I am doing myself a favor and sharing a little of my 2-week holiday vacation as part of the “lead-up” to Ragnar. Mostly because I am lazy, but also because I don’t think the story of the relay would be complete without sharing how the weeks before it played out.
Brad and I left Greenville on the very rainy (turned snowy, as we went further north) Thursday before Christmas. It took a record worst amount of time (13.5 hrs) to make the 730-mile drive, but we made it! We proceeded to spend the next 5 days hanging out with Brad’s family including our 4 nieces and one nephew, eating a ton of good food, drinking wine and celebrating the holidays and being together.
Oh and I also ran! I had some of the best runs that I have in a LONG time. Including the 15-miler (at 8:19!!) that I did with Char the day we left Greenville, I ended up running 47 miles over a 6 day period and never felt better. The cold weather (in the low 20’s) turned out to be the perfect running temps and I unexpectedly ran an 8-miler at 7:50 pace and a 12-miler at 8:09 on Christmas Eve (I felt like I could go forever but didn’t have water or fuel!).
We left the day after Christmas for Breckenridge and spent the next 7 days snowboarding all day…
Followed immediately by the hot tub in the afternoon…
(blurry pic result of steam from hot tub, I think)
And relaxing, drinking wine and doing puzzles at night…
It was fantastic! It was downright cold, but the snowboarding was awesome and we had a really great trip with Brad’s family.
In case you didn’t notice, the one thing missing from the 8-day trip to Colorado was…running. If I wanted to run, I am sure I could have figured out a way to make it work. But with all of the snowboarding (which is a killer workout!), the icy roads, being in the mountains, etc., I decided before we left that I would not try to squeeze running into this vacation. With how well I had been running leading up to the trip, I was honestly not really thinking that the 8 days off would be that big of a deal. (ahem…foreshadowing)
Back to Reality (briefly)
We finally returned to IL, late in the evening on the 2nd and I worked from Brad’s parents’ house on Thursday before leaving for Miami late in the afternoon. I also decided to squeeze in one easy run before heading to Miami, just to see how my legs felt.
I made a few mistakes though: I didn’t drink much water after flying the day before and I ate some pizza about 20 min before running. I didn’t feel great running in general but the run got worse at about 2.5 miles when I got a horrible cramp. It started in my chest and then eventually settled in to the right side of my stomach. I pinched/massaged it out and ran through it to get a total of 4.5 miserable miles in. Once again, I didn’t think much of it…just chalked it up to the time off, etc. and put it out of my mind as I began my trip. (more foreshadowing)
My first flight was uneventful and we even got in a little early to Atlanta. I met Char at my gate and after not seeing each other for 2 weeks, we chatted NON-STOP through dinner and while we were waiting for our flight. Finally it was time to board the flight, and I was super excited to have been upgraded to first class.
I got on the plane and just as I got settled…they announced that we needed to deplane. Mechanical failures.
I got off the plane and Char and I headed over to our new gate. Luckily they found us a new plane quickly and it didn’t look like we were actually going to be delayed at all. Then just as we all boarded the 2nd time, they announced that there was a wiring problem on that plane and that we would need to deplane. AGAIN.
There was a flight coming into the gate next to ours that landed right away and would become our new plane. They made the turn around reasonably quickly, but by the time it was all said and done, we didn’t get to our hotel (well, Megan’s hotel) in Miami until 2:00 a.m.!
Fortunately, we were lucky to have a 12 p.m. start time and being in Van 2 meant that we would be starting even later. We slept until a glorious 10 a.m. on Friday morning before our rockstar Nuun Employee/Team Captain/Driver, Vishal, picked us up to meet the rest of the team and get on the road!
To be continued…