Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ragnar Relay Race review Part 2: We had it all

Ragnar race recap Part 2 --  read Part 1 here.

So, dusk is setting in and Katie takes off for Van 1 and Van 2 decides to take the opportunity to find a 'real' meal (all day we pretty much snacked on bananas, apples, nuts and that type of stuff) I suddenly realized that I was famished and with a ten mile run ahead I had to eat ASAP. It didn't take much coaxing, we all were pretty hungry.

Because of my gluten/dairy restrictions, the team agreed to try a place called Pollo Tropical. We used to have a couple of those where I live in Jersey. It's basically a Boston Market type place with Cuban food. I was able to get white rice, black beans and roasted chicken for dinner. The food was good and everyone enjoyed their meal. I skipped the salsas and hot sauces because I wanted to keep the meal as bland as possible.

my dinner minus the roll
Unfortunately, my strategy didn't really work because as usual, my tummy decided to give me trouble and bothered me for most of the rest of the trip. Such is my life. I know that nerves, stress, not eating regularly and being out of a routine wreak havoc on my digestion system and I can check all those boxes off. Oh well.

As we started our trek down Florida for our next transition point where I was to run we had some really fun times in the van. First, there was the great "salt caper." I knew I needed little packets of salt to help my night run so we decided to crash a Wendy's for it. I also needed a plastic knife to spread my peanut butter on the rice cakes I had purchased earlier. I felt very shady as I went into Wendy's, slid up to the condiment station, stole the salt and made off like a bandit. I played it up for the van and jumped in and made them pull away like I had just stolen the hope diamond!

The pepper is sad because I stole his friend 
Then, we entered Key Largo, Flo. Of course this prompted a van sing-a-long of epic proportions. We all just had to sing this old "Key Largo" song. Even Carly (who had never heard the song) got into it, John found a version with lyrics and we did the song Karaoke style. It really was so much fun. Nothing like a group sing-a-long to keep things going.

Eventually, we made it to the transition where we had about 2 hours to catch a nap before running. I am  not a good "on the fly" type sleeper. I was so amped that I probably would've had trouble sleeping at the Ritz Carlton, so sleeping in a van in my running gear just wasn't happening. I closed my eyes and rested for a bit - until my tummy forced me to get up and find a potty.

Should I sleep or run?
Eventually the rest of the van began to wake up and it was time for me to really get ready for my run. I was nervous! My stomach was bad, plus I was fearful of the pitch black, critters in the night and even crazy people in the woods… but still, I was sure that I would run this run and be relieved and exhilarated by the end for accomplishing such a feat! And in spite of the not-so-great tummy, it was a fun night and the team was feeding off the high of the day and the fun of this adventure.

Van 1 pulled up and tried to get me pumped up. I was getting excited but I also worried. We ate that dinner at 7:30PM it was now 3AM in the morning. I wasn't hungry and since my tummy was flipping, I'd only managed to choke down a half of rice cake. The heat and the humidity of the day kept us pretty zapped and I was probably woefully far from being properly hydrated. Still I had hopes this run was going to work out.

Rik came in for the transition and began running the first quarter of a mile with me, just to make sure I was going to be OK. I thanked him and bid him adieu. I took off. I felt pretty good for the first 3 miles… and then the wheels began to fall off and I began to descend into a very dark place that had nothing to do with the time of day. The best day of my life began to slowly turning into my worse nightmare.

The story continues… READ PART 3 HERE.


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