Digesting Hood to Coast

It feels like a dream. Did I really just run in a 200-mile relay?

One thing we kept asking each other, at least in Van 1 of Nuun Platuun, was: “How are we going to write about this?”

I still don’t know. I need time to digest, I guess. What I can say is that I will be forever grateful to Nuun for getting us there and to my friend Mel (Tall Mom on the Run) for coming up with the idea and pitching it to them. I owe this adventure to them.

Nuun Platuun was awesome, BTW! We finished in 27 hours and 59 minutes. Our overall pace was 8:24. That was 10th out of 40 teams in the Women’s Open Division (and 312th out of 1,268 teams!!!!). After-Nuun-Delight also did amazing! They finished in 28 hours and 12 minutes, and were fourth out of 10 in the Women’s Corporate Division.

Here are a just few pictures:

Team Nuun Platuun: Lisa, Tonia (Racing with Babes), Jess (Blonde Ponytail),
Tricia and me in our awesome camo from RunningSkirts.com!

Van 1 of Nuun Platuun, from left: Margot (The Faster Bunny),
Tricia (Endurance Isn’t Only Physical), Lisa (Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge),
Alyssa (Diary of an Average Runner) and me. Not pictured: Nuun employee Caitlin.
Caitlin gives Tricia (runner 1) our “baton.”

At the start line area.
I saw the inside of a lot of these…

The finish area in Seaside: Me, Tricia, Hood to Coast founder Bob Foote,
Lisa, Jocelyn (Enthusiastic Runner), Nuun employee Kim L. and Alanna (Running 42KM).

Other reading:
On the way to Oregon, Van 1 of Nuun Platuun did an interview with Mountain magazine. It was odd to be on the other side of an interview. I felt totally awkward. I’m used to asking the questions, not answering them! Read the blog post HERE.

I'm Afraid of…

– Being away from my boys during Hood to Coast. Mr. T and I went to New Orleans last November and T Junior stayed with Grandma and Pappy in Florida. The hardest part was driving away from the house, but once we got on the road, we had a lot of fun, and knew T Junior was in good hands. This time, I’ll be on my own without either of my boys. I’m sure they’ll have lots of fun man time…you know, going to Hooter’s and Fry’s Electronics, eating pizza for every meal, playing Xbox and all that guy type stuff. Still scary to be away from them, though.

Childless in NOLA: November 2010
Sequim Lavender Festival in June.

– Running in the dark. My second leg of Hood to Coast will be in the dark (1:30ish a.m.). What’s getting me through this? That it’s only four miles and I’ll be done in a little more than half an hour, and the awesome “RUN” glow-in-the-dark BondiBand I’ll be sporting (review and giveaway coming next week!). Oh, and the fact that there’ll be other people running at that time, too. Right? Right?

– Meeting new people. That’s right. I’m pretty outgoing, but there’s a certain unknown about meeting new people that scares me. Will they think I’m weird? Will I say something stupid? (Okay, it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll do that, but will they forgive me?) All the women running on the Nuun team are pretty awesome, though, so I think I’ll be okay!

Look at all these awesome people I’ve met through running!

– Stepping out of the box. This weekend’s Hood to Coast relay? Waaaaaaay out of the box. Like not even close to a box. Nope. No boxes around here. Hope you’ll follow me on this journey on Twitter: @momvsmarathon and @ministryofnuun. I’ll be updating Facebook, too, if I can figure out how to update my page from my phone HERE (http://www.facebook.com/momvsmarathon).

Okay, that’s all folks. Next update won’t be till Monday or Tuesday of next week. Tomorrow, after work, I will be packing and trying not to FREAK OUT!

A Long, Hot Run and a Short, Not Run

It’s been a cool summer…until the day I needed to run 10 miles in the afternoon.

Of course. And it was the only time I could go.

SATURDAY
I started off Saturday at 7 a.m. One and a half miles with Bennie (one of our boxers) before he left with Mr. T for the dog show. T Junior had a fever, so we stayed home. Mr. T returned around noon and I got ready for my run. But I also had to drop a couple things off at the post office. Just getting to the Cedar River Trail for my run took a while…as in I didn’t start running until 2 p.m.

I parked at a mid-way point on the trail. The plan for my 10-miler was to run in one direction (the no-shade direction) for the first half and then run the second half in the really shady and cool portion. The last four miles were to be at goal pace (8:47), so I was hoping most of those would be in the shade. Also, if I needed to refill my hydration belt, I could do that at the car…or I could quit and go home if I was too hot…okay, who am I kidding? If it’s on the schedule, I’m pretty much doing it.

Anyway, the first mile was me cursing at my hydration belt. It leaks. All. The. Time. I’m so over it. Got suggestions for a new one?

Then I was cursing myself. This is so dumb. $*#@#&. I’m going to die. &##(*#. It’s too hot. @*#&#. (It was about 82.) I should have worn a tank top. *##*!(*@. I think my earbud is sweaty. *@#(*!@.


The one thing that surprised me, though, was my pace. For as hot as I was, a 9:30 pace felt super easy. But I think it was the shoes.

Earlier, I examined the soles of my pink Saucony’s — the ones with 520 miles on them. They were worn down more than I realized. So, I had some pep in my step with my new shoes on!

The first 2.25 miles breezed by (I turned a little early because I remembered the shady direction was longer than 2.5 miles). A woman cyclist (wearing running shorts) passed me and said with a smile, “Long run?”

She looked familiar. One of you guys? Let me know! That sort of made my run, so thanks!

I planned this run perfectly, so that when my goal pace miles started, it was just before the shade. Also along the shady part of the trail — a public restroom and water fountain. I felt 100x better after I stopped, pottied and poured cool water under my hat and down the back of my shirt. Getting started again didn’t even seem too bad because the shade was cool and I was running into a little breeze.

Then I turned around. No breeze. But at least there was shade. I was doing pretty good — staying very close, if not right on, my goal pace. But I knew the last mile and a half would be in the sun. As I was about to leave the shady portion of the trail, a cyclist passed me in the opposite direction, and I swear he said, “Craaaaaayyyyzzzzeeeee.”

Once I got into the sun, I was toast. I held on for a while, but with about a quarter of a mile left, I had to stop.  I was feeling a little woozy. I knew I wasn’t going to pass out, but I didn’t want to push myself till I felt that bad. I stopped my watch and walked slowly. I could see my “finish line” (the parking lot). I could tell it was about a quarter mile. So I psyched myself up and I ran it in, but I didn’t try to hold my goal pace. I’d given up on that with about a half mile to go. I was just trying not to die.

I ran every step to my car to get to 10 miles and finally stopped my watch for good on the passenger side at 1:32:45.

Pace breakdown:
1: 9:38
2: 9:27
3: 9:28
4: 9:26
5: 9:39
6: 9:38
7: 8:47
8: 8:46
9: 8:47
10: 8:59

MONDAY
I got up at 6:30 a.m. and felt tired. Weird since I got 7-1/2 hours of sleep. I slowly got ready for a 4-mile recovery run. But I could tell my heart wasn’t in it. My heart was more interested in going back to bed. Usually, when this happens, a couple minutes of fresh air and I feel the excitement and joy of a run. But this morning was different.

It was hard. Really hard. And I wasn’t going for speed. Running at a slower pace was really, really hard. I felt heavy and out of breath. Four miles felt like 50. I didn’t even make it four miles, though.

I kept trying to get into a rhythm and I was just hating it. I never hate my runs. So, I stopped. I quit. I want running to be fun and if it’s not, I’m not going to push it. I trudged home. I made it 2.71 miles. I came home, showered and collapsed on the bed. I knew, though, that later I would try again later.

And I did. After a playdate and during T Junior’s nap. I fired up the treadmill. I busted out two sub-10 miles that felt good! Well, all felt good except my right foot.

I’m not sure what’s going on with my custom orthotics. It feels like it’s hitting my foot in a different place than it was in my old shoes. I have the same shoes, just a new model year. Do you think that makes a difference? They’re not made for the shoes, their made for my feet. The shoes are the same size as my old ones. It feels like a nerve on the bottom of my foot is hitting a ridge and it’s making my three far right toes go numb. Not good times. Ideas?

TOMORROW, ETC.
It’s race week! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I’m not ready. I have no idea what to pack or anything. Haven’t even started. I can’t believe it’s only a few days till I’m running Hood to Coast. Nuts! My legs (4, 16, 28) will be at about 3:35 p.m. Friday, and 1:25 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. Saturday. That is, if I did the math right. So. My posts may be sporadic. I want to post what I’m going to wear and I have a giveaway to do, so I hope to get to those things this week!

Stuff You Should Know About

Cool stuff going on right now:

-Running After Bugs and Bees is having a Virtual 5K for Coffee. Check it out!

-This Stop Willoughby is having a Running Shirt Giveaway!

-Mile Posts is having a Touch Tags Giveaway that ends today (Saturday)!

-The Nuun Hood to Coast Teams have a Facebook page HERE. And a Twitter account @nuunplatuun HERE. (1 week! We start at 12:30 p.m. Friday!)

-Don’t forget you can get a 25% discount on Nuun by using the code: NUUNPLATUUN on your order between now and Sept. 30.

The Next Generation

2009:
Used: July-September, 2009 (former gardening shoes)
Biggest moment: My first run on July 18, 2009

2009:
Used: September 2009-January 2010
Biggest Moments: First Race (Oct. ’09); First Half Marathon (Nov. ’09)

2010:
Used: January 2010-January 2011 (incl. an extended break due to injury)
Biggest Moments: Million Inch Run (Feb. ’10); Half PR (March ’10); 5K PR (Dec. ’10)

2011:
Used: January 2011-August 2011
Biggest Moments: Longest Solo Training Run (20 miles); First Full Marathon (June ’11)

Meet The Next Generation – 2011:
Used: August 2011-TBD
Coming up: Hood to Coast Relay (Aug. ’11); Sub-2 Half Attempt (Sept. ’11)

Think it’s okay if I wear these around with my pajamas? How long do you take to break in new shoes?

Three Things (I Love) Thursday: In Pictures

Yesterday evening, T Junior wanted to practice riding his scooter.
Well, after about 5 minutes, the scooter sat by and watched the kid do repeats
up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. I caught this gem. He’s flying!

Then it was my turn…unfortunately. T Junior wanted to take my picture
running. Sort of embarrassing in front of the neighbors…

My friend (and coach) Mel (Tall Mom on the Run) wrote a
very sweet post about transformations today. Check it out.
You might recognize someone! 😉

Thoughts on Speed(work)

I hope you don’t mind that I simply stole my recap of Wednesday’s speed session from my DailyMile post. I practically wrote a book. Skip the middle if you already read it and go down to the bottom of this post — that’s where the real fun starts…

2010

This was the speed day I have been most dreading (read: sub-8 pace), so I’m super glad I didn’t get up…er…opt to run before work and instead ran at lunch with Mel (Tall Mom on the Run). It was helpful to have her there coaching me on. Plus, she scoped out a nice straight place to run it — way better than cul-de-sacs in my neighborhood! The trail we took, though, brought back memories of the 2010 Million Inch+++ Run of Death. Hahaha. Okay, fine. Near Death.

Wednesday’s schedule called for 5 miles – 2 easy and 3 x 1-mile repeats at a pace of 7:45-8:00. Mel drove to my office so we could start together. This would be a second run for her (she was doing a triple day!).

Outside, it was hot. Well, hotter than I am used to (70’s?) and I would soon be cursing my compression socks. We took the first 1.5 miles easy on the way out to the trail, then caught our breath and took off.

Repeat 1: Mel’s legs were warmed up and she felt GOOD. She apologized for going a little fast, but I didn’t mind. We were running at some crazy 7:20 pace and we were like “Why does this feel easy?” I was talking a teeny bit, but that lasted only a little longer as the last quarter of a mile was HARD. But I made it. Stopped the watch for a minute breather or so. Pace: 7:43

Repeat 2: We turned around and went back in the direction we came. This way there was wind! (Maybe that’s why the pace was so easy on the way out?) I was HOT. And not in a pretty way. My breathing was a little fast and I wanted my Nuun-mommy (um, that sounds bad). Mel was awesome checking in with me and telling me how much farther we had to go. It was reassuring and I could tell she felt great as her stride was almost joyful, if that’s possible. We finished right back where we started and stopped our watches to catch our breath. Pace: 7:51

Repeat 3: This one would be on the uneven and narrow sidewalks heading back to my office, so I told Mel to go ahead of me so I could follow her lead. The first little part was downhill – yaaaay! I felt better on this one than I did on the second one — maybe because it was a little bit slower, but probably because there were some spots with shade. Oh happy shade! We finished about a half-mile from my office. Perfect! Pace: 7:58 (Whew! Made it!)

We “yogged” back to the office where my boss was standing in the parking lot. I hoped I was not late, so we stopped just a teeny bit shy of 5 miles — 4.97. Close enough! Thanks for your help, Mel! Scary tempo/repeat run: DONE!

SOME THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD DURING THE SPEED PART OF THE RUN
(because I could not say them out loud at that pace)

Repeat 1:

  • Wow, I can’t believe we are running in the mid-7’s right now and I’m not dying. I’m awesome!
  • Holy balls, we are ONLY at .3?! I’m going to die.
  • Hahaha! Remember how I thought that weird eagle-trainer guy was going to commit suicide on the Million Inch Run? (Yes, I talk to myself like I’m my own friend.)
  • Mel looks like she’s out for a stroll. Sheesh. Wish I could trade legs right now.

Repeat 2:

  • Why is it so effing HOT?! 
  • Stomach, you better not do that or I will kill you!
  • Too hot. Don’t want compression socks on. Want to take hat off. Want to go swimming.
  • BEEEEP, watch, BEEEEEP! Oh. Still a half mile to go.
  • Huh. Sorta smells like coffee out here.
  • Engage the gluuuuuuutes! Oh, that’s a little better.
  • Nope. I’m gonna die.
  • Man, I’m thirsty. Shoulda brought my handheld.
  • Have to spit. Have to spit. Have to spit.
  • Oh, 1.98! Thank god!

Repeat 3:

  • Downhill is awesome. I like going downhill. I feel GREAT! 
  • I’m kicking this uphill’s ass!
  • Oops. Sweaty guy headed this way.
  • Why do I always fade juuuust at the top of an uphill?
  • Shaaaade!
  • Sun. HOT.
  • Shaaaade!
  • Sun. HOT.
  • Thirsty. Thirsty. Thirsty.
  • The home stretch!
  • Stay focused on Mel’s shoes. That’s the zone. Find the zone. Am I in the zone?
  • 1.98! Wow, I looked at 1.98 again. Weird.
In the bathroom stall changing into my work clothes:
  • Gross. My shirt’s going to be all sweaty.
  • Wish we didn’t have an anti-nudity thing in America right now ’cause I do NOT want to put these on.
  • C’mon soooocks!
  • C’mon paaaaants!
  • Hahaha! This is funny. I’m going to post about this. (Okay, it seemed funny at the time, but I was high from the run, so I have an excuse.) 
What I think during speedwork is totally different than what I think during a comfy pace. How about you?