Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Portland Squared

A year ago, a bunch of us decided to make the Maine Marathon our 2017 adventure.  There were five of us who all agreed to train together then fly to Portland, Maine to run a marathon.

A year ago, Sarah, one of the five, discovered that the Portland, Oregon Marathon is the week after Portland, Maine.  She wondered who from our group she could talk into lengthening the adventure to include a second marathon in a Portland across the country from the first....

Oh yes.  Jamie.  The rest of the group is much too smart to go along with something like this.

A few months ago, I looked at a map and realized how close Portland, Oregon is to the Washington state border (never having lived in or visited Oregon, I'm not familiar with the geography).  It was only logical that we rent a car, drive across the border and run a 5K in Washington.  Three races, three states, one week.

It was looking to be quite the adventure.

I've been home from said adventure for a week now.  I needed time to process it all and now I'm ready to tell the story.  Most parts were awesome, some parts were ugly.  This was, by far, the biggest running adventure I've ever been on.  While I'm not in a hurry to run 2 marathons in a week again, it's not completely out of the question for the future.

**********

On Friday, September 29, 2017 we got on a plane headed to the east coast.  The expo was Saturday and the Maine Marathon was Sunday, October 1st.

Lyndsey, me, Shannon, Sarah, Megan

We had gorgeous weather on Sunday.  The course was incredible.  The views, the trees......the hills.  Oh my word, the hills.



Y'all.  We don't have hills like this in Columbus.  My quads were trashed but I smiled for 26 miles in Maine.  I loved this course and highly recommend it.  Train on hills.

I made a bunch of friends on this course.  All five of us from Columbus started together but eventually, we were all separated.  I went back and forth between listening to music and chatting with the runners nearby.

The first time marathoners had yellow bibs, the regular marathon bibs were blue, so it was easy to pick out the first timers and cheer them on.  That was a nice touch.

Another nice touch: free downloads for the race pictures.

Seriously.  Smiled the whole time!
Photo from Maine Marathon

Marathon Number 6!
Photo from Maine Marathon

The bling.
Finish time 4:44
All of our friends went back to Columbus on Monday or Tuesday but Sarah and I stayed in Maine until Wednesday before flying alllllll the way to Portland, Oregon.

Highlights of Maine
After three airplanes and 12 hours of flying time, we finally made it.

Farewell, Maine
On Thursday and Friday, Sarah and I did some sight seeing in Portland, Oregon.

The view of Mount Hood was from our hotel window.  Watching the sunrise was amazing.  We went to VooDoo Donuts, I wasn't super impressed.  The statue of Portlandia was cool.  She's the second largest copper statue in the US.  Second to Lady Liberty.


Sunrise behind Mt. Hood.  See that star above?  That's not a star.  That's Venus.  I sent this picture to my co-teacher so she could show our preschool class and I sent it to my mother in law to show my girls.  You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the teacher out of the girl.

On Saturday, October 7th, we drove to Longview, Washington for the Harvest Classic 5K.

Are you thinking, "Longview?  Like the Green Day song?"  I thought the same thing so I looked it up.  Yes!  Green Day performed that song first in Longview, Washington and named the song after the town.  Like I said, you can take the teacher out of the classroom....

At the start
Photo from Harvest Classic 5K

At the finish
Photo from Harvest Classic 5K

Finish time 29:12

This was a teeny tiny 5K.  It was well-run, great loop course and there were raffle prizes after the race!  Sarah won a prize, but it was too big to pack in her suitcase so she asked them to choose another winner.  We left the race intending to head to Mt. St. Helens.  We were in the Starbucks drive through line when I checked the race website for official finish times.  There were a few excited four letter words exclaimed when I discovered that Sarah won her age group and we had to go back to the race for awards!  We giggled the whole way back.




We drove up Mt. St. Helens.  It was 20 degrees colder at the top of the mountain and the views were spectacular.  I love mountains.  They're novel since we have none here in Central Ohio.

Sunday morning, October 8th, was the Portland Marathon.  Really, I had no expectations for this race.  I've never run a marathon a week after running a marathon.  I usually run one marathon a year!  It was pretty early on (mile 5) when we started feeling the fatigue in our legs.  Only 21 miles to go.  No problem.  Ha.

At this point, we were with the 4:40 pacers, keeping a 10:35ish pace.  Around mile 7, Sarah backed off.  I hung with the pacers until mile 12ish, then I started to lose my giveashit.  This part of the course was the out and back turnaround so on my way back (toward the finish, hallelujah) I saw Sarah.  We stopped for a minute to check in with each other.  I was somewhere around 16 and she was 12ish.

Our conversation went something like this: "How are you feeling?"  "This sucks."  "Whose idea was this, anyway?"  "See you at the finish."

And off we went.  At mile 9ish and 18, we ran across St. Johns Bridge.  At mile 9, I was still running with the pacers.  At 18?  Psh.  I took a walk break and some pictures.

St. Johns Bridge


St. Johns Bridge was the only cool part of the course.  Portland has some fantastic architecture but this course didn't showcase much of that.  The course itself was pretty boring, which didn't help me keep my mental and emotional stability during the second half of the race.  (There were perks at the finish line that made up for the boring course: grilled cheese from a food truck, chocolate milk, Twix (!!!) and finisher shirts!)

I knew I'd slowed down considerably and the tracking app for this event only used timing pads at miles 13, 17 and 21 on the second half so I pulled my phone out at mile 20 and sent a text to Randy so he wouldn't worry about me.  I was fine.  Not in pain.  Just slow.  Then I cranked my music up much louder than I normally listen to it, hoping it would drown out the voices in my head telling me to stop.  I'm glad I sent that text to Randy because my chip didn't read at mile 21 so to my friends and family tracking me from afar, it looked like I'd stopped at 21.

I'm pretty sure this photographer was at mile 21ish.  I was hating life right then but still moving forward.  This race had been a shit-show since mile 5.  I saw the photographer and gave him a scowl and a thumbs down and he started laughing at me.  My misery must have been funny.  But his laughing made me smile.


This photographer was at mile 26.  That may have been the only time I smiled.  Oh my gosh, I'm almost done!

Marathon Number 7!!

The bling!
Finish time 5:09

Holy crap, I did it.  Two marathons in a week.

Related: what the hell was I thinking?!


One week, three races, three states and two runners who ride that line between badass and dumbass.  This really was a great adventure.  I'm glad I did it and I'm glad it's over.

**********

Special Thanks
To all of my running buddies: A lot of hours go into training for 2 marathons.  Thanks for the miles, the conversation and the whining.  It's great to have people suffering along side you while training through the hot and humid summer.  Misery really does love company.

To Sarah: There's a very short list of people I want to hang out with 24 hours a day for 11 days.  (I'm talking, we could count the people listed on one hand...)  I'm happy to have you on it.  Thank you for not locking me out of the hotel room with Drunkie.  I can't wait to see what shenanigans we come up with next....you know....a long time from now.

To my mother and father in law: Thank you for helping to keep the household schedule running smoothly while I was gone.

To the best husband on the planet, my favorite person in the world: There aren't enough words.  Your love and support are unwavering.  Thank you for being you and wanting me to be me.



About the Outfits
Psh, marathons....it's all about the clothes!

Maine Marathon: I wore the Lotta Breeze Capri in Sidewinder print with the Circuit tee.  I adore Sidewinder.

Harvest Classic 5K: Redemption Capri in Tantrum (my all time favorite print from a couple of years ago) and the Runner's Dream long sleeve shirt (my all time favorite long sleeved shirt, also from a couple of years ago), neither of which are currently in the store.

Portland Marathon: Ok, here's a funny story...I bought the new Hover Capri in Flyaway print a couple of weeks before these races but the weather has been really hot and I couldn't wear them.  On Marathon Morning, I took the tags off and put these pants on for the very first time.  And ran a marathon.  With any other clothing, I'd say that was risky, but this is Skirt Sports we're talking about!  I'm also wearing the black Circuit Tee (I may or may not have the Circuit Tee in three colors--the third color, I wore for the Bayshore Marathon last year).

I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador.  I receive compensation for promoting the brand.  That being said, if the company, quality and comfort weren't top notch, I wouldn't be wearing it for 26.2 miles.  Or promoting it.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

It's Summer!




Several months ago, Randy asked me if I'd be interested in getting kayaks for our family to play with this summer (and future summers).

My answer?  No.

No, I'm not interested in a kayak.  I'd much rather stand up.

I've talked about stand up paddleboarding (SUP) before.

I.  Love.  It.

SUP is my second-favorite exercise....second to running, of course.  And second to running because of the convenience factor.  I can leave my front door and run.  And I can run year-round.  I can't say the same about SUP...but it's just as fun and just as relaxing.

So, no.  I don't want to sit in a kayak.  I want to stand up.

Enter Project 908, a SUP manufacturer right here in Central Ohio!  I've actually rented from them a few times.  I was on a Project 908 board the first time I tried SUP and when I did the SUP and Run a couple of years ago.

SUP and Run, July 2015
There was another time my whole family got together and we rented boards from Project 908 (I don't think I blogged about it).  Even my parents tried it out.

August 2013 featuring 4 year old Aleena

This past Christmas, we took a family vacation to Hawaii.  We rented a couple of stand up paddleboards on Waikiki Beach.  I spent hours on the board.  We rented two boards and the rest of the family (my mom, Randy and Ellie) shared the other board (my dad was the photographer from the beach).  During my hours of paddling--this is what cemented SUP in my heart--I was visited by a sea turtle.  Three times.  I have no pictures of the turtle so you'll have to take my word for it: he was awesome.  The sea turtle is my water spirit animal.  (The unicorn is my land spirit animal.)

Family SUP, Waikiki Beach, December 2016

Several months ago, we decided that we'd buy two stand up paddleboards from Project 908 instead of buying kayaks.  They were delivered on Father's Day.

See that triangle of hexagon pads at the top?  That's where my kid sits.
Photo from Project 908's Instagram page.


I'm smitten.



Our boards are custom made.  Mine is pink.  Duh.  I mean, would there be any question as to what color I'd choose? (with a purple tail)  It's very girly.  Very me.

Randy's is orange with a wood deck.  It's quite masculine.



I'm over the freaking moon, y'all.

This is going to be an awesome summer.

Have you tried SUP? If not, you must.

If you're in the Central Ohio area, check out Project 908:



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Columbus 10K

Randy runs the Columbus 10K every year. I usually run with the kids for the Grasshopper Kids' Dash then we three ladies spectate the 10K.

This year, the kids were going to be in Michigan with my parents so I got to sign up to run with Randy.

I'm currently in training for my back to back, coast to coast, marathon adventure this fall and registering for the 10K was kind of last minute so I wasn't really in racing condition but figured I'd push myself just a little to finish in under an hour.  My weekly long run was 12 miles a few days before the race do my legs weren't exactly "fresh".

I'd planned to start with the ten minute pacers then pull ahead after the first couple of miles.  Randy talked me into starting between the 9 and 9:30 pacers.  Why do I allow myself to be so easily influenced?!

Near the beginning...the first mile or two.

It was hot and humid...and daylight.  Y'all know I prefer 5am in December to 8am in June.

We started out at a 9ish pace.  Miles 1-3 were 9:02, 9:03 and 9:00.  Then I started to get hot and irritable.  Mile 4 was 9:16 and I sent Randy ahead.  I knew I couldn't keep the 9 minute pace and he was feeling pretty good (he had a rib injury a few weeks before so he wasn't in top shape, either.  What a pair we are).

Mile 5 was 9:38 and it was some time during that mile that I realized this was my first official road 10K.  No kidding.  I've never run a 10K!  I've run a trail 10K, but trail is a whole different animal.

At the finish.
I picked up a little speed for mile 6, 9:14, and my finish time was 56:11 (overall pace 9:03).  I suppose maybe I could have kept up the 9 minute pace.


Turns out that 10Ks suck just as much at 5Ks.  Running fast hurts.  It really is ridiculous that I'd rather run for four and a half hours than run for less than one hour at a faster pace.

*********

This was the 40th anniversary for the Columbus 10K and it's a super fun event.  The post-race food is great: pancakes, sausage, Skyline Chili....and my favorite: chocolate milk!  I love spectating this event each year and other than the heat and daylight (ha!) I loved running it, too.  Randy wants to run it together again next year.  We'll see...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chili Bowl Classic 5K

It's been a while.  But I'm going to just jump right in and ignore that little 5 month blog hiatus, K?

I don't often run 5Ks.

a) The cost per mile...it's a bit ridiculous.  When I can pay about the same and run a longer race...more bang for my buck!
b) 5Ks hurt.  They hurt bad.  Marathons hurt, but it takes 4 and a half hours to earn that hurt.  A 5K is over likity-split and it hurts.

Well, when a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, who lives in the Cleveland area, suggested an Ohio Skirt Sister meet up, and it just so happened that I had nothing on the calendar for that day...of course I had to quick sign up for a 5K!

Ok, yes.  The event was in Cleveland.

Yessss....I said I was never going back to Cleveland.  Twice.  The first time after the Cleveland Marathon in 2012 and again after Green Jewel not-so-50K in 2015.

But maybe the third time's the charm for me and Cleveland?

On Saturday, February 25, I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off.  Rather than tossing and turning for a half hour and waking Randy up, I got up and did a load of laundry.  Ha.  At 5:45am, I hit the open road and headed north to Cleveland.

The Chili Bowl Classic 5K started and finished at The Galleria, a mall in downtown Cleveland that's not really used as a mall anymore.  It's a great location for the runners to have a warm, indoor area to wait before the start and a warm, indoor area to hang out after.

Speaking of "after"...following the 5K is a chili cook off!  The local firemen and police officers compete in a chili competition and the runners get to taste it all and vote for the favorites.  I love chili and would have been all over this part but with some recent food allergy testing, I've found out that I'm allergic to beans and peppers, so......no chili for me.  It smelled wonderful, though.

Before the race started, I met four other Skirt Sports Ambassadors.  I don't have a nice "before" pic, so here's an "after":
From left to right: Walisa, me, Mary, Melissa, Christy.

The race started at 9:30am, which is practically dinner time for this predawn girl, and I didn't really have a race plan.  To be perfectly honest, I was hungry for a PR, however, I haven't trained for speed in a long time and I'm up a few pounds still from eating my feelings last year after I lost two dogs within three months.

My plan became as follows: run as fast as I can for as long as I can.

I set the screen on my Garmin to show heart rate only, no pace, no time, only heart rate to make sure I was pushing as hard as I could and not wimping out.

I had no idea what the course was like.  I knew it was an out and back, but as far as hills...no clue.

Unfortunately, the morning turned out to be a windy one.  18-20mph wind.  And there were hills.  Awesome.  My standing PR was from the Game Day 5K, 3+ years ago on a flat course.

Before the start, I was standing with Melissa, who is a new momma and didn't have any time goal for this event, so when we started moving, she shooed me away to run my own race.

Tall buildings mess with the GPS a bit.

Mile 1 was my fastest because it was mostly downhill.  Unfortunately, that meant that mile 3 would be mostly uphill.  I banked time and hoped it wouldn't come back to bite me.

I missed the sign for mile 2, but it was before then that we crossed over train tracks.  Which meant climbing a bridge.  And, oh yea, we had to do it again on the way back.

The wind was ridiculous and as I climbed the bridge to cross the tracks on the way back (after mile 2) the wind was pushing me backward.  My quads were on fire, my calves were aching, my lungs were burning....I wanted to walk so bad.  And I almost did, but I said to myself:

"Self.  We said we were going to do our best today.  If we come really close to our PR time but barely miss it because we WALKED, we're going to be really upset."

I love getting expert advice on the race course.  I kept running.  Even after I made it up and over the bridge, the rest of the course was a gradual incline.  And it really, really sucked.

There were course marshals at mile 3, yelling and cheering.  That was a nice boost.  We turned a corner and there was the finish line.  I pushed as hard as I could, the race clock already said 26 minutes when I finished, but I know it took me a bit before I crossed the starting line so maybe I made it...

I checked my watch....25:49.  One freaking second.  If I was off with my starting or stopping, it was possible that I did not beat my time according to the official chip time.  I had to wait for a while before the official times would be posted.  Regardless, I gave it my all and I was pleased with my performance given the wind and hills....and the extra few pounds I'm carrying around. 


The five of us chatted for a bit, took a few pictures then parted ways.  Walisa and Melissa had to take off for other commitments but Mary, Christy and I didn't have curfews so we headed out to find some lunch.  The smell of chili was making me hungry.  And sad that I couldn't eat it.  (Maybe I'll talk more about that in another post.)

On the way to lunch, I checked the race website and official times were posted!

PR and 5th in my age group!

There was some hooting and hollering in the car...25:45!  A FIVE SECOND PR!

It would appear that Cleveland and I have settled our differences.

Of course my next thought was, "We should find a flat 5K and see what our time is...."

Shut up, Self.  5Ks hurt.

True story.
Do you often have dialogues with yourself?  I know I can't be alone in this...right?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 2

For my readers who are unfamiliar with Ragnar Relays, their road races are 200(ish) miles long and teams are made up of 12 runners (6 runners for an ultra team).  The 12 runners are split up into 2 vans.  Runners 1-6 in van 1 and runners 7-12 in van 2.  The locations where one runner finishes and another runner begins are called exchanges. 

To begin, Van 1 heads to the starting line where runner 1 begins.  Each runner in van 1 takes a turn running and after runner 6 is finished, van 2 meets van 1 at exchange 6 where runner 7 begins.  After runner 12 is finished, van 1 begins again.  Each runner runs three times.  Runner 12 ends his/her third leg at the finish line where the rest of the team is waiting and all 12 teammates run across the finish line together.

I was in van 1 as runner 3 so we went to the starting line.  Our start time was 6:20am so we were all up bright and early.

At the starting line.
Meg, Kari, Jenni, Pam, Gracie, me
Here's the line up for van 1:
1. Jennifer
2. Pam
3. Me
4. Kari
5. Gracie
6. Meg

A few miles into Jenni's first leg, I went live on Bondi Band's Facebook page:



Posting as Bondi Band on their Facebook page was one of the highlights of the weekend for us social media junkies.

My first run, 3 miles, started at 8:38am and it was already hot.  I took my time, took a few pictures and enjoyed the scenery.  For three miles I thought to myself, "I'm running in freaking Hawaii!"

About a mile in.  I was on a bridge, there's a waterfall down there!
Mile 2ish
Every Ragnarian's favorite sign.
After our 6th runner finished, van 2 took over and van 1 went in search of food.  We found a pizza place.  I have no idea what it was called and I don't even know what town we were in, but we filled our hungry bellies and we changed our clothes in a bathroom with plumbing, as opposed to a porta potty or in the back of the van.

It was raining when we came out of the pizza place and when we got to exchange 12, where van 1 would take over the running again, we saw this.


I've never seen the end of a rainbow before but we saw it then!  The rainbow touched the ground on the driveway so the vans driving into the exchange to park were driving through it.  It was so cool.

We had no cell phone service at this exchange.  We had spotty service throughout the race but there was absolutely nothing for service at the exchange.  Our van drove down the road a bit to try to find service so we could contact van 2 to find out how long we had before they showed up.  We never got a hold of them...like I said, spotty service...so we went back to the exchange to wait.

Then it got dark.  Really dark.  And cold.  And Windy.  The six of us huddled in the van.  We had a rough idea of when our runner 12 would come in, but no one was in a hurry to get out of the nice warm van to try to find van 2.

Around 7pm, teammates from both vans connected in the dark parking lot and shortly after, runner 12 came into the exchange!

Jennifer was wary about running alone, in the dark, down a mountain, in the wind for 9 miles so Pam volunteered to run with her and then run her own leg (she's a beast).

At 9:12pm, it was my turn again.  I got to run 8ish miles in the dark.


I love the dark.  I'm afraid to swim in water with fish, but I love running in the dark.  How messed up is that?

I was mildly nervous about this leg, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the dark.  I've been dealing with a minor but nagging hip injury for the past 2 months.  I hadn't run more than 4 miles in the last month to hopefully rest my hip enough to heal it....at least to make it feel better.  It felt better, obviously it was healing and I knew I'd power through my runs in Hawaii whether I had pain or not, but I'd really rather not hurt.  Luckily, my hip did just fine.  It was a little stiff, but no pain.  Whew.

I was hoping to Facebook Live during my night leg, but since I had no service, there was no Live.  I took a regular video but it will only load sideways.  Sigh.  Technology.

But I did selfie with the One Mile To Go sign.  Of course I did.


After all of Van 1 was finished with our second legs, we talked about heading to the next major exchange (exchange 24), where we would start running our third legs, and taking a nap in the van.  This is what our team did when I ran Ragnar Tennessee, and I think this is the norm.

However, after consulting the map, we discovered that exchange 24 is only a 40 minute drive from the house we were staying in for the weekend.  The better idea was to go to the house and nap laying down.  On a bed.  And take showers.  Yes.  It was unanimous.

We all took quick showers and had only a 2 hour nap to make sure we got to exchange 24 before our runner 12.

Van 1 at exchange 24, ready and waiting!
My third leg began at 8:26am.  The temp was already in the 80s and getting hotter.  Ugh.  I dislike running in the heat.  Not that I expect y'all to feel sorry for me; I was in Hawaii, after all.

My leg was 3ish miles long and Pam wanted to run it with me (after she ran her own leg).  She'd discovered that with the extra leg she ran with Jenni, she'd be close to having 26 miles total...but not quite.  We runners have a strange adoration for things 26 (point two) so she ran my three miles with me.  I love running with friends.

Check out this pic that Jenni snapped of Pam and I heading into the exchange.


It looks eerily similar to the Moms Run This Town logo:

Coincidence?  Nah....

Since I've been home, I've been asked, more than once, what it was like meeting Pam.  Pam is the founder of Moms Run This Town and is a celebrity in the MRTT community.  When I found out that I won this trip, I was excited to go to Hawaii to run and thrilled to be running for Bondi Band, but I was even more excited to meet THE Pam Burrus.

Pam is exactly how I imagined she'd be: beautiful inside and out.  She's kind and funny and supportive and encouraging and upbeat and generous and helpful and a lot of fun to be around.

Pam is everything that MRTT stands for.  It takes a special energetic and dedicated person (with just a little crazy thrown in) to create and grow our awesome community of women.  Women are not always easy to deal with (what?!?!) so she also has to be patient and understanding...often.

I really enjoyed spending time with her cramped in a stinky van for 200 miles.

Hang Loose Haoles finish line photo!

I couldn't resist a selfie with the scenery in the background!
And that's it.  My Hawaii trip came and went in a blur.  There was a lot of laughter, quite a bit of running and a noticeable lack of sleep.  It was everything a runcation in paradise should be...and more.

About the clothes...
Leg 1: I wore the Vixen in Razz (on sale now!).  I adore the ruffles at the bottom, the asymmetrical lines and the 5.5 inch shorties underneath.

Leg 2:  I wore the Redemption Capri in Stargaze (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  These are my absolute favorite capris (I have three pairs).  They have a zippered pocket in the back and they fit like a dream.

Leg 3:  I wore the Cascade in Enchanted (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  I love the layered look of this skirt and the 5.5 inch sorties underneath.



Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 1



Aloha!
I've been home for a week and I'm still having trouble finding the words to tell y'all about my Hawaiian Adventure with Bondi Band's Ragnar team.

I'll just start at the beginning and show you lots of pictures of the gorgeousness I got to look at for 4 days.

My plane left Columbus on Tuesday night.  I had the last flight out of Cbus to LA so I could have the first flight out of LA on Wednesday morning.  Yes, that meant I'd have to hang out at LAX all night, but it also meant I'd get to The Big Island at 1pm and have much of the day left to enjoy.

I wasn't alone in LA all night.  Another teammate, Jennifer, was also flying into LA Tuesday night and had a long layover.  We were on the same flight out of LA at 7:45am.

Exhausted and excited.
I'm guessing it was around 3am.
I barely remember Wednesday night.  After being up for 36 hours, I think I passed out before my head hit the pillow....but I do remember the sunset.

Sunset Wednesday Night

There were three Moms Run This Town chapter leaders on our team.  A few years ago, an associate at a local running store mistook our group name for Moms Take Over This Town.  He spoke the truth that day.  We do, indeed, tend to take over.

With Pam and Jennifer
We have a thing for unicorns.

Thursday morning, we hiked to a lagoon.  Rumor had it that sea turtles hang out there and we can swim with them.  We can swim with them, but we can't touch them.  There's a hefty fine for touching the turtles so we were careful to keep our hands to ourselves.


The Big Island is more rocky than sandy.  We hiked over fields and mounds of igneous rock to get to the lagoon.

Hindsight: hiking over all that rock the day before we begin a 200 mile relay probably wasn't the best idea but....Hawaii.

Oh, how I love palm trees.
The Lagoon from afar.

This dude was just chillin' on the beach.  No one touched, promise.  We were told that our touch can remove protective oils from the turtle.  I'm not sure if that's actually true, but no one wanted that to happen so we didn't test it.

I sent this picture to my little ladies and told them I found Squirt!  Finding Nemo reference....anyone?


"Duuuuuude...."

We saw lots of turtles.  They didn't come near us, but they didn't seem bothered that we were there, either.
I'm really glad I learned to swim last winter.
The current pushed me to areas where the water was over my head several times.
We took a few team pics on our hike.  Well, not the whole team, one of our teammates is the Nathan rep and he was working packet pickup so he couldn't hang with us until after the event.  There were two other men on our team.  One was the photographer and the other didn't want to be the only dude in the picture.

The ladies of Bondi Band's Hang Loose Haoles

Hangin' Loose
As far as "sight seeing" goes, this was all I did.  Thursday night, the ladies of Van 1 went to bed early because we started running at 6:20 on Friday morning!

The rest of our sight seeing was done on foot as we ran across the island.  In my teeny tiny humble opinion, it was the best way to see the fabulous Big Island.

I'll stop here.  I don't want to break the Internet with all of my pictures.

The rest of my story will come in a few days.

Have you ever run a Ragnar?  This was my third.  I've also run Tennessee Road and West Virginia Trail
Have you ever been to Hawaii?  First timer, here!

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.