It has almost been two weeks since I ran Hood to Coast Relays and this blog has been in the works since I was on the plane home. It has been a crazy couple of weeks since I have been back at home. I have taken on a bigger role at my parents company with the passing of my father, Steve started his new job and last Thursday I got into a car accident(thankfully Stevie and I are both ok). I could write several blogs about last week, but I am just happy it is over with and hope that my life can return to some form of normal soon. Thank god I have running, it has been the best form of therapy for me lately!
Anyway, back to Hood To Coast. In April, about a month after I had Stevie, I was invited by the NUUN hydration team to be a member of one of the three teams of women they were sponsoring for the Hood to Coast Relays . I was excited for the opportunity, because it has always been a bucket list race that I have wanted to run and I thought it would be a great first race back after having Stevie. I was a bit nervous for the race. It wasn't because it was my first race in a year and a half. It was the thought of leaving my 5 month old son for 4 nights. It sounded crazy to me because I haven't spent more than 6 hours away from him! However, I knew it would be a great chance for him and Dad to bond and for me to have a weekend to myself. So, breast pump in hand, yes I pumped in the van between runs, I set out for my first HTC adventure!
NUUN had three teams of women running HTC, made up of Women's Running bloggers. I didn't know any of the women coming in other than Julia Webb, whom I invited to run on the team with me. I was a little nervous to meet the other women, and tell them I had a blog especially since I don't even have my own domain name. Hopefully, they could help me improve my social media skills. The team I was placed on was a competitive team that was shooting to win the Women's Division of Hood to Coast. I was chosen to run leg 6 of the relay and was in van 1. My other van 1 teammates ,"were Dorothy Beal, Robin Hefner, Katie Edwards, Jenny Poore, and Julia Webb. The women in my van were awesome and I felt so lucky to be a part of such a fun team especially since we would be sharing close quarters for close to 24 hours straight. Mason Reay the CEO of Nuun was our van driver. How cool is that? Not many CEOs would drive a bunch of crazy runner girls around for 24 hours straight. That is what makes the company so awesome. They not only have amazing products but they are very connected with and care about their customers. I was very excited to run on their team for Hood to Coast.
Overall, the relay went well. With just over three months of running, I averaged 5:35 pace for my first 6.75 mile leg and 5:49 pace for the last two five mile legs. I was really happy with my runs. I had only done a month of workouts going into the race and had only run two weeks at 60 miles per week. I have a lot of work to do to get to my goals this year but I know my fitness is not that far off and I have a lot of room for improvement based on the small amount of training I have done so far. I wasn't sure how I would feel after running three legs in a 24 hour period faster than any of my workouts this year. However, I never really felt too tired or sleepy, I think Little Stevie prepared me well for that part of the race! The hardest part was fitting in pumping in between my legs. It was a bit strange pumping in the back of the van, and made me sad every time I had to throw out all that valuable milk. Our team didn't quite reach our goal of winning the Women's division, due to a mishap with an exchange we lost close to 80min. But, the navigation and driving is a key part to the race and I am sure there are hundreds of similar stories of missed exchanges, van problems and navigation issues from other HTC teams. The highlight of the relay was after I finished the final leg for our van, we stopped at a small bar advertising amazing bloody mary's. After a year and a half without alcohol and over 17miles of running, the spicy bloody mary was amazing and so was the plate of bacon Robyn ordered.
I had an amazing time running Hood to Coast and really enjoyed getting to know all the women on the NUUN teams as well as the all the NUUN employees that helped organize and put our teams together. It was a great first race back after having Stevie and makes me excited for the year of training and racing I have coming up.