Monday, June 29, 2009
Here are the finish line pictures. I had a blast doing this. You guys were great company. Like everyone else, I wish we could have had more time to get to know everyone else in both teams. I definitely look forward to see you all in future races.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thanks again for all the fun, all of you. I'm still riding high from our adventure, and trying to figure out when I'll be able to do it again. Sorry I didn't contribute more to the fun costumes, goody boxes, t-shirts, etc. It really made the whole experience more fun and special, so thanks to those of you who took the time to do it.
I posted about my race on my personal blog. You can see it here if you want to.
Have a wonderful summer, everyone! Hope to see you on the blogs or at races in the future.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I just love these races. I have only done 2 but can’t wait to do more. The women I’ve had the privilege of being stuck in a car with for 2 days are amazing. We survive solely on willpower, wheat thins, string cheese, an occasional caffeine nip, and adrenaline. I find myself doing things I said I’d never do (nor have ever considered doing): running in the sleet, rain, and lightning for fun; sleeping (well, being horizontal and stretched out, if you call that sleeping) in what looks like a homeless tent village (i.e. a high school auditorium) for 3 hours; jamming myself and my gear in a car and living out of it for 31 hours; wearing a Wonder Woman costume in the middle of June because frankly, you feel like Wonder Woman when you see your legs on the course outline; paying serious cash to do this; and wishing, wanting, and hoping that I can do it again soon—very soon.
There is something about the finishing of that last leg that is so emotional. You are so tired. Your body aches. You just want to find a ditch somewhere and lay in it until an ambulance finds you. You only can move your legs because someone else down the line is depending on your transfer of a silly metal bracelet and that’s the only way out of this nightmare. You think of anything to just keep moving. And once you hit that ‘one mile to go’ marker you think about the sadistic person that created it and why it is really seems like 2 miles to go… and then you realize you see your teammate cheering you on to the transfer chute. You see the honey buckets. You see the person calling your number into the officials. Life suddenly gets better. You feel a little bit better. You (perhaps) smile. Or swear. Or both. And then the tears come. You’re done. You finished your part. Now to cheer on your team. And think about doing it all again—when is the next race and how quickly can I sign up?
I keep using the word ‘again’ when writing about this experience. The draw to this event, and running in general for me, is the release. I love the ability I have to get my body into a groove and push it. It is a time that is solely mine. As a mom, that is a rarity. It is a treasure. And my teammates feel the same way. We marveled at the fact that we were all able to get away—away from the household chores, the piano lessons, the baseball games, the violin concerts, the playdates, the doctor appointments. While we thought about our kiddos and hubbies, and missed them, we focused on ourselves and our abilities. We tucked in a little bit of time to celebrate our physical selves, rejuvenate our mental status, and enjoy the solemn moments while running at sunset, sunrise, in the elements, etc. I hope that as my kids get older, and see me get older, they can be proud of my accomplishments while wearing my running shoes. They’ll know that I can make cookies, provide service to others, change the bed sheets in record time, and make a mean meatloaf. But, they’ll also know that I take time for me to better myself according to my 3 Rs: through reading, through religion, and through running. My time away from them, in a car with 5 beautiful others sweating and stinking something awful, makes me a better mom. And a better wife.
So here goes that word that I keep using…Again, thank you to those who allowed me to run with them, and will run with me again. And again. And again. Thank you to Dave, Lincoln and Kate for supporting me in this quest again. And most important, again I express my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the ability and responsibility of motherhood.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I was in Walmart tonight and ran into a friend of mine from my ward. She asked how the race was and how our team did, so I filled her in on the details. She got a good laugh out of the top ten list. :0) She said she actually saw our Van 2 at some point and talked with them for a minute. Anyway, I asked what team she was on just to see if I recognized them, and I didn't. Then I said, "How'd you guys do?" She replies, "Good".......long pause........"we won." My jaw drops and I was like, "WHAT!?! You won the whole thing?" It turns out that she was on Blaisdell's Beauties (the cute sparkly silver skirts we saw at exchange 6), and they took it all for the Women's Division in around 24 hours. That is crazy! I told her she earned herself a spot on Mommies Got Back next year! JK So I'm hoping that speed is contagious. Maybe if I spend more time with her I'll be faster next year! My friend, Stephanie, frequents Marathon Mommies, so if you see her around give her a big congratulations--maybe she'll show you her customized baton (her winnings--kinda lame).
I'm finally back home in Idaho after our incredible adventure but before I even attempt to capture it in words on my blog, I wanted to take a minute to thank each one of you for helping to make this weekend a memory of a lifetime for me. Erin, THANK YOU for all the work you did over the last year in helping get us organized and on the road... literally. I was blown away by everything you put together with that goody box being the pièce de résistance! Thank you also to everyone else who did their part. Each of you were so kind and friendly and put my nerves about running with strangers at ease right from the very start.
After the race, I called my parents to thank them for helping with our breakfast but they told me it was their pleasure. I think it really touched them to see a group of women come together to share an experience doing something we love to do. For the short time they were around you, they could sense the qualities that make each of you simply wonderful human beings and they told me it was an honor to be a small part of it.
And finally, thank you to the five amazing women who shared my living quarters for almost two days. You know who you are! At the risk of confusing the others who don't know what the heck I'm taking about, I can't resist the temptation of listing some of my top memories of the Energizer Runnies, Van #1. Ladies, I miss you already!
-- Oogling Mr. Shorty McHotPants.
-- Forcing our first couple of runners to gasp for water until we finally got our act together.
-- Nearly missing an exchange and forcing a certain full-bladdered runner who shall remain nameless to make alternative "potty plans".
-- Watching for that damn bunny tail during the night run to help identify our van.
-- Diet Coke: The Cure-All.
-- Learning the Spanish word for the different road kills we encountered.
-- Desecrating (or was it beautifying?) the church lawn.
-- Waking up startled every 10 minutes in the school auditorium worrying my team had left without me.
-- Oogling Shorty McHotPants... again.
-- Eating homemade peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Heaven on Earth.
-- Falling asleep on the side of the road and missing our runner pass by because she was so stinkin' fast and we were so stinkin' tired.
-- Renting a Redbox movie at a Maverick gas station believing we were actually going to watch it.
-- Passing the huge bunny drum back and forth in the seat but never finding the time to tie it to the top of the van.
-- Finding our way through the entire Ragnar course without trouble only to get lost in Park City.
--Shivering in our boots (or flip flops) in the downpouring rain to cheer on our team through the finish line.
-- Oogling Shorty McHotPants. (Did I mention that already?)
Monday, June 22, 2009
2) And M.G.B. Van One: Is there an app for that? Or a beep for that? Just wondering...
"THE TOP TEN SIGNS YOU ARE THE LAST RAGNAR RUNNER"
1. You are the last ones asleep in the highschool, when you are leaving the janitor asks "why are you still hear"
2. Every toilet is filled to the seat "with no splash back"
3. The volunteers stop shouting your # and team name!
4. The clerk at the gas station asked if you ran the race yesterday!
5. There are no more cones on the road to mark the course!
6. When you have killed 7 other runners but there is no one behind you!
7. When you don't have to follow the rules anymore, because there is no one else around!
8. When wearing the butt becomes embarrasing!
9. When the vendors give you food so they can pack up and go home!
10. When bystanders stop and ask "why are you running in the rain?"
This race was a blast! Makeing up this list sure did give car #2 a great laugh along the way, the list just kept getting bigger. It was a fun experience we had. I hope no one feels bad that I posted this list. It was just a big laugh, and in the end we weren't last it just felt like it. Everyone ran a great race! We had a great team, and I wouldn't had wanted it any other way! Thanks to all of team Mommies got Back. This was my first relay race, but certainly not my last. I would run with all 11 of you again. This was a great memory I will never forget. Thanks to van 2 for all the support. Thanks to Cute Patty who always jumped out of the car to give us water! Thanks to Emilee for filling in at the last minute, you are a great runner, you smoked the finish! Thanks for your great hummer along the way. Thanks to Amy P. for always smiling and making us laugh. Thanks to Lisa for trying to run the Ragnar hill sorry you couldn't finish it, but you are always a winner to me! That was brutal! Thanks to Lindsey for helping put this whole race together with Erin. Big Thanks to Tiffany for the great car! We couldn't have done it without you. It was a blast to make new friends. As we said in car #2 It was like girls camp on steroids but without the drama! What a great weekend!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
During the Ragnar Wastach Back we were indeed the last team on the course. There was another team that shared that position with us. That team would pass us then we would pass them, but last place we were.
When we found out that we were the last ones on the course we were discouraged. None of us had ever been “last” in all of our lives! We weren’t sure what to do with that information. It was a hard pill to swallow. But our feelings evolved. We went from being downcast and despairing to laughing tears within about 15 minutes. Jenny came up with the brilliant idea to do a top ten list of “how you know you’re the last people in the RAGNAR”. It was recounting all of the ways we should have known that we were far behind the rest. Like when we woke up to complete emptiness in the gym that was once full of sleeping bodies; Like when we would show up to an exchange point and the volunteers would start clearing the area of cones, banners, and chairs.
And after we laughed about it we got to work on getting ahead. And we did.
Working together, laughing together, and living with one another for over 24 hours enabled us to unconsciously and collaboratively pick up the pace and kick some butt. Toward the end with approximately 16 miles to go there was a lightening storm that hit us on the top of the Ragnar, the steepest, muddiest, highest point of the entire race (at 8,900 feet high). We were forced to pick up our runner, Lisa, and we were given the option of driving to the finish line. We could have, but no. We trained for this! We had worked through our discouragement to get to that point. We were NOT going to drive to the finish. Giving up was not an option. So we ran. Through the storm. Pass vans full of people that had given up. Pass people who had lost their steam. And with smiles we met our last runner, Emeliee, at a stadium that was nearly abandoned and ran to the finish line together.
I have never been so proud of once being in last place. I have never been so proud of a team that I was on. I have never been more proud of the unconquerable human spirit.
To Lindsey, Chelle, Emeliee, Lisa, Patti, Jenny, Erin, Sarah, Kelly, Jill, and Kristyn: I love you all and and thank you for the unforgetable and absolutely inspiring experiences! And to you Energizer Runnies... I LOVED getting to know you. You all were so inspiring and fun!
I will do a longer post, but I need to hang out with my kids for a little bit. :-) I wanted to say thanks to Erin for all she did to get this together and to everyone for providing fun, friendship, and laughs over the last 3 days! And thanks to Angie and her parents for providing the perfect start to our race! And just to let you know, the thing that was most hurt in my fall was my ego. My ankle is doing much better and I was able to finish my last 2 legs. Thanks for checking in. :-)
Energizer Runnies- I wish we could have hung out more, but you were way too fast! Congrats on tearing up the course. The results are in and you came in 26th of all the women teams, and 19th in our category!! You rocked it!!
Mommies Got Back- Speaking of results, I know we joked that they were cleaning up the course after us, but we came in 56th out of 81 teams- not too shabby. And we had a complete blast doing so!!!
I can't wait to share and hear more memories and pictures. I love all of you! Thanks for a fantastic weekend!
I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for letting me join your wonderful group at the last minute, and for allowing me to have an experience that I will remember and cherish forever.
The expertly planned details, the thoughtful goody boxes, the clever decor and car art certainly set the weekend off right and put everyone in the mood for some fun! A huge thank you to Erin, Lindsay, Chelle and Angie's family for putting in the extra work to really allow all of us virtual strangers to bond and come together so seamlessly.
To my teammates in Team One, Van Two ~ I just want to say what a great group of ladies you all are! I don't think we could have had more fun and more positive vibes in that car! Thank you for all the laughs and the genuine support to each other on those grueling legs. Loved every part of the adventure, including the high school floor = day of the dead, the Wonder Woman costume, Amy's running booty, making the list, the cow pastures and even the severe storm/mud slides at the top of "The Ragnar". This weekend really did seem like "a Gift".
I know there are going to be some great pictures posted, but this one takes the cake:
Here are a few other great ones:
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I heard the Mommies Got Back team had a few hangups. I hope everyone is feeling okay (Kelly? Sarah?) and that Emeliee got to finish her last leg. That one about did me in with the lightning. We were sorry we didn't get to see more of you guys. But though it didn't work out the way you'd imagined, I hope you still had a good time--maybe in a different way.
I also want to say I'm sorry to my team for the strange way I behaved at the end of the race (tears and inability to talk). I think I was in a little shock or something from the fear of lightning, or from the freezing cold soaking wetness of my clothes and shoes.
Oh, and I ended up with an empty camera case. Is anyone missing theirs (Angie, will you ask your parents?) I can mail it to you. Also, Erin, I got away with your car splitter thing. I am so sorry. I'll mail it to your house right away. I think I have your address. If not, I will contact you.
Thanks girls! I hope we'll get to see some fun photos in the next few days.
Oh, and do they post results at some point? Does anybody know?
It was wonderful meeting and chatting with you! Best of luck with those sore bodies.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Start time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: My backyard (directions thru e-mail)
Here are the assignments at this point:
Jello Salad: Krystin,
Green Salad: Emeliee
Pasta Salad: Erin
Drinks: Amy H.
More Dessert: Sarai
More Dessert? (ha!):
I would say plan on enough for about 10? Maybe a little more? We can have a couple of people sign up for salads. And dessert, too. : )
I've got the chicken to barbeque. I'm not a big red meat eater right before a race, so I stuck with white meat. Hope that's okay!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
nieniedialogues.blogspot.com. One of my friends tipped me to it a few months ago. Man, they are THE most AWESOME people, if you think your life is crappy, go read about her crash and rehab. She's amazing!! Also, she is TOTALLY in love with her husband and writes about him all the time and calls him Mr. Nielsen, which I think is so cute.
That's it cuz I REALLY need to go pack and get ready la la la.... I'm making bread as I write
I want to be sure you all know you're welcome to come to my parents' house anytime on Friday morning, especially if you want extra time to pack up your vans and/or get them decorated. I'll be staying there Thursday night and will be up early getting things ready myself, so feel free to come when you want. It's my understanding we need to check in at the race an hour before our start time at 12:30, so we'll plan on eating breakfast at 10:00 and should have enough time to wrap things up and head over.
If anyone still needs directions or contact numbers, you can email me at email@example.com. I'll be leaving for Logan Thursday evening but will have internet access again once I'm there.
48 hours and counting!
1. I totally forgot until about 2 am this morning but we need a phone number/insurance information list for emergencies! So if you could all email me your cell phone numbers, an emergency contact and insurance info I will get that all pulled together :)
2. Rides to Logan! Ok I am getting concerned that this is not all sorted out, so I am just going to go through the list like roll call.... If you are blank next to your name and have plans leave a comment and I will get it updated I just don't want this to not work
Kelly: Cameo's car
Chelle: Driving your car
Kristyn: Cameo's Car
Patti: Cameo's car
Lindsay: Tiffany's car?
Erin: Tiffany's car?
Amy H.: Chelle's Car
Lisa: Cameo's Car
Jenny: Tiffany's car
Emeliee: Chelle's Car
Tancy: Cameo's Car
Melanie: Getting there yourself
Sarai: Cameo's Car
Jennifer: Going with Melanie?
Cameo: Driving your car
Angie: Getting yourself there
Mandy: Emily's Car
Amy: Emily's Car
Marianne: Emily's Car
Bethany: Emily's Car
Tiffany: Driving your car
Emily: Driving your car
As you can see I have a few holes... help me fill them in so I can stop worrying! Please
Ok I sure I will show up here quite a few more times today but this is all my mushy brain can conjure up at the moment.
I'm not sure if anyone is bringing coolers in our van, so I'll plan on bringing one which is good size, but not too big, so it shouldn't take up too much room. I'll try to get dry ice on Friday morning before we leave to keep everything cool. Plus some good snacks to fill it up! Edammame, hummus & pretzels maybe? I also have some Christmas lights, and think I may have an adapter to plug them in.
I also posted a comment that I have a baby doll carrier (maybe two) & doll that we can wear in the front while running with our stuffed booties. The question is how to decorate the van.....
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I found an idea for the energizer runnies. How about a battery attached to our backs? (it was a kids halloween idea, he-he!) All it takes is an oat meal container and some suspenders. I would be willing to make it. I also have an empty barrel for storing water that I think could be disguised as a battery to go on top of the van. If Cameo is OK with putting something on top of her van. We would have to figure out how to secure it real tight so it won't roll off. I would be willing to make that too, or either one. The drum idea sounds great! Anyone willing to make that? I also thought that we can wear a bunny tail along with the ears. That would be cute. What do the Energizer Runnies think?
I am way excited about the race!
ALSO, I just emailed everyone, hope it made it. I still need to talk to my husband-it's hard to get a hold of him during the day-but it should be OK if you use our Durango. It doesn't have a ton of room behind the third row, but we have a rocket box (cargo box) on top and that helps a lot. If we use it I am coming from south SL Valley Fri morning, so I can pick up whoever needs a ride to Logan.
AND, I am going to make bread for all the vans. I'll have to do this Wed night, but it should be ok still on Fri. If you don't like it, you can throw it at the other runners. :)
Let me know what you think about the car and I'm very excited to meet you and get running!!
Hi Ladies ~ I'll keep this intro short & sweet, because I know that we're in crunch time & everyone is on here looking for last minute info. My name is Emeliee Dirks, I am 35 years old, happily married for (almost!) 10 years to my husband Mike, and the mother to two beautiful little girls, Lauren (age 7) and Ellie (age 4).
I've been running off and on for years, but never truly got into it until I started triathlons 3 years ago. I like the swimming & biking, but LOVE the running. I live up the street from Chelle and cherish our early morning runs (I've never been able to find anyone else to consistently get up & run with me, regardless of rain, snow or the clock reading 5 A.M.!). I've been told that I always look miserable during every race, so if you see me with an angry look while I'm crawling up those hills ~ just know that's how I always appear to look during a run! I've completed two half marathons this year, and have two more planned and several triathlons, but the Wasatch Back has been something I've wanted to do for years. Thank you Amy H. for the invite (I'm so glad I was able to commit last minute!) and I look forward to meeting you all soon!
I started running about six years ago when I was sure I needed an to be medicated for anxiety. Not only did running calm my nerves, but it opened many doors for me, "The Wasatch Back" being one of them. I am excited to meet all of you!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Check this out for some insight if you are as clueless as I am.
Secondly, Chelle and I found some one to join us all to take the place of runner 12. Emeliee Dirks is our good friend and running partner and she would love to join us all. I can't wait to read her introduction and I am so excited for you all to meet her in person.
Emeliee, thank you so much for doing this so last minute. If it is any consolation to you, aside from mentally and physically preparing for this race, I have not done any packing, shopping, or other preparation for the Wasatch Back either.
Sometimes the best times come with the least preparation.
Erin called and asked that I post a quick note letting everyone know and that you keep Kari in your thoughts. Also, since we have a spot open on Mommies Got Back...we need TWO things...super quick...
1- A VEHICLE...for team 1, legs 6-12
2- A RUNNER... for team 1, we probably can changes leg assignments if need be...
Anyone out there willing to volunteer their car and/or running legs?
Email Erin ASAP!!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Okay, let's be honest. Is it gonna be too much to try and get together on Thursday night? How many of us are going to the breakfast Friday morn? I think in our official poll we had about a dozen who thought they'd be able to come on Thursday night. But, that was a month or so ago and we ALL know how best laid plans work. And here's the thing: I know how it can be that once you get in town-- and the family obligations come up -- and it gets tricky to try and get away.
Should we simplify? Should we just meet up on Friday morn for the breakfast?
Leave a quick comment, and let us know if you are OUT or still able to PLAY on Thursday night. Motherhood has taught me to be flexible, and so I will be happy with whichever we decide. : )
So, leave an official "yes" or "no" for Thursday night and we'll make our plan.
p.s. On another note --- Is everyone planning on bringing a sleeping bag? When I ran this race, that was a key element. I didn't notice it on Erin's packing list and it was pretty important. We just rolled our sleeping bags out on the grass and zonked out at a couple of places. Also, a cozy sweat shirt -- it got pretty chilly up there at night!
T.A.F.N. (that's all for now)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The wait is almost over! A little more than a week from now we'll all be gathering for the adventure of a lifetime. I don't know about you all, but I'm nervous, anxious, antsy and just plain excited! I can't wait to meet you all and share this experience together.
My parents have been kind enough to offer their home in Logan as a gathering place for a breakfast the morning of the race. You are welcome to come anytime you'd like that morning to visit and mingle, but we'll plan on eating at 10:00. From there, we can pack up our vans and get to where we need to be to start the relay at 12:30.
We'll have everything prepared so you don't need to worry about bringing anything. If you'd be willing to pitch in two or three dollars to help cover the cost of the meal, we'll take care of everything else. Menu is still tentative but here's what I'm thinking:
French toast w/syrup
Fruit bowl (bananas, melons, strawberries, pineapple, etc.)
Bagels with cream cheese
Juice (orange, apple, cranberry...)
I've purposefully avoided any heavy breakfast meats since I don't want to be responsible for any of our runners getting sick on their first legs over the bacon or sausage that didn't quite settle! If there's any suggestions that you have of favorite breakfast foods you like to eat before you run, by all means pass them on. We aim to please!
I'd rather not post contact info or directions publicly here on the blog, so if you plan on coming to the breakfast, please email me at email@example.com and I'll get that information to you. That will also help give me a count of how many people to plan for. If your volunteers will be with you, they are also welcome to come... just let me know. And while I'd love to have your entire families come, we better keep it to just the runners and volunteers so my parents don't have second thoughts about offering their hospitality!
If I've missed anything, please let me know. Thanks and see you soon!
I'm trying to coordinate seeing some other friends quickly while I'm in Utah, and I'm wondering what time the shindig will start on Thursday night. What should I plan on bringing or contributing? What is the exact address? Same info needed for the breakfast on Friday morning. I'm sure you're going to get all of this to us, so thanks in advance. You guys are so generous and I know all 24 of us are going to have a great time!