Let’s see… where were we? Oh yes. We were somewhere in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. We were done with our first legs. And we were hungry. That’s right. There was a great Boy Scout troop at Exchange 12 selling burgers and the like, but we wanted real food. We also desperately needed showers, but carbs trumped cleanliness tonight. To Olive Garden we went. And for some reason, they put us in a room all by ourselves…
But they filled the table with tasty tasty pasta, so it was all good.
After that it was off to Exhange 18, where we’d start running again. We got there around midnight and had a couple of hours to kill. The exchange was at a high school, and they may have had showers and sleeping areas inside, but we were too beat to scope any of it out. I stayed in the van and tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep. David and George went outside and laid on the ground. David and I brought our backpacking ThermaRest mattresses, and I would’ve been wise to do what David did and actually use it. But I didn’t; I will next time!~ Here’s Dave, looking like a cross between an alien and homeless guy.
Speaking of aliens, when I ventured in to the restroom, I found this contraption. It looked like it might have something to do with water and cleanliness, but I was clueless. (The key: there’s a foot pedal on the bottom that turns the water on. How quaint and genius you are, Wisconsin.) Thanks to the person who told me what to do.
Outside there were free S’mores… with your choice of classic Hershey’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. What an exquisite twist on the S’more! They even had chimneas set up so we could roast the marshmallows–and free coffee. The perfect 2 AM snack break.
Soon enough, it was time to run. Lisa took off first, despite her terrible fear of running in the dark (I didn’t realize she was really that afraid, or I wouldn’t have made so many Attack Badger jokes. Tim even ran a couple of miles with her and they did, in face, get followed for a bit by some sort of furry animal. Sorry for the jokes, Lisa.). She handed off to Dave, who handed off to me at another high school. I started running my 5+ mile route around 4 AM. I desperately wanted the sunrise route but ended up with first light instead. Not too bad, actually. It was still very dark when I began and about a mile in the route veered onto a park trail. It was a little lonely… until…whomp whomp whomp whomp whomp whomp up from behind me came a woman running very quickly. “This is creeeeeeepy!” She screeched at me as she approached me. whomp whomp whomp “I mean really creepy! It’s dark and there’s no one out here!” whomp whomp whomp “It’s like everything you’re not supposed to do! Dark and aloooooooon!” was the last I heard as she passed me and ran on into the dark. She was clearly sprinting because she was so freaked out. I didn’t even have time to call out “Darlin’, if you want to run with me, neither of us will be alone!” whomp whomp whomp… she was gone.
This was a good run for me. I had recovered mentally and physically enough to pound the miles out at the pace I wanted. The van met me on a road crossing just after I’d gotten my first legitimate road kill (which, for the record, was not an experience I particularly relished.) and I wasn’t expecting to see them, so it was a nice treat. First light came as I was finishing up the run and there was a beautiful if smelly barn right as I came toward the exchange. This leg felt like some vindication for me after the abysmal first leg.
We sent Katie off to greet the dawn and make her way toward Lake Michigan, and this was our view as she ran her leg.
We stopped to support her. I foam rolled on a strangers lawn. I’d recommend each van on a Ragnar to have a foam roller and The Stick in it. It… felt… sooooo gooooooood.
Katie handed off to Tim, who had a beautiful leg by the lake. We headed to Racine, where another major exchange awaited us at the YMCA. Katie’s kneed had gotten worse during her 2nd leg, so here she is doing an interesting one-legged hop down the stairs to see Tim hand off to Derik. Ouch.
Hello Tim, Goodbye Derik!
The Racine Y was offering $2 showers for Ragnarians, and it was the best $2 I’ve spent in a while. And since we had electric in the van, Katie even had the luxury of using her flat iron. Converted electric power for the win!
We were showered and, in a shocking turn of events, ready to eat again. Off we went on a breakfast hunt.
In the next post: How many injured runners can one van sustain? Which song on my playlist got complimented by the runners passing me? And, will the van beat Tim to the finish line? All that and more, in tomorrow’s post.