Monday, August 25, 2014

Running Lately and Hood To Coast 2014

"Just found out I'm the only woman in my Hood to Coast van. Gross...I've been on enough running teams to know that this van is going to stink!! But I'm also expecting some funny memories with this rowdy bunch! And I get to race with Waylon the entire time!"

The words above were my Facebook status right before the Hood to Coast relay this year.  They certainly  make me laugh now!  Let's just say, I didn't have to worry about the guys in the van one bit when it came to stinky or rowdy.  They might actually be writing this status about me in the future.

What an adventure!  Hood to Coast always is.  To be honest, I didn't think I wanted to do it this year.  After very recently moving from North Carolina to Bend, OR, I kind of wanted to stay home and try to relax a little.  I was sick of traveling, not in the best running shape, and just not in the mood to travel in a van for 200 plus miles with people I didn't know too well (and everything else that comes with this relay:  lack of sleep, limited opportunities to use the bathroom, build up of lactic acid, etc. etc.).

Team No Reason Why 1 and 2

I'm so glad I did this!  I'm glad my husband went ahead and signed us up for this despite my negative naysaying.  I think this was my seventh HTC relay and my third time being on a team with my husband.  This year we were on teams we have run with before: No Reason Why 1 and 2.  Yes, two teams, four vans.  That made it so that each of us was matched up with a compatible runner and we ran with them the entire way.  Always two at a time.  I liked this!  First, I got to run with my best friend and favorite running partner.  I also liked it because it made being out there on the road in the middle of the night feel a little safer (for many being that I have a really hard time seeing in the dark).  The last time I have run with this team was in 2004 when had just found out that I was pregnant with my first child.  It was so weird to come back ten years later when so much has changed but yet it felt like nothing much had changed at all!

It was a gorgeous night for a relay!  This is the skyline at our first pass off from van 2 where we began our second runs.  A perfect night for running.  

Here's the things I loved about Hood to Coast (specifically HTC 14):
  • Being in a van with my husband.  It truly was a date for us.  So nice to have family near now that we are back in Oregon.  

Wahoo!  Right after our first run. What a beautiful climb.  This is when I knew without a doubt that this was going to be fun! Sub 8s came easy. And you can't see, but behind us is a gorgeous view of Mount Hood covered in clouds.  
  • Lots of laughing.  What happens in the van, stays in the van!  I love noticing people and how they interact.  It is always so funny to me to see how perfectly responsible and successful adults/parents can behave when placed far away from responsibility, kids, and reality.  It was so much fun.  Rowdy.  Safe.  Hilarious.  Immature at times.  Sleep deprived fun.  
  • Building relationships with people you would have otherwise never have spent much time with.  Traveling for the better part of 2 days with a group of people can either make you sick to death of them or really kind of connected to them by the end of the trip.  With this group, there was nothing but positive vibes.  Everyone got along.  An easy going group of dudes...and me.  I'm not always easy going (not uptight either...just middle of the road) but it was impossible not to be with this group.  
  • Running for FUN. Finding so much JOY in running.  My words to a friend in email last night:
"Anyway, we made it to the beach and our runs were mostly easy pace and I LOVED the fact that we didn't feel pressure to race.  It was just fun!!  We ran faster than I thought we would though.  In all our legs we had a few faster miles that felt strong!  WE rocked the up hill and the distances were NO PROB!  Very happy with how awesome it felt!  Just a true JOY in running!!  No pressure.  No time goals.  Just fun!  Some really fun and funny stories from these runs." 
  • Leg 5! I was a little worried about this leg considering my low mileage lately but I actually  loved this leg!  It was a combined total of almost 20 miles.  My least favorite run of the three was the middle leg because it was at night and I struggle seeing in the dark even with lamps.  However,at one point there was a guy running next to me trying to give me his name and number.  Little did he know, I was running WITH my husband. ha!  
Our last run was by far the hardest!  But also the most fun.  That first part was INTENSE and the downhill on the second part was thrilling.  After that climb, we were very happy with our 6:42 and 7:09 with a 6:20 pace to finish.  The climb felt tough but I was pleasantly surprised by how much support we had along the way.  We always had our own vans but during this leg, there were so many other runners cheering us up that hill, offering us drinks, and encouraging us.  
  • The party at the end.  Seaside is always so much fun at the end.  We danced to live music, visited with friends, had a few beers and just rode the wave of exhaustion and endorphins...and interesting mix.  
Photo bomb Jason.  
  • Being in a van with people who were older than us made for some great parenting conversations!!  I got some really great advice from a few of them when it comes to how they've handled phones, screens, respect, sports, etc.  Very grateful for this insight!  Parenting is so much easier when we have others to help us along the way.
  • Getting to see friends from other teams.  I ran into my newer running friends from Asheville who were running with the Jus' Runnning team.  They rocked it!  We started at the same time as them but they finished much much faster than our team.  I was going to run with them this year but couldn't pass up the chance to run with my husband this time around.  Maybe next year.   

Things I didn't love:
  • Um, I like to poop when I have to poop.  Nothing is as much of a killjoy as having to poop during a run or while in the van and not being able to!  It changes everything.  Ha!  It made for a very uncomfortable feeling for a bit there!  However, when you finally do get to poop, it calls for a whole van celebration AND a Poop Party Dance on the side of the road with all the other vans creeping to the next exchange.  I wish I had a video of this dance because it was quite fun.  Not being able to stick to my regular schedule?  Not so fun!  I know, I know, TMI.  Whatever...everybody poops!  And everyone knows how much it sucks to not be able to.  
Check out some of the Honey Bucket lines!  Hey, at least it was a beautiful view.  

  • The next day.  Waking up in a house full of people with a lack of sleep/too much running/stiff body hangover of sorts is never my favorite.  I enjoy waking up in my own bed.  But nothing like a cup of coffee and breakfast with people you like that snaps you out of that.
  • I thought I'd come up with more that I didn't like but this year that was about it.  Even the limited sleep didn't bother me so much.  
I have much more to say about Hood to Coast.  I know, I already said quite a bit.  There are good parts and bad parts for sure but in the end, I keep going back for more.  Who knows what next year will bring.  

My running lately:

  • I'm in running trail heaven.  Most of you already know that from my instagram and facebook posts.  Come visit.  Bend has some incredible places to run!  I can be on trails pretty much steps from my door.  Now, I just hope to find more time to get out there and build some mileage.
  • I have been running every other day or so.  Really, my mileage lately as been maybe 20 miles a week.  However, before HTC, I got in a few quality runs. 
  • My quality runs before HTC have been one close to 10 miler with a new running partner Shelley (she is from Portland but we actually met after the Napa Valley Marathon in 2012).  She has a faster marathon time but I think we will have fun running together.  She just had a baby not too long ago and she's already pushing me along.  I felt like was going to die after this truly felt like a marathon for me after such little mileage and the long road trip across the country.  
  • A 5k!  Yes, I did run that Deschutes Twilight 5k.  And surprisingly, I felt pretty good considering I wasn't in 5k shape.  I didn't push to pain like racing racing a 5k feels like but I did push myself and it turned out to be a GREAT workout! Quality.  21:15?  I have to look that up for official seconds.  I also got to see some familiar faces.  Oh, and my Age grouper days might be limited if I'm going to continue to race locally in Bend.  There are some smokin' FAST runners here!!!  Elites. Olympians.  No joke.  They might need to make a new category in Bend called a Sub Age Group Awards. 
Visiting with some fellow Nuun girls after the 5k.  
  • I've enjoyed running a couple times with my friend Marci. What a genuinely awesome lady.  Rock star.  Kind.  Humble.  and FAST!!!  Marci just ran a 2:35 marathon at Grandma's in Duluth this June.  Smokin' fast.  She doesn't run with a Garmin either.  It's just all by feel and heart.  We ran into each other by accident the first time when running in Shevlin Park (so gorgeous!) and then we ran last week on the Deschutes River Trail.  Our 5 miles at 7:54 avg was a nice solid run for me right now...conversational and relatively easy pace (on edge for me right now though when it comes to "easy"...let's just say I was breathing heavier than usual when trying to talk) but SUPER easy for her.  It was her second run for the day (she's training for New York) so a recovery run.  We will run again this Wednesday on a new-to-me trail.  I'm looking forward to spending more time with her AND to seeing a new trail.  Thanks for running with me Marci.  You rock!   
This is Marci (definitely one to watch for the 2016 Olympic trials):

This photo taken from her blog, Runner Marci

  • I'm looking forward to running more now that things are settled.  I don't need to be training for anything right now but that might be coming soon too.  Not so sure I will go to Boston this coming year.  Part of me wants to be there since two of my best friends will be there and I don't know how much longer that will happen.  However, Boston is expensive and it's also a lot to think of training for a spring marathon right now when I don't know what to expect with my schedule, a Bend winter, etc.  Plus, I kind of want to do something other than Boston.  Boston is awesome, yes!  But there is MUCH MUCH more to running than the Boston Marathon!  I have a few weeks to decide. No matter what, I want to run more.  I need the endorphins!  It makes life better all around!!  
  • In November, I hope to be running a 5k with my middle daughter.  I'm really looking forward to working towards this with her.  She asked me to do this...all her idea.  It will be special to spend the quality time with her.  I've come to truly cherish our alone time when we go on little runs together.  We talk about goals, life, our runs, and just all sorts of things.  

Have you run Hood to Coast or a relay like it?  Do you want to?  Why or why not?  



  1. Sounds like such a fun experience (minus the poop issues!!). Glad that you had so much fun!!!

    1. It is fun Kim. You should do it some year! Even the poop issue made for a very funny story!

  2. That's neat you guys got to run together! And I suppose fun... but it still looks crazy to me. TMI aside, ugh, I would be so annoyed at not having a bathroom when I needed it.
    Looking forward to seeing what your running plans are for the upcoming year. Maybe lots of new races in your new area (and some AG awards, despite the elites!).

    1. It is kind of crazy Gracie. Every year I kind of have a mix of dread and excitement. Definitely stripped of comforts! When I had just had kids I was sleep deprived as it was and a friend asked me about HTC and I had nothing good to say because I was looking through the lens of Needing SLEEP!! Good to hear from you! Maybe we will meet up for a race again someday!

  3. HTC looks amazing! So glad you had a great time and I'm so jealous you got to run with Marci! I became friends with her years ago. Great girl and so inspiring!

    1. Yes, it is amazing if you're willing to give up sleep and regular schedules. :) And yes, Marci...definitely a great gal and super inspiring! If you slow down too, you should come run with solid runs...your recovery runs! :)

  4. Lately I've been dreaming about living in Oregon. I've even looked through pages and pages of Google images of Bend, Oregon. Haha!

    Looks like you had a ton of fun with your H2C team. It's so great you and your husband can do that stuff together. :)

    1. Yes, move to Oregon! You'd love it. Hard to give up your perfect temps down there in So Cal though! I'm so glad we can share in this stuff too...makes for a fun marriage!

  5. Hood to Coast was so much fun the one time I did it! I am doing a relay in the Napa Valley soon and am very excited for that.
    I am with you on the pooping thing, I hate getting off my schedule and traveling always throws me off!
    So fun that you got to run with your husband too.
    Sounds like things are going great.

    1. oooh, a relay in Napa! This sounds awesome! Yes, a thrown off poop schedule is no fun! Good to connect with you again!

  6. Actually, my friend approached me about joining a team for next year. I said that I was in for sure. It will give me a chance to go to Oregon.

    1. This is great news! I hope you do it and have so much fun!

  7. Great recap! I'm glad you had so much fun. I've got my first relay race coming up in September: Ragnar Napa Valley.

    1. Thank you! I hope you have so much fun! I hear great things about these Ragnar races.