Tag Archives: Hood to Coast

Long Distance Friends

22 Aug

It’s been a busy week and with no signs of slowing down I thought I’d pop in for a quick update.

Heather and I during our fabulous Californian spring break. Hello, blondness! c.2007 

My friend, Heather, is here.  Well, she’s in Portland, but I get to see her tomorrow afternoon when we pick her up in the big van for Hood to Coast.  She flew all the way out here to race with Team Platypus.  I should have been packing, but instead I sifted through old photos on the computer.

In 2004 we were both brand new teachers, Heather got a job teaching 2nd grade at the school where I had just taken a job teaching 3rd.  It wasn’t until two years later when I moved to 2nd grade that we became close.  Some people you just click with and we just did.  Heather is someoen you can laugh with and cry with and spill your guts to and she never judges you.  She’s the kind of person that still sends snail mail and once had a big, dried beetle on her desk.  I also give her credit for getting me hooked on running.

Monument Avenue 10K c.2009 – I had a bum knee and I was pretty slow, but she ran with me anyway.

Heather was the person who told me I should definitely run a 5K, then 10K, then 10 miler, and last year she even encouraged me to do this crazy thing called Hood to Coast.  So it’s really special for me that she’s here.  I should also mention that she is an amazing runner!

Meeting brand new Abigail c.2010

We don’t talk that often, but it doesn’t really matter.  Our friendship has always been carved a little deeper.  We aren’t the same person, but we understand each other.  Maybe it’s from working so many hours together teaching and creating, maybe it’s because she cries over all that happy, sappy, and sad stuff just like me, or maybe it’s because we were just destined to be friends – whatever the reason I’m glad she’s a part of my life.  It’s extra sparkly when she’s around.

Heather and Gregg’s wedding c.2010


If you want to know more about Hood to Coast you can check out these posts I wrote last year.





Hood to Coast: Part 2

29 Aug

There is really no possible way to describe Hood to Coast. It is just something you have to experience for yourself.

For me it was . . .

Two vans of 6 runners each – many of whom were strangers at the beginning and friends by the end.

Driving to the top of Mt. Hood before the sun rose as a thunderstorm pounded down rain and hail drenching the earliest runners we passed.

Rolling down a window and cheering for your teammate before you drove away to meet them at the next exchange.

Running seven miles down the highway and trying to remember the wise advice you were given to “relax and go with it” and sending up a prayer to please, please let my leg stay pain-free.

Counting the people you pass while racing and adding tally marks to the back window of your van under the word “Roadkill.”

Recounting race stories and running adventures as you drove.

Slapping the H2C bracelet on as you started a leg.

Running the hottest, most intense 4.25 miles you’ve had in a long time (without water because that distance is just lovely in the coastal climate you are used to) and wondering how you’ll make it to the end.

Passing on the H2C slap bracelet after finishing that brutal leg as your teammates hand you 2 waters: one to dump on your head and one to drink.

Using more portapotties than you care to remember.

Eating and drinking from a cooler for 2 days.

Sleeping for a couple hours (or at least trying to) in a field under the stars as dew collected around you.

Putting on a headlamp, reflective vest, and LED flasher because it’s 2 AM and you’ve got 3.75 miles to run.

Jumping out of the van a mile before the exchange with the official stopwatch and jogging to the start because the van traffic wasn’t moving and the teammate you need to meet just ran by.

Vans and SUVs and runners for days and days and miles and miles.

A big beach party with not only the rest of your team, but the thousands of other finishers, followed by a quiet, sleepy ride home.

A test of physical and mental endurance.

One of the best experiences of my life.

Hood to Coast: Part 1

24 Aug

In April I set a goal of completing the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon. I printed a training plan, taped it to my fridge, and I ran and ran. I stretched. I strengthened. I started feeling like myself again. I ran down 101. I ran hills and trails and beach and bayfront. And as I’ve mentioned before, Abigail was my #1 training partner. But a toddler is not going to text you or call you when it’s time to go for a run. If I didn’t feel like running the only person I was letting down was myself.

I was a faithful runner, but about halfway through my plan, when the mileage increased I started to have pain in my right leg. I got discouraged. I cried. I called my sister vowing that I was giving up. It was stupid to think I could even accomplish this in the first place. But Emily wasn’t having any of that nonsense. She gave me a routine to help strengthen my leg and made sure I was stretching enough. I took 2 days off and when a new week started I was back to running. My leg felt okay, but I still had pain. I started biking and stretched even more and my leg surprisingly took a turn for the better. I was still very nervous about the 13.1 miles I had committed to run the first weekend of September. I was glad I hadn’t really told anyone I was doing it because at this point I didn’t know if I could. There is nothing worse than that feeling of failure.

And just when I was ready to give up on the half marathon something pretty amazing fell into my lap. The doorbell rang and there was opportunity with a smile on its face. I was being offered a spot as a replacement runner in a local Hood to Coast relay team.

Um, excuse me. Hood to Coast. THE relay?!

The two events were back to back. Hood to Coast one weekend and the Half Marathon the following. I wasn’t sure I could do both. I was going to have to choose. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was no way I was saying no to Hood to Coast.

My team and I are heading to Portland tomorrow afternoon. At 3:30AM on Friday morning we will drive to Mt. Hood for our 5:45AM start time. Over the course of 30 hours the 12 runners of Team Platypus will collectively run 200 miles until we reach the beach in Seaside, OR.

I’m running legs 4, 13, and 25. Mileage is 7.18, 4.18, and 3.75 respectively. Will I be running the half marathon the following weekend? It isn’t likely. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball that you get to knock out of the park. I’m glad I did all of that training because I was ready. Which makes it feel like this was the race I was supposed to do all along.

I’ll be back on Sunday with a full report, and if I’m not it’s because I’m still sleeping. Because something tells me I’m not going to be getting much of that…

Go Team Platypus!