It’s Saturday morning and the van smells like a Frankenstein combination of boiled cabbage, Febreeze, and beef jerky. I’m in the third row, half bent over with my hands on my slightly distended stomach. For the past thirty hours I’ve been conducting a delicate chemistry experiment on myself. What is the proper combination of Tums, Pepto, and carbs to keep my GI tract happy through three legs of a Ragnar?
My stomach gives a troubling burble. Or was that a purr of satisfaction? I’ve lost track under the avalanche of antacids I’ve poured down my throat.
The line of honey buckets is only yards away. As the sun has risen, the conditions inside have gotten worse at each transition area. My friendly Scottish teammate came back whistling at the last stop and happily told me his body’s response to stress was to empty the tanks. Cheers to that, mate, but mine is quite the opposite.
At the first sign of stress, TSA security lines, or unfamiliar toilets, my digestive tract clamps down like Scrooge McDuck’s grip on a dollar bill. The only cure isn’t more cowbell, but a quart of prune juice and some quiet contemplation. Neither of which are readily available during this 200-mile team trek across New Hampshire.
There was a moment during my third Ragnar leg that the pain faded away. My quads stopped hurting, my knee wasn’t barking, and I no longer felt my sweat-soaked singlet chafing my pink parts. I was consumed, utterly and completely, with doing some furious calculus. There was still almost three miles to go and my stomach was giving off dire warnings.
Neither Isaac Newton nor Bill Rodgers could make this math work. I wasn’t going to make it. Not even close.
It’s everyone’s favorite guest blogger here. It’s time to finally tell the world how Saturdays really go down at our house.
Mike was away the past night participating in the Ragnar Relay, where a bunch of people ride in a van and take different legs of the race. They run through the night, occasionally try to sleep, don’t shower, and eventually finish at a beach in New Hampshire. It’s not my thing and I don’t ask a lot of questions, but I know Mike and the Soles were thrilled that Covid (or their broken-down van) didn’t stop the race this year. Continue Reading
When you tell people you are going to do an overnight 200-mile relay race that involves traveling in a van with 6 other people for 36 hours, getting little sleep, running at 2 am, all while paying for the privilege, you are going to get one of two reactions: some will get a recognizable gleam in their eye and ask if there are still any open spots in the van. The others will openly question your sanity. One of the many joys of belonging to a local running club is that I saw much more of the former than the latter. Continue Reading
I admit it, I am not a huge social media person. I forget to take pictures every Saturday to help with Mike’s blog post. I have less than 100 pictures on my Instagram. The pictures I do take are not perfect. They usually are crooked. I don’t pay attention to backgrounds. If I do edit them, I just touch the magic wand on the screen and call it a day. So you can imagine the whole family was a little nervous when I announced I was going to write a guest post while Mike was away running the Ragnar event in New Hampshire with the Soles.Continue Reading