Friday, June 29, 2012

Abusement Park

After Bear Lake, I hopped on a plane to Long Beach, CA. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Long Beach, and still didn’t get to do too many things besides the event. The weather was nice, so I cant complain about that. Before I flew home, I went to the pier and grabbed some sushi and frozen yogurt right as the sun was setting. I so wish I lived near an ocean.
I got my frozen yogurt at these cute, colorful buildings. Right after I snapped this picture I realized that there were 2 dudes making out like crazy. I was embarrassed thinking they may have thought I was taking a picture of them, but when I stopped to eat my yogurt, I realized they were out of frame…phew.
After Long Beach, I had one day to get all food bought and bags packed for Ragnar! To be honest, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and I was tired. For those of you that don’t know, Ragnar is a relay race. You have a team of 12 that runs 200 miles straight. In Utah, we run from Logan, to Park City. Our team name was Abusement Park, and it was just that! Each team has 2 vans full of 6 people. I was runner 7, meaning I was the first runner in our van. This is getting ready to start off our van, and my first run!
The only problem, was at the exchange point, I didn’t know anyone in the other van except one person. So the guy didn’t know what I looked like and I didn’t know what he looked like. At the exchanges, they try and yell out your team number before the runner comes in, but I didn’t hear it and unfortunately we lost 6 minutes in between that exchange looking for each other. But I was off! My first run felt great and I ran a lot faster than my normal pace so that was good. You have the option of “piggy backing” which means your van can go up a mile or 2 to make sure you are ok or give you water. But I just kind of like to do my thing and get to the end, so I had my van go to the end of my leg. They drove there and had lunch while I was running. When I got to the exchange they were packed up and ready to go up a mile or 2 for the next runner and we continued to do this for another 5 runners. Which for me, meant a LONG time without food. The food was buried in the back of the suburban and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to it. By the time our van finished, we drove up to where I would start running again and found a church. By the time I ate, I had run one leg, been out in the heat and hadn’t eaten in 10 hrs. Our team had left out protein shakes and bars to munch on but I don’t eat any chocolate so it was a long time to wait for food! We set up a nice little picnic at the church.
We caught about a half an hr of sleep, knowing we would be running through the night when our first van finished. My second run was a lot hillier than my first run and a lot more than I thought it would be so I was a bit slower. It was so perfect though because it was about 11 pm and nice and cool. I was running through a little canyon so the stars were super bright and the sky was clear. I love getting out of the city and seeing bright stars. Since we are running in the middle of the night on streets that aren’t blocked, we had to wear reflective vest, head lamp and butt lamp. The girls waiting for me to come in…
I loved this exchange point! Look at the cool cartons all lit up. I also loved finishing this leg, knowing I only had one more left!!!
This is what you get when you leave your camera with friends
Good thing it was dark. I made it!
By the time I finished it was a little after midnight. The next runner had 7 miles to go so we went to the end to wait for her. It was starting to get cold since we were pretty high in elevation. We got to the next exchange and I was starting to feel sick. I was in the middle of 2 girls in the back and the drive and next runner went out to the exchange and wait for our other runner to come in. The girls on both sides of me were trying to get some sleep since they had to run in a couple of hours. Both of them were dead asleep and my stomach got a little worse. I quickly crawled up to the front of the burb and barely made it outside when I “lost my cookies” as my mom would say it. I ended up throwing up blood 4 times. I wasn’t sure what was wrong? Too much running? Not enough food? Too hot during the day? Luckily, I didn’t wake up the girls in the back, but I had a nice little audience of people walking by. We sent out runner out and all loaded in the burb to the next exchange. We had driven about 10 min when I got sick again, only we couldn’t pull over, so I was sick out of the side of a moving car. In total I threw up 7 times. The whole rest of the night at each exchange my stomach just felt a ton of pain. I was so angry and I was trying to play it cool for my team, but I was actually really worried, really tired and had zero energy since I had already run 2 legs, and thrown up everything I had eaten. I got a text from Russ at 3 Am asking how I was doing. I thought it was so sweet that he would wake up and feel in his heart that I was sick and want to check in. Nope, he had just gotten in from fishing. Yes, he fished until 3 am. Nut.
Our van finished at 6 am and we drove to the city that our van would run our last legs. I ran with company and they were so nice to get us all a nice hotel at Zermatt in Midway. Especially nice considering we only had 2 hrs to sleep before we had to run again! And SO nice for me to actually lay down and give my belly a rest. We woke up a couple hrs later and my stomach was still sore, but I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up anymore. I had one last leg to run!! Finally, on my last leg I was able to recognize my runner and we had our smoothest transition from vans. The guy in the white is who I took over for and he was FAST.
I pretty much felt like I had no energy at all. I think most people are pretty exhausted on their last leg, but I think throwing up blood 7 times before doesn’t help either. My last leg
It was so nice. A lot of people had their sprinklers running so I went out of my way to get some cool water splashed on me. It helped. Coming in from my last run. My pony tail looks a lot more peppy than I felt.
That slap of the wrist band (or chip) was a pretty fantastic feeling.
The last legs for everyone else were so hard! I felt so bad for my team. They had some tough legs. Really, really steep up hills, and long down hills. I drove most of the day because I felt so bad I didn’t help in the night.
My copilots and cheerleaders
At least we stayed hydrated
Cute Russ, even though he was up until 3 AM fishing, he still rallied up my family to be at the finish line. He text me and said he and my mom would be there so I was excited to see he gathered CC and her kids and my aunt Josam too!
Team Abusement Park
Van 1
Van 2- My Van
Side note: the one and only guy on our team was the girl in the purple tanks husband. And he was SO nice to have on our team. He didn’t miss one exchange (while the other girls were sleeping and I was throwing up) he was always there cheering on our runner and making sure we had water when we came through, and cheering us on the road. He was awesome. And he and his wife have the cutest relationship, I loved it. My awesome support:
Russ went to the store and bought posters and markers for a sign. Love that about him. He made the green one, it was double sided.
Thanks mom for the other posters. Heather and I were kind of dragging our feet about the whole Ragnar thing. So glad we did it together! She stuck her bare butt out of the window and mooned me on my first run. She was also the one that took pictures of the porta-potty while I was running. Love her.
After 200 miles of running, 2 hours of sleep, 7 throw ups and the hills of hell, who doesn’t deserve a hot and ready?


  1. Oh, my gosh! What a story! Way to go. Really sounds like a blast, losing your cookies and all. Some of the greatest "highs" in my life involve running through hard times and finishing the race. I'm so inspired.

    I love this quote, "Every day is a good day when I run." Kevin Nelson

    Running is never easy but the feeling afterwards is the absolute best.

  2. You are a rock star Chels! I love that I saw you there and am so glad you survived after puking your guts out.