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Ragnar Tennessee race report – part 3 December 10, 2012

Posted by bettyjoan in Races, Running.
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You wouldn’t think you could get decent sleep on the floor of a high school gym with 200 other people.  You would be wrong.  I completely zonked out and was disappointed, to say the least, when my alarm rudely awakened me to tell me it was time to get moving again.  The good news?  It was a BEAUTIFUL morning, and after two nighttime legs, I was downright giddy about running during daylight hours.  We gathered the Van 2 folks and headed to the last major exchange, stopping for breakfast on the way.

Van 2

Before we knew it, we were off and running again.  The last bunch of legs were tough – Shawn had yet another doozy full of hills, and Jeremy had his longest mileage yet – but the scenery was lovely, and it took us through some really ritzy areas of suburban Nashville.  I kept secretly hoping that a country music star would pop out of his or her house to cheer us on.  I mean, come on, Blake Shelton – is that too much to ask?!?!

Then, before I knew it, it was time for me to bring it on home.  That’s right, I was charged with running the final leg, the leg that would bring me into downtown Nashville and our whole team over the finish line.  The team planned to meet me a little bit before the finish, so we could all cross together, and I couldn’t wait to make it happen.  I started off feeling awesome, just happy that I wasn’t decked out with headlamps and blinky lights.  But it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a LOT warmer than I had anticipated, and my body was just plain beat up.  I tried to power through, but the course was super confusing (read: demoralizing), there was construction everywhere (read: fumes), and I just couldn’t gear myself up the way I wanted.  I walked.  A lot.  I felt a little better when I saw a hydration station (yet again, I was running a no-van-support leg), so I could refill my long-since-empty bottle.  When I came through a lovely park near town, I started to hype myself up.  Your team is waiting.  DO IT.  I picked up the pace, and then WHAM.  Tourist-ville.  It was like a wall of big hair and cigarette smoke.  GAH.  I said a number of not-safe-for-country-radio words, but then I crossed the street and FINALLY saw my team.  Woo hoo!  We all ran across the finish line, in various stages of battered, bruised, broken-ness, and became Ragnarians.  We did it!  We ran from Chattanooga to Nashville and lived to tell the tale.  More importantly, we didn’t kill each other, and we emerged better friends than when we started the journey.

Finish

Bottom line: Ragnar was hard.  Like, REALLY hard.  There are definitely things I would do differently next time.  But there WILL be a next time.  I had a blast, and I would recommend the race to anyone.  I will always treasure the experience – and it is pretty badass to be able to drive home from Nashville to Chattanooga and think, “Yeah…I ran that.”  😉

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