It’s official: I’m running the Hood to Coast Relay!
A friend in Portland had to back out of the event because of a persistent ankle injury. Knowing how much I’ve been wanting to do this relay, he tapped me on the shoulder. I submitted my registration on his team yesterday. I’m pinching myself, I’m so happy!
Rumor has it, Hood to Coast is the best running experience on the planet. Two hundred adventure-filled miles from a mountain top to the deep blue sea. Roughly twenty-four hours of running, eating, sleeping in a van, more running, more eating and apparently sleeping in a cow pasture. I’ll be the newbie on a team of Portlanders who have run this race together for years. Not only will I be new to this event, I’ll be new to relays, new to 99% of my teammates and new to running through day and night. Foolish? Perhaps. Nerve-wracking? I suppose. But at the moment I’m too excited to feel anything else.
I am psyched to have a new goal to work towards as a grand finale to the summer. The timing couldn’t be more ideal. One last month of running for fun, then I’ll begin the three months of trail running that I had planned. That should break my legs in nicely for Hood to Coast’s hilly course.
For now it’s time to sketch out a kooky costume for me, my husband and my friend for our bid at the infamous Mardi Gras of running known as the Bay to Breakers. Ideas welcome!
…you never have to buy deodorant. You run enough races and wind up with enough free samples in your goodie bags to last a whole year. Women-oriented events in particular. There’s always good stuff in there beyond the usual energy gel and promotional postcards for some other running event.
In fact, you begin to memorize which races have the best goodie bags and expos and come to rely on the product lineup at those expos to refuel and recover. You know which races offer chocolate milk, which have the Clif and Luna Bar buffet, the popchip samples, and the pancake breakfast. Yum. Racing = fun.
…you measure the passage time by how many miles you could have run in the interim. Like the 8 miles I could have run today had I not convened with some other soccer moms to sort out a team roster situation. And the 6 miles I could have covered earlier this week instead of sitting at the computer fielding emails. Sitting is particularly unnerving. So is standing in line at a government office. If I can run a 10K in the time it takes to get something accomplished, that activity had better be good. It had better be equally worthwhile.
In honor of the upcoming Olympic trials this Saturday, here are photos from my favorite runnerd moment of 2011: meeting Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.
It was at the Nike Women’s Marathon expo. They did a little Q&A session on an upper level stage and afterwards I camped out at the bottom of the stairway waiting for them, groupie style. When they finally came down, I was so excited, I was shaking.
What surprised me most about them? How incredibly friendly Shalane was, how tall Kara was, and how beautiful they both are in person.
Good luck, Shalane and good luck, Kara! Get out there and do what you do so well.