Monday, August 30, 2010

Ragnar Relay

Last weekend we ran the Ragnar Relay from Winona to Minneapolis. This is a little jaunt involving 12 people, 2 vans, 3 running legs/person, little sleep and lots of fun. Although it doesn’t sound like all that much fun, it really is.

We really could have done without the 85-90 degree weather, dew points in the 70’s and humidity at about 90%.

We started out the night before, decorating the vans and taking our group pictures. These are our van members, Julie, Tiffani, me, Ali and Kristen.

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And the last van member, my pod-mate and coworker Cathy.


Our team was Diva’s and a Dude, however, we ended up with two dudes after a team member dropped out.


Our original dude, Paul, on the right, is wearing a pink skirt. He was very much into the diva-ness of it all.

On Friday, we met up in small town Wisconsin-Modena, where the first major exchange was located.


And look who I found. Patty and I posed for our ceremonial before race photo (this is #3 now). She had already run her Van #1 leg (we were van #2), and is showered and looking pretty. I never looked pretty after sweating out the first leg. Actually, I didn’t look that pretty even before I started running!



There were lots of vans and people, and Emma, wearing some funny ears.


Her owner said she probably doesn’t like wearing them that much, but she does it to make him happy. There you go.

Our runner came in and off Ali went.


There’s Kelly handing off to Ali while Tiffani looks on. The sun is coming out just so we can be really hot.


DSC01859  She ran up this ginormous hill to the highest point at Ragnar. (Which is that orange marker). Then back down the hill-that was better than the up the hill part.


I ran next-it was hot and hilly and fairly miserable. I got passed by four fast guys.


I was so happy to hand off to Tiffani-I can’t even tell you. I guzzled a bottle of Gatorade.


Cathy ran down the hot 7 mile road-but she was strangely happy about it.


Julie ran next in the hot heat, and then Kristen-


Here she comes into the exchange. So, get the picture? We did this two more times, except the next exchange and handoff was at about 2 AM. We ran until about 7 AM, then again at 11:45.  We finished at 3:55 PM, after 31 hours and 55 minutes total for both vans. The thought of beer at the finish kept us going.

But in-between, we saw these things.


Cathy on the lonely side of the road.


The river.


Lots of people


Lots more people at the final major exchange in Mpls.

This van, one of many things that cracked me up


I should have taken picture of all the vans that cracked me up, because there were many.


Cathy and Julie.


Cathy, posing in uniform with flag (I loved those flags)


And the finish.

It is unforgettable. While it’s happening you question your very sanity, and after the finish, you say “Wow, when can we sign up for next year?”

We already have the list of runners for Diva’s and a Dude, 2011.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Laura

Friend and Blog Muse

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Need I say more? Have a glorious day.

Vacay Part 2

Wow, I have done a lot of stuff since Vacay. I can’t believe how busy August has been.

But down to business. Vacay part two-Sunday 8/8 to Monday 8/16-here we go

On Sunday, the 8th, day after the 1/2 marathon, I met up with some girls I met on Ravelry. We met up in Lake Forest Park, which is east of Edmonds, which is North Seattle. Wow. My sister came by and we had the most wonderful time. We met at a little mall type place that had a big commons area outside a bookstore, Third Place Books. Then we walked over the to Village Yarn and Teas, where I bought a drop spindle, some inexpensive roving to practice with, and we took this picture


That’s Nancy, Martha, me and Julie. Loved it.

On the way home, I took some pictures on the Seattle skyline-while driving. I had the perfect shot and that huge roadplug RV got right next to me and ruined it-the irony being I probably shouldn’t have been taking pictures while driving anyway.


Monday we went to Seattle to take Mother shopping.

Debbie chauffeured in the Mercedes (which, coincidentally, has become her code name around here).


And gramma’s rode in back

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This store reminded me of my friend Angie-all about the purse


We went to Pendleton and bought some fab clothes.


Mother was quite exuberant


And Debbie got a hat (I got a hooded sweater, but no picture)


We had great lunch at the Athletic Club, and on the way home I got a picture of Safeco

IMG00019-20100809-1450 Also a bit blurry

Tuesday was sister’s craft day at Debbie’s house.

She has a nice workspace downstairs and I started a Thimbleberries wall hanging from 2008 or so. Those projects do get behind.


And we ate some of these


I, once again, took pictures while driving. Although I stopped a couple of times when I took these


I love the woods.

But I had to keep driving…..


Wednesday it was time to go. We went out to dinner, and then posed for the goodbye pictures


I couldn’t resist this shot-I told Debbie I had to take it so all my friends would know what I was talking about…

DSC01793 Yeah-that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

After I got home, on Thursday AM, I rested up because Friday Laura, Mary and I went on a shop hop to 12 quilt stores in an over 300 mile radius.

We faced storm damage


Tornado warnings


And a little ditch issue.

We missed an exit and had to turn around. Mary, the navigator (illustrated below)


Started telling Laura (the driver) that she couldn’t turnaround at this dirt road becauseDSC01801 - Copy

It said no U turn (merely a suggestion I told them) and there was a truck barreling down on us (I said it was the truck’s responsibility to watch out for us) and that we were going too fast (which I knew but since I was in the back I didn’t really care)

 Next thing, well, this happened

We hit the gravel and went in to the right of the sign which I thought we would hit but thanks to Laura’s split second reflexes we went wide by about 6 inches. Laura then floored it to avoid getting stuck in the ditch and came up and out the other side.

I thought it was a blast. Those up front-not so much. Hey, we ended up going back the right way. What’s the problem?

We shall not speak of it again.

We got to all 12 shops in one day. I hope we get to do it just the same way next year.

Saturday was the Western Days Stampede 10 K (6.1 mi). Hot humid and a horrible time. My friend Nina was there. She beat me again, by 3 minutes. I kept up with her for 4 miles, but in the end I had to walk so I lost some time.



Is my hair sweaty enough?

Monday, my last day of vacay, was spent on another quilt hop, this time with the Pine Needles staff on a bus to the cities. We went on this bus at oh seven hundred.


Marcia was our fearless leader


I said I wouldn’t spend any money and ended up buying several cute things AND a skein of Opal yarn. What? Yep. It happened.


Here’s the groupers. I so appreciated being invited. These people are very special to me and I was very glad to be a part of it.

And Tuesday, well, Tuesday, I went back to work. And got ready for Ragnar, the next big event.