre-race "pretty" photos, get the race CD mixes passed out and our them song Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" blasting to get us ready. We had our safety training, signed our lives away, picked up some free stuff and then headed to the starting line to cheer our first runner, Rosey, on. Somewhere in the process, our faithful promoter and van driver Emerald, somehow got us a spot on the 7am news. ABC 7 news in LA was doing a piece about the race, and we were one of four teams who were interviewed!! And come to find out, Elex our cute reporter, is single:) One of the girls has jumped on that and become his facebook friend, no worries! Rosey took off and started us off on this epic journey through the OC and San Diego counties.

Van 1, which had the first six runners in it, took off to follow their runners and we were to meet them at checkpoint 6 to pass the baton off from runner 6 to runner 7. Runners seven through twelve were in Van 2, I was number 10 so we had a few hours before our van would start running. We hit up Mimi's for breakfast of eggs, juice and muffins, good protein boosting foods right! We chatted and felt good about this exciting adventure. About noon, our van was at checkpoint 6, with Van 1 waiting for Veda, runner #6 to come on in and get runners 7-12 started. This checkpoint was out near Corona and we were just realizing that this particular Friday was becoming the hottest day of the year so far. Brooke led our van off as runner #7 and away we went, running 34 miles through Corona and Lake Elsinore. Just to let you in on the conditions, it was about 92-95 degrees out that day. No Big Deal! (I'm still getting over the sun burn, next time buy waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen and REAPPLY). Even the most intense runners were struggling to get up their hills and stay hydrated through their run. My van would leapfrog our runners and meet up with them while they were running to get them water and ice and see that they were doing ok.

Van 2 made it, our last runner, Mollie, took us into checkpoint 12 to meet up with Van 1 and pass the baton back to them for the 2nd round of running. My van cooled down and then went to Costco for a pizza. While there, we were alerted to our now-famous status. We had people coming up to us in line, letting us know they'd seen us on TV that morning and to keep up the running! And pretty much, we had to blast our music wherever we went, so we kept up our Single Ladies theme throughout the run. One of the most fun parts of the race was driving by our runner and other  runners cheering them on. We'd honk, play our music loud, drop off water to other runners and just be good sports about the whole thing. It was a ton of fun to cheer runners up hills and see them get through it. After eating, our van took off to Checkpoint 18 where we were to meet up with Van 1. We also tried to get a little sleep before our night runs, but you can only get so comfortable in a van. We could have gone to lay out in the alfalfa field they set aside for runners to sleep in, but something about the bugs, dampness and all around lack of tarps to put under us, kept us from that option. After about 1.5 hours of us trying to sleep, we headed out to meet up with Van 1 and get our van running again. Midnight came and soon after, we saw Veda coming in and Brooke getting ready to go. Incidentally, Brooke's dad was super great and came out to Fallbrook to meet us and bring us hot chocolate/apple cider. Super nice and so great for Brooke to have her dad cheering her on for her run. Brooke started us off on our night runs. We followed her from Fallbrook to Escondido, after which Becky started her run. (Brooke and Becky had some crazy hills, but we all loved the 40 degree cooldown from our earlier day run!) Mel picked Becky up at the edge of San Marcos, I picked up from Mel in San Marcos, Ashleigh took us through San Marcos and Mollie helped our van finish in Carlsbad. It took us about 5 hours to get our legs done and so around 4am, we met up with Van 1 in Carlsbad to get them going on the 3rd and final round of running!

At Carlsbad, we looked at where our next meeting with Van 1 would be and decided that we could take a couple hours to stop at the Bishop's house to sleep. So away we went to sleep for a couple hours from about 5-7am. (That is all the sleep we got and I'm going to admit, it wasn't super restful, but so great to lie down instead of fold into a van seat!) We got up, made some breakfast and then headed up to the La Jolla Gliderport launch to meet up with Van1 and transfer the baton to our van for the final leg of running! We transferred the baton at about 10:30am. Van 1 had some crazy hills to run up and over on their last legs, they were so great! And we were finally back to running along the coast after spending a lot of time inland! Our views to our right were of the ocean and made it a lot nicer view at least! We picked up at the gliderport, just west of UCSD campus and Brooke ran through La Jolla, past the cove, through Wind and Sea down into Pacific Beach and her next checkpoint, which happened to be the church building! We called folks from the ward to come watch and cheer us on! Van 1 followed this leg a little bit and we met up with a huge dance party in the parking lot. Van 2 had to continue on to get to the next checkpoint. Becky was heading down the coast, along the Mission Bay Beach boardwalk and we met up with her just south in Point Loma. Mel took it away from there, running across the bridge from Mission Beach toward downtown, past the aiport and to Seaport Village in downtown. I picked up the race there, running a beautiful 2 miles behind the San Diego Convention Center, Petco park and underneath Coronado Bridge. Our route took us down the bayfront and up the little strip of land that connects Coronado island to the mainland, not over the bridge. So the last 4.5 miles of my run were along the Navy docks, not the most beautiful of runs:) But I put my music on, almost cried once, said a prayer to get me to keep going and kept a lookout for my teammates and water. They never let me down, they were there when I needed them to be. And this is where cheering on other teams comes in. Other vans would stop and cheer their runner on, but would stay and cheer on me too. It really helped.

I ran into the National City Marina, trading off with Ashleigh who ran us down to Chula Vista, 5.5 miles past my end point. Again, the view was a little lacking and we cheered her on along with water as well. Mollie picked up from Ashleigh and ran 6.1 miles up the strip of land into Silver Strand State Beach. We drove ahead of her to meet up with Van 1 at the finish line, awaiting Mollie and our chance to run over the finish line with her. She came around the corner and we ran in with her, as the DJ blared Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" for us. Another dance party was totally appropriate at this point and pretty much we made it a party! Such a crazy run, so hard to get myself going on that lest leg, But one of the best experiences. I didn't know I could do that to myself. I found that I could push myself and accomplish something so crazy and be with some of the most amazing women. They were all so positive, so uplifting. It was so hard to go back to work on Monday where there was such a different spirit. There's something to be said for women who live such good lives and the feeling you have with them. These are truly some amazing women. Along the run, there were some spontaneous proposals, photo opps with other single guys and the funny part was, when folks found out most of us were LDS, the mormon single guys started coming out and finding us. Or at least their running friends would ask us to come over and take pictures with their teams one single guy:) Oh if only it was that easy! We ended the race after running for about 33 1/2 hours!

It was an event of a lifetime, one of the best moments in my life so far. Pictures will come, I just need to get them downloaded, as well as some video.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Funny family ward Sunday

This past week, the youth from my stake went on a handcart pioneer trek for 4 days. It was apparently the experience of a lifetime, as many bore their testimonies about the trip. And I love that they were so excited after the trek, to have had the experience of hiking through the rain, hail, sleet and then snow. The testimonies started off with their experience with the forces of nature and all the wonderful mud and fun that comes with that. It was when the kids started bearing testimony of how the trek was true, that trekking was so awesome and that when things were hard they prayed. My favorite was "the trek was true." totally great. My other favorite was one young man who closed the meeting by letting us know that while all these other testimonies were good, no one had mentioned how irreverent and rude the boys were at night in their tents. Or how it was almost a stampede when they found out they were going to sleep in the A-frames for the last night. He thought he was going to trampled to death. And when he was done with that, he started to close his testimony, but then thought better of it and added that the experience strengthened his testimony, bearing a real one. That ended the slide on a little up tick :). Another girl who hadn't gone "trekking" (the new verb that is derived from the noun trek. I'm sure the pioneers would appreciate us taking there very difficult experience and turning it into a more fun sounding verb) All in all, a great sharing of spirit, entertainment and the development of new words.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So here we are, 2 days to go till what is quickly becoming a bucket list item. I'm trying to master the anxiety that is building up. I'm just nervous about running that far, will my legs be able to recuperate quickly enough to run, 8 hours after the first run, running at night, knowing where I'm going, will my team finish at a decent time and not in the dark when no one is at the finish line anymore, will my body collapse the day after and lay me flat for days, will my hip that has been twinging a little bit lock up or be just fine...blah, blah. Just little things like that. I know, it will be fine and when it comes down to it, if I need to walk a little, I will walk. No shame in that, but just the nerves are getting to me a little bit. So with that said, if all keeps on pace, as of right now, I should be running my first leg around 5pm on Friday, my 2nd leg around 4-5am Saturday and then my last one around 3-4pm Saturday afternoon. and then done!!! I've felt good through all this training, have found some good running routes and plan to keep up that running. But will take a little break next week:)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Well, I'm invested.

You'd think after my previous posts about running this *ridiculous* race that I had been invested in running for a while. Really, what normal, non invested person signs up to run this *hard, worst/best, killer* race without some emotional and financial investment? Well, I have crossed over. I went to the big deal running store here in town yesterday. This store measures your foot length and width, has you run on a treadmill to take a video of how your feet plant when you run, they take a scan of your arches and mold a pair of insoles to fit your feet perfectly. One of the questions they ask is do you have pain when you run? Duh, yes I do. Lower back, hips, knees, ankles and heels. I think that list shows something was wrong. Turns out, there was:

*I have a high arch, so I need to have stability support in my shoes so my feet land properly.
*I land too hard on my heels
*When I stand upright, like normal, my ankles/knees rotate inward, so my knees, shins and ankles are not aligned straight.
*When I run, my right foot turns out a little bit
*When I run, my arches sink down in instead of flexing to keep the arch up, my foot flattens-hence the knee, ankle and hip pain.

So, I came out with a pair of Asics that were for stability and high arches and a pair of insoles that are so sturdy, that when I run, my arch can sink down, but will be popped right back up. I wore them and it's like working out muscles I hadn't worked before. The outside areas of my feet hadn't felt that motion for a long time. I've always been a little knock kneed and this helps explain why and how to fix it. So when the guy who was doing all these scans asked me about my pain and injuries, I could roll out lower back pain/lock ups, ankle sprains and knee issues and pretty much, while he said this wouldn't be a cure all, having the right pair of shoes that align your body the correct way, can help with so many things.

So after having spent a little $$$, I have learned how to possibly fix these physical ailments that started before kindergarten (I had "magic" and "special" shoes in kindergarten to help move my feet from going in to going out, to keep my knees from sinking in and knocking). Good investment?...we'll see.