Sunday, July 29, 2012

Northwest Passage Ragnar- Ultra Beast Mode Part 3 and final thoughts

After reading some of my fellow teammmate's recaps for last weekend, I kind of want to scratch everything I wrote and just make one post like they did. I'll do that for next relay, Bourbon Chase, in September. For their awesome coverage you can check out Rachelle's recap of relay HERE, Julia's HERE, and Ashley's HERE. I think they captured the spirit of the weekend perfectly.

My last leg was my shortest, two 3.1 legs to give me a nice distance of a 10k.

My last exchange- kicking off everyone's final legs 
Quick Recap

  • Happy to report, ZERO digestive issues on this run. I think the nerves were gone because it was my final leg, AND it was super short in comparison to the other two. 
  • First mile I did have some similar breathing issues that were mimicking the pericarditis I dealt with this past spring when I passed out. Luckily, it was not the same thing and after a mile it went away. 
  • Although my legs weren't "tired", I just could not open my stride for the life of me, it was as though my hip joints were super tight. 
  • Majority of this run (okay all of it except the last 400 m) was uphill, gross. 
  • I had passed the other ultra team "Risky Business" runner shortly into the 2nd 3.1 and their van was amazing at cheering for me. As an ultra runner you have a different color bib (green vs. traditional orange) so they kept getting out of their van and giving me high fives for being a fellow ultra team- if it wasn't for them, I would have walked.
  • oh wait, I finally did walk- only when they weren't around. I was so proud that I didn't walk my first 2 legs, but the hills were just too much for me. 
  • Stupid guy with the dragon tail passed me right before the final stretch- it really irked me, BUT he was only the 2nd person that passed me the entire weekend, so thats good news
  • As soon as I got up my final hill I turned it on and came into the exchange faster than my teammates expected- thats a hard feeling to digest when you're there and your teammate is not, especially bc you know they're there, just not at the exchange. 
  • I waited around for 3 min or so then Ashley came up and I gave her slap bracelet and I was officially DONE
  • 6.2 in 53:51; 8:40 pace. Ironic that my shortest leg was by far the slowest leg, but I guess since it was the last and I walked a ton, I'll take it :) 
It's such a relief being the first one finished. I laid down for Ashley's 10.2 mile run then volunteered to drive for Katy's, Rachelle's and Jill's leg so others could focus on running and not worry about driving. 

Julia rounded us out and then we all came in together with a finish of 30 hr 3 min. The neat part was we finished RIGHT behind Risky Business ultra team and they were mixed (3 guys, 3 girls) AND they started 45 min before us, so timewise we beat them, booyah!

We did it!!

Can't tell in the photo, but our ribbon says 'ultra' on it

Sunshine at the finish- did not see a lick of it during any of my rainy runs

My final thoughts: 

As you could tell from part 1 and part 2, I was having some less than desirable digestive issues. We're runners, it happens. To give you an idea of how 'uncomfortable' things were for me, between the hours of 7am friday morning, and 5am sat morning (22 hours) I went to the "bathroom" 12 times- and I don't mean just a quick tinkle.  I've done a lot of relays, so I'm very much aware that the nerves / excitement of everything automatically makes my trips to bathroom that much more frequent, but this was a bit ridiculous.

I don't share this information with you to be gross or to scare you away from doing an ultra relay. I tell you this because at the end of the day, everything isn't happy go lucky. Running an ultra is HARD- its not something you can prepare for. The miles are one thing, but the lack of sleep, your van always being on, limited food choices, lack of stretching, and each run being over an hour adds a whole new dimension to the difficulty. With that being said, it is an  ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY amazing experience and all the bad stuff you have to deal with is FAR OUT-WEIGHED by the good. The friendships and memories made are priceless and I cannot wait for more adventures ahead.

On my schedule I have 2 regular relays coming up, Bourbon Chase & Ragnar Tennessee, but after that, I think i'll stick to ultras from this point moving forward :) 


  1. Wow! Way to go on ALL 3 legs! I am super impressed and love the skirts! I was in WA a week and half ago and it was chilly. I loved it after the temps around MI but my fam was all grumbly since they haven't seen the sun all summer. I might be doing an ultra Ragnar in AZ in Feb. It's something I want to try out for sure!

  2. Way to finish strong. Now you can start your "10k in each state" with Washington:)

  3. Great job with your ultra relay. You had an awesome team, I bet it was so much fun to be with those girls! Loved reading all your recaps, sorry you had gut problems :(

  4. I remain so incredibly crazy impressed with your skills. Can you pleeaasseeee do another ultra relay and invite me??!!??!!! CONGRATS on the awesome finish!

  5. congrats on a great relay! so sorry about your stomach issues. that does not sound like fun. loved reading all 3 recaps!