Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ragnar Cape Cod Recap

Last weekend I spent over 30 hours in a van with half of Team Beauties and the Beast(s) at Ragnar Cape Cod.  With only a couple of hours of sleep during that time frame, I'm still exhausted.   I was part of a fabulous team.  As I posted before, I was in van 1 with some real life friends and some now new friends.   

The only downside to a 12 person team is that spending a lot of time with the other van isn't really possible.  I would have loved to spend more time with them as well!  From our texts, it sounded like they were having a great time.  

Meanwhile, back in Van 1.  We were also having a blast.  We were quite fortunate to have a driver - Gerard - who may or may not have been tricked into this gig.  He was a real trooper to get in a van with 6 complete strangers who were sure to get quite stinky.  All in all,  Gerard was a life saver.  He got us all around Cape Cod like it was nothing.   Driver G was the best.  

Due to the time we needed to leave Maine, I had to pick up the van the night before.   Izzy and I made the trek to Lisbon, which seems to be the only place that rents vans in Maine, and picked up a 15 passenger van.  Immediately, Izzy was in love.  When we picked up Tucker, his response was "can we buy this?"  



Friday morning, Angela met me at my house just before 7 am.  From there we went to Jill's house and then to Andy's house.  Luckily, Jill and Andy live within 3 miles from me so this part was rather easy.       We dropped Izzy and Scout off at daycare, which was on the way, said a quick goodbye to our girls and we were off.  Our next stop was Lowell, MA to get Ben.  Ben has done many relay races before and he came quite prepared, with air fresheners, clipboards, timers and all.  He was awesome at keeping track of our paces so we really had a good idea when our runner was coming in when to be ready.   The only time we really struggled with this was when he was the one out running.    But since he's well over 6 foot, it was easy to see the tall guy coming in to the exchange.  


After 4 hours of driving, we arrived in Hull, MA, and this was our view.  Even on a drizzly, foggy day, it was gorgeous.  I can only imagine what it's like on a gorgeous day.  I guess I need to plan another trip there soon on a sunny day.  

We made a quick stop in a local hotel to pick up my mod kit for the Noxgear vest most of us wore for our night runs.  Thank you Noxgear for overnighting it for me!  The vest was an absolute hit!  I've got to say we had the coolest vest around. 

The girls of van 1 - we are tutu cute.  Corny.  I know.  But we loved our tutus. 
After getting the Noxgear mod kit, we walked down to the starting line area to check in and go through the safety meeting.   In the mix of all that, we met up with Kyle, and his mother, who awesomely volunteered for our team.  Then we had our entire van 1 together.


By this point it was drizzling a bit.  The weather had been calling for rain all weekend and we were all prepared for it.  Perhaps over-prepared.  I brought 3 pairs of shoes and tons of clothing, towels, rain jacket.  I guess I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared  After a short wait, it was our turn to take off.  Jill headed to the starting line and before you knew it, it was go time and Jill was running!




Here's Angela super excited for her leg!  I believe it about this point where we started losing Kyle.  He would be standing near us and then suddenly he'd be gone.   


We especially got a little nervous when it was going to be his turn to run and we couldn't find him. No worries. We never really lost Kyle. Somehow he always showed up. 



Although we did joke that our next team is going to be named "Where's Kyle?". He was such a great sport!
Driver G and I while we waited alongside the road to give Kyle some water.  

Shortly after 4, we were at transition 5, waiting for Ben to come in so I could take off for my 1st leg.  I just had to get this leg done before we could get some dinner and get to the next exchange to wait for van 2 to finish their first set of legs.  We didn't really eat lunch, just snacked a bit since we started running right around lunch time.  



My first leg was 4 miles.  I only passed a couple of people and then I didn't have anyone in front of me.  That's when I started getting nervous that I had taken a wrong turn.  I hadn't seen a Ragnar sign in awhile but then I started seeing chalk messages written on the sidewalk and knew I was heading in the right direction.  Then I came to a beach area and I was there!  The end of leg 1 and Lisa was standing there waiting for her turn!  


We found an awesome restaurant to eat that we though would have been out of the way, but apparently it was not.  There were several other teams there as well.  The 15 minute wait turned out to be more like an hour wait.  But that gave us time to roll, call our families, and just hang out.   But the food was delicious so it was definitely worth the wait.  After that, we went to the next exchange and hung out.  It was getting dark so we thought we'd try to sneak in a few zzz's.  I am thankful I had my earplugs because it drowned out most of the noisy parking lot action going on.  But it was still quite hard to get in some sleep.  I may have gotten in a 30 minute nap.  Then I heard a van door open and close and some random noise on the roof.  Soon we were all up wondering what that noise was.  It took us a few minutes and we realized it was Kyle on the roof.  He thought it was too hot in the van and was trying to cool off.  But he came down shortly after that because it is apparently against the rules.  


After we got the warning text that Nancy was on her way, we got Jill ready to go in the Noxgear vest and walked down to the transition area.  Jill was not impressed to see that the start of her leg was down a dirt path with lots of roots and rocks.  Soon she was off and then we looked at the map to see where we could meet her at her midpoint.  Sadly we noticed, after she had left, that she was running on a trail and we couldn't get to her at all.  We felt super bad about this because running at night is scary enough, then add in a new, unfamiliar place and strangers all around.  Not a good feeling.  But, she toughed it out.  She really didn't have a choice.  And made it through her leg like the badass she is.  Then went Angela, Andy, Kyle, then Ben.   


The Noxgear vest was a hit and most of us shared it for our night running.  It was pretty cool to choose between a solid color of your choice or a flashing combination.  We even took the 5 seconds pause in between handoffs to take the vest off and hand it to the next runner because it was that awesome.   I'm so happy I had won this vest and could bring it along and share with the van.  Maybe I will have to do some night running just to use it more because it is that cool.  

Soon enough it was after 2am, and I was getting ready for my 2nd leg.  This one was my longest leg - 5.8 miles.  I was not thrilled about running at that time.  Again, I hardly saw anyone on this leg.  I passed 2 runners and then one super speedy gal passed me.  I almost took a wrong turn, because again, there were not enough Ragnar directional signs out there.  I almost crapped my pants when a possum crossed the road in front of me.  And then shortly after that there was a rustling noise in the woods.  I did let out a scream because it startled me.  I did have my phone with me.   As I neared the exchange, I passed 4 more runners and then there was the lovely Lisa. 

soooo happy to be done with leg #2

I handed her that slap bracelet and van 2 was off....and we were off. To Kyle's house. Because we lucked out BIG time. He lived about 10 minutes from this point and only 20 minutes to our next exchange. His mom is also the bomb because she put out a huge pile of pillows, blankets, and towels for us. As soon as we got to Kyle's house, I might have run Andy over and grabbed a bed. No worries. I did share, with Jill. I wasn't that greedy! We were able to get in about 1.5 hours of sleep before we got our warning text to get to the next exchange. 

quite tall and very organized Ben
 

We were able to get to the exchange to meet van 2 in no time.  We actually had plenty of time here.  And I had plenty of time to roll.  My IT band was not very happy with me.



We were all thankful to be sponsored by ShowerPill.  Especially this guy.  Yes.  He had the highest mileage for our van.  But he could have had the lowest and still come back to us looking like he had run through a rain storm.  After his last leg, which was over 9 miles, we would not let him in the van until he bathed in the ShowerPill.  


See why???  That's the sweat he left behind on the ground!!!  


Perhaps I was feeling a little excited for my last leg to be coming up in a few minutes.  I think I was also excited to be wearing more Spandits - this time my galactic shorts  (under the tutu) and my Spandits Ambassador singlet.  I just feel bad (sorta) because I made Jill take about 40 shots of me with my phone to get this shot.  


Then I was off.  Only a 5k.  My legs were feeling rather tired, but I wanted to get there fast.   Then I came around the corner and there was Lisa!  I was always so happy to see her!  And then I was done. Van 1 was done.  



After my final leg, we were at an exchange that had showers.  While I did have the ShowerPills to wipe down after my prior two legs, I still had quite a buzz going.  I was so happy to get the stink washed off of me.  Even if I did forget my towel in the van and had to dry off with my small face towel.  Better than nothing!  


After we had finished showering and found Kyle again, we piled in the van and went out for lunch.  We were done and we were clean.  Now we just had to get to the finish so we could wait for van 2.  

We made it to Provincetown, or as everyone calls it, P-town, without a problem thanks for Driver G and co-pilot Ben.  Imagine a small crowded space with TONS of large white vans.  I am thankful I was not driving.  I am so used to my little beetle.  


P-town was such a beautiful place.  We only saw a small part of it, but again, I need to go back!  At this point we saw some sun and it was starting to get a little warm.  We grabbed our free drinks, free beer, and sat at a great table overlooking the water.  




 After being able to kick back and relax for a while, we received our final text saying van 2 was on their way and Nancy was on her last leg!  We gathered up the troops and met up with the other half of our group.  We got to hang out with them for a while (well, except for poor Nancy who was still running).  And then before we knew it, Nancy had arrived and we joined her for the final stretch (at the top of the hill she had to run up!).  



And then we all received our awesome Ragnar medals.  Team Beauties and the Beast(s) had completed Ragnar Cape Cod.  We were the 71st team to cross the line and our finish time was 27:28:26.8.  



Sadly, the Maine folks still had another 5 hour drive home, after very little sleep, so we parted ways rather quickly.  I was super anxious to get home, kiss the kids and Ward, and sleep in my bed.  


One last team shot before we parted ways.  After dropping various teammates off at their locations, we finally made it back to Gardiner and I finally opened the door to my house at 12:01 am Sunday morning.  That was a long 2 days with probably less than 3 hours of sleep total.  

Obviously, Sunday was Mother's Day.  Before I had left for Ragnar, Ward asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day.  My response was to come home to a clean house and be able to sleep all day.  Now, I didn't get to sleep all day, but I did get to lay around and relax with the kids.  They did let me nap a bit on the couch too.  




All in all, I had an absolute blast.  We had an awesome team!  I will definitely do another relay again. Just not in the immediate future.  I'd really LOVE to have a Spandits team someday.  That would be so much fun!  

In addition to the Spandits and ShowerPill awesomeness, I did bring along a few more favorite items.  

While I had prepped for rainy weather, it turns out we didn't get much rain at all.  Only a couple of sprinkles here and there.  So thankfully I was able to run all three of my legs in my most favorite Skechers of all.  I did switch up my socks throughout my legs, because really, that would have been just cruel to make my van mates smell that grossness.  But I was happy I had my Stable 26 socks for one of these legs.  These socks add so much more stability to my run.   


I was also super happy to have my Tommie Copper compression capris and BioSkin compression sleeves to wear between legs for faster recovery. 



I think they definitely made a huge difference in how I felt for the next leg and how fast I've recovered physically this week.  I still haven't recovered from the lack of sleep though.  Now I need to gear up for two more late nights coming up this month - prom and project graduation.  This old lady is going to be so sleep deprived!  

What are some of your must have gear choices or products you would bring along for a relay race?   Have you ever done a Ragnar Relay or other relay?  This was my first Ragnar and definitely will not be my last.   


Disclaimer:  Our team did receive ShowerPill to use during our Ragnar Relay.  We were not required to give a positive review.  As always, it is always 100% my own thoughts when talking about a product on my blog.  

I am an affiliate for BioSport, and if you do purchase anything from their site from my link on the side, I do earn a small commission. I wouldn't endorse an item unless I felt it really was worth endorsing.  




9 comments:

  1. Ahh the Ragnar adventure is always so exhausting but SO much fun. I'm impressed you got a little sleep AND a shower!

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  2. Transitional ObjectsMay 15, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    I loved reading this post! I've been wanting to participate in a Ragnar event for a while, and I lived in Boston during grad school, spending much of my summers on the Cape.

    Congrats on surviving the runs, the sleep deprivation, and the stinkiness! ;)

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  3. Fairytales & FitnessMay 15, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    This sounds so fun and that Kyle seems like a blast. I didn't know that relays had their own drivers, I always thought the runners had to take turns driving. Congrats to you all!

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  4. Nancy Silvia CapenMay 16, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    You did awesome Jen!!! That's so funny that you kept losing Kyle!!!

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  5. Carrie McEneaneyMay 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Fun! Ewww...sweaty Andy.

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  6. I need a new night vest. Maybe Noxgear...

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  7. I really wish we had been able to spend more time with you guys, our whole team was awesome! Great job!!! Those vest really do look cool :) And here's a little trick to make jumping shots easier - if you press and hold down the picture taking button on the iPhone, it puts it in shutter mode!

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  8. A Ragnar is on my bucket list for sure.

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  9. I'm glad you had such a great time! I really can't wait to do our next relay, and I definitely want to do another overnight relay again! The photos of Andy with the ShowerPills are really funny!

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