Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Greatest (blog-appropriate) Adventure

I'm writing this to win an ARC of Beth Revis' epic new book, Across the Universe.

Read the first chapter. You'll want one, too!

Okay, so my greatest adventure is actually the planned home birth of my second son. It was incredible and beautiful, but it was also full of words (like pushing and dilation) which might make my blog buddies queasy, so I'm going to tell about a different adventure.

The Ragnar Relay

It's this really great, crazy foot race that you run with a team of twelve people, and it goes on night and day for...ah, I'll let them tell you:

Think of it as a 188-mile party with 12 best friends. Teams of 12 will rock out to live bands, enjoy the wacky participant costumes, and make life-long friends with teammates and competitors. Teams will party along the backside of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains from Logan (85 miles north of Salt Lake City) to Park City, Utah (15 miles east of Salt Lake City).
I was a member of the Runamok Divas team in June 2008. We didn't all fit in one van, so there were two, but I only really got to know Van 1, these awesome girls:
I'm the little blonde one second to last on the right.
The pigtails are a high school cross country tradition.

The beast that followed us along the trail.

My Dad and me.
He was on an all-guy team, but I got to see him a few times between my relay legs.
He just ran his (counts on fingers) sixth? post-cancer marathon, in St. George.
(He's even run Boston!)

This guy was our driver and support.
He gave us water and encouragement, which was really nice.
This pic was taken on my last leg and I was pooped!
You totally can't tell, but this is all uphill. I promise.

My brother, me, my dad before it really began. They were on the same team.

I'm the short, sunburned one third from the left on the back row.
Finally done!

"After" pic. I am allergic to the sun.

My three relay legs were probably the easiest on the whole team of twelve women. 3 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles. I ran the five mile leg in the pitch dark of night, and I swear I saw nocturnal predators moving in the high grass beside the road. It may have been my glo-sticks distorting things, but it was still kinda freaky. I am not a nighttime runner (my sun allergy notwithstanding).

We slept for a few hours in sleeping bags on the grass outside a school while the other van took its turn running the 188-mile relay. Running three distance races in what felt like one day was really intense, and helped prepare me for my first marathon a few months later. It also made me feel like the old me for a little while, which was pretty amazing, since I'd just had my first baby a year and a half earlier. It was fun meeting other girls who love to run as much as I do, and to talk about something other than babies, which was my whole life at the time. 

When I got home, I was a walking beet...really more like a waddling beet since my legs were so sore! But it's an experience I'll always cherish, even when the memories of peeing my pants mid-race fade into the years. (Right! Like I'm ever gonna forget that!) 

So there's my adventure. Do I win? :)

What's your second-greatest adventure?


  1. My greatest adventure: Being a mother is my life and the source of my identity, but that's too long a story to tell.
    The most intense adventure of my life was not really my own. It was being the co-pilot of my husbands fight against cancer; watching, encouraging, trying to stay positive, long walks in the desert together, dealing with our family's equal and sometimes opposite reactions to the stress and concern for him. I learned what true strength and courage looked like watching him fight with the determination to win. And, thank God, our story ended happily, just the way I like my stories. But adventures shape us. I had to face my greatest fear and I will never truly be that afraid again. I know where strength comes from now, and I will not forget.

  2. Thank God for happy endings/new beginnings! That's an amazing story, Wren. Thank you for sharing it! I think that's the great thing about adventures: they always leave us better and stronger in some way. Thank you.

  3. OMG, I feel worthless... Wish I could do HALF of the things you do, Katrina!! Must, Get. A meaningful life. Now!!

    Thanks for sharing this!! That arc is definitely worth it :)

  4. Amparo, I've never done two of the amazing things that you happen to be doing right now, so the feeling is mutual. :)

    I follow the credo: If you want to have a happy life, do hard things. It is always true. Good luck with your adventures, too!


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