Catching The Running Bug - Hood To Coast Style! | Health, Love & Fire

Catching The Running Bug - Hood To Coast Style!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What an amazing weekend. I am still trying to catch up on sleep, and probably won’t feel rested till at least next weekend, but I’ll take it. Before I tell you all about Hood To Coast, let me tell you that I am not the type of person who has ever liked running. I really still don’t like it. But I do love the feeling when I finish a race or just a run in general so that’s why I do it. The more I run, the easier it’s getting and I’m honestly starting to get addicted. My parents have always been runners since I can remember, but I always said I would never be that way. Well apparently I lied. After completing the relay this weekend, I was already looking for another one to do, and I even have another run this coming weekend to tackle! So here’s how it went!

If you haven’t read some of my other posts about Hood To Coast I’ll give you a little info on it. It’s a relay race starting on Mt Hood and going to the Oregon Coast. You form teams of 12 people who ride in two vans and take turns running 198 miles over about 30 hours. Our team started Friday morning at 10:30. I was the first runner in van 2 and I started running about 3:30 Friday afternoon.

This is Van 2 of our team who we spent about 36 hours in a 12 passenger van with! 
Waiting to get the baton from Katie and start my first run! 

My first leg was 6.3 miles. It was hot and there were at least 6 decent hills. I didn’t want to carry too much with me so I didn’t bring any water and I was so thirsty by the end of the run. The run was on mostly back roads so I ran by some farm fields, houses, and people sitting outside watching runners. A couple people even set up sprinklers for runners to run through which was a HUGE help! My van passed me at about a mile and a half in on their way to the next checkpoint which helped motivate me a bit to finish out my run. I was tired, and all I could think of was I still had to run two more times before the end of the race. I finished the run in a little over an hour, which I was really really happy with! I haven't run 6 miles straight in a while and felt good about how quickly I was able to complete that leg. I handed the baton off to dan and he was on his way! 

 This is me finishing my first leg and Dan in the  middle of his first. 
Dan handing off to Javi to start leg 9 of the race! 

My second leg was at 2 in the morning. I am terrified of the dark, so I was really nervous about this run. I had laid in bed worrying about this several times in the last month. This was my hardest leg. There were some huge hills, and it spanned over 5.89 miles. I had to try really hard to keep my mind from wandering during my run and just focus on getting done. It was sort of a surreal experience to be running nearly six miles in the middle of the night. Throughout the entire race, I was surprised how sparse the runners were. I am used to running events where there are always groups of runners around you, but this is definitely not the case with Hood To Coast. This was especially noticeable at night where I found myself running alone on a back road in the middle of the night. While I’m not sure I would ever make a habit of it, it was pretty cool to run with my reflective vest, blinking lights, and headlamp on a back road in the middle of nowhere. All I could hear was my footsteps and the crickets and all I could see was where my headlamp shone. Not being able to see the hills you were tackling and having the serene quietness was a neat experience that helped push me through those nearly six miles. 
That's me heading out on my second run with the headlamp so bright you can't see my face :) 

After I finished my second leg, I was pretty tired, but excited to cheer Dan on! It was fun because I got to hand off the baton to him after all my runs so I would run up and hand him the baton (bracelet) and give him a kiss and say, “Good luck, I love you” and watch him on his way. At everyone exchange I could hear people say “aww, that’s so cute”, but it was a fun way to end my leg and him his start his! I was so proud of how good he did on all of his runs! He motivates me to keep going and is by far my best cheerleader!

MY third leg was only 4 miles, and boy am I glad it wasn’t much longer! It was mostly downhill. I started at about 12:30 so it wasn’t too hot yet which was really nice. My last mile was all uphill which was pretty tough, but I was so excited to be done that I was able to push through! Finishing my third leg was awesome. Over three runs and less than 24 hours, I ran I felt such a sense of accomplishment and really appreciated how hard I had worked!
Dan finishing his final leg! 

Our van finished the race and met the rest of our team at the beach. Hearing our team name read and walking under the finish together was a cool experience. A couple years ago, I never would have thought of trying to complete Hood To Coast, much less raising $18,000 while doing it. I feel like I’ve caught the running bug and am excited to complete more running events. I will be running the Wine Country Half Marathon this Sunday with both my parents, and have started looking for other runs in our area coming up soon. If you ever get the chance to run a relay race, I would definitely recommend it. Even with no sleep, no showers and a lot of time in a van, it was still an awesome experience. 
This Finish Line!!! 

We did it!!