I went into Ragnar not really knowing what to expect. I knew what we had to do (run, drive, eat, cheer, change, run, drive, eat, cheer, etc), but I wasn’t really sure how it was all going to come together. Mostly I was excited, but I was also a little anxious – I was pretty sure I would get lost on my night run ☺, and I just didn’t want to let the team down in any way. I only knew one of my vanmates well going into Ragnar, so I was eager to see how we would all get along. Now it’s hard to even think back to pre-Ragnar when I didn’t know them so well. I don’t think we could’ve put a better group of people together, and it’s pretty amazing how much you can learn about someone in just two days.
If the weeks leading up to Ragnar were any indication of how the race would be, I should’ve known it would be nothing less than AWESOME. From the carefully thought out menu that Jay created, to the fun van decorations and binders that Alexis prepared, to the lighthearted, encouraging e-mails from Michael and others, we all came together quickly as a team. We gathered the night before the race at Johannah and Jimmy’s, and although several of us were meeting one another for the first time, you never would’ve guessed it. Talking about the logistics of the race and especially decorating the vans together was the best pep-rally ever. I left that night feeling more pumped and excited than I could’ve imagined.
We quickly got into race mode as soon as we pulled into Huntington State Beach parking lot and Ian blasted Eye of the Tiger. And then the race started and it all went by WAY. TOO. QUICKLY. The running was challenging and exciting (especially at night!), and I loved that everyone on our team was putting their heart into it (even in that crazy heat – you rock, Van 2!). We were doing the race for fun, but we were also working our butts off in the process and putting all of Nuno’s track workouts to good use.
For me, Ragnar was more about teamwork than anything else. From driving (all of us!), to navigating (Cait wins that award!), to providing endless laughs and Britney routines (Christopher), to making sure the team was properly nourished/taped up/poked (Ian), we all did our part. My favorite part was probably meeting our incoming runner and sending off the next runner at each exchange, noisemakers in tow. I was so impressed that the whole van made every effort to be out at every exchange do this, except for when the incoming runner went too fast (Ian!) or we got stuck in traffic and ended up being late (sorry, Jimmy & Katie!).
The team’s energy was contagious and lasting – I can still feel it over a week later! I learned that adrenaline and positive energy can get you through a lot. After only 1.5 hours of sleep over those 2 days, I felt more awake and alive than I have in a long time. Thank you, Christopher, Ian, Jimmy, Katie, Cait, Eric, Alexis, Jay, Michael, Josh, and Johannah, for an unforgettable, sweaty, fun experience! Let’s do it again!
(If you are interested in participating in more local races – 5k, 10k, half-marathons, marathons, etc… – please let us know. The Invictus Endurance group is an amazing environment to train for these events.)