Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Amy,

I came back from Las Vegas to 130 emails *sigh*

But now that I’ve gotten things at least sorted, I wanted to thank you for your support and love for Ragnar Las Vegas. You are a dear, cherished, wonderful friend (still!).

And NOW (you lucky lady) I will tell you about the run. Wasatch Back was a very empowering experience for me. It made me feel like I could actually maybe be a runner (although we’re still using that term very loosely). As far as my running goes, I came away from Las Vegas with some goals for my own progress in terms of distance and speed.

But Las Vegas for me was mostly about Briana, which was completely unexpected.

When Spencer realized last week that he would not be able to run, he suggested we have Taylor take his place. Then he said (with Bri sitting there), “Or Briana could do it.” Both Spencer and I immediately jumped on that, knowing how empowering and fun Ragnar had been for both of us. However, the truth was that since Spencer is a strong runner, he had a tough runner position. But when Bri said that she might be interested, we both kinda downplayed the difficulty while playing up her strength and ability to really conquer this.

During Bri’s first leg she had some tough hills. At about Mile 1.5 she came up to where we were ready to support her, and she looked MAD! She said (and I will laugh about this forever, but it wasn’t funny for her), “This is about as flat as my chest!” I ran with her for a bit, and she cried a bit. I told her she was strong. She said she was going to kill your mom because NOT anyone can run a mile. We both laughed a little, and she started a downhill stretch. I told her that the next two miles were downhill, then she had a mile of uphill, and the last mile was downhill. I also told her that Mary Kay and Rich both thought they could take over the remainder of her leg if she wanted them to. By the time we’d gotten that far, she was feeling calmer. We agreed to meet at the bottom of the hill in 2 miles. When we met there, she was good. I asked her if she wanted us to meet her at the end of the next uphill mile, and she said, “No, I think I can do it from here. I’ll see you at the end.”

She was wiped out and very like me in that she didn’t want to talk to anyone at the end of her run. But it gave her some power, and she rocked her second run (which was around 4 miles). She did lots of walking, of course, but she did the distance.

After our van was finished with Leg 2, we went to a hotel room we had gotten, and we all pulled out our sleeping bags and sacked out everywhere. We got about 3 hours of sleep there. When we woke, Bri was nearly instantly in tears and she told me everything hurt and she didn’t know how in the world she was going to do another 6+ miles. I told her not to worry about it because we could all pitch in and do the distance for her. Immediately after that, however, everyone started talking about how tired they were and how everything ached and how they were dreading Run #3. I worried like crazy about Briana.

Our Van 2 had a very difficult night, so we had an extra hour to wait at the exchange, and there were three runners before Briana, so she slept like the dead in the back of the van for another couple of hours. When she woke up, she was feeling so much better. She got some food in her and started preparing for her run (her choice, as I gave her the option again).

Her last leg was on dirt/rock road. It was tough running, but it was flat. We met her at Mile 1.5 and Mile 3, and she was good. When we met her at 4.5, she was hurting mentally. She asked me how much farther, and I told her I thought it was about 1.5 miles, maybe a bit more. She said, “I can do that.”

It was actually a full two miles, but she did it. When we were at the exchange, we could see her way out there, and once she saw the exchange she ran all the way in. There was another team there, and we asked them to make a bridge with us. They were very sweet about it, and they also provided a tp finish line for her to cross. We all yelled and yelled, and I want to cry when I think about the kind support those strangers gave to our runner, who may have had no business being in the race at all.

I gave Bri as much support as I could through all her runs because she was kinda mad at her dad while in the heat of the moment.  But when she finished, he was immediately by her side, and she laid her head on his shoulder while he told her how strong and wonderful she was.

She told me after Leg 1 that she didn’t think Ragnar was as fun as we had made it sound. But after she was breathing again after her last leg, I grinned at her and said, “Determined enough to run a half.” She grinned back and said, “Not stupid enough to run a full.”

We are in training for a half marathon in the spring.

And Briana has a Ragnar shirt and a medal to show to the world how cool and strong and capable she is.

I am very grateful. And proud.

Love to people who make us more than we think we are and more to you (a two-fer!)


P.S. Our team name was “Top Run” (my brilliant idea), and it was really fun. We yelled and texted movie quotes at each other through the race; Mary Kay bought these glow sticks at the dollar store that we waved like we were on a runway; and Stacy lent us the Top Gun soundtrack, which we blasted intermittently throughout the course. So. Much. Fun. At the finish line we all wore our Top Run shirts (I’ll post pix later) and our Aviators. We were very cool. (Who knew when I saw Top Gun 400 times as a teenager that it would be such a huge part of something I did in my 40’s?)


Jacqueline said...

This is so inspiring! Go Briana! I want to do this with you guys sometime! Gosh you guys are all awesome!!!

Amy said...

Dear Bri,

There are no words for how proud I am of you. I was proud of your mom last time, but this time it's all about you. You are so strong and amazing and I'm inspired! Also I'm glad your last leg was more like my chest than your own..... Just sayin'.

Love to people who make you proud and more and more to you! (a hard-core two-fer)

Dear Aundrea,

Someday I hope I understand just how much this means to you. Because if I can love my kids like you love yours I will be the kind of mom I want to be.

Love to incredible mothers everywhere, and more to you!

PS How did it go for YOU?
PPS When's the half? (you know what I'm thinking, right?)

Suzie said...

Wow...I have chills! It was so great seeing you guys even if it was for just a little bit. :)
Running is such a great sport cause it pushes your limits and helps you to know what you can do.
I am so proud of BOTH of you!
Congrats!!! :)

Jodi Orgill Brown said...

Wow, that is so inspiring!! Keep it up!

Tahnee said...

You are amazing!!!!