On Thursday, I headed to the Nashville airport to fly up to Chicago with a few teammates for the Ragnar Relay from Madison, WI to Chicago. I was SO excited that I didn't even mind getting up at 5:30am.
Our team captain Jeff played a little joke on me by texting that he was stuck in traffic and wouldn't make the flight. Liz and I had a few words, but then we looked up to see him. I knew at that moment that this weekend was going to be a blast.
Unfortunately, the weather was bad in Chicago so we were delayed. This wouldn't have been so bad except that we had to wait on the plane for 2.5 hours before we finally took off. It also meant we weren't going to have time to really check out Madison. Oh well.
We finally got to Chicago and took a cab to pick up our rental van. It was close to 2pm, and we were all starving. I looked over and saw the Boston Market we had passed on the way to Enterprise and pointed it out... Jeff fired up the van, and we were able to start loading up on the carbs.
We made the drive to Madison and shared MANY laughs. Like when Jeff mentioned we were low on gas and I pointed out the obvious that we should get some. Or when we decided to not stop at any of the tolls (and by we, I mean Jeff). Or when we almost missed a turn and went off road in the passenger van. If we were already laughing this much at this point, I knew that we'd be a riot by the time we were sleep deprived. Or cranky. It really could have gone either way.
We reached the hotel and united with our other teammates while enjoying complimentary drinks in the lobby. We ended up blaming anything that went wrong over the weekend on the boxed pink wine that we used for our toast.
We were soon off to Porta Bella for dinner. We were having a little trouble locating the restaurant and asked a couple of guys on the sidewalk. They told us to follow them, and we all chatted. Jeff totally gave me a hard time later for trying to pick up a boyfriend, ha! I was just being friendly to the kind Wisconsin people.
Jeff promised $5 to either Erin or myself if one of us finished ALL of our pizza. I had to tap out, but she totally reached the goal! I also tried some Wisconsin beer - New Glarus Spotted Cow. It was quite good.
We spent the evening making a trip to Wal-Mart to grab some Gatorade and snacks, and then we decorated our van.
I took a shower knowing that it'd be a while before I felt so clean again and then curled up in bed. It was a day of travel, but it was also a day of getting to know some of the teammates I didn't know as well. I knew that we were about to start a race that was going to lead to many fun memories and good times.