So, it’s been a
little over a week a long time since the greatness that was Hood to Coast took place. As a blogger, I probably should be more on top of my blogging, and I’m sure all of you are on the edge of your seats waiting for a recap of what went down. (Okay…maybe not.) While I will often say that I blog mainly for myself (having read my own marathon recaps at least twenty-four times each), I started blogging because I saw the connections that other bloggers made with each other (Aron and Jen, way back in the day), and I feel as though running Hood to Coast with nuun more or less embodies the main reasons why I love blogging and why I keep doing it.
So with that theme in mind, let’s kick off this recap, even though I’m sure you’ve read about it on at least a few of the twenty-nine other blogs out there.
to the west coast
One of the amazing things I’ve loved about blogging is all the experiences I’ve been able to have through it. I’ve traveled to races where I only knew bloggers, met basically all of my non-work friends in NYC, and learned about new experiences all through other bloggers. Of course, the mother of all of these experiences would be running Hood to Coast with nuun. This year, nuun was smart enough to pick not only two people from NYC, but four, and since NYC is the center of the world (ask any New Yorker, they might agree), I whole-heartedly agree with their decision. Plus, HTC is what brought Jocelyn and me together last year, as despite living forty blocks from one another, we first met in Seattle.
Moving on. The four NYC ladies decided to take the same flight to Seattle, which made for an entertaining flight alternating between me passing out because I had worked night shift and having Jocelyn throw notes at me across the aisle. I felt like I was in junior high again.
Once we landed in Seattle, it was a slumber party-style night at a hotel as Jocelyn, Stephanie, Laura, and Vermont-resident Lauren joined in on the fun. The next morning, we got transported to nuun by the one and only Casey (my van driver last year!) before hitting the streets of Seattle for quick run. I’d run along the water every day if I lived there!
let the madness begin
This mini-group was a good introduction into the madness of thirty bloggers converging on nuun. Our little group of five quickly expanded as more and more flights arrived, and we headed over to the Seattle Mariners game to meet more bloggers. I’m a huge baseball fan and love going to games, but this was the first game that I had no idea what was going on with the game and instead paid more attention to the people around me, talking to them and getting to know everyone.
The fact is that due to my back injury, I spent a lot of time avoiding running talk because after awhile without the ability to run, I couldn’t stand to read/hear about other runners. It was too hard. Therefore, I didn’t do any research about the other bloggers who were running Hood to Coast, and I hardly knew who I was in my van outside of Lauren. However, something just clicks when you’re there, and thanks to many bloggers having big personalities, conversations flowed easily for most people Being a bit more introverted (always…), I get a bit overwhelmed in group situations and mainly stuck to the people around me, but it was so fun seeing how excited everyone was and how different everyone’s story was.
Whenever you get a giant group of runners together, it seems obvious that people would want to, um, run. The ladies at Oiselle offered to host us on Thursday morning, letting us check out the office and leave our stuff there while running around the beautiful Green Lake that was only a few minutes away.
Green Lake was a beautiful place to run, and as we moved from a path to cross over into a grassy area, I commented, “This reminds me of cross country…” as we ran on the grass past a baseball field. It’s crazy how long ago that was (my ten year high school reunion is next summer, yikes!), but how quickly those memories came back. We ran along and for the first time I began to get a little nervous about running Hood to Coast the next day. When I finally realized in early August I’d be able to run Hood to Coast, I knew I wouldn’t be as fast as last year. We were running 7:30-8:30 miles around Green Lake, and when the pace got faster, I had a harder time keeping comfortable. Obviously no one but me really cares about my pace, but I pride myself on being a decent runner, and I found myself joking to people who talked about running fast that I’d be a solid 8:30 pace setter at Hood to Coast. I knew I’d be happy just to be running, but it still got me down mentally, although I don’t think I showed that to anyone.
Back on track! Green Lake is an awesome place to run, and the ladies of Oiselle informed us that it is second only to Central Park in the number of people who use it, and I can clearly see why.
Prior to Hood to Coast, I had joked with Molly saying we should pack our matching racing singlets, as we both have the same singlet with our names on the front. I’ve been reading Molly’s blog for awhile and she also works in health care (health coaching!), so I was excited to meet her. And dress like her, clearly:
I love small companies who are truly dedicated to running, and it’s one of the reason why I love Brooks so much. They’re a running company through and through, and so is Oiselle. I love companies so dedicated to running, and I absolutely love this saying on the shirt that so many of us picked to take with us from Oiselle:
Post-injury motto, for sure.
Classic pose with Lauren outside the nuun office!
After some showers and food, it was finally time to invade the nuun office! I work in a hospital, so seeing an office is something fun for me since it’s completely different than anything I’m used to. Plus, people at nuun genuinely seem excited to meet us even though it meant that we basically took over their workspace. We got there a little bit early so we hung out and checked out the giant bags of stuff from our sponsors. Companies were more than generous in donating various things to us, and I can’t thank you enough! Sponsors included:
Of course, I can’t thank NUUN enough for what they did for us. We basically got the royal treatment, and everyone on the nuun staff is so genuine in how nice (that word doesn’t capture the full characteristics…) they are and when they say they’ll do anything to make our experience great, they mean it. Truly a great company to represent.
Finally everyone arrived at the nuun office and our afternoon bonding activity began in the form of a Seattle scavenger hunt! We were to find Seattle landmarks and spread the nuun love in the form of tattoos with team members who weren’t in our vans, which was a good way to meet people who aren’t in your van. If you’ve ever run a relay, you would know that the people you spend 99% of your time with are people in your van, and with 36 women to meet, this was definitely a fun way to explore Seattle.
Team at the gum wall…so gross!
Also, I can’t quite forget the reunion of Nuun Platuun Van 2, who all stayed intact from last year. While I definitely had an awesome time this year, it was so great to see these ladies again.
Walking around Seattle made us all quite hungry, so after a stump (chair?) speech from Mason, we dug into food and nuun to carb load and hydrate for the next day. Well, maybe we hydrated a little bit of a different way…
Once we were all fueled up, it was time to decorated the vans. We went with a bright, neon theme as Team Night, and we also had a huge night playlist that we referred to during our van rides. Since we all somehow ended up with a “Call Me, Maybe?” obsession, we did a little switching of the lyrics and ended up with this glorious van decoration:
Tweet us, maybe?
I quickly realized that I was the only single (and by single, I mean not married) person in the van, so this little addition was added to our twitter names:
We then proceeded to just write song lyrics all over the van. So original, I know.
All night long (all night…). Minus Shanna. Van decorating makes you crazy, apparently. I think we’re just excited.
Finally it was time to grab some sleep, so we headed back to the hotel, packed our bags for Hood to Coast, grabbed a final beer at Pyramid (it was across the street!), and tucked ourselves in for a final night in a bed before spending hours upon hours in a van. Little did we know everyone would be way too excited to sleep!
I’ll be back soon (I promise…) with recaps of the actual race. I’m much better at writing about running than I am about things like gum walls, so I’m sure you’ll be waiting!