Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The formation of Team Badass

I decided a while ago that I wanted to do another Ironman next summer.  Decided on the full Vineman in Napa and Sonoma Counties.  This year, however, I don't want to train alone and that's where Team Badass comes into the picture.  I started riding with a friend from Team You Got Chicked (YGC) and then another YGC chick decided to ride with us.  From there, friends asked friends and now we have a regular bike gang put together.  Several are planning on competing in Vineman, a few in Barb's Race (an all-womens half-Ironman on the same course as Vineman on the same day.  On a side note, this was my first ever triathlon in 2006), and a couple are just into cycling.  It seems to be a pretty good group.

We had our first official ride last Saturday.  There were 5 of us total.  We did a 38 mile loop from Solana Beach out into the hills and then back along the coast.  It was one of those perfect, perfect mornings: crisp, sunny and gorgeous.

The ride was great.  In fact, it was the best ride I've been on in a long time.

Coming down the Del Dios Highway

At the end of the ride, we took some pics of Team Badass:

Yes, that is the ocean behind us. What a gorgeous day!

And, here's the whole group who showed up. Please disregard the fact that I look like a pig in this picture.  No, I'm not talking about my size, just my face and snout.

I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with my fellow Team Badass members on long rides and long runs.  It's going to be fantastic!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ragnar Vegas

Since I've started training again, it's time to start blogging again.

A few months ago, my tri club sent out an email from a team looking for a runner for their Ragnar Vegas Ultra team. I responded and said I would love to be a part of it. Keep in mind, I have no idea who these women are, if they're crazy, and I hadn't been running much. So, a few questions you may have:

What is Ragnar? Ragnar is a series of relay races in which a team of 12 (usually, unless you're an ultra team like us and only have 6, which means we're more badass than everyone else) runs about 200 miles from one destination to the other. Here's the course overview:

Vegas? Isn't it hot in the desert? Oh, hell yes! It was over 95 degrees and I thought I was going to die.

If you're on an ultra team does that mean that you're more badass than everyone else? YES! 'nuff said.

What was your team name? Team You Got Chicked. Yes, it was meant to be.

Now that all of your questions are answered, back to the story. Luckily for me, my email was better than the other respondents, or at least the online stalking they did proved that I wasn't a complete nut...or at least I'm just nutty in an acceptable way, and they invited me to join the team. Imagine my joy to realize that it's a team made up of SuperBadAssNerdJocks. Really, a fantastic group. We had a couple of organizational meetings and it turns out they're all OCD, too. Most excellent!

Finally, the day we had to travel to the desert had arrived. We left on a Thursday afternoon in a giant van, with a second car leaving later that evening, and drove from San Diego to Lake Mead, Nevada. On a side note, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the US. We arrived after dark to the lake, where we would be staying on a houseboat. The houseboat was super cool and I don't think I was the only one who considered firing up the grill, opening some adult beverages and playing on the boat slide instead of running the next couple of days. Finally, we went to bed since we had to wake up early for the excitement that awaited us the next day.

The next morning (Friday) we awoke early and began decorating the van:

Our van was definitely the best decorated, though we found out later that we did not win the best van contest. Team You Got Chicked was robbed!

We made our way down to the start to take some pictures:

Our team was sponsored by the Running Skirts store ( and they provided us with our super cute matching outfits. We heard a bit of smack talk, such as groups referring to us as the cheerleaders. Too bad we then kicked their 12 asses with our 6 chick ultra team. There were 36 legs to this relay. As an ultra team, we each ran 3 times, so we would do 2 legs back to back. For example, our first runner, Leslie, ran legs 1 and 2, then Ashlee ran legs 3 and 4 and so on. I was the third runner and, by far, the slowest runner out of the group.

My first leg was right during the middle of the day and it was crazy hot. I vomited a couple of times but survived.

Just trucking along, trying not to barf or pee myself. Unsuccessful on both counts.

Just FYI: the desert is NOT flat.

First leg complete: handing the team slap bracelet off to Lauren (who was seriously insanely badass and ran 37 miles)

Here are some pics from the halfway point, from Loew's Resort:

We're all wearing reflective vests, because they were required between 5:00 pm and 7:30 am.

After running 189 miles (yes, the course overview says 188, but it was 189 at least) over 31 hours, we waited at the finish line for our 6th runner, Tammy, to bring it in:
We ran to the finish line together
and posed for some pictures. Still looking surprisingly cute after running and not sleeping for 31 hours

Then we drank some beer with an all-men's ultra team. They were drunk and the one who looks like Bradley Cooper was really obnoxious. 2 light beers and I was feeling it.

Our awesome drivers

Afterward, we headed to the Vegas Strip for burgers and supposed revelry.

I was able to surprise my friend, Danielle, at her bachelorette party. Wenchi and I had it planned for months. I wasn't a pretty surprise and I probably smelled bad, but I was happy to see them!

After my surprise visit, I walked back to the hotel, where I showered and fell asleep. The hotel seemed very luxurious after not sleeping, using porta-potties and eating bagels with pb for 3 days. The next morning we got up and drove back to San Diego.

Overall, I ran over 29 miles, up and down huge hills (like hills that were 4, 5, 6, 10 miles long. Seriously, my last leg was 10 miles uphill), fought some GI issues, survived on bagels and pb, peed on myself, in the desert, and toughed it out. It was a truly awesome and super fun trip with a great group of people. Looking forward to doing another, though not in the hot desert!