Friday, August 31, 2012

Hood to Coast Leg #1 aka Leg #6

For some reason I am having a terrible time recapping this race.  I don't know why.  It's never happened to me before. The weekend was so awesome and I met so many fabulous people and had fun running 17 miles and it's like too many things happened to even put into words.  I'm having a serious case of writer's block, people.  But, the race started nearly a week ago already, and it's freaking time I got it documented and sadly, moved on with my life.  I guess.  If I have to.

So maybe we'll go with mostly a "story of pictures"?  Whatd'ya say?

On Friday morning our late start (more on that later) granted us a luxurious wake-up call of 7am.  We loaded up the vans and were off to Oregon!  In case you're confused, our group team name is "Afternuun Delight" but each of the 3 teams were further designated into "Team Morning" (us!), "Team Noon", and "Team Night".

Since we love food though, "Team Morning" quickly became "Team Breakfast":

And since "Team Morning" Van 1 and "Team Noon" Van 1 seemed to be together nearly the entire race (that was a blast - so glad it worked out that way!) - our conglomerate quickly became "Team Brunch". Yeah, we're clever.

Team Brunch at the end of the race

After a few hours in the van (the first of MANY), we finally got a glimpse of that oh-so-glorious mountain: Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood. 

Isn't it lovely?  Shouldn't this be a magazine cover?  Don't you love our Team Sparkle skirts?!
My awesome van: Corey, Jess, Tricia, Stephanie, & Nuunie Caitlin

Tricia started getting ready for her first leg and the rest of us started getting ready for the whole race with our Nuun tattoos (the most important part of course!):

Corey rocking the tattoo application

We also made it our mission to Nuun-tattoo as many people as possible, and taking some notes from The Amazing Race the day before - aimed for as many "odd" looking people as possible.  Good strategy, right?

Being the last leg of your van definitely has it's disadvantages.  On this first leg I was ITCHING to run.  I was seriously dying of jealousy every time another teammate took off.  It was killing me to wait all that time, but finally, FINALLY, Molly and I (my leg 6 counterpart on Team Noon) took to the starting blocks corral. 

Friday, August 24, 6:20pm - Just late enough to have to wear the reflective vests / headlamps / LED flashers even though it was broad daylight.

And we were off!  Molly is ragingly fast and passed me within the first 10 seconds of the race.  Two people passed me and I passed two people for a sad net gain of 0 (but we don't worry about net, only gross matters, right?!). 

We had a nice jaunt down the highway that led into Sandy, Oregon, where the first major exchange was waiting there at the Safeway parking lot.  This was to be my longest leg, which I was very happy to get done with first, however I was pretty nervous going in because my glute acts up on 6 mile runs, so how was it going to react to not 1, not 2, but THREE 6 mile runs???!!!

Surprisingly it seemed to do okay.  It was hot out (high 70's) in the blazing direct sun and I was at max effort, so the main concern was my heart rate / breathing the entire time - so that was plenty to think about.

Total Distance: 6.71 miles   Total Time: 52:24   Average Pace: 7:49
Splits: 8:06, 7:47, 8:05, 8:00, 7:37, 7:35, 7:20

Look at all those 7's!  Yeah yeah yeah, the downhill:

Total elevation gain of 165 feet, 526 feet of loss

The route was net downhill by a decent amount, with some rolling hills that are difficult to see in the elevation map since the scale is so large.  But you can likely see that the first mile was warm-up, second mile downhill, 3rd and 4th miles slight uphill, and last 3 miles downhill. 

I was all alone for the last 3 miles - could not see a single runner in sight in front of or behind me, and that was very unnerving because there were NO signs and NO volunteers directing me where to go (or confirming I was on the right track!).  Once I got into Sandy there were a few annoying stoplights and I got to run past a bunch of people eating at bars outside who all cheered for me - which was funny.

And before I knew it - I was sprinting into the exchange:

And then I handed off to Erin on Van 2 and we were all done with our first set of legs!  I immediately walked as much as I could before we left and stretched my glute / hamstring out - which was the story of the whole trip.  I rolled it with the lacrosse ball a bit too, and used Bengay a few times, and it seemed to keep the problem under control.  I'm on a break now from running though - in case you wanted a bit of a spoiler alert!

And that was my 1st leg / Leg #6 of Hood to Coast!  Next up: dinner and my 2nd leg - the night one!