Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2011

I did it! I was scared, but the time came for the Ragnar and I did it!

12 girls split into 2 vans, and we ran 192 miles from Logan to Park City. I'm not sure how much I really feel like writing about the experience...I'm sitting here getting exhausted just thinking about it.

Let's just say it was a blast. Here's a quick summary of my own experience this year:

My first run was hard but fun: 1.5 miles unpaved uphill over Avon Pass, 4 miles steep unpaved downhill with gorgeous views, with a couple miles flat (worst part actually). My second run pleasantly surprised me by being a beautiful and almost spiritual night run and probably my most rewarding run. I was terrified to run 8 miles uphill, but it was the perfect temperature with rolling hills that kept my legs feeling fresh. As the sun went down it got quiet, but I was still surrounded by runners and vans that lit the way. I could see the vans lining up going up steep hills ahead of me, but somehow I totally rocked every hill (YEAH!). Coming down the last hill and seeing a bright light at the finish line was magical!

That night we arrived at a designated sleeping area around midnight. This is the part of Ragnar no one tells you about. This was a high school that let everyone sleep on the gym floor. It looked like a refugee camp. Hundreds of people in sleeping bags in tight rows, snoring and not exactly smelling like daisies. Because it was so crowded, people had also filled the hallways. I found a random empty area and tried to pass out. Well 2 hours after dealing with the heat of the place, not being able to lie with my sore hips on the hard floor, and having my mind racing, the cafeteria I was close to started preparing breakfast which would be served at 2:30 am. Well I was pretty much awake after that. I think I got 30 minutes of sleep total. But you know, as we left the school into the freezing cold, I walked past the nastiest fart-plus-grimy-feet-smelling hallway that made me think it could have been worse (and I could have been in van 2 who ran through the night). But next year I may sleep in the van.

My third run was supposed to be "easy" but it was rough. I ran in the morning and when I woke up I could hardly move. Everything was sore. But somehow I got those 3 miles done without too much pain. After we all finished our 3rd legs, we had a chance to eat and shower (glorious!) and change into our attempt at fun 80's attire, while van 2 finished their last legs of the race. Then we met up with everyone at the finish line. Victory!

Here's some photos, a mix of mine and Jen's from the 32 hours.




If I didn't describe the race well enough, here's a video that Matt (AJ's brother) sent me shortly after I finished the race. Thanks, Matt! Ha.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Red Air day in Logan

Last Saturday AJ's sister Ashlee came to visit. That evening we went lookin for some inner-tainment and found ourselves at a real bonified Utah truck pull. A truck pull. It was pretty much was it sounds like.

Now, I don't know the "lingo" so bear with me. Basically, there is this trailer thing with a big weight on it, and a guy sits in it and pushes buttons that makes the weight slide around and get harder to pull. Then you take a hick in a jumpsuit who gets into their truck, and the truck pulls the heavy trailer thing. They've got about a hunnerd (ahem, hundred) yards to pull the weight, and it gets heavier as they go. So the goal is to go farther, and do it faster than the next hick.

Here's a patriotic truck taking its turn. I think this truck's name was "Ram Tuff", but the more hilarious names I wrote down (because I didn't want to forget them!) were "Ain't Skeered", "Git U Sum", "Shake and Break", and "Happy Hooker". Kind of amazing.



That's not the only entertainment. There was also mullet-watching:



And don't forget the game, "How many two-tone hairstyles can you find in this photo?" If you don't know what I mean by two-tone, look at an Oreo cookie.

(Answer: Three.)

And let's not forget the deezel (diesel) category. In this fine category we got to witness jet black fumes shooting out of these trucks' hoods. They would start their engines, puff out a white cloud, then gray, then black would blast out.


Then leave a magical red-air-day type of cloud behind them the whole way.

Here's what I don't understand. Look at this truck. The driver gets in, then the body lowers down on top of them. I don't remember the name of this category. It was something like "Trucks that cost more than this fiscally-irresponsible person's trailer home". They were somewhat cool to watch, but I didn't get the practical reason. Then AJ informed me that there is no practical reason. (I referred to AJ for most of my questions, since he grew up in Idaho and I figured he'd know more about hick behavior than me. *Burn*) He said, "It's so they can get into their trucks since they don't have functioning doors". Oh my gosh, come on.



What was just too cute was there were couples doing this together. They'd have matching jumpsuits and matching paint jobs on their matching $60,000 trucks. How romantic.

To top off my confusion about this...sport...? was the time one of the trucks had a mechanical issue. It went about 30 yards and then there was a loud pop and he stopped. The guy who had the microphone took a break from making comments and jokes and announced, "can we get a tow rig down here to pull out this truck?" Then an ATV zooms in to help out the stuck truck.

So then I HAD to ask AJ, "We are at a towing event. There are 20 trucks sitting here, all equipped for towing. Why the heck are they bringing in a "tow rig" to help out that truck?!" He said, "They're just...not...made for that." Then I gave him a crinkly confused expression and he rolled his eyes.

It's cheaper to get a crappy car, paint it, then crunch it in a demolition derby. And it's more entertaining. So I just don't get what attracts these drivers to the idea of spending all the money they have on this sort of thing. But hey it was fun to watch. So if you want to come visit, I'll surely go again.