February is my favorite running month. Not only is my favorite marathon The Lost Dutchman Marathon this month, but also my favorite relay race Ragnar Del Sol with my second family Sole Sports Ultra team. This also means its time for me to get out of the NW winter and to the sunny 80 degree sunshine in AZ!
Jash and I were lucky enough to stay with our great friend Billy D Miller in AZ which was so very nice and he made us feel right at home. He also doesn't have any pets so that is awesome for Jash and I because there are no breathing issues! Oh yeah and here is his view and back yard:
Yeah I spent a lot of time by this pool! We had so much fun staying with Bill and catching up on life. It really made the trip perfect!
Sunday we had the marathon it was forecasted to be very hot! We were both very excited either way as it was going to be fun and the first time Jash got to experience my all time fav marathon! This was the 7th year in a row running this one for me, and still I get so excited for it. The start was beautiful as always and we got together for a maniacs picture pre race with the awe inspiring superstition mountains in the back ground. The camp fires are always such a unique and pretty way to start!
(i am in the middle with hot pink socks)
(i am in the middle with hot pink socks)
The race started out wonderful with perfect temps and just enjoying the views as always. I ran into maniac Mike from TX who was taking pictures of the beautiful views that I always wish that I have a camera to capture. This year we ran into each other about 2 miles in and ran together for the next 20 or so. The miles flew by as we talked and got to know each other, both vegetarian crazy marathon runners who are having fun out there. His wife and my husband were both running the half so that was fun as we both knew we had our favorite people waiting for us at the finish line. Here are some of the awesome pictures Mike got of our adventures.
It was awesome to see Jash at the finish line because it got really really hot the last 5 or so miles. He had a great race himself and we were able to get food and celebrate our accomplishments for the day.
Post race we had a relaxing day at home with Bill and went out for a very tasty Mexican food dinner. The rest of the week I had off and Jash went back to Portland to work and take care of our baby chickens. Rhiannon took care of the girls and the house while we were away and it made all the difference as we were not worried for a second and she sent us updates of the fun in the NW. For the rest of the week I enjoyed getting lots of great sleep, running daily in the sunshine, reading by the pool, and doing a bit of shopping. Bill and I had fun getting some running in together and hanging out and we cannot wait for him to come back and visit and stay with us in the NW! I also really enjoyed spending time with my family and seeing the boxer pups, working on an assignment with Derek and spending the day with him, and meeting my sister’s boyfriend. Kristy and I also met up for a hike (after she had to work all night!) and it was great to get out there together and catch up!
Thursday we headed over to Kim’s house for our traditional Thursday night pre Ragnar dinner. This year she also was kind enough to host practically the whole team for a sleep over party as we had to leave the house at 4am! It was tons of fun getting back together with this great crew. And we were able to leave right on time this year which was a huge plus and I was thrilled because I was also the lead off runner. We made it to Wickenburg in just enough time to check in and they sent me out and running. I was able to enjoy a beautiful sunrise on my first leg and really enjoyed the 13 or so miles.
The day really warmed up as we went but the team was solid and everyone nailed their pace and had a wonderful fun time doing it. I really loved hanging out with all of them and just soaking in all of the beautiful AZ sunshine! Our night legs were a bit tricky as always but nothing that we could not handle and this year we did not lose any runners- a total plus. We had some fun ok LOTS of fun along the way taking some pretty silly pictures, especially when EM had to run 20 miles straight. Such a rock star!
My last leg was at 4 in the morning and if that was not bad enough, I started out by encountering a pack of coyote’s screaming at the top of their lungs and coming straight at me. I didn’t plan on getting eaten this year so I turned back and decided I would have to get back up. Another guy came running along and said he would scare them off so I ran behind him for just a second and then he was gone. For the rest of the leg I was scared to death running in the dark by myself that I was going to get eaten. It was a pretty scary night, but makes me appreciate all my non eventful runs that I do have. I made it though and was really happy about meeting up with another runner I met on the previous leg that we had run together throughout the night. We finished up the last couple miles together.
This year we had an amazing treat which was the ability to stop at Bill’s house and shower. We headed there right after I finished my last leg and I enjoyed a hot shower and a couple hour nap. It was AMAZING and made all the difference in traveling home that same night. The finish at Ragnar was awesome and we again finished another Ragnar. 6 years and running and I have the stickers on my car to prove it!!! I LOVE running with these guys- Bill, Em, Kim, Julie, Magi it has been so much fun and you are all my family for life!!! xoxooxox