I can now cross Ragnar off of my bucket list, and put it on my “to do again and again” list. I have been wanting to do Ragnar since last year, but already had a commitment that weekend with work. I swore up and down that I would find a way to do it this year, and I did! I was blessed enough to be a part of a team of 11 other amazing women called “Run To The Desert!? We Thought You Said Dessert!” or Team Dessert for short. Nicole, our team captain, did a great post on all of our team members that you should definitely check out. Here was my picture for that post with my favorite dessert:
Big surprise, huh?
I took a few days off work before and after the race, because I knew it would take a lot of preparation, and I would need some time to recuperate.
One important piece of advice we all were given was to pack three different racing outfits in gallon Ziploc bags. This allowed the sweaty clothes to be put back in the back to minimize the stinkiness. I agree, and will do it the same way next time.
It’s also important to pack a few sets of chill clothes for between your legs. It was nice to have clean fresh clothes to change into.You have to keep in mind that sleep is minimal and there’s not a whole lot of space in the vans to get comfortable. Do whatever you can do to stay comfy during the trip.
Also don’t forget essentials like a first aid kit, heating pads/ice packs, your Stick (essential!!), flip flops, baby wipes for power showers, deodorant, ibuprofen, and a Naked 2 palette if you’re a girly girl like me. (I put on makeup once and that was it. Won’t be bothering with that next year lol!) Also, if you are a blogger and think you’re going to blog while on the road, don’t bother bringing your laptop. You won’t use it. Take it from me. It was a pain in the ass and just got in the way and had to be babied so it didn’t get broken. Lesson learned. DO bring cell phone chargers, though, lots of them. Also bring a cigarette lighter charger splitter if you have one. It made things a lot easier to be able to charge two phones at once. Trash bags were also very handy.
I bought a cooler to keep water and Rockin Refuel in, and a sleeping bag. Both really came in handy. Don’t forget stuff to decorate the vans!!! Look at the fun we had the night before!
We all met up at Jenn’s house to decorate the vans and have dinner, then half of us went to Lara’s to sleep. Thanks so much to these ladies for having us!!
I think I finally fell asleep between 11-11:30, then got up at 2:30 to head up to Wickenburg. That was a rough one. I was so excited, though, that it didn’t seem as bad as I thought it would. I think I fell asleep on the way up there, though! We got there, and the first thing we did was have our safety briefing:
It was seriously freezing. Look at the frost on this trash can!
I know it’s not as cold here as it is in Indiana, people, but I am spoiled now, ok?? They had a tent with merchandise in it, so that’s immediately where I went after the safety presentation. Shopping! Woo hoo!!
SO much cute stuff! I went a little crazy and got like 6 things, but who carEs! It’s not like I get to shop for Ragnar stuff everyday.
Here we are getting ready to cheer Nicole on for the start of the race. I am wearing my favorite thing I bought at the store, which is a zip-up Ragnar jacket with thumbholes. It was SO warm, and I wore it throughout the whole weekend. You will see it in pictures later on. It was $65, and worth every penny!
The 5:30 start corral was ready to get going! Nicole has her hand up in the back about 1/3 of the way in from the left, see her?
Here’s a video of the start courtesy of the wonderful Jenn over at Eating Bender:
And they’re off!!
Nicole is in black with a black headband in the center of the picture. GO NICOLE!! She was a rock star for doing leg one. Not only was it freezing ass cold, but parts of the course were straight uphill. It was just a brutal leg. She powered through it, though like the champ that she is!
This is what we did during the Ice Cream van’s 1st round of 6 legs. We went to Safeway to get Starbucks and breakfast. Then, our amazing driver, Blake, drove us to exchange 6 where we’d be meeting them to take over after they were done, and we slept.
While we slept, Nicole finished her first leg and passed the slap bracelet on to Jaime to start leg 2.
Here are some of the fun things we saw at exchange six:
The Jelly Roll Van
Team In Training
Some awesomely short shorts
Team Will Ferrell
Here we are giving some love to Rockin Refuel for providing us with recovery drink for the whole race. We love You Rockin Refuel! I am so proud to be a part of your team!!
Bety was first up for the Cupcake van with leg 7. She’s ready to go!
Drinkers with a running problem….lol!! Cute shirts!
Here comes Megan to pass off the bracelet to Bety!
There goes Bety! Next stop, exchange 7 where we were headed to meet her so I could take over.
Ready to rock leg 8! Don’t forget, you guys, that I hadn’t run for almost month before this. I was so ready to go, I was giddy! I had ants in my pants! Look at me warming up and dancing like a dork before the exchange!
Great job, Bety! Now gimme that bracelet, I’m off to the races!!!
Time to pass it on to Karla who was in for the longest leg in Ragnar history at 13.5 miles! She even got an extra medal for that leg.
That run felt amazing! (Except for the fact that is was a gradual incline the whole time.)
Not bad for a gimp! Now you guys are probably wondering how I managed to run on a bum hamstring. Well, I was honestly scared to death about how I would feel after this first run. My physical therapist said that she thinks I probably have hamstring tendonitis. My injury is up high toward the glute muscle, and has taken a long time to show any improvement. Tendons do not get a lot of blood flow compared to other tissues. I decided to put a ThermaCare heat pad on it and wrap it with an Ace bandage whenever I ran, and boy did it help!
The heat promotes blood flow and healing, as well as loosens up the muscle/tendon to reduce the chance for injury during exercise. (Disclaimer: This is what *I* did. I’m not telling you to do it, because everyone is different. Now I AM a healthcare professional, but not a PT, and I am not liable for you making the decision to try this. It worked for me, but it may not work for you!)
She kicked ass and took names, too, finishing in about 2:05 with stops to fill up her water bottle at the aid stations. Damn girl!!
I missed the exchange between Karla and Lara because I was sticking my quads and moving very slowly from the van to the exchange point!
Next exchange was Lara to Chris. After 5pm, we had to wear our safety gear which consisted of a reflective vest, headlamp, and a flashing LED light for the back side. Ragnar takes safety very seriously.
I think we all need a little more cowbell in our lives, don’t you??
Our van got tagged by other teams, so we started “cupcaking” people
Well, at least we know our vests work!
Time for the last leg of round one, Jenn!!
Go girl! Bring us home! (At least bring us to nap time!)
Exchange 12 – end of Round One for the Cupcake Van
Done and ready for some real food and a nice nap
We went to Paradise Bakery, and I got the Mediterranean Salmon salad, a Chicken Artichoke something or other Panini, and garden veggie soup topped with pesto. It was absolute heaven! It also came with a chocolate chip cookie. Inhaled it!
Three tired and stuffed ladies ready for bed
We went to the next major exchange at the Anthem community center to sleep for awhile before our next round started. I went inside, got a 15 minute massage, and then settled in on my sleeping bag.
This was the warmest, most comfortable thing on the face of the planet for me that night. I passed out like I had no idea I was sleeping on a tile floor!
Next up, Round Two! Stay tuned