This is part 2 of 3 of my Ragnar Relay race report series. If you missed my recap of leg one, click HERE.
When I last left off, it was around 11 PM Friday night and I was looking forward to getting at least 4 hours of solid sleep. It was going to be my first time getting some real sleep during a Ragnar event. Unfortunately, I just could not sleep. It was due in part to some guys snoring like crazy in a nearby tent (I could have sworn there was a cougar roaming camp). I also just couldn’t fall asleep, despite feeling tired. But I did at least lay in my tent and rest for a few hours, finally throwing in the towel around 2 AM. After that, I wandered around Ragnar camp for awhile to loosen my stiff legs and keep warm.
Around 2:30 I landed back at our campsite and just hung out there. For a long time I stared at our white board trying to make sense of the times on it and determine when Deb and I would be running again (things always go slower than expected at night, and we were running legs over 10 miles in length). People from our MRTT teams came and went, heading out to run or returning from a run, but no one else was actually up. A lot of people asked if I was alright…. yep, just can’t sleep per usual. Around 3:15 AM I decided I should probably wake Debbie, figuring we would be running in about an hour or so. She was super confused, thinking I was one of our teammates waking her (our original plan was for them to wake her and for her to then come wake me) and she asked me if I had finished running. I wish!
We expected our teammates to come in around 4:30 AM, so Debbie and I headed down a little before that to wait in the transition area. At Ragnar, teams run over a timing mat about a quarter mile out, which lets the next runner know when to enter the transition tent to trade off. We began a vigil that would last nearly 30 minutes (Totally not our team’s fault, they did great. As I mentioned, things are always more slow going at night and it’s hard to guesstimate when to meet your runner).
Leg 2 – 4:55 AM Saturday
Green Loop (4.6 miles), Yellow Loop (6.2 miles)
Total advertised distance: 10.8 miles
Total actual distance: 11.2 miles
After not sleeping a wink and feeling very nauseous after my first leg, I headed out for leg 2 tired and low on fuel. Debbie and I tackled the green loop first – the shortest and easiest of the three loops.
We were quieter than we had been and primarily just focused on moving forward. There was the promise of a sunrise ahead of us and I mostly focused on that. I think we got off easy at Ragnar. Everyone on our two teams had to run two of the loops in the dark. For runners 1, 2, and 4 that happened during one complete leg. But for Debbie and me (runners 3), it was split between two legs. That meant we never had one full leg in the dark.
The green loop felt long in the dark, but we finally made it back to transition with the sun peaking over the horizon. We hit the aid station, I ate a potato with salt (my stomach was still feeling rocky) and Deb and I packed up our headlamps. Then we headed back out for our final time running the longest loop – yellow.
With early morning light shining down on us, Deb and I perked up and were more talkative on this loop. Even though I still didn’t feel great, I was in a good mood and happy to be running through the woods. I knew this loop would be a bit of a grind, but I had daylight on my side and that helped immensely.
I tried to remember to take more photos during this loop since it was our last time running yellow. During our first leg (yellow loop, red loop) I had somehow completely missed the cool totem poles that were at the start of each loop. Don’t know how that happened, but I definitely took notice of them on our second leg. They were cool!
We also paid more attention to our surroundings and found that we could see Ragnar Village as we ran along the yellow loop – also something we hadn’t noticed the day before.
Debbie and I had a great time swapping a lot of fun stories, and I enjoyed getting to know her even better. With about two miles to go on the yellow loop, Deb and I made a friend named Donna. We started running with her and had a great time chatting. It’s always fun getting to know other runners during a race or an event like this.
The three of us stuck together for the rest of the loop and into the transition area. We handed our bibs off, and started to make our way back to camp. I was finally feeling ready to eat, and I ate a bagel with peanut butter and banana. I thought I might nap, but with the sun up and camp coming back to life that definitely wasn’t going to happen. Instead, Deb and I hung out in the campsite with our teammates. As the morning wore on, we became acutely aware of a growing dilemma. It looked like our four teams were not on pace to finish by the 6 PM deadline….
How do you deal with sleep deprivation?