I debated on how to break up the race into blog posts and decided I would do it day by day. So, here is what happened Pre-Hood to Coast.
A quick note for those unfamiliar with relay races:
You have a team of 12 people. 2 vans with 6 people in each (plus a driver if you are lucky). The first van heads to the start and each runner in that van runs their first leg. The second van goes to the big exchange. Runner 6 of van 1 hands off to runner 1 of van 2. And you repeat two more times-each runner will run 3 legs.
Back to the recap:
Apparently none of my roommates slept well on Thursday night either. We were all up before their alarms went off. Corey, Nicole, and Jess were all in Van 1 so they had to leave Seattle at 8am. Confession: I had no idea that the start was that far away from Seattle. My van wasn’t scheduled to leave until 11.
I went with several girls on a breakfast/Starbucks run before getting my things together.
The vans picked us up, and soon, we were on our way.
The anxiousness had set in. Our van was pretty quiet on the way to get lunch. After stopping at Panera, things seemed to get a bit better.
A few hours later and we were at Safeway for the first exchange. Turns out, you spend a lot of time waiting. I took the time to check out some of other vans, to try and get other runners tatted up with NUUN tattoos, and well, to tattoo all of us!
Eventually, Nicole was at the exchange and it was time for our van to take off. Erin was our first runner.
We stopped and cheered for her along the way.
I was a ball of nerves. I was up next. Right when we exchanged the slap bracelet-I took off.
No, really. I took off. I was hauling some A. I thought about reeling it in but I felt great. REALLY GREAT. The run was really pretty, mostly farm type land. The sun was setting and I was jamming out to my tunes with my road noise vest. There were a few families out in their yards cheering, which I thought was really nice.
It started to get dark but I had knucklelights to help me see where I was going. This was my first time running at night and I’m not going to lie, it kinda scared me. Especially when cars were coming by and two of the volunteers were too chatty to realize I needed directions. I flew into the exchange and Katie wasn’t quite ready-I think I took everyone by surprise. I came in several minutes under my predicted time. Oh, and I had 3 kills (aka passed 3 people).
Runner #8 Leg 1 (8:12 pm):
We continued on with Katie, Amanda, Jennifer and Marjorie. Even though we got lost a few times on the way to the exchanges, Tyler was a rockstar driver. I would’ve totally freaked out. We cut it close on some of the exchanges but it all worked out just fine.
Marjorie would finish in Portland, where we exchanged with Van 1. It was good to see everyone again. We took the opportunity to get a late night dinner (midnight) before heading to the next exchange where we were going to sleep.
I stuck with foods I thought would settle okay-an egg sandwich. I eat eggs all the time and knew I needed some carbs too. It was actually pretty good.
I’m not sure what time we made it to the next exchange-I fell asleep in the van but woke up when we were passing the fire on the course (course was changed and runner 5 had to add almost 2 miles to their leg because of it).
Yall. I’m not a camper. No lie-haven’t been in a sleeping bag since sleepovers in grade school. If I wanted any sleep, I was going to have to sleep outside. Before I went to sleep, I made sure to take my inhaler again. I was a bit wheezy after my first run, and my second run was basically an uphill climb (something I struggle with having asthma). Taking it before bed gave me a 4 hour window-2 puffs before first run, 2 puffs at bed, 2 puffs before the next run. Perfect plan.
Back to the “camping”: Turns out I kinda liked it! It was pretty cold outside-slept in my NUUN jacket, compression shorts, and long pants all bundled up in the sleeping bag. I loved sleeping under the stars and I really slept pretty hard. Our alarm went off around 4am I think. I’m guessing I got around 2 hours of sleep.
I went ahead and got ready at the van exchange/sleeping area because after Erin exchanged with Nicole, I was up to run again. My really hard leg was next.