Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hood to Coast: AfterNUUN Delight - Team Noon

Location: Mt. Hood, OR to Seaside, OR (202 miles - there was a detour this year)
Date: 8/24/12-8/25/12
Temperature: variable (my coldest leg was 49 degrees and my hottest was 78 degrees)
Official Time: 28:17:58 (average pace of 8:29 per mile)
Place in Division: 2/28 (Womens Open)
Overall Place: 261/1070

I've been thinking (even prior to racing) about how I was going to summarize this experience. And what I keep coming back to is, I can't. There is nothing I can say that will accurately depict how amazing it is to run Hood to Coast with a group of like-minded running bloggers, supported and cared for by the amazing people at Nuun Hydration.

Plain and simple, there is nothing else like it.

If you are ever given the opportunity to experience it, I guarantee, it will change you in some way. I know that it changed me.

The Good:

Nuun Hydration: Not that I expected anything less, but the people at Nuun were as amazing as always. In addition to sponsoring three teams (Team Morning, Team Noon and Team Night), they handled race logistics, pre-race activities, post-race festivities and everything in between. I cannot express how much I love these people. They welcomed us with open arms and we couldn't have asked for more.

The Mountain of SWAG: In addition to being sponsored by Nuun, we had numerous other companies supply us with gear, food and pretty much everything else you could possibly need during a relay. Talk about feeling like a kid on Christmas. I am extremely appreciative of their support and it would be totally worth your while to check these fine companies out.
My favorite swag - Custom Tough Chik Arm Warmers

The Course: I've said it before and I'll say it again - The views on this course are epically beautiful. Van 1 starts atop Mt. Hood while Van 2 starts roughly 40 miles down the road in Sandy, OR. Both vans make their way through the woods, down into the valley, back up over the mountains and to the sea. It's simply amazing.

My favorite part came a third of the way through my first leg. The sun was setting and I turned a corner and ran towards Mt. Hood in the distance. It was breathtaking.

as the sunset during my first leg ...

My Nuun-mates: These women (and men) are awesome. I love them to pieces and am so grateful to have them in my life.

Post-race festivities ..
Reunited: 2011 Nuun Platuun Van 2
Love my van-mate, Kim
Ready to roll ...
Me and HLove ...
Team Noon, Van 2 ...
Pre-Race Activities: Unlike last year, we were asked to come into town early for team bonding. I loved this mainly because the lack of interaction between teams in 2011 was my main criticism of the experience.

Over the course of the two days prior to the race, we went to a Mariners game ...


had a scavenger hunt (my team won!),
Ricole, Vanessa, Marjorie, Harmony, me and Stephanie
visited Oiselle Headquarters,

and created a million memories and new friends that I will cherish forever.

My Legs (#7, #19, #31): I won't lie. Heading into the race this year, I was beyond terrified of my legs. I just remembered watching Jess run them last year and thinking how happy I was that I didn't have to climb those mountains.

As the race approached, I realized that I was less scared about the terrain of the course than I was of my ability to run them strong. At some point (probably about a mile into my first leg), I decided that the hills had nothing on me. I was just going to run to the best of my ability at that very moment.



And I did.

Yes, the climbs were challenging. And yes, I had moments where I longed for it to be over. But, I also tried to relish every single step I took and I tried to reclaim my run love with each stride. I finished feeling powerful and strong, something that has eluded me lately.

Our Van Song - If you want to get an idea of the feel of my van, then look no further than our official van song: "You Can Leave Your Hat On", by Tom Jones. If you haven't heard it before, you need to. Trust me, you're missing out.

The Bad:

Van Food: I think the thing that messes with you during a relay the most is the lack of real food. We ate lunch on the way to the first exchange on Friday afternoon and didn't have another real meal until after 8 p.m. on Saturday. The 30 hours in between were filled with trail mix, KIND Bars, Nuun, brownies, M&Ms, cheese stick, gummy bears and Chobani. And while it tasted good at the time, it was a digestive nightmare for me. It didn't take long for me to be carrying around a "food baby."

Late Start: All three of the Nuun teams started after 2 p.m. this year. While that made for a relaxed morning, it left us running on a rather empty race course. Road kills weren't nearly as prevalent as last year and we were often getting run down by the elite teams (think, Nike). The late start also meant that we finished late and arrived at the beach after much of the festivities had occurred.

The Ugly:

The stench: From the 24th through the morning of the 27th, I took 1 shower and ran 16+ miles. Enough said ...

19 comments:

Marlene said...

AWESOME! Every bit of it sounds amazing. I hope Nuun keeps doing this because maybe one day I'll have the nerve to throw my name into the hat.

Elizabeth said...

how in the world did you summarize so well!??? mine will be split in to multiple posts. I need to get it all out of my head. LOVED meeting you. so glad to put a “real person” with a blog that i’ve read for 2 years now. :) and yes, the arm sleeves were one of my fav’s too! thanks again.

Rachel said...

This sounds like such an amazing experience!!! You are a rockstar! I have been looking forward to getting to read about everyone's experiences!

Meredith said...

Love this, T! Love that you were in my neck of the woods and was so sad I didn't get to meet you! Maybe next year? Thought of you every time I saw the words "honeybadger" on a van :)

Running Ricig said...

This is the best recap I've read (and I"m not just saying that because you linked to my company :))! It sounds awesome.

Sarah OUaL said...

Great post - concise but sums up all the magic pretty perfectly. Had a blast cheering you on as Van 2 leadoff :)

Dani said...

Sounds like an amazing experience!!! I hope to be able to run that one day!!!!!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Great, concise recap. Just jealous that S got to see you and I didn't. I wish you guys had started earlier too:)

H Love said...

Love this post and so thankful I was lucky enough to share part of this experience with you again. You seriously make me laugh so much...pretty much my fav. Can't wait to meet again.

Lisa said...

Sounds like such a great time. I will admit that I am a bit jealous. I sure did miss out on a cool experience.

Lisa said...

Great job on the podium finish, btw!! Congrats!!!

Colleen said...

Wow... that DOES sound like an amazing experience! :) Even the 1 shower in three days was totally worth it, I'm sure!

Canuck Mom said...

Love it!! I was keeping up with you all. It looked awesome!! So cool to watch all the fun you had.

Marnee said...

You are so right, there is nothing like Hood to Coast. So glad your experience was amazing. Mere and I were sad we didn't get to see you.

There is always next year

Caroline said...

So true ..hard to put in words and it does change us...for the better. I am so happy I got to meet you and we had a chance to talk over breakfast at Starbucks! I think you are so nice and I hope I will see you again! come run in SoCal! we do have a lot of nice races here!!! TRI and all!!!

Jocelyn said...

I love the Tough Chik arm warmers! I wore them on my night run and they were perfect! Thank you for making that happen!

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

I can't believe that I somehow missed this when you
Posted it! I've been so excited to read your recap. So hard to put into words how amazing the experience was, and I am beyond grateful to have shared so much of it with you. I miss you tons and can't wait til our next adventure!!! xoxo

Stephen Hutch Baguios said...

Sunglasses for your running - a great choice and addition to your running equipment. I used Ray-Ban Carbon Lite Model!

Stephanie Hutch said...

It's so important to have that stress relief. running will help carry you through and those solo runs will provide that quiet time to talk or listen for the answers? support? whatever you need. your family is so strong and you will enjoy a great training season.
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