23 November 2015

Do You Hear the Muscles Scream?

Legs Miserables reunited for my last race of the year. 

i was nervous because i only ran a couple of times between the St George full marathon and this race. Putting so many miles on the months before really did a number on my legs and i was battling with who knows what (shin splints? a stress fracture? tendinitis?) but basically it hurt to run and i knew the best thing would be to rest before this race. 

Fun to run with these talented folks again
It was another ULTRA relay. 1 van. 200 miles, 6 people. 30ish hours. Each runner averaging 30-35 miles total. No time to sleep. Painful. Ridiculous. And exhilarating. This race was down in Las Vegas.

The start line was up in the Mountains to the Northwest of town and it was nice and cold for us (especially those teammates from Texas).

Maybe i'm a Ragnar addict

i was totally outclassed by this team. They were fast and relentless. i am NOT fast. However, i didn't ever give up, no matter how tired or how much i was hurting or how hot i got. So maybe that means i'm relentless too?
Switching the baton at an exchange
Run, Jennifer, Run!
We started at the top of the mountain behind me

There was the usual Ragnar/relay silliness. Some of it can be blamed on lack of sleep, tired legs, and being stuck in a van without showering and with the same people for over 30 hours. But some of it is just because i had a hilarious team.

When you get lost, stick up your giraffe heads and we will find you!

Because it was the beginning of November, the nights were already eternal. It was a little bit difficult to run in darkness for SO MANY HOURS. But luckily i had some new reflective running tights. And my dad came around to cheer us on for a couple of hours.

Night gear! Vest, headlamp and dotty tights

Besides my father, i did have some great cheerleaders communicating via text messages. My favorite was my nephew.

"Go Auntie Geege!"
"F#$& your injuries!"

When we saw the sun come up and reflect on Lake Mead, we all cheered. It was almost as exciting as finishing the race. Almost.

Yay for daylight!
Along with daylight came the heat. My second to last leg was along the edge of the Lake for a bit and then along a windy trail through (and up) the foothills around it. It was beautifully ugly and very interesting, although difficult leg.

hot sun
No van support on this trail

For the first time EVER in one of my relays, my last leg was not either 1- ridiculously long 2- ridiculously steep 3- BOTH. In fact, it was my shortest and easiest. Man did it feel good to end the race running my heart out on my last leg and sprinting in to my personal finish.


We still had three runners after me to go, though. Which meant one more sunset and another couple of hours of running in the dark. We were so glad to finish.

"Together We Ran 200ish Miles"

Since we ran UTAH Wasatch Back Ragnar and LAS VEGAS Ragnar in the same year, we got the coveted "Saints and Sinners" medallions. i never thought i would be able to do an ultra relay. And to double medal on an ultra team kind of blew my mind.

This is the first time in a VERY long time that i am not currently signed up for a race in the future. i'm sure that next summer will see me racing again. And i am still running. But it's kind of nice just to RUN right now, without stressing out about an upcoming race.

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