Friday, September 06, 2013

Hood To Coast Recap 2: The part where we ran

It's time to get to the good stuff.  The part we all signed up for and counted down to.  Jeantel drove us from Seattle to Mt. Hood and the anticipation was palpable.  We had a moment in the van that instantly bonded us. All of a sudden, not only was I was excited to run HTC,  but I was excited to run with this specific group of women. It was so awesome experiencing Oregon and Mt. Hood with four women who had never seen it before.  Hearing them all so excited and overwhelmed by the beauty of our surroundings gave me a renewed appreciation for it.   I was in a unique position this being my 6th HTC.  I tried not to be too much of a oh-I've-done-this-a-million-times know-it-all (as my husband so fondly refers to me sometimes).  You start to take things for granted when you see them all the time but Timberline did not disappoint; when we arrived it was sunny and beautiful.  

As Sarah stated it was so awesome to be there as team, with matching outfits and everyone giving us the "who are they" looks.  We felt legit and were proud to be representing Nuun!

After "tatting up" we were ready to rip down the mountain.  Megan & Mallory killed it and soon enough it was my turn to run.  I was anxious and excited to let the mountain do its downhill thing and nervous about what it would do to my legs for my next two runs.  Little did I know, my legs were not going to be the issue.

Tattoo Train
Team Watermelon - Van 1 - Checking in!
Leg #3 - The one where I ran the fastest I've ever ran
3.93 Miles (6:42, 7:16, 7:36, 7:41 - avg. 7:19's)

Mallory came screaming in and I was off.  I ALWAYS start too fast and this was no exception.  I was so excited and I just wanted to run, so I did.  I started running faster than I've ever ran.  I felt great; then I looked at my Garmin.  I need to just stop doing that.  I saw mile 1 and saw 6: something.  Holy sh** was all I could think.  I've never ran a sub 8min mile in my life, and I just ran a sub 7?  A huge smile spread across my face and then the  freakout began.  I am never going to be able to walk after this nonetheless run twice more.  I tried to reign it in but I couldn't slow down that much. The steepness was doing its thing and my turnover just kept going.  I'll admit I was breathing hard and I was pushing but it felt good so I let it happen.  I came into transition and handed off to Hannah.  I immediately looked at my watch and thought, Oh my god..7 freaking 20's!  I was on top of the world.  I want to run fast all the time. 

I am shocked you can even capture this type of speed on camera:)

After the rest of the van ticked off their legs we met up with Team Lemonade Van 1 for dinner at Hopworks.  I had a salad, 12 oz. of beer and some soft pretzel.  I avoided the cheese sauce and anything I was worried about in the salad because I had to run again in a few hours.  And so I did.  

Leg #15
7.25 Miles - The one where I almost didn't make it
At this point it was 1am and I was a little tired but otherwise felt good.  I took off and the first 3 miles clicked by.  Of course my Garmin died after my first run so I have no idea how fast I was going but I would guess 8:30's or so.  It was right around mile 4 (I think) when it happened.  I won't go into the gory details but let's just say a cold sweat broke out and out some serious clenching ensued.  It was bad.  I debated my options (Mallory summarizes them well here) and I couldn't thing of a better option then to keep moving forward. It was night, it was scary and I was on Highway 30.  I slowed WAY DOWN.  The less jostling the better.  I don't know how slow those last few miles were but they felt like forever. I couldn't stop thinking how annoying this was since my legs felt good and I love night running.  I wanted to run fast but the outcome was definitely not worth it.  I barely made it to transition and went straight to the porta.

The calm before the storm.
I got back to the van to find that others were having similar issues.  Misery loves company and although I wouldn't have wished this feeling on anyone, it definitely eased my embarrassment knowing I wasn't the only one.  The next few hours consisted of about 10 more of those porta  trips, vomiting in a Safeway bathroom, vomiting behind the portas in Scappoose because the line was too long and trying not to vomit in the van.  It was super fun:)  

I don't know what happened.  There are theories about food poisoning (since there were so many of us) but who knows.  We arrived in Mist and without a word I grabbed a sleeping bag and instantly laid in the wet grass while everyone else slept in the van.  I needed air, sleep and get over the nausea.  I snuggled myself between two groups on tarps and just took a lot of deep breaths.  Two hours later I woke up and the nausea was gone.  But now what?  I had to run in two hours and I was terrified to eat and also very dehydrated.  I gave my teammates fair warning that they may be waiting for me for awhile depending how it went.  

Leg # 27
5.79 Miles - The one where I mentally (not physically) bounced back
One more trip to the porta and Mallory came running in. It was now or never. I took off too fast (per usual) but felt okay for the first mile.  My van passed and that gave me a little push.  My stomach "technically" held up for the entire leg (thank god b/c at this point it was daylight) but after that first mile I felt weak and lethargic.  I won't lie, it wasn't pretty.  It was slow, there were some roadside-dry-heaving-instances and I had to walk a little which was very defeating.    I just kept telling myself that it was only 6 miles and I didn't want to end on a bad note.  Regardless of how I was feeling, this was Hood to Coast and even with these issues I was having a great time.  In the end I came into transition, handed off to Hannah and knew I had done my best given the circumstances.  
Final transition - Can you tell I am 10lbs lighter than a few hours ago?
I had gone from the best run of my life to one of my most miserable ones.  That's Hood To Coast for you and I would (will) do it again in a heartbeat.  Afterward we headed to the beach and celebrated! 

Beach beers are the best beers

Team Watermelon!
Van 1 - From the Mountain to the Beach
This team and experience was more than I ever imagined and I was so lucky to be part of it. Even with the stomach issues, because of Nuun and all these ladies, # 6 was the best yet!  The perfect way to reach my halfway mark in my Hood To Coast goal. 6 down - 6 to go!

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