Thursday, January 20, 2011

ragnar relay florida keys 2011: leg 2

as i left off, we fueled at ihop and headed towards the next major exchange. apparently we got a little turned-around en route, but i didn't know because i fell asleep. we split up - some dozed in the van, others outside on the grass. raffi did yoga and joined me for s'mores. a piece of my iphone screen fell into my eye, that hurt (replacement glass is in the mail).

i looked like a hot mess all weekend.
but, my team still pretended to be my friends!

soon enough, our teammates arrived and we made our way through the tunnel and out onto the racetrack. it sounded cool for runner #12 to have a lap around the track to finish their leg, but in reality it didn't look that fun. it was warm, there was no shade, the track is over a mile long and the stands were empty. taryn handed off to brian and we were back on duty. at least this time he had a 9+ mile leg, so we didn't have to sprint back to the van.

while brian ran, we stopped at dunkin donuts for more food and coffee. you'd think you might lose weight doing a relay but in reality you eat the entire time you are not running.

back on the road, we caught up to brian and stopped to cheer for him. we then rushed to the next exchange so daphne could get ready. this exchange was in the middle of a farmer's field; you could see the runner's for. ever.

the next two legs were on a gravel canal trail. the pre-race safety briefing warned about snapping alligators on this trail. the team vans drove along next to the runners, and the extra noise helped keep the gators away. i'm sure it was also helpful to the runners to have the headlights around once the sun went down. we pulled over on the trail and opened the doors and pumped black eyed peas to the gators runners (we should have done that more often).

the next exchange was a wider section of gravel and the sun was almost completely down. daphne handed off to danna and we continued down the gravel trail. i drifted off to sleep again and woke up at the next exchange point - an on-ramp to US1. i donned my safety vest (borrowed from the lovely redhead), headlamp and my brooks nitelife hat instead of a butt-light. i wore my sugoi tatu arm warmers to intimidate the gators and filled my fuelbelt handheld bottle with gu brew. my next run was almost 12 miles and vans were not able to stop and provide aid to runners.

i downed a pineapple roctane and danna came out of nowhere. we hustled to the official exchange point a few yards away and i was off -- up the on-ramp and over the bridge. i passed a runner and her bike pacer. i was aiming for an 8:00/mile pace and wanted to get this scary leg over with.

i'm not in the best shape speed- or distance-wise, but avoiding gators and crocs was motivating. my headlamp wasn't the brightest, every runner i passed could light up the whole the shoulder of the road while i could barely see 4 feet in front of me. i was quite nervous about stumbling upon a reptile - the ones with legs and those without. i saw a lot of squiggly-lined road patch and jumped at every one thinking it was a snake (really i did 12-miles with hurdles).

ragnar had provided 3 water stops on this leg; i only took water at the third. i popped two more gu's during the leg and dropped a wrapper shortly after the second water station. race organizers had stressed not leaving food/trash on the route because it could attract gators. i didn't want to be responsible for anyone's death so i stopped to find it.

the route was flat except for a few bridges and one off-/on-ramp. i was excited thinking i was getting off US1 and almost done with my leg, and then realized i had to go back up the ramp. i was motivated by a few blinking lights ahead at times, only to find out they were ragnar directional signs.

soon i was running on a slight downhill and arrived on key largo. only a few more miles to go. the running path was setback from the road and the headlights no longer helped light the way. i was still leary of reptiles.

i pushed through the fatigue to pick off a few more runners, called out my number to the volunteer radioing them ahead and probably looked awkward handing off to hunter. brian and raffi asked how many creatures i saw and i said 90, then i said to myself "you moron, that's ridiculous, no one will believe you". i shuffled back to the van where i learned that danna had wiped out on the gravel trail and was more concerned about getting pictures for facebook than administering first aid. at least my van mates had something to keep them busy during the longest leg of the relay.

documenting battle wounds > first aid.

leg 2 (1/7) - 11.75 miles, 1:34:10 (avg pace 8:00), 55*
24 road kills!, but got passed by 2 fast guys like i was standing still.


  1. Always fun to see another perspective. The cool thing about Ragnar is that you had all this stuff going on that we didn't see...and of course we had the blood in the van that you didn't see.

    Raffi just said she doesn't want to wait a whole year to do it again. Hunter is talking Tennessee, which means Daphne will likely be along for the ride. Danna will be out for that time because of cross country season.

    So, I guess I'm officially organizing an exploratory committee for Ragnar Tennessee. It is, however, the same weekend as the NYC marathon. So, if I get into NYC through the lottery, then I'm out for Ragnar. I'll know that in April, though.

  2. hey, being a hot mess is hot. i'd still be your friend...

  3. First I would like to clarify that we played The Black Eyed Peas for runners, we did not pelt them with legumes.
    And secondly, I think it is so funny that you have a photo of Danna taking a photo of her OWN bleeding leg!!
    Glad the glass is in the mail!

  4. Love reading these recaps of Ragnar. I really want to do the DC one someday. And 24 roadkills is very impressive.

  5. See, running in the dark near gators, yeah, that's why I've not done a relay yet. ;o)

    Really enjoying reading about it though.

  6. Smores during a relay!?! Amazing!

  7. Awesome! Sounds like a blast (minus the whole live bait thing but that certainly is a motivator to run faster)

  8. "documenting battle wounds > first aid" - Ahahaha! Nice! Great minds think alike.

  9. Relays are always great fun but also hard work. That last pic looks a bit too familiar too me... I've documented bloody knees a bit more than I like.

  10. 12 miles of snakes? That would totally get my arse moving!!

  11. "i looked like a hot mess all weekend." You are such a braggart. How many of those roadkill did you eat is the real question.

  12. If anyone ever asks how I live in such a cold place, I now have my answer: so I don't have to worry about being "warned about snapping alligators on this trail". Yikes!

    Sounds like it was a blast!

  13. The Palmetto200 last year started on a track, but it wasn't that large. Still... In theory it's kinda cool, but the coolness doesn't really translate into reality.

    Oh.. And I totally agree on the impossibility to loose weight on a relay. When you are not running or sleeping... everyone is eating. ;-)

  14. Bahahahaha don't you just love how everyone cares more about FB posts then running! LOL! Glad you made it thru the scary leg ok. Replace your headlamp battery will ya?!?!? Also, those dang Ragnar blinky lights get ya every time. I got so excited on my night leg thinking I was coming up on someone only to find it was just a sign. FOILED AGAIN!!!

  15. You had me at "IHOP fuel". Though, I have to ask, no Waffle House's in the area? Much better fuel.

  16. i would jump too if i saw those squiggly patches in the road. and i believe you saw 90 :)

    thats a trooper right there...FB before First aid!

  17. Oh man I think I would have freaked out if I encountered reptiles of any kind on my run!

  18. I think a relay would be so much fun, gators and all:) Great report!

  19. Wow, this post made me hungry. I love s'mores and there are far too few opportunities in life to have them. Also, I've totally mistaken squiggles in the road for snakes when there was absolutely no reason to do so! I'm a total dork!

  20. Awesome recap Lindsay! I love's funny how there's a story at every turn and everyone's perspective (even on the same team) can be so different.

    Does your roadkill count include the reptiles too? How many did you actually see?

  21. ok, god damn, my comment just got lost in the ethernet of the internet. sigh.

    what i said was that those guys must have had some serious major major speed to pass by you.

    And also that I would have been crying like a little schoolgirl if I had been along that leg with you.

    oh, and yeah, babe, when you come here in April, you are trying on my black diamond ion headlamp. Get ready to blind people all over the place!

  22. No way would I run through there! I am terrified of reptiles. You are hardcore!!! Strong run too!