I don't know how to start this post. I've tried, but nothing seems right. My words are just not going to do this experience any justice. How do you try to explain a situation that has changed you? How can you express gratitude to the people that made the experience what it was?
Just know... this won't be enough to describe it. [Even though it will be multiple, long posts!]
I feel like jumping right into the details of the race. Explaining the logistics, hurdles, successes, and events. That's easy. But, that doesn't feel right...
So, first and foremost, I'll say thank you to NUUN Hydration for inviting me onto the team, for sponsoring me, and giving me the opportunity to be part of this experience -- It was amazing! I was a fan of the product before, but will be an ambassador (unofficial) of the product for life. I'll wear my cowgirl hat, displaying the NUUN symbol, with pride and cheer on your company... and maybe be an official ambassador someday? [Note: For those of you who haven't tried Nuun products, my teammate RunWiki just wrote a FABULOUS review of their products -- and has a giveaway. You don't have to be an athlete to drink Nuun. If you want to just drink more water, but use products like Crystal Lite or the drops, switch over to Nuun... they are tasty, some are all natural products, some containe caffeine, and for athletes they are incredible electrolyte replacers. I prefer them over any alternative. My favorites -- grape, cherry limeade, and fruit punch.]
Speaking of RunWiki -- aka Lisa. I owe her a HUGE thank you. I've been following her blog for over two years. She continually inspires me. I've cried and laughed with her, from afar. Getting to meet her in person was better than I could have dreamed. She is an incredible person. I owe her thanks for thinking of me when one of their teammates had to drop out. Had she not, I wouldn't have had this experience. Getting to pass the baton to her after each leg just made me so happy. It was surreal. You have an idea of how online personalities are and Lisa just lived up to the magnificent person I had built in my mind. Getting to be her teammate... Incredible. Thank you, Lisa!
And then there is Holly. [Get it girl!] I hope you know, Holly, that I've named you my new BFF. I've told people this [and you don't have a choice... it's happening.] I also hope you know, I am expecting you to start that podcast. Not only are you the sweetest person, but wow, you are hilarious! I just need a list of all your Holly-isms. I seriously have said, "Get it girl!" and "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR" way more times than my husband wants to hear. Haha. But Holly, I want to publicly thank you for being our team captain. I've told you this already, but our success was greatly attributed to your organization, coordination, positivity, selflessness, motivation, attitude, and humor. You tied us together. You kept us focused on having fun and giving our all, all at the same time. You forwent sleep to keep things moving smoothly. You found us a house and a driver (and sexy hats), both of which were amazing. Girl, I freakin' love you!
Bry... I am sorry I kept calling you Brie. It made no sense. But, it doesn't really matter, I mean... what you really should be called is FAST! You and Meghan. Geez. You've both inspired me to work harder, both physically and mentally. It's gonna sound stupid, but I look up to you both. Seeing you two running up that hill together will be something I'll never forget. It was a great representation of how incredible our team was. It was a representation of what I want to aspire to personally. Thank you for making up for my slowness. Thank you for being such a sweetheart.
Meghan. Ya. I am in awe. Not only can you pull off those freakin' Bunz like a boss. You can run like a boss, too. You have the mental toughness of a... I don't know what... but you are strong! You kept us all from complaining or giving less than our all. You had it rough, but you stayed strong. You were an example to us all, that you can't give up, not for anything. Thank you for giving me that motivation. And just as I said above to Bry... thanks for making up for my slowness. And thanks for making me laugh so much. You are just all around a fantastic person. (And thank you for getting us the Lunatik socks!)
Lisa G. you rocked the Ragnar hill! Like really rocked it! I hope you are still beaming with pride over that. What an accomplishment! And thank you for doing that hill so that I didn't have to. But, in all honestly, you actually made me want to go back and tackle it some day. I loved your attitude about it. Your attitude about the whole race -- really. Thank you for keeping spirits high. And thank you for doing all the shopping. It made a world of difference. I know it wasn't convenient, nor easy, shopping for 6 runners all with unique needs. Thank you for taking that on and doing a fantastic job!
And Ned...our biggest cheerleader! And the best driver we could have asked for. Thank you for giving up 2 days and going sleepless. Thank your wife. It wasn't easy, I am sure. But it was GREATLY appreciated. It just felt better reporting my kills, knowing how excited you'd be! Thank you for being so proud of us. Thank you for being a part of the experience. You are wonderful!
I didn't really intend for the post to go that way... all sappy and thankful. But that's where I am at, right now. In fact, I know I've left someone out. I am incredibly thankful to you, too.