Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wasatch Back

As you know, this past weekend I spent my time running the Ragnar Relay: The Wasatch Back!

Ragnar is a company that hosts relay races around the country that are usually around 180 miles long. Hundreds of teams sign up for each race, and each team consists of either 6 people (each runner running between 26 and 40 miles), or 12 people (each runner running between 13 and 20 miles). Each runner runs 3 legs of the race. The teams are separated into 2 cars, one car has runners running while the other car is driving to the next exchange and trying to catch a few minutes of zzz's at the same time. Every single mile of the race is done by foot until it is completed. It usually takes between 24 and 30 hours to finish. Every team names themselves and decorates their cars all crazy. People are extremely creative and it's so fun to see what people come up with. This relay series is amazing. They are super fun but at the same time challenge you in every way possible.

This was the second year I participate in this race. It was challenging in different ways than last year and by the end I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained. When I crossed the finish line I told Josh that I never wanted to do that again and by the time we got to the car I was already organizing a team for next year. It's one of those things that becomes addicting and is more fun once it's over. I tried to enjoy it as much as possible since it may be a while before I do another one.

My first leg was my best leg. I was well rested and fed. I had the energy to do what I needed to do, which disappears in the wee hours of the morning. I climbed over 3000 feet in my first 3 miles. I felt strong and was making good time. My second leg was my most challenging. It was at 5 am, which is a great time to run...that is if you have had good food and sleep. I didn't have either of those things and I felt like I was crawling the whole way, even though I ran the whole thing. My third leg was the one I was most worried about. Last year on my last leg I got lost. I added 2 miles to my already 5.some odd mile leg. It was extremely hot, I had no access to water and I was miserable. I decided that even if this was going to to be as hard as the previous year, I was going to push through it and be happy to be there. The power of positive thinking is remarkable. I was able to push through the discomfort and exhaustion and achieve my goal. This year I knew my way and was sure not to get lost. Luckily for me, it was cloudy and even rained part of the time. I couldn't have been happier since it is on an open trail and I had no team support to get me through it if needed. I was the last runner on my team so I brought my team across the finish line which was a great feeling.

It's truly incredible what we can overcome when we don't allow negative thoughts enter our minds. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to think. I challenge everyone set a goal, a hard one for you, and to push through the discomfort that comes along with achieving that goal. Whether it is drinking 64 oz. of water a day, running half a mile, or working toward being able to hold your most challenging yoga position for 20 breaths. DO something you think you can't do. I guarantee you can do it if you only allow positive thoughts into your mind, and that you will feel so much happier in your heart because of it. You can do it!

If you are ever able to do a Ragnar Relay, please do. You will never experience anything else like it in your life. It is amazing!

Here my team mate Shelly is handing off our wristband to me and I am beginning my climb.

This is what it looks like the whole 180 miles. It is absolutely gorgeous. I'm there in the middle.

I will miss you dearly beloved Wasatch Back.

Until next time, now feeling HAPPIER and HEALTHIER,

1 comment:

  1. BEAUTIFUL! I have to admit, after the first year that you did this I have always been interested in it! Scared--but interested! I would love to try it & see! However, it sounds SO hard! The not sleep thing is what scares me the most, running on no sleep!? Aye! You are super woman, I love how you always do challenging things like this! Congrats on completing it & for not dying :) I am so glad you didn't get lost this year, last year's post almost made me cry just thinking about how awful that would feel! Way to go lady! You rock. Ps. You are a cute runner ;) tan & tone