So last we left off I was just wrapping up with Day 1. You can read that recap here.

Now for Day 2 and when the lack of sleep caused irritability and um….for me….stupidity.

It was now past midnight and we still had a good 100 miles to go. I was really disappointed in the exchange parking situation. It seemed that most exchanges were so crowded that parking was a bit of an issue. We ended up parking outside of the exchange wherever possible and walking a block or across the street to get there. I think perhaps the field of 500 teams was a bit too high. That really was my biggest issue with the event.

At one point in the middle of the night I waited in a long line for the Honey Bucket and just when it was my turn i realized my headlamp was not working. I didn’t want to lose my spot and have to wait on the line again so I went in to a pitch dark stall and guess what? I COULDN’T SEE SHIT! Literally. #TMILineCrosser

Right after that I went to get Valerie after her 9 mile leg. It had been raining and she had lots of malfunctioning gear.

TIP 5: Make sure you have fresh batteries in your night gear before setting out on your night leg, especially if it’s a long one. And try and remember a flashlight or headlamp when using a Honey Bucket in the dark. =)

As the sun rose and we were finally in Napa the views became so breathtaking.

slurpee in napa

during my 5th leg the team handed me this delicious slurpee! #winning

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Saw this posted on Facebook today. #absolutely

photo 3

I was planning on running yesterday morning but still have some soreness on the bottom of my foot. It’s almost gone but with a half marathon 12 days from now I decided to err on the side of caution and go to the gym at lunch for a short cross training session of the rowing machine and bike.

So I packed up my gym stuff in this handy dandy 2011 NYC marathon recovery bag. :) swag in action.

photo 1

13 minutes on the rower followed by a killer 20 min on the stair master. I was drenched with sweat. And actually felt good about the decision to cross train.

photo 5

This morning I got up super early to take the doodle to our local park. With me being away for a week and then having a busy long weekend I hadn’t taken him in over 2 weeks. He was so happy to reclaim his territory. And I was happy to see the beginning signs of autumn.

photo 2

pretty soon the green will turn orange and red and yellow

On our way to my favorite place. Gonna lift my leg on everything!

On our way to my favorite place. Gonna lift my leg on everything!

Tomorrow if my foot is ok I am going to try for an 8-10 mile run. If it isn’t ok I’ll wait until the weekend. Last chance long run opportunity before the Staten Island half marathon. I’m not really worried about finishing. I just want to work on keeping a consistent effort for 2 hours or more. Lately I have been peetering out to quickly. Mostly because I am not accepting that my average pace has slowed since being injured and I start out too fast.

I told you that my favorite month is October because it’s my birthday month AND i love Autumn. But I forgot to share with you another reason it’s an important month to me. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. First I wanted to give a shout out to my dear friend Nicole!


She’s a survivor! Hard to believe that with a newborn she went through a double mastectomy, chemo and reconstruction all while continuing to work and care for her family. (She owns a pet-sitting company and I met her when Duncan was just a puppy and I was looking for a dog walker.) Her diagnosis really shook me. After my husband died so young from cancer I sort of went through this irrational notion that I paid my dues and nobody close to me would ever be sick again. So when my 36 year old friend was faced with cancer I was knocked back into reality and reminded that I’m not excused from from it. I also wanted to share this link. Meggan is a runner I met last year while on that photo shoot in Charleston, SC for the Dicks Sporting Goods Every Runner Has a Reason campaign. She has been battling breast cancer for 6 years. I didn’t even know it at first. She’s so amazingly strong and brave. I’m wearing my Power in Pink shirt today to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Power in Pink!

Power in Pink!

I’m almost done with my recap of day 2 of Ragnar Napa. It’ll probably be up tonight. Thanks for being patient. =)


I’m assuming most of my readership is female (well except for this guy). Are you up to date with your mammos? Do you do self-exams? 

Do you acknowledge any awareness months?

I make a big deal in May for Melanoma Awareness Month as well as this month’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I’m so giddy that October will be here next week! My birthday is in October. I LOVE this time of year. The leaves are starting to change colors and Saturday I went apple picking. It was actually in the 80s which is a little too warm for this time of year but I know the cool crisp nights are just days away.

Let me back track to Friday though. I went for my first post-Ragnar run! 4.3 miles sporting my finisher’s t-shirt. Nice and easy and how lovely to not have to shove myself into a van afterward =)


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Okie Dokie my friends. I’ve decided to recap this relay in two parts. So without further ado here’s how Day 1 went down and a few tips sprinkled throughout just in case you ever decide to run one of these (or run again if you’ve already done one).

First here are the Call me a CABernet runners in order of appearance:


Friday morning we woke up 2:30am (not a typo!), packed up the van and headed to the start. #yawn

We arrived at Golden Gate Park about 4am and made our way to the check-in and mandatory
safety briefing #yawn

Ragnar takes safety very seriously and requires all runners to wear a reflective safety vest from 6:30pm to 7am and the runner on the course must wear a headlamp and blinking butt light as well. Makes for great fashion statements =)


headed to check in and safety meeting

We had a start time of 5:15am. With 500 teams participating they assigned us all start times based on our average pace so that there wouldn’t be bottlenecks at each exchange or the finish (more on this later as bottlenecking was one of the negatives I felt about the race).
Elvia started us off with leg 1. We were finally feeling awake and ready to cheer her on along with some other teams who also had the 5:15am start.


Cabbie #1 ready to kick of the relay.



The first six legs were fairly uneventful. We all just wanted to get ourselves into a groove and a process.

uneventful? How about my leg had stairs, hills and running on sand! That ish was hard!

Uneventful? How about my leg had stairs, hills and running on sand! That ish was hard!

We rotated responsibilities….When Elvia was running, Mike was getting prepared to run. Lisa was driving and one of us was navigating, the others were there to ensure Elvia got back to the van safely and Mike got going with his leg ok. TIP 1: If you choose to do a Ragnar Relay as an ultra team make sure you plan out rotation of all responsibilities. For instance, first determine how many runners are willing and able to drive (19 foot vans are no joke!) Then ensure no runner has to drive the leg before or after their leg. They will want to either change into dry clothes or fuel etc.) We were a little too lax about appointing a “copilot/navigator” and a “runner fetcher” so as the hours passed and people became sleepy and hungry and cranky no one was loving the idea of having a responsibility assignment and were less likely to volunteer ourselves.

During the first chunk of legs, while everyone was still happy and awake and the novelty hadn’t worn off we took pictures at the exchanges and just enjoyed the experience.


Happy Cabbie’s posing for a picture at exchange 3 (Sausalito)


More happy Cabbie’s posing for a pic at exchange 3 in Sausalito

TIP 2: Work just as hard to keep the team spirit up as you do the running. We started out strong but sort of crumbled with that spirit as we got sleep deprived.

Right away I remembered something else as we began legs 7-12.

Approaching exchange 7

Approaching exchange 7

Exchange 7

Exchange 7

Since I was runner #6 I passed off the slap bracelet to Elvia at Exchange 7 and instantly realized that it was a much larger exchange. I had forgotten about this in past relays. Because traditional relay teams are 2 vans, van 1 ends and van 2 begins at exchange 7 (and again at 13, 19, 25, and 31) and there tends to be double the crowds and double the amount of parked vans. So since Elvia had a fairly short leg for leg 7 my time was limited and the line for the Honey Buckets (otherwise known as porta-potties) was long and I was really worried I wouldn’t have time to go before we had to bust out of that exchange and head to the next.

TIP 3: When planning, be prepared to need a few extra minutes at the bigger exchanges and make sure the runner knows ahead of time that they might just have to wait an extra 30 minutes before having the opportunity to pee or change or what have you. Seriously, the running is the easy part with these kind of relays. It’s all the logistics that get complicated.

We had a cooler in the van with food that we all bought the night before and plenty of water. After my second leg I pulled out a half sandwich to munch on. Ah, we were still in the honeymoon period! By the time 24 hours had passed I was sick to my stomach and just eating trail mix hoping it would stay down. #notpretty


just a hill, halfway up from a hill that I had to conquer during my 2nd leg through Petaluma. Breathtaking views but man that hill was hard!


I wonder what these animals were thinking as runners kept running by them?


TIP 4: Kick your feet up when you can. Your feet will thank you.


reinforcing TIP 4!


Approaching Exchange 13.


Happy sisters at an exchange somewhere on day 1


Happy sisters again

Cindy was struggling up the hill but i think once the shirtless dude passed her she got a second wind ;)

Cindy was struggling up the hill but i think once the shirtless dude passed her she got a second wind ;)

Night was upon us as we approached leg 14 or 15 and we slacked on picture taking a bit. Both Lisa and Valerie had 9 mile legs during this time (both were unsupported or partially unsupported legs making it more challenging for them) We did have the opportunity to stop once for lisa to replace her headlamp that died. I ran my first night leg at about 11pm and finished just before midnight.

finished my night leg just before midnight!

finished my night leg just before midnight!

18 legs down, about 100 miles covered and 16 hours had passed as we said goodbye to Friday and officially started Day 2…

Stay tuned for for pooping in the dark, more night gear failures, a few meltdowns and more in Part 2!