Napa Valley Ragnar Recap

Today’s Workout:  Ran 7 miles, lifted for 25 minutes, and stretched for 10 minutes.  I do not like tapering but one thing I do love about it is adding strength training and stretching.***

I have held off on my Ragnar Recap because I was hoping the results would be posted by today.  Unfortunately they have still not been posted and I know if I wait any longer I will completely forget everything.  I do know that our team ran about 8:30 average pace and there is also a great possibility we may have placed in the mixed division so I will be sure to update you as soon as the results are posted.

Okay so if you’ve been following my blog for awhile or even if you are new you probably know that I love Ragnars!  I love the idea of working together as a team and I also love that Ragnar is all about having fun and not stressing about time.  The focus is off of me as an individual and rather geared towards helping my teammates and ensuring we complete the task together.  I absolutely love the concept.

With that said, Napa Valley Ragnar was my 4th Ragnar relay race to date and I would definitely say that logistically it was not my favorite.  Please do not get me wrong, I still had an absolute blast!  But the course was unsafe in many areas, multiple signs were stolen which made things confusing, several teams (including mine) were held at exchanges due to lack of volunteers, and many legs had multiple street lights which slowed down the runners.  I do not blame Ragnar at all for these problems and in they’re defense they did do everything to make the course safe and correct the issues.  There wasn’t really anything they could do about crazy drunk people harassing runners, or teenagers stealing signs so this was not solely there fault but it did contribute to some frustration.

Now that that mini rant is out of the way lets get to the recap shall we.  We drove all morning and afternoon and got into California at 1:30pm on Thursday.  I was able to spend the entire day with my aunt and her family and it was marvelous!  We ate an amazing dinner, went and visited my uncle’s new house, and just chatted and caught up.  It was great.  Most of my van arrived at my aunts that night and I slept like a champ.

Friday morning we drove to our first exchange and it was off to the races.  After safety meeting and chatting with a few friends at the exchange Heather kicked our van off to a great start. 

Our team started around noon and the weather was a little warm but not overly hot.  Heather ran first, followed by Ken (who was filling our extra leg), then Annalise, and then I was up.  Our van was short a runner so we took turns running the extra leg. 

My first leg was probably my toughest.  7.8 miles with a 771 elevation gain.  It was also now 2:30p.m. and much hotter than I was used to.  I was also graced with an awesome headwind but I didn’t really let any of it effect me.  I just ran, chatted with other runners along the way, and enjoyed myself.

Leg #1:  7.81 miles, 57:16, 7:21 average pace.  13 road kill!  I was surprised to see I had ran so fast but I felt good and definitely think running at Sea level played a role.  
After I was finished Ken was up again followed by Nikki.  We hit up Subway immediately after Nikki finished and headed to the next exchange to hang out.  We were suppose to sleep or something but instead we talked and I got to meet Jessica!!  After what seemed like only milliseconds we were off again for legs 2 of the race.  Almost everyone had tough legs and we were all looking forward to getting them out of the way. 

It was now nighttime and after Heather was finished I ran the extra leg.  I had a 45 minute break in between and then it was onto my actual leg.

Leg #2:  2.91 miles, 20:56, 7:12 pace. 9 road kill!  This leg was fun and just kinda flew by.

Leg #3:  6.14 miles, 46:06, 7:31 pace.  5 road kill!  There were only 350 teams in this Ragnar total and my team was in the top 50 so this leg was incredibly weird.  I literally felt like I was all alone running in the dark in the middle of the night.  For the first 3 miles I saw no one except 1 homeless person.  I thought for sure I was lost and kind of ran this leg confused and scared.  Oh well it made the time go by fast and I was happy to have it done.

After I was done Ken ran his grueling 8.3 miler and then Nikki conquered her 9.4 miler like it was a piece of cake.  I know this is getting long but I must include this story.  While Nikki was running there was a drunk man wondering the streets (keep in mind it was pitch black).  This dude was a quack and scary looking.  He tried to get in our van and then threatened the runners that he had a gun. Nikki is a Trauma nurse and one tough chick.  We caught up to her to tell her and all she said was “I’m pretty sure I can out run a stupid drunk.”   Yes, yes Nikki yes you can!  She bolted past him like it was no big deal and just continued on her way finishing with an 8:10 average pace!

Once they were done we headed to the next exchange which again was an opportunity to ‘sleep’.  There was no indoor sleeping so all 5 of us were stuck in the van and not much sleeping actually happened.  When we woke up to get ready to run we were told we would be held at the exchange because there was not enough volunteers and the next exchanges were not yet set up.  We only ended up being held about 15 minutes and then Heather was off for her double legs.  She ran the extra leg which gave her 7ish miles. 

We were all pretty freaking tired at this point and I was incredibly worried about how I would hold up for my last leg.  I do not do good on no sleep and I literally did not sleep at all.  Luckily the gorgeous views helped to wake me up and I was just ready to get my run out of the way.

Leg #4:  6.84 miles, 51:19, 7:31 pace. 3 road kill.  This run felt like the marathon death shuffle but it was a gorgeous route and I tried my best to enjoy it and soak it all in.

After I finished my last leg Ken and Nikki were up and they both ran their best times of the entire race.  Who does that on the last leg?  Anyway they finished up strong and we all ran into the finish together.  We finished at 11am and over an hour ahead of our projected time.  It was weird to be one of the first teams to finish.  The finish area was still pretty dead and we were able to get all of the free food, samples, and wine tasting we wanted.

Whew…. now that was a long recap and I hope you were able to bare with me!  Overall I had an absolute blast and would not change this experience for anything in the world.

**I will announce the winner of the giveaway as soon as our team results are posted so keep checking back!  I also have some fun and exciting news to announce tomorrow so definitely stay tuned!

Now tell me what is the weirdest thing you have ever had happen to you while running?

I thought having a drunk person chase after you and try to catch you in the dark was a little odd but it seriously did not even seem to phase Nikki.  Am I just way too Utahnized?  I know thats not a word but you get the picture right. 

Do you like wine?

Nope!  I nearly threw up in my mouth just from the smell.  I’m going to go ahead and blame this one on Utah as well. 🙂  Apparently it’s an aquired taste?