Monday, April 22, 2013

HTC, Wildflower & Serotonin?

I am putting it out there, this week is going to be so much better than last week.  How could it not be after Boston, Texas, World Mayhem?  To start off on a great note I have an exciting announcement.  In case you haven't seen it on Twitter or FB....I got chosen for the Nuun Hood To Coast Team!  I could not be more excited or thankful to Nuun for the opportunity.  I was so sad thinking I was going to miss my favorite running event this year and now I will not only be there but I'll be enjoying it with 19 other amazing women and one of my favorite products.  This will be my 6th time running Hood to Coast and I can't think of a better way to celebrate my halfway mark (towards my goal of running all 12 legs of HTC).

Although I started my campaign for the team last year and felt good about my application, I really didn't think I'd get picked.  Sort of like buying a lottery ticket - someone has to win but what are my chances really?  I had to do a triple take when they posted the names on Wed. morning.  My reaction went something like this:  don't get excited because your name won't be listed so nothing lost, oh look Leslie got in (well deserved), oh look they picked someone named Kara, who's blog is Welcome to Karadise, wait that's my name and the name of my blog, oh my god that's me, oh my god I am on the team, holy crap, holy crap, holy crap, must call everyone I know to tell them the news, wait that is my name right?, it is, I want to run in circles around my office, maybe that's not a good plan, I can't believe the picked me etc... you get the idea.  It's going to be a great weekend and I am counting down the days already. Here is the official announcement and list of the other wonderful women I have the honor of running with.  I can't wait to meet everyone.

Besides just reveling in the awesomeness of that announcement all last week, I did a few other things as well.  I achieved my goal of running 26.2 in honor of Boston (15miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Thursday & 6.2 Sunday) and we took a 24 hour, impromptu trip down to San Antonio Lake for a quick Wildflower training weekend.  At some point last week, I was rambling on to MFR about the course and how until he sees it on race day he'll have no idea etc... and he said, well now that we live in the same state (and less then 3 hours away), why don't we head down and train on the course?  Umm....why didn't I think of that?

So Saturday morning we packed the car with camping and race gear and headed down south.  We swam in the lake and rode the bike course on Saturday, had a great night camping and ran the course yesterday afternoon around 11.  Packed up and drove home through Paso Robles for  a nice lunch and wine tasting (duh) and we were home by dinner time last night. It was a great weekend that left me excited and terrified for two weeks from now.

Isn't there some scientific reaction that has to do with serotonin or something that makes women forget how painful labor is?  Obviously I can't speak from experience and I am no Bill Nye but I swear I've heard that.  I am convinced the same thing is true for Wildflower.  I always think of WF with the fondest memories, how fun the weekend is, how it's a one-of-a-kind race etc... And yet I totally block out how hard and freaking miserable that course is.  Just to put it in perspective -  before this weekend I was thinking I could do a 3:30 easily and now I am hoping to break 3:50 and it's not because I am out of shape. My body actually felt pretty good this weekend.  It's because you are climbing hills the entire race (except the swim - that would be weird), it's 90+ degrees out and there is no shade. You're out in the brutal elements with no protection, climbing mountains and running up cliffs. I felt like I was biking with a hair dryer blasting in my face the entire ride, I saw a giant snake (my biggest fear) and a black window spider (though that was at the campsite).  I was dehydrated, sun burnt and covered in dust on a course that is no joke!  How did I forget about all those elements of the race?

MFR after a long day of swimming & bike riding in the heat

I think part of my problem is I've done the long course so I figured olympic distance is no biggie.  I am so naive sometimes.  An Oly triathlon is hard period and WF Oly is really hard!  After cursing myself for signing up for this brutal race again, I realized that this weekend was great training physically but even more so an important reminder of the mental toughness required for that course.  Also a good test run for gear, hydration, nutrition, sunscreen (or lack there of according to my shoulders) etc...  In the end it did once again get me excited for the weekend because I think that serotonin thing is already kicking in.  I will also be praying to the gods of cool spells that maybe they can work some magic in two weeks because I can't imagine it being any hotter.

Transition already set up - two weeks early.

It really is a course and weekend like no other and no matter what your time, when you run through the finishers chute (which is already being set up - and goes head to head with any Ironman finish) and cross that finish line there is a sense of accomplishment that is hard to match at any other race.  Here's a great review from Jesse, who I hope to see three-peat this year, of what makes this race so special!  It's going to be a great weekend and I look forward to the challenge.

Finish line on Saturday night

To continue my "better" week I am participating the local Boston Strong run this evening, have a busy couple days at work including some late night events and a concert in San Jose. Oh yeah, did I mention that I am also flying to DC on Friday for a weekend of fun with my lady friends and to run Nike Women's Half on Sunday?  Just a few things going on!


  1. I am so excited and so nervous for WF!! Someone help us if it is that hot! Dang it!!
    Good Luck in DC this weekend! Have so much fun! Super Jealous!!

  2. Can't wait to run HTC with you!! I'm running Nike this weekend as well. Would be great to meet you before the relay. Do you know what day you are attending the expo? Best, Lisa

  3. I have heard Wildflower is hard! Seems like fun though. Good idea to go and check out the course.

    Good luck in the Nike half this weekend! Can't wait to meet you in August!

  4. Congrats on being picked! You are in for the trip of a lifetime and I just know you are going to have such a great time running with/for Nuun and being part of the mother of all relays. Congrats!