Sunday, October 4, 2015
The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done? Probably
Last year I participated in the Ragnar Adirondacks - a 200 mile relay race between 12 people. I went with what were originally strangers from my company and finished, having bonded with them and realizing that it had been one of my best weekends ever. Despite running over 20 miles in a van through 36 hours, the combined experience of effort, poor sleep, and the gorgeous sights of Saratoga Springs en route to Lake Placid made for a time so wonderful, yet inexpressibly so.
I've thought about why it was such a great time and I still can't pinpoint why. One of the mysteries of emotion I guess.
This fall, I couldn't wait to go back. Soon after we had finished our Ragnar run last year, we joked about running an "Ultra" which was essentially the same race but with 6 people instead of 12 people, doubling up our miles and halving our rest time (an unintuitive reality).
Last year, there were 2 vans holding 6 people each. After 6 runners finished their 'legs' (3 total), the van went to the exchange point 6 runners ahead while the second van ran their part. It allowed for a nice 6-8 hour break between vans.
This year, the Ultra became more and more real. While I couldn't say no, I doubted whether I could actually do an Ultra run.
This year was spent running much less than the previous year. I joined a gym so much of my exercising was used up weight training. I had also injured my leg in the middle of summer running up and down the hills of San Francisco. Summer was usually the season I ran the most but it wasn't until around early August that I recovered and was able to run regularly.
Even worse, I got sick the Friday before but I thought I would recover by the coming Thursday, when we would leave the city for the run. Unfortunately, my cold turned into a strep throat diagnosis on Monday which meant I would be running on antibiotics and a less than stellar body.
This Ultra run would mean that myself, along with my other 5 team members would run over 30 miles each and run 6 legs instead of 3. There would be no break, and barely any time to sleep.
Below are my diary logs - one before we started running, and the others written after each leg finished.