Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 Hood to Coast Relay - Part 1

Before we start, if you want to read every single blog from every single #nuunhtc runner you should see the list from Lindsay at Twisted Running...thanks for doing all that work Lindsay!

Okay, here we go with the actual running of Hood to Coast with Nuun.  I know there are some firm blog beliefs that you shouldn't split your recap up but I don't care...I want to capture all these memories for myself so it's comin at you in 3 parts...maybe'll have to stay tuned for that!

For all of you who forgot I was runner 1 for Nuun Team Lemonade.  We also had a Team Watermelon and a Team Cherry Limeade (super super speedy lady team!).  Before I jump right into the running I must photo document the awesomeness that occurred before the relay.  Nuun arranged it so all the teams were together for a day and half of bonding that included all sort of fun.  It was a great way to meet people on other teams and although I tried really hard I don't think I met all other 35 women!

Side Note: These posts are going to be insanely picture heavy, there is just too many good shots to leave anything out!

Wed evening before bowling party! (Me, Jesica, Kristen, Leslie, Kara, Sarah)
Thursday morning Greenlake run and Oiselle HQ visit! (Holly's hair, Catey, Me, Kara, Kim)
Thursday afternoon duck ride #onaduck
Team dinner at Nuun HQ
Van decorating! Team Lemonade Van 1 ready to go!

So many activities and we haven't even started on our way to Mt. Hood yet!

Bright and early Friday morning Jay and I picked up our van ladies from the hotel and made our way south to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  After a couple pit stops along the way we arrived about an hour ahead of our start time.  We filled the time picking up our packets, applying Nuun tattoos, taking the obligatory Mt. Hood pics and me starting to get slightly nervous to actually start this whole thing off!

Having fun before running!

Posin on a mountain!
Van 1 at the start line!

Megan was starting it off for Team Watermelon and since we had the same start time we were excited to race down the mountain together!

Leg 1 - 5.64 miles - 2000 FEET elevation loss

I was the most nervous about this run after hearing it is the hardest leg of the entire course (although after seeing Dre climb multiple mountains I don't quite believe that).  I was worried my quads, knees, and everything else would start hurting a mile in and the whole run would be painful...IT WASN'T! Megan and I stuck together for about the first few miles but her pace started getting faster and I didn't want to overexert myself on the first run so I held back a bit.  My Garmin wasn't charged so I ran naked but would have LOVED to see my mile splits :(.

Stolen from the race photogs, but did actually purchase a print version ;)

The run is literally down a mountain until about mile 5.25 and then you run flat into the exchange.  I felt like I was running pretty fast the whole time but still in control.  I didn't have any pain until the last 1/2 mile where my calves started cramping up a bit.  I came sprinting into the exchange and as soon as I started walking my quads were like "WHAT THE F! DID YOU JUST DO!"  Luckily walking it off some more seemed to straighten them out a bit.  I started thinking "that leg wasn't so bad, I wonder what all the fuss is about?"  Well I ate my words when I was more sore than after my marathon for the days after this relay ;).

UPDATE 9/4: Had to include these photos from Lisa because I actually look decent while running in them...hard to do folks!

I'm coming Leslie!
The handoff to Leslie

I wasn't wearing my Garmin but I came in around 46:00, that is a 8:08 pace <---fastest I've ever run! 

Leg 1 done!
Of course I'll leave it to my teammates to recap the rest of all our first runs but the rest of the time was spent cheering our butts off for Lemonade and Watermelon and having fun at the exchanges together.  Eventually Watermelon got super speedy and was far ahead of us but it was nice to hang out with them for awhile!

Lemonade and Watermelon Van 1 ladies!

At the first major exchange with peeps from all the teams! #teamhollyroberts
Side story: Right before that big picture above was taken a random man came up to me and some other ladies and said "Is Holly Roberts on your team? I'm her stalker!"  We all kind of looked at each other suspiciously and later found out he was some guy from southern Oregon trying DESPERATELY to get Holly and her friends to run his relay.  Eventually he found her and he took the photo above for us and then immediately got on the phone and told someone "I just saw Holly Roberts and her team!".  We shared many laughs about it and collectively called all the Nuun teams Team Holly Roberts for the rest of the relay...good times!

Lemonade and Watermelon Van 1 headed to Portland for some dinner before starting our second runs.  I thought I was fueling properly but heading to dinner I felt insanely dehydrated (which considering I was running for Nuun was pretty darn embarrassing!) and started getting nauseous...a feeling that didn't go away after eating :(.  I think I may have underestimated how hard running down a mountain at top speed really would be on my body as a whole...oopsie!

Get ready for TMI during my second leg recap, it may or may not involve a code brown...a re-occuring theme for most of our second runs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Major Love for Nuun Hood to Coast Right Here!

I hope you all aren't already tired of all my #nuunhtc tweets, facebook posts, and instagram photos yet cause there is so much more comin at you!  The women, the stories, the running, the companies, the whole is all still totally swirling around in my brain right now and I honestly have NO idea how to even being to write it all down.

Van 1 Team Lemonade at the start!

BUT, I wanted to post as soon as possible to make sure I got out my biggest feeling of all first...GRATITUDE!  Being able to run the mother of all relays with the mother of all hydration companies, Nuun, was truly an experience of a lifetime.  I feel so lucky to be part of the Nuun family and help out as co-pilot for this adventure, I've already offered my co-piloting services for every single relay in the future ;).

I'll be recapping the actual running part eventually, but after experiencing all that is Hood to Coast this weekend the running is really such a SMALL part of it.  Thanks goes out to all 35 runners, 6 drivers, and every single employee at Nuun that helped make this all possible.  Let's thank some very specific peeps shall we?!

1. MEGAN at Nuun - She gets the number 1 spot for very obvious reasons...she organized the whole shebang! 3 teams, pre-race events, post-race events and everything in between. I can't even being to imagine how many hours she spent prepping for this event and then worked 4 days pretty much straight to ensure everything went off without ONE hitch!  THANKS MEGAN!!

Megan and I got to start off the relay for Team Watermelon and Lemonade!
2. My VAN MATES - When you throw 6 women into a van having never met and having no idea what their personalities are like you really have no idea what will happen. I can honestly say we all got along absolutely perfectly and I consider them all great friends for life!

Leslie - This girl made us laugh so hard I'm pretty sure that is why my abs are still sore today! She has the most spunky outgoing attitude I've ever encountered and I found myself crying from laughing so hard on multiple occasions.  Whenever the van was quiet we all questioned whether Leslie was in the van!  Thanks for the laughs, the yeah-yaaas, and your amazing use of the F-word ;).

Kristen and Leslie getting delirious at night!
Lisa - Sweetest lady ever!  She always had a positive attitude despite some middle of the night GI issues and always had a smile on her face and a sparkle skirt to match whatever outfit she was running in.  She was even sweet when a random stranger asked to take our photo and then proceeded to take like 10 before we were finally like "enough dude".  Let's make cupcakes together soon!

Lisa with her permanent smile on :)
Jolene - Truly one of the most caring people I've ever met.  She has an amazing story of just how caring she is on her blog right now and that is a true testament to her personality.  She described herself as an introvert but I'd like to think we brought out the extrovert in her a little this weekend...because introvert is not a world I would use to describe her.  Thanks for taking care of all of us and everyone around you!

This is her GO time face!
Andrea - Oh man, Dre, how I love thee! She had literally the hardest runs of the entire relay and I'm pretty sure she went uphill for about 90% of her legs.  She rocked every single of one of them and provided constant entertainment shaking her booty in a sparkle skirt.  When she wasn't sparkling up a mountain she was cheering her heart out for every single runner on the relay course.  XOXO girl!

Kristen - This girl anchored our van like a boss! When we saw her out on her first run we all instantly thought "DANG, that girl has some guns on her"so we made her spill her fitness secrets as soon as she got back in the van :).  She was always a positive attitude and provided van entertainment with stories of her husbands love for race shirts...hehe!

You can see her guns from here!
3. VAN DRIVER JAY - Oh man Jay, where do I even start! He was the baby of the group but acted like our dad the whole time. Whatever we needed, Jay was the man.  He took his van driving/time keeping job very seriously but still provided non-stop entertainment via his thick Boston accent and sparkle skirt wearing.  We shared some quality time together trying to stay up on the way to a sleeping field while everyone else was passed out in the van that may or may not have involved almost running into the van in front of us (while going 2mph) and talking in incoherent sentences from being so tired.  Thanks for everything Jay!

Partners in crime, leading Van 1 to the finish line!

Rocking a sparkle skirt AND running Dre's 2nd leg with her!
4. NUUN! - I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that I thank Nuun times a million.  After trying Nuun out a couple years ago I fell in love, but after meeting the people behind it I became a full on stalker of all things Nuun.  Thanks to Mason and everyone at the Nuun family for letting me be a part of this experience that I will never ever forget!

Parts of team Lemonade and Watermelon with Nuun CEO/President Mason
5. OTHER COMPANIES - So many other companies helped us along our Hood to Coast Journey! They included amazing team clothes from Oiselle, sparkle skirts from Sparkle Athletic, socks from Swiftwick, best smelling sunscreen ever from Naawk, inspirational bracelets from Endorphin Warrior, hydration packs and reflective gear from Amphipod, between run and recovery from Tigertail.  Man I really hope I'm not missing anyone...THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

Oh man this was much longer than I was anticipating and I haven't even started writing about the actual running part...sorry for the multitude of posts to come...but not really ;).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Your "Official" Hood to Coast Weather Report

Okay all you little Hood to Coast runners.  I know you have been obsessively checking the weather for the past 10 days wondering what is will be like during all three of your runs.  If you have never been to the Pacific Northwest you might not know that you could be freezing cold during one leg and then burning hot during another.  You are literally running down a mountain with snow on the top, down into a big city and over some more mountains to the beach.  And note, this beach is not some California/Hawaii beach, the Oregon Coast is not known for its bikini clad woman sunbathing all day...most beachgoers have their hoodies and rolled up jeans on while walking along the water.

Minimal clothing for day racing/runner supporting

All covered up for the early morning!

I went ahead and analyzed the weather for three points during the race. And by analyzed I mean looked over the forecast and graphs on like the big nerd that I am.
  1. The start line at Timberline Lodge
  2. Mid point in Portland
  3. The end at Seaside
Using of course they only accurate source for weather, NOAA, I give you the Hood to Coast forecast!

Man that is a long way! source

Disclaimer: Pacific Northwest weather is actually pretty hard to predict days out so know that this can chance hour to hour, day to day...but overall I think we are looking at  pretty fabulous weather!

Nuun hydration teams, Lemonade, Watermelon, and Cherry Limeade start at 1:15 so please say hi and get some Nuun tabs and tattoos from us!

Timberline lodge lies near Government Camp, Oregon at about 5000 feet...that is high up there!  For Friday, August 23 the forecast currently calls for:

Temperature (red), sky cover % (blue), rain potential % (yellow) for Friday, August 23
  • Temps: Mid 50's in the morning moving into the upper 60's for the afternoon. 
  • Chance of Rain: Less than 10%...that is about as good as zero folks!
  • Cloud Cover: About 35% so I would still cake on the sunscreen!
  • Wind: Light wind at about 10 mph, hopefully it will just push the runners down the mountain!

Portland is the mid-point for Hood to Coast and teams should be rolling in all day and into the night Friday.  Since we are off the mountain mid day temps will be higher but #nuunhtc will be rolling in around night and should be welcomed with some cool temps for night runnin!
Temperature (red), sky cover % (blue), rain potential % (yellow) for Friday noon till Saturday early AM
    • Temps: Mid to upper 70's during the day and into early evening.  Dark hours will bring temps in the mid 60's, still warm enough for shorts and t-shirt running!
    • Chance of Rain: Less than 10% again
    • Cloud Cover: About 35% during the day but looks like some clouds roll in over night with an 85% coverage overnight.
    • Wind: Virtually nothin!

    The finish line...woohoo! I grew up going to the Oregon Coast so I'm used to enjoying cool/cloudy conditions on the beach normally...bring layers temps plus ocean breezes makes it feel colder than it is (I hope I eat my words and it is fabulously sunny and warm!)

    Teams should be rolling in all day Saturday with the the speedy #nuuntc team (ahem...Cherry Limeade) coming in in the late morning and the rest of us normal folks in the early evening.

    Temperature (red), sky cover % (blue), rain potential % (yellow) for all day Saturday

    • Temps: Upper 50's to 60 degrees. Pack some layers, since we'll all be done running we will want to stay warm!
    • Chance of Rain: Chance of rain is about 14% and models say there is a "chance" of rain on Saturday.  Sorry that information doesn't help much but I guess you should prepare for some wet stuff from the sky :(.
    • Cloud Cover: 80% cloud cover so it will be gray...typical Oregon Coast weather folks.
    • Wind: Virtually nothin!

    So...looks like temps for entire race will be in the 60-75 degree range with no rain for Friday, chance of rain Saturday.  There is probably no reason to pack your tank tops and short shorts (other than for running of course) for this years race and think more in terms of layers and a little rain protection!  We can all cross our fingers that whatever cloud/rain system is thinking about moving in Friday evening waits until Saturday/'s the Pacific Northwest...anything could happen!

    Now all I have to stress about is how to pack for all these weather conditions in one backpack...#relayrunnerproblems

    QUESTION: What are your ideal running weather conditions? The HTC forecast is pretty darn perfect to me!

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    And the Relaying Fun Ain't Over Yet!

    Ever since jumping on the relay running train and running Ragnar Northwest Passage for the past 5 years I've had my sights on Hood to Coast.  I've heard is a lot different than Ragnar and really want to experience it first hand.  After all, it is the mother of all relays!

    Team Casual Encounters - 2010 
    Team Casual Encounters - 2011
    Team Nuun Kids on the Block - 2012 
    Ultra team Six Pack With Racks - 2013
    As you all already know I'm lucky enough to be in a wonderful relationship with Nuun hydration. Not only as an ambassador but also as an employee from time to time...although schlepping Nuun to thirsty runners and bikers isn't what I call work!

    didn't actually work this event, but you get the idea!
    WELL...evidently Nuun found out about my super type A organizer personality and asked me to run as an "employee" on their Hood to Coast team this year!  I don't even know why they asked, it's not like my answer would have been anything but a HECK YEAH!  I use the term "employee" loosely because I'm pretty sure this will be the easiest/funnest job I've ever had and if I could quit my day job and travel around with Nuun during relays I would in a heartbeat.

    I will be the employee in Van 1 for Nuun Team Lemonade and I get to help my van navigate, record time and answer any relay questions for the ladies on my team.  Meet the lucky ladies who won a spot on a Nuun team here!

    You can follow all the Nuun Hood to Coast happenings on twitter following #nuunhtc.

    QUESTION: Hood to Coast experts...what do I need to know about this relay?! 

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Three Things Thursday - Turning 32

    So...I turned 32 on Sunday! Other than seeing that number and telling people I'm 32 I honestly don't feel that age at all....maybe I'll just tell people I'm 29 when I meet them from now on yes?

    Anyways, post Ragnar has been a whole lot of nothing in the exercise department actually.  I've been running a bit, I've been going to the gym a bit, but mostly I've been relaxing and celebrating a new year of life.

    My midwest BFF, Sonia, came into town the Thursday before my b-day (b-day was on Sunday, August 4) and to say we celebrated to our fullest potential every single day would be an understatement...pretty sure I'm still recovering.  Some common themes from the long weekend were bloody marys at breakfast, walking around exploring, afternoon drinks, fabulous dinners...oh and watching episodes of Orange it the New Black <---- BEST.SHOW.EVER

    Here are just three of the super fun things we did over 4.5 days!


    I picked up Sonia from the airport at 9AM Thursday morning and we proceeded directly to the Anacortes ferry to head to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  The clouds lifted right as we pulled up to the island and we spent the afternoon and evening exploring all that was Friday Harbor.

    The Friday Harbor adventures included:

    • Wine tasting at San Juan Vineyards
    • Wine tasting plus tapas at Mikes Cafe and Wine Bar <---owner of Totem Cellars
    • Staying in the smallest hotel room I've ever seen at the Orca Inn where there motto is "spend a night, not a fortune".  Highly recommend considering this was under $100 a night and all other places in Friday Harbor will well over $200/night.
    We woke up Friday morning to pouring rain and some lovely headaches courtesy of all the wine so we decided to check out Roche Harbor and then get on a ferry back home.  Most of the day was spent waiting in a ferry line, being on the ferry, and being in Friday afternoon traffic back to Seattle.  

    Isn't Roche Harbor the cutest!
    Since Sonia moved from Seattle back to Minneapolis and has come back to visit Seattle she has wanted to go on the Great Wheel.  To be honest, I wasn't too excited about it but agreed to do it for her and the experience and you know wasn't that bad...the views were pretty awesome!  Luckily, the wait was short and so was the ride...hehe!  We both agreed that towards the end we were getting a tad bit of motion sickness so we were happy the ride wasn't too long.

    Oh and you get to share the tiny pod with strangers...luckily the people in our pod were friendly and we chatted most of the ride.

    I've been wanting to try this restaurant out forever after eating at the place next door (Joule <---also fabulous) months ago.  Sonia, my brother and his roommate met there for my birthday dinner and pretty much ate the entire menu.  My brother joked that Joule should really be named The Squid Loses...clever brother that one!

    It was family style sharing and we had:
    • Spanish Gordal Olives - biggest olives EVER!
    • Sugar Snap Peas
    • Bitter Greens - we all agreed these were TOO bitter
    • Roasted Cauliflower - best veggie plate and will be re-created at home in the very near future!
    • Painted Hills Filet Mignon - delicious but large portion was still super small and only gave us each a tiny piece of filet
    • Carlton Farms Roasted Pork Shoulder - LOVED THIS!
    We all left satisfied but not full...perfect dinner in my opinion, I really love the small plate sharing concept!  And if you need further proof this restaurant is not to be missed it was just nominated as one of the 50 best new restaurants in the UNITED STATES by bon appetite.  And Joule is on there too...successful little building by Gasworks Park I'd say!

    No birthday is complete with out dessert so we headed to Old School Custard right before they closed.  Unfortunately they only had chocolate and vanilla but it was still super yummy!

    I should add that other Birthday day activities included a jog around Greenlake, outdoor yoga courtesy of Jasyoga, brunch at Greenlake Bar and Grill and drinks at Virginia Inn...BUSY DAY! 

    Thanks to all my friends and family for all the texts, facebook posts and tweets!!

    Question: Any other August babies out there? I feel like I know a million peeps with bdays in August.