Hood to Coast was amazing! It had been on my bucket list, and this year I lucked out because a group of friends had put together a team and invited me to run with them.
The official race t-shirt and medal. Pretty sweet!
Our team van. We basically lived in there for two days!
Timberline Lodge to Government Camp
In my tutu at Timberline.
It was really exciting being the first runner! Being at the starting line at Timberline was such an adrenaline rush because they announce which teams are starting, and countdown to your start (our team's start time was 12:45pm). However, this leg was rough. Check out the elevation change--nearly 2000 feet over 5.64 miles. CONSTANT DOWNHILL.
Downhill sounds nice, but it is really hard on your legs. My calves started knotting up around mile 2, and stayed that way for the entire relay. :( But the run was gorgeous and I really enjoyed the view.
After our van was done with our first 6 legs, we went to a van-mate's house for a spaghetti dinner and to get clean. We definitely felt much better after some real food and a shower!
At one of the many exchanges during the first 6 legs! The weather was perfect.
My second leg started around 10:30pm. I was really glad that I was running my night leg in a familiar place: the Portland waterfront! This leg was tough mentally and physically for me. My legs were tired and my calves and quads were tight. The entire run, I just hoped to finish close to my expected time. I didn't want to let down my van!
After I finished running, I slept as much as possible in the van. We stopped at St. Helens High School to shower, and then we went to the Exchange 24 sleeping area to sleep for a few hours before I had to start the 3rd round.
It was cold in that field!
Mist to Birkenfeld
This leg was nice and short. But my legs were super tight. Like Leg 13, I just wanted to finish in my expected time. I was really tired and couldn't wait to be finished running! I really gave it my all as I headed toward the exchange and handed off the wristband. It felt really good to be done!
Finish line and post-race
Our team finished in 28 hours and 22 minutes! We were so glad to have been able to finish. The finish area had a beer garden, free Powerade and vitaminwater zero, and music playing.
Thoughts about the race itself:
- Overall, I thought that the race was well run, and volunteers did a great job!
- This race helps restore faith in humanity--the kindness and support of random people (spectators, other teams) was really inspiring.
- You can and will see anything and everything.
- The smell of Honey Bucket hand sanitizer is terrible.
- Sleep whenever and wherever you can. Even an hour feels great.
- Exchange 30 is a mad house.
Thoughts about my personal race experience:
Would I do this again? Absolutely.
- When you're stuck in a van with 5 other smelly people, it helps to be really laid back. My van-mates were awesome and I was lucky to be in a van with them!
- I won't pack so much stuff next time! Click here for my suggested packing list.
- In some ways, I feel like Hood to Coast was harder than my first marathon! On paper, it doesn't look too bad--three legs totalling 14-20 miles, over 20-30 hours. But lack of sleep, lack of homecooked food, being crammed in a van, and tough legs make this a very challenging experience both mentally and physically.
I've even started talking about van decorations and stuff!
Has anyone else done Hood to Coast, or some other relay? How was it? :)
I feel really guilty about neglecting my blog for so long. I've being going through a tough time, and a lot of things in my life were set aside while I was trying to "fix" things. As I was cleaning the other day, I realized my shoes were an analogy for my life. I have a lot of pairs of shoes. More than 35. Some of them are just adorable, like my Cole Hahn ballet flats with Nike air technology. They retail for around $180, but I bought off a ebay for around $70 a year or two ago. These Cole Hahns are probably the most expensive shoes I own (besides my running shoes). These shoes are gorgeous turquoise leather with little crystals on them. Just look at them!
Yes, they are missing crystals... but they're still so cute!
I always get compliments when I wear them. The thing is, they hurt like hell.
Even with Body Glide. They're painful to wear. I've worn them fewer times than I can count on both hands. But because I spent so much money on them, and because they look so cute, I kept them.
Yesterday, when counted all of the shoes that I own, I decided I could let go of those Cole Hahns. I have plenty of cute shoes that don't hurt my feet. No, they're not as pricey or glamorous as my Cole Hahns, but they're more comfortable. So I'm going to take those fabulous Cole Hahn ballet flats to a consignment store.
Besides, I don't have room on my shoe rack for all of my shoes. And who knows, I might find an even better pair of shoes...This isn't just a story about shoes. It's about anything in your life that you want to hold on to--objects, goals, jobs, or even people.
Maybe you hold on because you've invested in it, because people compliment you on it, because it was a good deal, or because of any number of other excuses out there. But if something isn't right fit for you, then the best thing that you can do is to let go.
What's been keeping me going through all this? The Hood to Coast Relay!
There have definitely been a few days where I thought about dropping out of my team, but I just couldn't do it to them so close to the race, so I've kept training. This will be my first year doing HTC and it's on my bucket list, so I figure I better do it now even though I've been feeling like a mess. And I figured I'd be in an even bigger funk than I am now if I backed out. So here's what I've gotten myself into:
- Hood to Coast has been nicknamed "The Mother of All Relays" because it is the largest relay in the world.
- 12,000 runners participate.
- The course goes from Mt. Hood to Seaside, which is 197 miles.
I'm pretty nervous about the relay, but also really excited. My team is awesome, and I think we'll have a lot of fun. Expect a race recap next week :)
This morning I decided to RUN an errand. The place I needed to go to was 2.2 miles away, and figured that a 4.4 mile run would be good training for Hood to Coast. Well, once I got there, they weren't open yet! They weren't going to be open for another 35 minutes. So I decided to keep running and come back once they were open. I felt pretty good and was glad I'd gotten 5 miles out of the way, took care of some stuff, and then finished the 2.2 mile run home. :D
7.2 miles is the farthest I've run since my marathon, and it's good to know I can still do that kind of mileage.
So, feeling fun and energetic, I decided to go with a fun and colorful look for today!
Looks kind of mermaidy, don't you think?
FACE: Shiseido SPF 38 Lotion, Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Buff Beige, Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer in Almond
CHEEKS: Wet n Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Princess, Wet and Wild ColorIcon Blush in Mellow Wine
EYES: Clinique BrowShaper in Charcoaled, UDPP in Eden, Ulta eyeshadow in Camel (browbone/base), MAC eyeshadow in Sweet & Punch (lid), Hard Candy eyeshadow in Spearmint (crease), Cargo Color Palette in Tahiti (crease, outer V), Hard Candy 1000 Lashes Fiberized Lash Weave Primer, L'oreal Voluminous Waterproof mascara, Ulta Automatic Eyeliner in Teal Blue
LIPS: Sephora lipstick in N 07
I think I need to get a darker brow color... What do you think?
How's your Saturday going?
I've definitely changed the way I see when it comes to body image! It's been a long road, but I feel like I've finally begun to understand my body, I've finally started appreciating my body, and I have a better idea of how to take care of my body.
When I was in high school, I was thin and active. And like most high schoolers with insane metabolisms, I could eat whatever I wanted. I ate sausage patties almost every day for breakfast, chips and junk food for pre-fencing snacks. I didn't worry about my body shape, because I was probably the thinnest of my friends and they always told me how they'd love to be thin like me. I thought my body would always be the way it was.
Going into college, I decided to give up meat. I did it for health reasons, and for ethical reasons. I was a varsity athlete, and could still get away with a diet consisting of Snapple, junk food, french fries, Easy Mac, and Ramen. I gained a little weight, but it didn't bother me and I hardly noticed and didn't mind. I thought about my body as a a body that fenced, and was more worried about my abilities than my shape or weight. After all, I was at the height of my "fencing career."
Yes, I ate ramen out of a serving bowl.
But as I worked out less and less during my junior and senior years, I gained quite a bit of weight. The increasing amounts of takeout didn't help either. At the time, I was in a long term relationship, and my boyfriend at the time didn't care what my body looked like. I became complacent, and even though I became too big for most of my jeans, I figured I'd just gained the freshman fifteen a little later than everyone else.
After college, I stopped fencing and stopped working out. I moved back home and ate a lot of junk food. My weight continued to climb. When I started getting too big for my work clothes and needed new ones, I realized I needed to change. I started working out with a friend after work. She got me to sign up for my first half marathon in June 2009, and got me hooked on races. Though we were both getting better and stronger, neither of us were seeing the results we wanted. So my mom and I tried the cabbage soup diet. It was a terrible idea. Even though I'd eaten enough soup that I thought I'd throw up, I was hungry an hour later. So my friend and I went to a nutritionist. It was hard to eat healthy and my body didn't like the adjustment. I couldn't be as strict as my nutritionist wanted me to be, but I did see improvements. Though we've stopped going in, I feel like I have a better understanding of fueling my body and I try to get more fruits and veggies, and enough protein. I also have a better understanding of portions. Of course, I don't always eat how I should, but I realized through personal experience that fad diets don't work. How you eat has to be a lifelong commitment--which means there will be slip ups and cheat days, but that you're in it for the long run. It's about doing what's good for your body.
After my first marathon, I finally appreciated my body. I still wish that my legs didn't rub together, and that my forehead weren't so big, etc... but my pride in my body for being able to run a marathon is greater than my discontent.
I haven't worked out in a month and I've been eating out a lot, but my weight is still close to what I'd consider "ideal." The funny thing is, it doesn't matter to me. That number on the scale isn't an indication of my worth or what I can do. What matters right now is that I get my body back into shape so I can rock Hood to Coast, and PR at my next half marathon ;)