Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Hood to Coast Relay - Part 2

Sorry for the many days between recaps, I know you all were dying to know about leg 2 as soon as you finished leg 1 right? ;)  Well Labor Day weekend happened and I didn't want to do anything on the computer so I didn't.

Catch up on part 1 here and my vanmates here.  And warning, there is lost of code brown talk here...TMI if you aren't a runner and don't talk about this on a regular basis with every single one of your running friends!

So we left off after all of van 1 ran their first legs. We ended up finishing around the time of Team Watermelon van 1 so we all went off to find dinner together.  We hit up Hopworks pub in Portland after I did some research and found all our dietary restrictions could be met there.  I was NOT feeling well at this point. I was chugging water and coke to stay hydrated and caffeinating and was praying some food would help...well it didn't.  I ate half a quinoa salad and honestly felt even worse after and was wondering how on earth I would be able to run 7.3 miles in a couple hours.

As we drove to the next major exchange at Oaks Park I just began to feel worse. The second we pulled into the parking lot I jumped out of the car and began visiting the port-o-potty on a regular basis (code brown).   I honestly have no idea why I felt so horrible! I decided I just needed to up my mental game and suck it up since I was running regardless.

Attempting to put mind over matter...
My stomach was my no means feeling any better when Holly handed off to me around 10:30PM  but I set out on my 7.3 mile journey hoping that running would make me feel better...it sort of did.  I ran the first 3 miles on the Springwater Trail which was a paved trail that was honestly a little scary. There were railroad tracks on one side and a river on the other and there were NOT many runners around me.  I just kept my light pointed forward and ran on.

Like this, but DARK (source)
I knew I  wouldn't see my team the whole time since I wasn't really on roads for most of the run so I settled into a decent 9:30ish pace hoping not to go too fast to upset my stomach.  By the time I came off the trail and was running in an industrial type area my stomach was NOT happy with me (code brown again...really?).  Thanks to the port-o-potty gods that be there was a super random port-o-potty right before I made my way onto the Portland waterfront.  I don't know why it was there but I'm SOOO thankful it was open, clean, and had TP...thanks Portland!  It was life changing and I felt a million times better after that.

Miles 3-6ish were along the Portland waterfront which should have been peaceful and beautiful but it was becoming that time of night where questionable characters come out and one crazy person stopped me dead in my tracks and forced me to wait to for the runner behind me to catch up so I felt more save.

NOTE TO HOOD TO COAST PLANNERS - You MUST have a couple of police officers/security officers/something on the Portland waterfront during night hours until every single runner has ran through!

Ran all along that! (source)

I did get a high five from a skateboarder, many "nice skirt!" comments and even a bicycle rider who played his harmonica for me while riding past so it was all terrifying.

After being relatively scared for my safety for most of the run I just wanted it to be over with so I booked it during the last mile and a half down a pretty deserted road.  I was so happy to see the exchange and my teammates and was really happy to be DONE with that run!

Add a couple minutes to that for the "break" I took mid-run!
I was proud that I pushed through that run and there were a few moments where I felt a little peaceful being out there with the light of the moon, but most of all I was happy I was done and safe!  I chugged a Muscle Milk immediately since I pretty much had no food in my stomach and settled in to cheer my teammates on.  It was getting late now and we were getting silly...the best time of relays for sure!!

I should add that the weather was PERFECT during all of our runs! It never got freezing cold at night and I'm pretty sure we all wore shorts and tank tops for all our runs...it was glorious! 

Kristen rounded out our van and after talking in a half sleep daze with Van 2 we were immediately off to the next major exchange to try and catch some zzz.

Van 1 with Van 2's first runner, Kim!
Everyone immediately passed out in the van (I don't blame them!), but I promised Jay I would stay awake to keep him awake and we started on our journey to the exchange.  We were calculating the time I thought "great! we should be able to get at least a few hours sleep before it's time to run again"!  WISHFUL THINKING.  Ever been somewhere with bumper to bumper traffic at 4AM? Come to Hood to Coast. I'm pretty certain it took us about an hour+ longer to get to the exchange because of the giant line of vans waiting to get into the exchange!

Sort of bonus? We got to see the sun rise...

By the time I literally just put my feet up on the dash of the van and went to sleep it was probably almost 6AM...and we had an 8:15 alarm set :(.  But don't worry, a certain teammate woke us all up suddenly at 7:15...more on that in the final installment!

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