Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ragnar Relay - Vegas

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada!  Last weekend Kevin and I ventured to the Sin City where I would run in a relay race with four friends.  Part of the Ragnar Relay series, the scene would be Las Vegas (though never actually running through the city or down the strip, just around it), for 197 miles.  

We arrived the day before, walked the strip and tried to have a good time, though the runners were reserved, wanted to conserve energy for the grueling race the next day. With a cold front.

At 7am we left the strip in style, with our minivan decorated with flames.

For some reason the race started on the top of a very large mountain.  As we drove up the mountain, it became colder and colder, and we could see a mysterious mountain shrouded in clouds.  We feared for Runner #1.

Us desert rats started freaking out with the snow.  The runners look so cold.

#151, Ultra 5!  Our team was named the Hot Streaks.  We don't look hot at all....

Chillin' in the ski lodge, applying temporary tattoos, getting runner #1 ready, and staying warm.

 Exchange #1, Michael handing off to Zach.  I like this for the photo bomb quality, as Camryn looked at the picture and screamed "No! Scary Monster!" (dude in the back).  Also funny is that Michael about ran through the exchange, missing the placement of the snap-band on Zach, which is why he is repeating it with two hands while they are laughing.

Runners Michael (left) and Tony (middle) at an exchange at the end of Day 1.  It was getting dark, so full night-time safety gear was required, which was reflective vest, headlamp, and butt blinker.

Nathen (left) and Tony (wearing two pairs of pants) look very cold.

Zach finished his last leg, having run 45ish miles, and with the same excruciating knee pain that I developed middle of my second leg. He was the first runner completely done, so it was emotional.

 Me trying to roll out my tight iliotibial band before my last leg.  Too late, knee pain already severe.

Runners passing Lake Mead.  This is the second-to-last leg, which Tony ran.  I ran the last leg, a painful measly seven miles to cross the finish line.

Note the absence of pictures of me?  That would be due to mainly the fact that all of my legs were in the dark, and I didn't remind anyone to take pics (though the night ones don't look as good).

So in summary, I ran about 30 miles, split into three legs.  I developed an acute, very painful iliotibial band syndrome after about 20 miles.  I slept about two hours total and ate nothing but PB&J, granola bars, bananas, jerky, an apple, and goo.  Our team finished in 33:21:45, placing 358th, beating 154 teams.  That includes 12-person teams too, so we did great!  I commend everyone's ability to work together through such trying conditions, pick up the extra miles (runner #6 dropped out last minute), and bond so well.  I love these guys dearly now.  We are actually already talking about the next one!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


As promised, here are more pictures of the Yellowstone Bison.  Maybe it's because they are so rare, or because they are half tame in the park, but they are extraordinary creatures.

This one was just walking along the side of the road when he decided to lay down and take a dust bath.

They cross the roads often, and this poor little baby got left behind, and wasn't quite confident on his own.  After sniffing the road for a few minutes and staring longingly after his herd he cantered across, right in front of our car.

Who knew bison could swim?

This entire herd just crossed the river, then proceeded to cross the road to go into the valley field.

Another bison to cross right in front of our car, and even gave us a few choice signals with his tongue.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Halloween

Everyone complains of gaining weight over "the holidays" and I realize now it begins with Halloween.  We started by making cookies at Mason's request.  It sounded like a great way to have fun, and I can be spontaneous.  Little did I know before beginning that we were out of regular flour and confectioner's sugar (the latter for regular frosting) and maybe something else.  We used wheat flour and the finished product was interesting, but definitely tolerable because of chocolate frosting.

The following week we made pumpkin donuts.  For some reason I was motivated to use the donut maker again (we do so rarely), and the concept sounded too cute.  The kids really like helping to bake.  And of course I taught them to lick the beaters, that's the best part!

These donuts were delicious!  I just used a boxed pumpkin bread recipe, slightly modified.  We frosted them to make them cute, but it wasn't necessary.  I can't stop eating even the plain ones.

This little princess turns psycho when candy is involved.  I tried to get her to use the small cute bad for Trick or Treating, but she insisted on the large, bulky, difficult to carry and to open, plastic grocery bag.  She only got away with it because she's so cute.

Gotta eat that candy right away.  And Woody obviously thinks she will drop something for him.  Fat chance!

Mason dressed up as "black" Spiderman, aka Venom.  He wasn't too interested in candy, was nervous still going up to strange houses.  And he didn't even wear the mask.