Sunday, May 10, 2015

Anything but typical

Home finally after a long trip to New England to complete the Cape Cod 2015 Ragnar Relay.  Drove up Thursday to arrive in time to have dinner with ten amazing women and enjoy a most beautiful sunset at the marina in Quincy, MA.  We headed to the hotel to get some sleep as we knew it was the only true sleep we would get for the next 30 plus hours.  Van 1 started off at 7:30 am Friday and the wheels were in motion, we would not finish running until 2pm on Saturday afternoon.  It was amazing.

Quincy MA at Sunset

Yes-we paid money to:

  • buy overpriced sweatshirts
  • pack our clothes in ziploc baggies
  • get sand blown in our faces at the exchanges
  • freeze and wish we packed our long running tights for the night run
  • be scared of the dark and any noises as we run at 3 o'clock in the morning
  • follow the runner in front of you to only run an extra 1.3 miles
  • eat more than our weight in trail mix and veggie straws
  • drive 10 hours in rush hour traffic on the way up
  • drive 6 hours to then sleep for a quick 5 and wake at 4am to get home in time for Mother's Day
  • smell worse than you ever thought was possible
  • ache and cry as you step down out of the vehicle that has been your home for the past 36 hours
  • use a port o potty and try your best to hold down your gag reflex
  • navigate a large xmas light decorated vehicle into small parking spaces and forgetting if you are in reverse or drive as its 4am and you are a little tired

So this is just a list of some of the craziness that goes on during a typical Ragnar Relay.  However these relays are anything but typical.  Twelve women that on any given day would probably not be in the same city doing the same thing.  But this relay seems like a crazy challenge and one that each one of us feels the need to rise to.  Some of us are new to running...some have completed multiple marathons...some have the need for speed...some the need for completion....some of us are hoping to uncover a new layer of ourselves and share it with a new or old friend.  Each member of this twelve person team must be in the moment and ready to do what they must to help the team to the finish line.  Describing this experience to someone else is much like taking a picture of the landscapes we saw and explaining the photo just does not do it justice.

This relay is not a race but a run-everyone is a winner!  What you choose to "run" from or towards is up to you but I can guarantee you will discover something new about yourself, you will make a new connection with someone in your team, you will have a new found respect for someone you just met, you will cry as a story is told of someone's past and share in their sadness and joy.  You will support them to the ends of the earth as they have supported you.  Each one of us brings the same desire of craziness, fun and camaraderie to the team and what actually transpires is undetermined at the start. 

Running as a rule is a individual sport but the stuff that we go through together over the two day relay makes us one of the tightest teams I have been a part of.  This Ragnar Relay gave us an amazing side a typical medal of Event name, Date, Location.  However on the flip side was a piece of a 12 piece puzzle.  When our team put the 12 pieces together a new medal was formed...bigger and better than all of us combined.  This was truly a team effort from logistics, tshirt design, driver schedules, snack distribution, blanket sharer, and shoe blinker puteroner.  I learned so much during my quick quiet solo runs and my team togetherness in the van.  

front side of medal
12 medals together

We are twelve individuals that came together to conquer something greater than ourselves.  We let ourselves choose us for a long weekend away...and even dare we say on Mother's Day.  We showed our families and ourselves that we still know how to have fun, kick butt, and celebrate this life that we are living.  We gave ourselves a great mother's day present...we were living!   

You Ran Me All Night Long 2015 Cape Cod

Continue to Embrace the Suck...Choose You!!

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