Ragnar Napa Valley: Recaps from my fellow BadASS Mother Runners

imageThree plus months have passed and I have yet to recap my Ragnar Napa experience. Perhaps, the delay is due to the fact I did not want to acknowledge the experience, with five months of great anticipation, had come and gone.  What I have come to know, in the months proceeding our 205 mile journey from San Francisco to Calistoga, CA,  is that our Ragnar experience was just a kickstart to a wonderful relationship with 11 fellow mother runners.

Despite being separated by many miles and numerous state lines, we continue to engage in daily dialog with each other via our private Facebook group, emails,text, skype, and even an occasional conference call.  Technology is great!

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It was a tremendous honor to be selected as a participant on this team! I will forever cherish the memories or our CA weekend and look forward to creating more memories.  In less that 5 months, almost 1 year to the day we found out we were selected for the team,   8 of us will be gathering in Pittsburgh, PA for the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. While we will certainly miss SBS, Dimiity, Kelly, and Lisa.  They will not be forgotten and will certainly be there in spirit.

I thought the best way to recap the weekend was through sharing the official AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragnar Napa Valley recaps.  While this was a team effort, each of us had our very own unique personal experience. We covered the gamut with racing highs and racing woe’s. Enjoy the race recaps from my fellow team mates.

AMR Blog Post– Ragnar Napa Valley: The Mother Runner Recap

AMR Pod Cast#129:Napa Valley Ragnar Relay

My pictorial recap!

Van #1-Erin, Dimity, Jen, Kelly, Kim, Lisa.  Kicked up off bright and early Friday morning!

Van #1-Erin, Dimity, Jen, Kelly, Kim, Lisa. Kicked up off bright and early Friday morning! We stayed at the lovely Marina Motel, San Francisco.  The gardens were beautiful and the staff was so accommodating to our needs and our over sized vans!

Van #2- Sarah, Me, Mel, Laura, Jodi, Smitha.  We got to sleep in and start running early afternoon ( In the HEAT!)

Van #2- Sarah, Me, Mel, Laura, Jodi, Smitha. We got to sleep in and start running early afternoon ( In the HEAT!)

The "Mother of all things Relay" We were so fortunate to have Mel, whom has numerous relays under her belt, in our van.  Seriously, thinking she brought everything we could possibly need!

The “Mother of all things Relay” We were so fortunate to have Mel, whom has numerous relays under her belt, in our van. Seriously, think she brought everything we could possibly need except a portable air conditioner.

Crossing the Golden Gate  Bridge on the way to our first exchange

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on the way to our first exchange.

Van #2- READY!

Van #2- READY!

Team shot minus Mel.  Perhaps one picture too many! But hey life was good and we were happy!

Team shot minus Mel with one of our numerous sponsors NUUN. Perhaps one picture too many! But hey life was good and we were happy!

After heading in the wrong direction from the exchange, as a result of my poor navigation skills, we finally got back on track to met Mel at exchange #8.  To make matters worse due to road construction  Ragnar decided to make the transition area “floating”.  Basically meaning you would meet your runner along a unmarked half mile area.  CONFUSING FOR ALL! We waited, and waited with no signs of Mel.  Whom decided because it was only three miles not to take her phone, garmin, or water.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, due to the unmarked transition and no team in sight Mel kept running.  Cannot say I blame her I would have done the same thing.  After much waiting and contemplating, we decided we would set Laura off on her leg (we did not want her to miss her miles) and we would head to the next transition and hope Mel was there.

As we were waiting SBS found a penny! She was so excited! She also instructed Laura on her first "pop a squat"

As we were waiting SBS found a penny! She was so excited! She also instructed Laura on her first “pop a squat”

RE-UNITED! We found our Mel.  Hot, frazzeled, and worn out we found our girl at the next exchange! Such Relief! We did contact Ragnar Race Command  to seek assistance of a lost runner and they were ZERO help!

RE-UNITED! We found our Mel!  Hot, frazzled, and worn out we found our girl at the next exchange! Such a Relief! We did contact Ragnar Race Command to seek assistance of a lost runner and they were ZERO help!

Smitha and I waiting for Laura after her first run!

Smitha and I waiting for Laura after her first run! It was HOT!

Finally off on my first 9 miles leg.  So HOT!  the spectators with the water sprayers were the BEST! The second time I saw one of the groups I had the m snap this photo!

Finally off on my first 9 miles leg. So HOT! the spectators with the water sprayers were the BEST! The second time I saw one of the groups I had the m snap this photo!

Before he handed me back my phone he snuck in a quick selfie! So great! They made my day!

Before he handed me back my phone he snuck in a quick selfie! So great! They made my day!

Re-united with Van 1 at exchange!

Re-united with Van 1 at exchange!

Aaron at the community center saved me by having batteries for my headlamp!  ( Next time I will keep batteries out of lamp for travel, and bring extra)

Aaron at the community center saved me by having batteries for my headlamp! ( Next time I will keep batteries out of lamp for travel, and bring extra)

Laura and I attempting sleep in the field of the community center.  I am pretty sure SBS was snoring! That woman can sleep anywhere!

Laura and I attempting sleep in the field of the community center. I am pretty sure SBS was snoring! That woman can sleep anywhere! Perhaps it was her Saucony body suit!

Ready for our second legs in the very very early morning!

Ready for our second legs in the very very early morning!

 

Great 9 mile run.  Super treat was watching the sun come up and finishing in the vineyards!  Or is it a "Wine Yard" as Smitha called it lol!

Great 9 mile run. Super treat was watching the sun come up and finishing in the vineyards! Or is it a “Wine Yard” as Smitha called it lol!

Laura eventually got some sleep!

Laura eventually got some sleep!

After 30 hours of awake time, I took "Personality rest time" My eyes were open but my mouth was shut!  Powering up for our last legs of the relay!

After 30 hours of awake time, I took “Personality rest time” My eyes were open but my mouth was shut! Powering up for our last legs of the relay!

"Smitha would you like some?" "No Thanks what is that Fat M&M's?".....I proceeded to almost pee myself in laughter.  My sweet little Indian Princess had never seen a Peanut M&M!  Life altering moment!  We had hours of laughter at her expense! Forever referred to as FAT M&M's!

“Smitha would you like some?” “No Thanks what is that Fat M&M’s?”…..I proceeded to almost pee myself in laughter. My sweet little Indian Princess had never seen a Peanut M&M! Life altering moment! We had hours of laughter at her expense! Forever referred to as FAT M&M’s!

Wasting time at possible the worst exchange ever.  A dusty field, no shade, and a bunch of honey buckets ( Port-0- Potties)  We passed time by bartering Fat M&M's for whatever we could get!

Wasting time at  the worst exchange ever.   A dusty field, no shade, and a bunch of honey buckets ( Port-0- Potties) We passed time by bartering Fat M&M’s  out for whatever we could get!

The day was getting hotter by the hour! Quick group shot before sending Jodi off on what turned our to be a horrific leg!

The day was getting hotter by the hour! Quick group shot before sending Jodi off on what turned out to be a horrific leg!

Me and the vines.  It was so hot the camera was even sweating!

Me and the vines. It was so hot the camera was even sweating!

Killing time in Calistoga! What a cute little town  We did not stick out a bit in our tutus

Killing time in Yountville! What a cute little town We did not stick out a bit in our tutus

After Jodi's horrific hot run and reports of Ragnar rationing water at the aid stations  The Mother of all Relays (Mel) declared WAR!  She stormed the local grocery for water, ice , and ziplock baggies.  If Ragnar was not going to take care of the runners we were!  The runners were all so appreciative! ( We did call Ragnar race command and they did respond saying they would get more water on the course)

After Jodi’s horrific hot run and reports of Ragnar rationing water at the aid stations The Mother of all Relays (Mel) declared WAR! She stormed the local grocery for water, ice , and ziplock baggies. If Ragnar was not going to take care of the runners we were! The runners were all so appreciative! ( We did call Ragnar race command and they did respond saying they would get more water on the course.  Just poor planning as they forecast had not changed)

 

Finally, we set our sights on Jodi! We were so relieved to see her!

Finally, we set our sights on Jodi! We were so relieved to see her!

 

SBS looking BadASS after her 11 miler! We were all so  Proud of her!

SBS looking BadASS after her 11 miler! We were all so Proud of her!

After SBS Beasted her 11 miles in the Sauna, due to temps and time Ragnar gave us the option to skip to the next exchange.  We took the option!  Smitha and I ran the final leg together!  Warrior paint and all ( not whiskers) were were ready!

After SBS Beasted her 11 miles in the Sauna, due to temps and time Ragnar gave us the option to skip to the next exchange. We took the option! Smitha and I ran the final leg together! Warrior paint and all ( not whiskers) were were ready!

Probably the most entertaining 5.3 miles of my life. Singing, dance running and entertaining the cars stuck in traffic!  We finally made it! Smitha , sandbagging, most of the run finally "Let it Go" and we sprinted to the finish!

Probably the most entertaining 5.3 miles of my life. Singing, dance running and entertaining the cars stuck in traffic! We finally made it! Smitha , sandbagging, most of the run finally “Let it Go” and we sprinted to the finish!

DONE! 205 miles!

DONE! 205 miles!

Delayed several hours due to the heat, and Ragnar running out of finisher  medals…it was not the finish any of us had envisioned.  But we were done! We did it together and had a blast!  Unfortunately, we had to cancel our dinner plans and head straight for our hotel 2 hours away.  We would have to wait to toast our finish at another time! ( all the more reason for a reunion)

Glowing from her finish! Mel popped our tops in our fab accommodations! I seriously considered sleeping in the van! Instead we toasted to our wonderful journey with Smitha, Lisa, and Laura!

Glowing from her finish! Mel popped our tops in our fab accommodations! I seriously considered sleeping in the van! Instead we toasted to our wonderful journey with Smitha, Lisa, and Laura!

All good things must come to an end.  Van clean up!

Sad faces…All good things must come to an end. Van clean up!

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Quck stop in San Fran to pick up our luggage at SBS's friend Amy who let us store our luggage in her apartments.  So helpful! We said our good byes to the those headed to the airport!

Quck stop in San Fran to pick up our luggage at SBS’s friend Kate who let us store our luggage in her apartments. So helpful! We said our good byes to the those headed to the airport!

Sharing my Hoka love with Smitha!

Sharing my Hoka love with Smitha!

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Rounded out the trip by spending the afternoon and evening  with my Van 1 peeps!

Rounded out the trip by spending the afternoon and evening with my Van 1 peeps!

Tremendous thanks to Sarah and Dimity, AnotherMotherRunner.com, for pulling together this amazing team of 11 mother runners.  This trip will forever hold a special place in my heart not only for the experience but most of all the friendships it kickstarted! Love to all my BAMRS! Cannot wait to see you in May!

Check out recaps from fellow blogging team mates:

Project Lovely Laura A four part mini series recap! 

The Faux Runner- More Fat M&M’s and Wine Yards!

Two Princesses on the run- The one and only Princess of Ragnar 🙂

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Fear The TUTU! Badass Mother Ragnar Relay Swag!

imageExciting day as I received my Badass Mother Runner Ragner Relay Swag!  In less than two months I will journey to San Francisco, CA to meet my 11 fellow Ragner team mates.  We will share the  197 mile journey from San Fran to Napa Valley.  I have never been so excited to share 36+ sleep deprived hours cramped in a van with 5 other mother runners! Yes, this is my idea of fun!

AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragner Swag!

AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragner Swag!

 

Yesterday was Christmas in July, as my much anticipated swag box arrived crammed with goodies!  Fear the Tutu- team shirt, Tough Girl Tutu,  Badass Mother Ragnar runner Headsweats hat, 110% flat out compression sox, Ulimate Direction Handy 20, Trigger Point therapy grid mini, Sofsole arch supports and socks, Soleus sport watch, GU gels & chomps, Nuun, LARA bars, and Dansko foot care. As this is not enough, there are additional items we will receive that would not fit in the box! SCORE!

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Our Team Tee!

We were all so excited! Despite the distance between us, we shared our excitement and the individual status of our swag arrival via our Facebook group and Facebook group message.  Unfortunately, Jodi, our Canadian Princess, will have to wait a little longer as her package will have to clear customs.  🙂

Tough girl tutu

My Tough girl tutu selfie! It is really comfortable #TutuVIRGINnomore 

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Love team mate, Jennifer Hall-Lewis’s, photo with her swag!

It truly is an honor being selected as part of the AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragnar Relay team.  I cannot wait to finally meet my team mates face to face.  We are all uniquely individual! Our running resumes span from the casual 5k/10k runner to Irongirl an ultra runner.  While our backgrounds and running experiences vary greatly, one thing is for certain…WE ARE A TEAM! There is no doubt there will be many fears conquered, accomplishments achieved, memories made,  and hours of  laughter over our 197 mile journey! #NoSleepTillNapa

2014 AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragnar Nappa Relay Team

Sarah and Dimity– our fearless leaders who made this all possible!

Jodi Snowden, 2princessesontherun.wordpress.com, Canada

Smitha Barki, Fauxrunner.com, Georgia

Jennifer Lewis, Frostedinmaine.com, Maine

Laura Roeseler, projectlovelylaura.blogspot.com, Missouri

Kim Dixson, New Jersey

Melissa Gilley, Oregon

Kelly Preddy, Arkansas

Lisa Peterson, Colorado

Erin Ranes, Illinois

Kathleen Ojo, California

 

 

Bad Ass and Barefoot…..Run Like a Mother weekend!

I cannot think of a better way to kick off an awesome weekend than attending a Another Mother Runner Mother House Party!  In case you did not know I am a HUGE fan of the wonderfully talented, insightful, witty, and vertically blessed ladies behind the AnotherMotherRunner.com community -Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. I potentially could be considered a “stalker” but I much prefer to refer to myself as a “Super Fan”.

I came to adore these ladies after picking up their first book Run Like a Mother How to Get Moving and Not lose Your Family, job, or Sanity.  Naturally, that title spoke to this full time working mother of two.  I loved the book so much, I read it very slowly in bits and pieces cause I did not want it to end.  I would laugh myself silly on a nightly basis, while at the same time gain tremendous insight into my new found passion of running.

I was honored and star struck to meet Sarah and Dimity at the Country Music Marathon- Nashville, TN in May 2011.  (Rebecca, Dimity is holding your signed book!). They were the highlight of my trip since the Nashville Marathon remains as my #1 personal worst finish ( so bad I thought my marathoning days were over)Country Music Marathon Expo, Nashville May 2011 Back to the book….. I finally finished it, and was thrilled to continued my Run Like a Mother (RLAM) daily fix on the Run Like a Mother, facebook community,  AnotherMotherRunner.com and twitter.  Take it from a true “Super Fan” if you are not following you are missing out!  No kids needed you just need to have ovulated at some point in your life.  These ladies cover topics you are sure not to find in-between the covers of any running magazine. 🙂

How is it possible these BRF's have un-revealed skeletons :)

How is it possible these BRF’s have un-revealed skeletons 🙂

So…..Friday night I  loaded up the Honda Odyssey Mini Van, with some gal pals,  and we headed to Chapel Hill for the House Party!  My gosh we laughed all the way there and back.  The perplexing thing about our evening  is how on earth have I logged hundreds upon hundreds of miles with two of these ladies, yet only that night were some of their deepest , darkest secrets revealed.  How can this happen?  Running partners know EVERYTHING!  Let me tell you……they are good ones too!  We had a great time!  I “Super Fan” was star struck by meeting Sarah and Dimity again. The picture is really bad,  I swear it looks like I have hives.

Another Mother Runner House Party! May 2012

It was so awesome they were in my own backyard (20 miles away….but close enough).  They read from their newest book Train Like a Mother…How to Get Across Any Finishing Line and – Not lose your Family, Job, and Sanity.  They had some great give aways and the BEST swag bags ever!  We all had a great time!  We were like kids at Christmas when we got in the car investigating the contents of the swag bag! Sweeeeet!

AMR Party!

Jill (the newest addition to the Another Mother Runner club) , who jokes all my running will kill me one day, finally agreed to joined me on one of my endorphin journeys.  She signed up for her first triathlon and major event.  I was soooooooo excited. Finally, I got her talked into to doing something with me!  Saturday night, I emailed Jill her detailed packing list and instructions to pack her bag, put her bike in the car, lay out her clothes, go to bed, and be at my house at 5:30am.  She follows and takes instructions well (still working on my kids)

Sunday…arrived way too early with a 4:30am wake up!  Jill and I headed up to North Raleigh for the Rambling Rose Women’s Triathlon.    The day was finally here and we were both ready……………or so I thought.  We arrived with plenty of time to spare.  Bikes racked, bodies marked, we were ready!  The outdoor swim was chilly.  I was thrilled to shave some major time off my March swim. The 10 mile bike was hilly, but really very beautiful through a residential neighborhood.  I was thrilled to complete the ride without any major bike malfunctions.  (2010- I rode in on the swag wag when my headset came loose…. and as a newbie had no tools).  I saw Jill in transition and gave her my hoot and hollering support while I quickly attempted to transition from my bike shoes to my running shoes……….

Woooooooops!  

Failed attempt! Two rights and no left.  Duh!  Nice!

Well, there was only one thing to do since DNF in not in my vocabulary ………..Barefoot!  Off I took, with my tender pedicured skin on the pavement.  Thanks!  Mr. red shirt volunteer  who yelled   “less heel, get on the balls of your feet.”  Much appreciated, advice for this virgin Bare-footer. I heard a range of comments from “Where are your shoes?”  “Look Mom that lady does not have on shoes.”  “Go Barefoot Lady!” to  “Barefoot…….NICE!”.  I felt like some renegade  showboating my barefoot skills at a beginner friendly event. SO NOT the case!  Who cares what anyone thinks? Not me!  I  embraced my situation and  PROUDLY funneled my inner Bad-Ass and enjoyed every minute and mile of my barefoot debut. I proved there is a little Kenyon in this white girl from eastern North Carolina. Interesting fact- I ran faster barefoot than I did in my tri in March.  

As promised,I jumped back in the race and ran the last mile with Jill!

I am beyond proud of my buddy Jill for:

#1-signing up after my subliminal hints

#2- enduring my training and crazed enthusiasm

#3-finishing strong!

She lived….(despite her prior advice to me) to tell the world she is a Triathlete!  Yea Jill! Oh and a shout out to Jennifer, Mary, and Sarah for their amazing finishes!

For me personally,  I am proud,of overcoming a race day obstacle and making the best of it.  Luckily, for me the barefoot thing worked and was not too uncomfortable.  I only it knew that because I tried!

Race day obstacles seems to be a 2012 pattern .

I left more than my mini mouse dots on the pavement

In January, at Walt Disney World Goofy’s Race  (half marathon & full marathon in the same weekend) I busted my a$% on  a street reflector in mile 11 of the half marathon with 2.1 miles to go…not to mention the 26.2 I had in less than 24 hours.  I knocked myself silly, but was swiftly picked up by some faceless knight and shining armor behind me.  I can still hear the ” awwww’s” and “oh craps” of my fellow runners as they watched me drop, skid, and roll on the concrete.(BRF Laura applauded me on how quickly I put my mini mouse ears back on)

Luckily, it was just road rash and not whiplash or knocked out teeth.  After a little clean up, I endured and finished both races with battle wounds!       ( Laura will tell you…as gross and painful as they were.. I was sickly proud of them)

So what does this pattern of race day mishaps mean for the remainder of my 2012 events?  I am not sure ….Just bring it! I will tackle it! One event at a time!

I have come to know, my drive and motivation comes from the accomplishment of pushing through mental and physical barriers.  It’s these challenges and  accomplishments that keep me logging the miles!

Here’s to all the Mother Runners….Funnel your inner Bad-Ass…you just never know what you might accomplish!  

~ BoxerRunner~

a.k.a Bad Ass Mother Runner

Photos!

Another Mother Runner Crew! Sarah, Jennifer, Jill, Dimity

Another Mother Runner Crew! Sarah, Jennifer, Jill, Dimity

Early birds!

Early birds!

All relaxed pre-race no idea I have two RIGHT running shoes

Now who is the crazy Mother Runner? Love this shot!

Who claims this man?  Jenn? Mary?  Sarah?

Priceless shirt...worn proudly by Mark!

Priceless shirt…worn proudly by Mark!

Coach Jenn and Jill!

Love the smile Jill!  Proof you loved it!

Love the smile Jill! Told ya it was fun!

Self portrait..killing time!