Monday, June 24, 2013

Wasatch Back Ragnar: Shot Blocks and Miracles on Leg 27

This past weekend my sister Heather and I both ran the same legs of the Wasatch Back Ragnar.  It was an amazing year to run as Ragnar celebrated the 10th year of the Wasatch Back.  They did two relays over three days.  It was my third time running the Wasatch Back and her first.  We've both ran the SoCal, Vegas, and Zion Trail Ragnars as well.  This year, my dad who first got us to run relays, marathons, and half marathons, is deployed to the Middle East and other locations with the Navy Reserve.  To honor his service our family and some of our friends are running races in the yellow Navy shirt you see Heather wearing above.

Anyway, this year I filled in for my dad on the Provo Police Department Team, Twelve Brothers.  Heather ran on Team Do or Do Not with Jeff Wells, a family friend who has ran several relays and other races with us.  Heather's team started a couple of hours earlier than us so she sent me reports on each leg after she finished.  After the first two legs she shared glowing reports on the beauty of the course.  As our van prepared to leave for our final leg I received the following text from her regarding Leg 27, our last leg:

"Good luck on the last run.  It's a freakin' $#%^$!"

I responded with: "Thanks for the encouragement.  I was hoping you would lie to me."

She shared a few more of the details with me which were quite funny (and a bit discouraging) at the time.  Later, after the Ragnar, she posted the following on Facebook.  It's a great story for a number of reasons.  I'll let you decide what those reasons are for yourself.  Here's her story:

So I just wanted to share a little experience I had this last weekend while running the Ragnar. It may not mean much to some of you, but it meant something to me. 

I had already run my first two legs which consisted of a 6.7 mile run and a 4.9 mile run and was about to run a 7.7 mile run with a LOT of hill. I had no van support on this run, which means that my team could not stop and assist me at any time for anything. 

I woke up that morning at 3:45 am to prepare for my next run, only to be nauseated. No matter, I was still there when my team mate came in and handed me the bracelet. 

However, at about 1/2 mile in I realized that I had forgotten my shot blocks to help sustain me through this run. There was NO way I was going to make it. I was going to let my team down by walking most of it, but most of all I was going to let myself down. If I had had the energy to cry I probably would have. 

It was then that I said a very angry prayer to my Heavenly Father. How can I be SO stupid?! I had those stupid shot blocks ready to go and I left them?! How am I going to make this run?! Maybe I should lie on the side of the road and wait for someone else's van to pick me up and take me to my next destination??? I can't run while sick to my stomach and have no energy either! I QUIT!

And as soon as I had ended my prayer the Lord sent me an answer. Not any of the ones that I had suggested, but still he answered. And when I looked down at the ground in utter desperation I found a beautiful little red shot block that another runner must have dropped! It was perfect! 

It was so perfect and of such great value to me at this point in time I decided to eat it. Yes, I ate it off the ground and was not ashamed! Even when another runner looked back at me questioningly for second. In fact it was the opposite of shame. It was relief and gratitude. 

In fact it was so perfect and valuable and I was so grateful that I decided it best to ration it out through my run. I bit it in half and put the other half in my pocket for later. And when I reached the second water station I happily ate the other half. 

This little shot block did not make my run much easier. I still struggled through the entire run, but it lifted my spirits enough to finish. And I was still some what angry during and for a little bit after the run. And when I told this story to my team mates in the van they all broke out in laughter with me. 

And yes, I will run the Ragnar again next year!