Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hood to Coast 2014

Last weekend was this year's Hood to Coast Relay, one of my favorite weekends of the year.  This was my 6th year to run this race.  My goal is to eventually have run each of the 12 legs in this relay, so I am now half way there!

This year I ran Leg 12, the anchor leg for the team.  The breakdown of the legs was... 1st leg: 6.29 miles along the Springwater Corridor ending under the Hawthorne Bridge, 2nd leg: 4.92 miles near Mist, OR between Portland and the coast, 3rd leg: 5.23 miles ending at the beach in Seaside!  I didn't have any crazy middle-of-the-night runs - they were actually at very normal times: 9pm, 6am, 4pm.  And not too many hills either.  I actually wasn't really sore at all after this weekend.  Maybe that means I didn't run hard enough!

I was in Van 2 with 5 dudes: Drew, Jed, Robbie, Marty and Ben.  Fun group, but always a little interesting being the only girl in a van with 5 smelly guys.  Let's just say we all got to know each other pretty well.  By the end, I was practically just one of the guys.

I would love to say that the race weekend went smoothly without a hitch.  Our team did awesome and no one was injured.  But the race organization had a few hiccups along the way.  Around the 2nd big exchange, traffic got really congested and vans were backed up for miles.  Our van dropped Drew off for his second run and started driving to the next exchange where he would hand off to me.  Well we got stuck in the nasty backup of vans and pretty soon I see Drew running by our van, headed to the next exchange (where I was not waiting).  So I jumped out of the van and ran the last mile of his leg, grabbed the baton from him at the exchange and then ran another 5 miles of my leg.  When I completed my leg and got to the next exchange, there was no one from the other van there to meet me.  So I waited... and waited... for an hour... in the cold... wearing wet sweaty clothes... for an hour.  My runner finally showed up.  They had gotten stuck in traffic, too.  And thankfully he brought me a sweater and some cash to buy some coffee that the local church was selling.  Bless him.
Our van finally got out of the traffic, and continued on to the coast.  I was the final leg into Seaside and once I reached the beach, my team was able to join me for the final steps across the finish line.  We gave high fives and snapped some pictures, then quickly got out of there and started the drive back to Portland.  We were done with crowds and standing on our feet and being sweaty.  I was so ready to be home, take a shower and climb in my bed.
What a fun, crazy exhausting race.  Somehow all of the memories of traffic and sleepless nights and stinky vans is already fading and I'm already looking forward to HTC 2015!
Van 2: Drew, Jed, Robbie, Marty, Mary, Ben
**please note our awesome van... there is a queen size bed in the back of that thing!
geared up for my first run... headlamp, reflective vest, and front and back flashers required

during my hour wait at the 2nd exchange... I don't think I've ever been so cold in my life

finish line!!
the whole team
Unknown Injury
A couple of weeks ago, I went out on the river with Chris' family and some friends.  It was a great night for boating and we all enjoyed wakeboarding and tubing.  While tubing with my friend Courtney, my tube got some air, did a flip and I tried hanging on for dear life.  In my attempt to hold onto the tube handles (and my pride), I injured my finger.  I thought it was just jammed or a bad sprain.  It hasn't really been getting much better, so I decided to go see the doctor today (with a nudge from Chris).  And what do you know... my finger is broken.  I've been walking around with a broken pinky for two weeks.  It's in a splint now, so hopefully it will start healing quicker, because I can't let a pinky slow me down.
 the tube flip that took out my pinky
see the break on the pinky between the knuckle and middle joint

Friday, August 8, 2014

Paradise Camping

Last weekend, Chris and I joined in his family's annual camping trip at Paradise campgrounds near Bend, Central Oregon.  We got there on Friday evening and his younger brother had already set up a tent for us - thanks, Eric!  Despite an air mattress that deflated during the middle of the night both nights, it was actually a pretty comfortable camping setup.

Saturday morning, Chris and I went for a run and then we all went out on the boat on the Cougar Reservoir off of the McKenzie River.  It was a perfectly sunny day and the water was actually pretty warm.  Our boat party included Chris and I, his parents, his little brother and 4 other teenage boys.  The boys knocked around on the tubes for a while, and then Chris' dad told them it was time for them to get out so that he could take me out to learn to wake board.  The boys really wanted to stay in the boat; I agreed that they could stay as long as they understood that it might be a slow, frustrating process for me to try getting up on the wake board.  Chris gave me an impressive demonstration of how to be a stellar wake boarder, talked me through everything I should and shouldn't do in order to actually get up, and then strapped my feet into the wakeboard and pushed me out into the water.  I surprisingly got up after just 4-5 tries.  I was able to get a few rides in before feeling totally exhausted and worn out.  I climbed back into the boat to the cheers of the teenage boys - I think they now accept me as a somewhat-cool-20-something-year-old girl who didn't totally eat it on a wake board... phew!
Teenage boys have unlimited energy and they stayed out on the boat all day.  Chris and I headed back to the camp site for some downtime.  We played cards for a while then drove to a driving range at a nearby golf course.  We hit golf balls for a while (most of mine ended up somewhere in the woods) and then I dropped my clubs due to developing hand blisters and relaxed in the sun watching Chris do what he loves.
We came back to the campsite where dinner was being served.  We hung around a campfire with the group and made smores and enjoyed good company and conversations.
The next morning we ate breakfast, packed up the campsite, and headed back to Portland.  The thing I love most about camping is that it allows you to really get away from your everyday life, and to unplug and relax.  Another great Oregon summer weekend!