I am walking around in a daze, thinking only of this past weekend and how incredible it was. I can't understand how everyone else in my life (husband, co-workers, friends) are just going along with their daily routines as if it never happened. I want to yell at each of them, "Hello, how can you be talking about spreadsheets? I just had this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don't you want to sit down while I tell you about it in detail for hours?"
I know this feeling will fade over time, it always does, but I hope the memories and friendships I made will continue on. Before I delve into why this weekend was so inspiring and incredible, I have to say thank you to the entire Nuun team. Although, I was already deep into a love affair with Nuun, I think it's safe to say that I am at the borderline of obsession. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for this opportunity but bear with me while I try.
Mason - You have not only built an amazing product but also a company that others should be modeled after. Giving us the experience of a lifetime, instead of just throwing logos and catchphrases at us is so unique and refreshing. I hope to continue evangelizing the awesomeness that is Nuun for years to come. Your passion and understanding of the athlete community is unparalleled. When you make it down to the Bay Area - wine (and beer) is on me (don't worry Devon you're invited too:)). Also, thank you for finally cluing me into what IRL means, I've been dying to know.
Megan - You are a saint. Thank you for organizing us for six plus months and doing it all with a smile on your face. How you kept track of 36 women and 6 drivers in multiple cities for five days, all while running 17 miles, I will never know. Not to mention you were one hell of a teammate. Jeantel - driver extraordinaire, you are the man! Thank you for getting us safely and swiftly to each exchange, for cheering enthusiastically for each of us and for saying no to Megan's request to drive at 4am while she was sleep talking:)
Watermelon Van 1ers - Mallory, Sarah, Catey, Megan & Hannah - You made this journey an absolute blast. It's rare to find an instant connection to people so quickly nonetheless five people. Each of you inspired me in ways you'll never know. I came out of this weekend with a reignited passion for running, blogging and a drive to push myself to new level mentally and physically and that is because of each of you. WWKD for life.
The other 30 women - Each of you inspired me as well and renewed my love for running and this community. I am so thankful for each friendship that was cultivated this weekend and I hope to see each of you in the near future. If I had the time I would write a post about why each of you are my heroes. Reunion race soon, right?
Getting to the actual event, I flew into Seattle late Wednesday afternoon and met up with Tere & Lisa at the airport. We went straight from there to bowling/beer drinking with the rest of crew. It was surreal to meet everyone in person and try to piece together what you remembered about them from blogs, fb etc... but we were all in the same boat and you could feel the anticipation for the weekend. After the get-to-know you bowling we checked into the hotel and half the group headed to dinner.
Thursday consisted of a 4 mile shakeout run around Green Lake before we stopped at The Nest to meet the Oiselle crew. This was basically adult Disneyland for me. I had to restrain myself from fondling every piece of fabric and squealing at every picture. Mother-bird Sally talked to the group and then we made ourselves right at home.
|Just a quick 4 before we conquer 200.|
|Just trying to be one of the team - totally normal and not creepy at all|
|Space Needle & Capn Phlip|
|The Mothership - Nuun Headquarters|
|Watermelon Van 1 - Ready for Action.|
|Catey, Kara, Jeatel, Mallory, Hannah Sarah, Megan|
After a lot of laughter and giddiness for what was to come, we all went back to the hotel (okay after a beer or two) and called it a night. I have to stop myself or else we'll have to call this Hood To Coast the novel. Before we get to the part where the actual running begins, I will reiterate that out of all the HTC's I've done and possibly all the endurance events, this was my favorite. Hands down one of the best weekends of my life and I feel so honored to have been a part of it. To be continued....