Napa Valley. I wonder if an hour goes by when these 2 little words are not on my lips or on my brain? … Nah.
The countdown is on! In less than 2 months, I’ll be hopping on a plane to San Francisco (with flowers in my hair, as the song goes) to run like a badass mother runner in the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley. This adventure is all courtesy of Another Mother Runner and the swoon-worthy contest they ran (pun intended) earlier this year. As you may recall, #NapaNeedsJodi!
After the team was announced, we had some time to digest the news, make our travel plans and get to know our new teammates. And then all of a sudden, things reached fever pitch excitement levels as our team was divided into 2 vans, running legs were assigned, and our prize packages of swag were mailed. Although the rest of the team already received their coveted packages, living in Canada makes me an international team member (fancy, right?) and my packages are still en route. I am learning great patience while waiting, and have loved reading, hearing and seeing the glee of my team as they received their boxes. Check out my teammate Jen, buried under an epic amount of swag — and stay tuned for a “Christmas in July” post when my magical packages arrive…
For those who follow Another Mother Runner and may be wondering: I’ll be sharing a van with none other than Sarah Bowen Shea! Together with 4 others, we’ll be in Van 2. I could not be more excited to have some sweaty bonding time with SBS who I have met at expos and had some fun with via Twitter and email — but have never run with. I had the opportunity to run with Dimity at the Disney Princess Meet-Up, and again at the Disney Enchanted 10K. I am so excited that she is the final runner in Van 1, which means I’ll be able to cheer her in at every major exchange point (and just bask in her awesomeness a bit)!
Speaking of exchanges, one of the penultimate moments of Ragnar Relays is passing the bracelet to the next runner at exchange points. So imagine my delight at discovering that I will be passing to SBS! I’ll be runner #9, covering over 17 miles (that’s almost 30K, for my fellow Canadians) over the course of the relay. This will include a hilly run of about 7K to start, followed by a night leg of 5.5K and ending with an epic 15K run on what I’m sure will be very tired legs. As I transition off the bike with my duathlon complete and focus more on distance running again, I am
slightly intimidated super motivated by the fact that Sarah will be waiting for me at the exchange points. I do not want her cursing my slow, albeit bad, ass and this has lit a fire under my tutu. Suddenly every run has become SBS-inspired speed work!
While I may be born and raised Canadian, I swear I am a California girl at heart and I am all aflutter with the idea of running and exploring beautiful new places like the Silverado Trail, and quaint and romantic Sonoma (hey, maybe I’ll spot Bachelor Ben: I’m sure the picture above was not staged and he spends most days in his winery just like this!). To finish things off, I’ll be running through THE most beautiful sounding place in the world, the Valley of the Moon. There is something poetic about running the Valley of the Moon in a tutu, no? I just squeal with delight at the delicious thought of it.
I was also thrilled when Sarah shared that we will have the opportunity to participate in a shake-out run before the relay begins — over the Golden Gate Bridge! I’ve never been to San Fran so I am just dying to see this beautiful city and run the iconic bridge, with my running idols no less. Pinch me. Just pinch me. Then pile on the miles, because I can’t wait.
Wanna meet my team? These ladies are, in a word, awesome. Considering none of us knew each other from a hole in the wall, we have already solidified some great friendships through the power of social media as we bond over this once in a lifetime experience. Everyone comes from different places, I’m sure we all run different paces — but running gives us a common ground. We all set goals and go for them. We all know that a little sweat can better your life. We all use running to be better mothers. And we all know how lucky we are to be part of this!
Badass Mother Ragnar Runners
Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea, Chief BAMRs
Smith Barki (Atlanta, Georgia)
Kim Dixson (New Jersey)
Melissa Gilley (Portland, Oregon)
Jenn Lewis (Casco, Maine)
Jennifer Martin (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Kathleen Ojo (Redlands, California)
Lisa Petersen, (Aurora, Colorado)
Kelly Preddy (Maumelle, Arkansas)
Erin Ranes, (Olney, Illinois)
Laura Roeseler (St Louis, Missouri)
Tell Us: Have you ever done a relay?
(For more reading pleasure, check out our one and only relay experience to date!)