To Sum it Up #NUUNHTC

by Elizabeth on September 4, 2012

I have avoided this post because I really don’t want the whole NUUN Hood to Coast experience to be over.  But, I guess it’s time.  I figured I’d do my regular highs and lows and my overall thoughts.  And of course, share the bling!

How our team finished:

we were in a different division than the other 2 teams

I”m competitive, but this really didn’t seem to matter.

The bling:

I didn’t run this race for the race bling. But, I will say, I expected more.  It’s kinda small and the lanyard is plain. Very Rock n Roll like. Still cool to get one-even though I kinda felt like I didn’t deserve it.

Loves

NUUN

Getting to try 2 new top secret NUUN flavors

My team-all 36 of them plus the drivers. Not just the 12 I was with during the actual relay.

The volunteers

clean port-o-potties (or honeybuckets as they are called in the PNW)

Some new to me products: Tiger Tail, Picky Bars, Endorphin Warrior Bracelet, Handana, Swiftwick, Road Noise Vest and the many other sponsors (more to come soon).

Mason pouring the new flavors!!

Not So Much

This damn injury

Other notes about the relay:

Our start time was really late (2:30) which meant all of my legs were run at “normal” running hours. 8pm, 630am, 3pm. I didn’t have an opportunity to run at 1am. Not saying it’s a bad thing-just stating the facts. This also meant that the course was more spread out and not as many opportunities to see other runners.

I eat A LOT. And I have a picky stomach. I need to figure out more of “what works” in terms of food for relay.  Next time I will try PB & J sandwiches.

Bring dryer sheets for the van (or febreeze). That thing smelled awful by the time we finished. This was/is my Dad’s trick. When the car gets warm, so will the dryer sheets-it will smell like laundry instead. Hopefully the car gets warm enough to get rid of that sweaty smell. :)

I hate to say the race is a bit of a blur. It was absolutely beautiful.  But it all seemed to go by so fast! I hope I have the opportunity to run it again to capture it all.

The overall.

Where to begin. I know I have recapped the “facts” of my experience but to put the rest of it into words is such a challenge.

I am beyond grateful for this experience.  Two things really made it so special.

The Company. Getting to be on a team that was sponsored by NUUN was already pretty freaking cool.  Working with the people of NUUN made it even better. I love the culture, the people, the passion, the overall happiness.  Every single person I came in contact with from NUUN was so genuine.  Each and every one of them went above and beyond. The food, the beers, taking care of my injury, the fun. ALL of it. Seriously not enough thank you’s in the world.  I mentioned a lot of it on my previous post-but perhaps the biggest shout out goes to Caitlin. She was our “go-to” from Day 1 and was our point person.  She organized transportation, rooms, food, vans, clothes, sponsors, etc. I know it had to have been stressful-and it all seemed to go off perfectly.  Thank you Caitlin!

The Ladies. I will admit, I set up a blog roll in my BlogLovin feed after we were chosen so I could “get to know” as many people before the race as possible.  I thought I knew what to expect. But obviously, they all blow the “blog personality” away in real life. I loved that NUUN gave us the opportunity to meet/hang out with people other than those in our van.  Sure, I wish I could’ve had just a little more time with everyone.  The weekend goes by so fast!  I didn’t expect to hit it off with so many people-honestly, it was a bunch of women-and you know how that can be.  But it was the COMPLETE opposite.

I loved that everyone left their egos at home.  The race wasn’t about how fast each person could run. It was about the experience.  Some were faster than me, some were slower.  I was never made to feel inferior (by speed or past experience).  Honestly, it didn’t feel like a “race.”  We were there to run. To have fun.  To EXPERIENCE it all.  It was about giving it EVERYTHING you had on that course. There were some running sick, running on an injury, and hell, like me, running to an injury.  Some were running through some tough personal experiences and passings of loved ones, some got lost on the course along the way.  Some had scares on the course (sketchy homeless). Either way, no matter the story, it was nothing but support.  It was about being part of a TEAM. Lots of cheering, lots of high fives, lots of cowbells. LOTS OF LOVE.

It was really powerful to be around women like this.  The really cool thing? Everyone is so different, yet so alike. Some married, some not, with kids, without, working, not working, etc. We all love to run (and spread the NUUN love).  We all run for different reasons, we all have different goals. But it didn’t matter.

I left, even with the injury, feeling inspired.  KNOWING I can accomplish my big, huge, scary running goals. These ladies have done it, or are doing it, and so can I.  I started friendships with 30+ awesome gals that I know will last for years to come.  I have places to visit (and run). They all know they have a place to stay when they head South too.

I still feel like what I’ve written can’t quite describe it the way I want to, or can put how I feel into words.  Hopefully it comes close.

Thanks to each and every one of you for cheering me on, believing in me, and picking me up when I was down.  Love you all.

Kim and Zoe helping me to the bathroom.  This sums up the friendships and the race.

want to read more HTC recaps? Katie (MLRB) made a link up

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine September 5, 2012 at 12:34 am

The last picture gave me goose bumps. Sorry this injury happened, but so happy you had a team who supported you and helped you out. You deserved this medal!

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Jennifer F September 5, 2012 at 1:18 am

You totally deserve the (agreeably kinda lackluster) medal out of any of us in the van. You were so upset (rightfully) about the ankle and “letting us down” (which you totally didn’t). Just when I didn’t think you were going to bounce back from the blow, you were laughing and cheering us on. Plus, I have to admit, it was funny to see Tyler running in plaid cargo shorts :-)

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Sarah OUaL September 5, 2012 at 5:03 am

Concur x10 on “the ladies”. I was admittedly surprised (and thrilled, obvs) at how well everyone got along. Not that I expected we wouldn’t, I just never imagined we’d click as well as we did. It was overwhelming at times to have so many amazing people to befriend – I wanted to split myself into 50 pieces and get fair play time with EVERYONE! But I guess that gives us all a reason to get back together :)

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Jocelyn September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Great summary! I agree with lots of your final thoughts. I also added everyone to my blog reader after they were chosen and its really interesting to see how people are the different/same then on their blog! Not in a bad or good way…just different. Also its great now to hear everyone’s voice…so now I can really understand when they right their posts!

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Kim @ (Just) Trying September 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Aw, I’m glad it worked out so well, in spite of the injury. I, too, am touched by that last picture.

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Tasha @ Healthy Diva September 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I loved the shirts this year and the medal is a million times better than last year. Last year the medal was super small and really ugly. Not that I run for the medal per say, but it would have been nice if it looked cooler.

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Ricole Runs September 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I don’t want it to be ooovvveeerrrrr!!!! And I gladly would have switched my 3am leg with you – I don’t like runnin in the middle of the night! Creeeeeppppyyyyy!! Especially when you’re all alone!

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Jac @ Challenged & Running in the Bike Lane September 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Such an amazing experience. I love the picture of your teammates helping you to the restroom!

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Corey September 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

You did a great job of putting this into words. It is so hard to express the fun, emotions, appreciation, etc but I love this post. I wish we could rewind and live the amazing weekend all over again.

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Suzanne September 11, 2012 at 1:10 am

It certainly sounds like this was the experience of a lifetime and you had a great time not just running the relay but meeting everyone and enjoying every moment of the weekend.

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