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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ragnar Del Sol 2011

Each time I step foot on the asphalt (or pavement, or river bottom, or trail) I learn something. This race was no exception. I learned that:
  • If you don't let yourself think that something is impossible, it won't be, and you will achieve results greater than you would have ever imagined or even hoped to expect.
  • Celebrating the triumphs of a sister, brother, or friend is even better than celebrating your own.
  • Although, demolishing your own goals is pretty awesome, too.
  • Ragnar Relay's are like pregnancies- you never remember how difficult and challenging and miserable it is until you are in the midst of it all over again. You also don't remember quite how amazing it is to be doing it, either.
  • Geology and geography are NOT the same thing.
  • Minivans were engineered for my biology.
  • 4 AM is NOT a good time to wake up in the morning for 4 days in a row.
  • Michael Jackson is awesome, but not when "Thriller" is stuck on repeat during your night run of the relay.
  • Triumphs are even better when I can celebrate them with Dallas and my kids.
  • Attitude is everything! A race like this (and life) will always be what you make of it. Your attitude can make it, or break it.
I was able to blow my goals out of the water while running just over 26 total miles. Here are the results:

Leg 1: 7.05 miles at a 7:32/mile pace. I ran the first 2 miles at a 6:50! This is my fastest race pace to date.

Leg 2: 6.44 miles at a 7:56/mile pace. This was my only uphill leg. Running on a river bottom at the beginning in the dark slowed me down, but it was awesome.

Leg 3: 7.92 miles at an 7:59/mile pace. This was a good downhill leg, but I swear it felt like it was uphill! After sleeping only 1.5 hours over the space of the day, I was exhausted and my body was hard to keep going. I hit my goal and was satisfied and relieved that it was over!

LEG 4: 4.63 miles at a 7:50/pace. One of our runners, my cousin Nate Henrie on Dallas' side, injured his knee and was unable to finish his last leg. I ran it for him to come into the finish line. I felt better on this leg than I did on my third. It was incredible that I could run it- I was amazed at my strong body and my ability. I was so thankful that I had been training religiously since October and that I could complete the race strong for my team.

Van 1- Mindy Kohler, Clayton Wilson, Amylee Nicoll, Shawn Hansen, LaDawn Thorbe, Debbi Hilton
Mindy, runner #1 at the start line.
What happens in the van, stays in the van. Shawn, LaDawn, and Debbi.
Warming up for Leg 1. It was awesome to run outside in shorts and a tank!
Clayton running a 6:56/mile pace. He's a gazelle.
I loved that Clay handed off to me. We decided to do this race because we wanted to run a race together.
Make like a cactus...
And the injuries begin. Coach Clay was the KT Tape master.
Sisters! The other reason I wanted to run was because of Cami! She was totally amazing and worked so hard for this. I was so proud and so happy that I got to watch her finish her last leg; I couldn't help but get emotional as she rounded her last corner towards the exchange. This picture was taken right before van 2 began their journey.
Sleep? Yeah, right. I got a total of 1.5 hours during the race.
Getting ready to head out for our second run as the sun was starting to set. Mindy, Debbi and LaDawn.
Meeting up at the major exchange. Leslee rocked her 9.2 mile first leg and was feeling awesome. Angemarie came down with the flu the night before and was just praying she would make it through. Thanks to a blessing from Clay and Nate Henrie and a lot of prayers, she did it.
The only thing better than an Arizona sunset is....
...an Arizona sunrise. This picture is unaltered and was taken by my point and shoot camera, so you can imagine how stunning it was. I watched the sunrise for my entire 3rd leg of 7.9 miles. I was in awe. It helped me keep my mind off the exhaustion.
Clayton after he was finished. His last leg would have kicked his butt even if he didn't have to do it with stomach issues and a bad knee. I was so worried about him. I don't know why because he still managed to get 9 kills up the 8.8 mile hill and was only passed by 1 person. Half of the time he was even skipping. That kid is an animal!
Austin before his last leg- which he tore through at a 7:08/mile pace. This guy is an athlete without even having to try.
So you think you're done? Or not. This is me at exchange 35 right before I ran Nate Henrie's final leg- 4.7 miles to the finish line. If I didn't get lost, it would have been shorter! Watch for those signs, people...
Finished! Nate Henrie and me. I slapped the bracelet on Nate a few yards before the finish so that he could be the one to take it in. He hobbled as fast as he could and the announcer said, "Here comes team 114, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, showing their battle wounds!"
Our team- "Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote"- finished the race in 30:51:39 with an average pace of 9:22.8/mile. We placed 174th out of 306 teams- 70th in our division out of 141 teams.
Nate Henrie, Amylee Nicoll, Mindy Kohler, Clayton Wilson, Debbi Hilton, Leslee Wilson, LaDawn Thorpe, Cami Hansen, Shawn Hansen, Austin Nicoll, and Nate Hansen hiding in the back ground.We tried to leave AZ early the next day to avoid a snow storm, but instead we ran straight into it. We left at 4AM only to get stopped because they closed I-17. We waited at a rest stop for 5 hours before we could get on our way again. It took us a total of 18 hours to get home, we almost slid off the road one time, so did the boys in the other van, and a semi jack knifed right behind us. It was possibly the longest day ever!

8 comments:

Kim said...

Good Job! As hard as Ragnar is, it is worth it! You did awesome!

Mindy Kohler said...

Just reading the recount of our weekend brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. It was incredible and completely unforgettable.
Thanks again for inviting me along and being the best cheerleader a non-natural runner could ask for!! You make me want to push myself harder every time I lace up my shoes.

Erin said...

I dream about running as fast as you someday. I seriously admire you so much. I'm SO glad you made it home safely and reached your goals. You rock!

Nate, Cami and Crew said...

It was an awesome/crazy/fantastic weekend. Thanks for all of your support and encouragement. Hearing your voice cheering me on made pushing through the last little bit possible. I love you!

k.k. chamberlain said...

This post was really, really, really awesome. I am inspired!

Tyler and Laura said...

So freaking cool! As much as I hated it, I want to do it again. I love you and miss you!

marciea casselman said...

Good for you Amylee. I am glad that you had that experience. Now, Ragnar in June!!!

Heidi said...

Talk about getting me in the mood for Ragnar! :) You ROCKED! Maybe one day I'll be as fast as you.