It has been awhile, hasn't it? I have blogs to catch up on, things to share, and another trip planned in 5 days, so you'll have to bear with me as I leave you all again.
But first, I wanted to share this year's Hood to Coast experience with you! It was so much fun, and worth every inch of soreness I have felt over the past three days. And trust me when I say this, I'm sore in places I never even knew existed. Hood to Coast is good for that - giving your body a whoppin'.
Us van one runners at Timberline for our official start of Hood to Coast
We began Hood to Coast with our 6:45am meeting time to drive up to the very top of Mt. Hood, also known as Timberline. This is where the race began - and ended 200 miles later on the sand in Seaside. The drive up there was rainy and gross. But mother nature decided to let up and bring us some sunshine - and 90 degree weather right at the time I began my first leg. Thank you for that, nothing like heat exhaustion to begin the 2 day adventure.
I was in van one, and each of us 6 runners in van one ran our first legs and then headed home to shower. Or at least they all did - Katie and I rushed home, showered, and went to our childhood friend's wedding. We had just enough time to catch a 45 minute nap prior to the wedding. Those naps are super important you know, and you'll understand why when I explain our "sleeping" conditions. Anyway. The wedding was beautiful, and worth the chaos of getting there. We had to leave the wedding after a few hours to head out to Scappoose to meet the rest of our team who had already began their 2nd legs of the event. We met them right at the time Katie's leg began, and I'll have you know that every single H2C runner was staring at me like I was an idiot because I was still in the dress I wore to the wedding. Little did they know.
My second leg began a little after 11pm and was through the back country roads of St. Helens, Oregon. Also known as nowhere-ville. It was pitch dark, crisp and cool, and a fabulous run. I felt much better on this run than I did running in that 90 degree heat through a mountain town like on my first leg. My pace was great, and I crossed the exchange point to give the "baton" to my team's next runner shortly after midnight...which meant it was officially my birthday. And guess what, my team was there signing me Happy Birthday the minute I crossed that exchange point. It was a great way to turn 24, literally running in your birthday and being sang Happy Birthday. Love them for that.
It was finally time to catch some sleep, so we headed to St. Helens High School to pay $4 for a shower, and a place to sleep. This place to sleep was the school's gym floor on a wrestling mat. Perfection. It's funny how thankful you become for terrible sleeping conditions when you're running in the H2C. We "slept" for a total of ONE hour, and then headed on back to begin our third and final leg of the race.
Yes, you read that correctly. We got a whole one hour of sleep. And then ate pancakes. Which brings up another point. During the H2C you eat like crap. Straight crap. I had Cheetos for breakfast, gummy bears for fuel, dark chocolate as a snack, and turkey sandwiches at 9am. Anything to keep you going, my friends. Don't worry, we mixed in a bunch of fruit every now and again.
Anyway. This is where the fun began. Our third leg, because everyone is so exhausted at this point that things become hilarious, delusional, and confused. We went to drop off our first runner for her leg at the exchange point. Little did we know we were at the wrong exchange point for an entire hour waiting for our van two. So here's what happened....they ran our first leg for us, because we were half asleep and didn't realize we were at the wrong place. Oopsie. We quickly got back on track with our next runner and van two left to get some rest. Or so they thought. Instead, they sat in a 5 mile back-up trying to get to the sleeping zone, and when they arrived, it was time to leave. Hood to Coast traffic sucks. Just saying.
My third leg was pretty brutal - because my knee was acting up and hurting to the point where I didn't think I would be able to complete it. But I pushed through it, ran a fabulous pace, and completed all three legs of my H2C portion. You see, that's what H2C is all about. You have to complete all three of your legs, otherwise you didn't technically run the H2C. Because the worst part is your third leg, the other two are easy because you aren't quite sleep-deprived yet.
We got to Seaside, completed the race, and had to wait for our team for FOUR hours because of the backup so we could officially cross the finish line. However, our time was already clocked and we had officially completed it, but it's customary to wait for your entire team to do the ceremonial crossing of the finish line to get your medals.
We enjoyed the party at Seaside, and my Mom had planned a surprise cupcake birthday celebration for me. Chardonnay included. It was fabulous - and she's the BEST. By the way, she made the BEST team captain out there. She made us team t-shirts, had impeccable organization skills, and knew every detail about everything. Without her, we wouldn't have been able to do it. She was GREAT!
I was going to include the pictures in this post, but it's gotten quite long hasn't it? So for those of you still reading this, I'll do the pictures tomorrow! For now, I'll leave you with this sleep-deprived video that was taken shortly after our "good" night of sleep on those gym wrestling mats.
Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow!
They tell a whole story within themselves, and are quite entertaining!
And PS - thank you all for the kind Birthday wishes!