Ok, I know this may be overkill, but I had to do just one more post on Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back Utah (sorry it’s lengthy). This relay was more than just my 6 runs. It was an experience where I met 5 amazing women and 1 amazing van driver that changed my life.
I never knew how much a single racing experience could change a person!! There was so much I learned through this experience and so much inspiration gained. It changed me on a personal level, which will be hard to even put in words. I left the race with a different perspective on blogging, running, racing and life. I wanted to share how much the race meant to me.
The things I learned running a Ragnar Relay:
- You’re crazy doing it as an ultra team, but your tough- Everyone was in awe that we were doing our first relay as an ultra (or most of us first relay). You felt like an all-star. It’s tough and it’s definitely not for beginners. I felt challenged many times, and couldn’t believe how awesome our team did climbing over 3 mountain passes and covering 198 miles in 30 hours.
- Being on your phone tweeting, texting, instagraming, and Facebooking isn’t freakish – When you’re surrounded by 5 other bloggers and social media nerds, you feel right at home. I didn’t feel self-conscious or rude for always having my face glued to my iPhone. It’s great…..the team just knew it’s what’s up!!
- Sleeping is overrated – You don’t sleep a wink. Okay you might get 10 minutes to 1 hour of sleep if you’re lucky. Lets face it, as an ultra team running nearly every 4-5 hours, with one van stopping and dropping off runners isn’t conducive to sleeping.
- Your team is your greatest fan – Honestly, they were awesome. Without my team I wouldn’t have made it through 37 miles of running. They were all cheering for me, encouraging me and making sure I was well hydrated.
- The views are gorgeous – Climbing over mountain passes makes for some great pictures. I was amazed at how beautiful Utah is.
- Night legs are fun – I enjoyed running at night more than I thought I would. I was scared for these runs, but they had to be the most fun (maybe because they were my shortest).
- Eating is
overratedhard – When you run as an ultra team eating doesn’t seem to be top priority, even though it should be. I wouldn’t recommend not eating, as most of our team fell victim to. It only made for some interesting runs and van talk.
- Wipes and Ziplock bags are your savior – I appreciated being able to wipe off after my dusty runs. It made the stink factor less of a problem. The ziplock bags were great for the dirty running clothes, sealing in the stink.
- Nuun is where it’s at – Nuun kept me hydrated and fueled me through 37 some miles.
- Peanut MM’s are a must – I probably ate more peanut MM’s then anything else throughout the entire 30 hours in the van, and let’s just say I didn’t eat a lot of MM’s. I survived on these (I am in no way recommending eating just peanut MM’s).
- You Make Amazing friends – I didn’t know any of my teammates before the race (besides through their blogs and on twitter), but yet I felt we had been friends for a long time. They are lifelong friends now!! Sharing a common passion for running helped. Also, we bonded with many other teams, who were just great.
- Once you do one, you’re hooked for another – Let’s face it even with the heat, uphill runs, lack of sleep and food, I know I will be doing another one. I am addicted to them now, and I only did one. It was that much fun. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had and how much fun running for and with another team is. You aren’t just running for yourself, but for those on your team.
How the Race Changed Me
I can’t even begin to explain how I was changed from this race. The amazing women on my team were such an inspiration. Each one of the girls were outgoing and social, not a strong quality of mine. I felt so much more confident after this race. I guess being locked in a van for over 30 hours forces you to open up.
I learned to be more confident in my own skin and to love my personality.These girls thought it was great I snorted and didn’t find it annoying. I am learning to own my snort now when I laugh and just let it flow….
I know I don’t have to take everything so seriously, but can lay back at times and have fun and smile. For me everything has to go as planned and I don’t always leave a lot time for fun. Running the relay with these girls taught me to go with the flow at times, because you can’t totally plan everything. There were many parts of this race that weren’t planned, and you just learn to take things as they come. I learned to smile and relax and have fun running. (Holly was the biggest inspiration here). It’s not always about the time on my stopwatch.
I felt more encouraged about my blogging. I know not to get discouraged with how many readers I have or if I am posting what others want to read. I am going to be confident and write what I am passionate about and about what’s on my heart. It’s not always about what other’s what to hear or what others think. It’s about being real and honest and doing it for yourself at times (Lisa M. is the greatest example of this). If I am writing just to gain followers, then I am not being real. I don’t have to have a set number of posts a week. I am going to make it fun.
When your sharing the same passion with others it makes your experience much more enjoyable. I felt comfortable at all times with these girls. I wish we would have had more time to chat. Everyone of the girls were encouraging and made me feel like a rockstar, even when I was doubting myself
Finally, I am more aware of how each person’s gifts and talents add to a relay team experience. It’s what made our team so great. Each women on team #highnuun had a unique personality that added more fullness to our team. Each of us had just as much value as any other member of the team. This made for great laughs, stories, encouragement, and inspiration. Where one’s weaknesses were, another’s strengths were.
It wasn’t about who was the fastest, whose legs were most difficult, and who ran the most; rather it mattered how we each had something to contribute to team #highnuun. We were all challenged both physically and mentally, and I think we all realized we can do so much more than we thought. I know I left Utah with higher goals and no limits. I am still in awe of how much we all accomplished, and how much we overcame. I am going to be slow to doubt and instead believe for the impossible.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team and wouldn’t have changed any part of this race. I could write so much more about what I learned and how I was impacted, but then this would be a never ending post. All I can say is you have to do a Ragnar Relay!! You will be changed in some way by the experience. You will interact with other runners in a way you never thought possible.
I left Utah inspired, encouraged, and confident in myself. With motivation and determination, and the right cheer squad, I can achieve all I put my mind too. I am not going to sell myself short!! I am believing for the impossible.
I have been forever changed by this experience and I am forever grateful. Who knew one relay race with 5 other girls, and 1 van driver could change your life?!
Has a race ever impacted you in any way?