Race Report | Hood to Coast With Nuun Part II (The Race)

1150250_10101725276174613_2136966220_nJust about this time last week–it’s nearly 7 p.m. in PA at the moment–Van #2 of Nuun‘s Team Watermelon was gearing up to kick off our first legs of Hood to Coast. Thanks to the memories created in that (thankfully not too stinky) van, it’s been seven days, and I’m still feeling the #HTChangover. Damn.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of facing over 24 hours of van “sleeping,” Stacy’s and gummy bears doubling as dinner (although there was no complaining in my corner of the van about it!), and three mini races. And that’s just the start of it. A relay is like sleep-away camp crammed into 200 miles worth of running.  Even though you’re up for hours, the time flies by. You witness the sunset, and, though that nighttime run was exhilarating, you welcome the sunrise. At times you can’t keep your eyelids open. But after each leg, without fail you’re wide awake, high on life and endorphins. Somehow, when it all comes to an end, that van feels like home away from home and your teammates feel like family. Parting with both leaves a lump in your throat.

So now that I’m back to reality, I’ll try to capture what Hood to Coast with Nuun was really like without writing a novel. Onward to the ocean!

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After Van #1 crushed the first six legs down Mount Hood for Team Watermelon (and then were subsequently renamed Team Holly Roberts), our first runner, Meghan, got Van #2 on the road, rockin’ our team’s green sparkly skirt. We joined the parade of vans, slowing to cheer on Meghan with our duck boat quackers and cowbells. And then… she yelled this to us before we drove off to the next exchange:

Oh yeah, we were off to a good start. 🙂 Before I knew it, I was up to bat.

Leg 8 – 4.55 (Finish Time: 29:54, 6:36/mi)

Leg8

I knew going into Hood to Coast that I wanted to try to challenge myself and really race. However, when I saw that my projected time was in the 6:XXs, I thought, Man, there’s no way in heck I’ll hit that pace! My brain’s in slow marathon mode, so 6-somethings seemed fast. But once I got my bib on and saw Meghan cruising toward me baton in hand, the track runner in me took over. I set off out of the exchange–God forbid I start slower to actually let myself warm up a bit–and focused on keeping a steady pace, notching as many “road kills” as I could. (Side note: It’s sweet passing people in a sparkle skirt. Ask my teammates; they’ll agree!)

I felt alright, but it took most of the run to work the kinks out of my legs. I’d already been sitting in a van too long. Then just when I needed it, my van drove up beside me, music blasting, cowbells clanging. I’ll never forget seeing Casey grooving to the music while the girls cheered. I wish I could’ve captured their awesomeness from my perspective, but instead, here’s my (overly excited) reaction:

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Yup, b-e-a-Utiful.

I realized during my run that I had inadvertently trained for Hood to Coast while training for Marine Corps. For over a month, I’ve been doing speed workouts and two-a-days almost every week. Yes! Talk about a confidence boost. Maybe I could race this thing without killing my legs.

The sun was already setting when I finished, but I was thrilled when I caught a glimpse of Mount Hood in the distance from the exchange lot. It gave me chills to think that the girls had run alllll the way from its peak already. And this was only the beginning!

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1149027_10151604679727467_578312417_nWith the baton (a.k.a. slap bracelet) handed off to Laura, we set off for the next exchange. I took the opportunity to break open the trail mix and gummy bears, which made for a quality sugar rush to build on my post-run high. I also dove into the huge bag of Nuun tubes, otherwise known as the “Nuun bar.” We were all still very giddy with excitement each time our baton was handed off, not to mention the high-energy craziness that is getting to each exchange on time despite the darkness and vans-on-vans-on-vans traffic. It’s absolutely nuts, but Casey navigated like a pro from the gun. We all reported great first runs and it felt sweet marking off that first checkbox on the window.

One down, two to go.

Our first big break around 11 p.m. meant real food. It also meant my energy levels were taking a nose dive. We stopped at a bar/kid-friendly restaurant (it even had a play area, which we turned into a stretching spot) near Portland, briefly considered drinking a beer, thought better of it, then ordered some pre-run-friendly dinner. Mid-relay meals are always tricky: you want to eat a lot, but it has to sit well in your tummy for your next leg that’s only four or five hours away. I settled for some margarita pizza and kept chugging Nuun like it was my job so I’d stay hydrated. Dinner was delicious, but all I could think about was sleep.

I curled up and passed out the second we hit the road toward the next big exchange. I think I managed a couple hours of sleep before it was time for Van #2 to take over again. I was incredibly groggy, but I forced myself to wake up so I’d be alive once Meghan finished her leg. Our second round meant empty one-lane roads through the wilderness. Not only was it pitch black, but there was really nothing out there but the runners, vans and nature. It was wild.

Leg 20 – 5.75 (Finish Time: 44:18, 7:50/mi)

Leg20

My second leg was insane. Running in the darkness with only a flashlight or a passing van’s headlights to guide you is equally terrifying and thrilling. The adrenaline rush kicked in quick, which meant I, again, probably took off too quickly, especially because this leg was longer and quite a bit hillier. I’m not a huge fan of running in the dark–I got a nasty gash on my shin during a night run a few years ago–so I had to work to stay focused on the road ahead of me. Man, was it spooky running at 4:30 a.m. in the middle of nowhere. It’s silent other than the sounds of your footsteps and breathing.

The whole way up, I was so thankful for PA’s gigantic hills. They’ve made me actually enjoy running hills, so I had fun getting after it from start to finish. The only downside to this leg was running on a gravel road for the last few miles. It made seeing the now rocky ground that much harder, and I got a mouthful of dust that made my teeth feel gritty. Breathing was okay, but now I was grimy on the outside and inside. Yuck! The few times I was able to look up, though, and all I could see was a string of headlights climbing the road ahead of me. It was surreal and awe-inspiring. Definitely one of those pinch-me-can’t-believe-I’m-actually-doing-this-right-now-moments. Ahh it was incredible.

I was able to finish strong thanks to that lovely downhill, and with that, my favorite leg of the relay was over.

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I absolutely loved the second third of the race because the runners pretty much owned the road. By now it was daylight, and other than the vans, there were no other cars in sight for miles. So here we were, among thousands of other runners, racing through the night and into the sunrise from Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean. It was a remarkable human feat to witness and be a part of. You were near other runners the entire time, so it really felt like you were racing, not just running along alone with a bib number on.

We also became familiar with a other vans, some of which were flat out fascinating and creative. My favorite was the Superhero van, which had six huge flags emblazoned with superhero logos attached to its rooftop plus a cape coming off the back of it. The Bed Intruder van was also hysterical. Oh, and if you thought “Spit don’t swallow” on Van #1 was dirty, we saw plenty of vans with slogans that were way worse than ours (“My wife is doing my third leg” and “It’s too late to pull out” to name a few). That’s Hood to Coast for ya folks!

Since we had to follow the course for our second chunk of downtime, we got to cheer on a few of the girls from Van #1. We blasted Taylor Swift for Hannah, sang Ke$ha a capella for Mallory, and blew our duck quackers like crazy from the side of the road. Oh, and did I mention the now sun-soaked Oregon countryside is GORGEOUS!?!1239575_10151604681407467_1540288286_nI also loved this section because we had no cell service for over eight hours. It felt amazing to be able to unplug and take it all in. Every second of it. It also sparked the #tweetsfromwhenwehadnoservice hashtag. What can you expect from a bunch of bloggers without internet?

And then….the real traffic set it.

Leg 32 – 4.09 (Finish Time: 27:40, 6:42/mi)

Leg32

To make it to my last exchange on time to catch Meghan, I had to hop out of the van and run a half mile or so with Lisa. The quick jog was a blessing in disguise because I got to shake out and warm up my tired legs. Lisa also offered some wonderful words of encouragement that stuck with me for the whole run. This inspiring mother runner is a saint, that’s all I need to say.

I wanted to leave everything I had left out on the road for that final leg. My legs definitely felt the first two runs, but I tried to dig down and hold my pace as long as I could, soaking up every second. For the last time, my van pulled up beside me, this time blasting Justin Timberlake. Ahh, it made the run. Team Watermelon #Van 2 = My heroes.

I pushed it up one last insult of a hill toward the exchange, and with that, my three checkboxes were filled. The moment was incredibly bittersweet, rewarding, but sad. The race was almost over.

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For the final four legs, the name of the game was hurry up and wait. Traffic made getting to each exchange on time even harder, but our ever-patient driver Casey handled it all with skill. The warm sun was out now in full force, and Laura, Lindsay, and Lisa absolutely crushed their legs. We all squealed with excitement when we saw the Pacific Ocean peaking out from between the mountains.

1234842_10151604681882467_1212920787_nOnce Devon set off on Leg 36 screaming down the mountain toward the beach (left), our drive became a mad dash to the finish. Casey’s patience finally (and hysterically!) broke while we inched down the road to the shore. When we arrived, we all hopped out and sprinted through to the finish in time to meet Devon who had just crossed the line. We had made it.

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Ending our 200-mile journey on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, toes in the sand with a cold beer in hand, was perfect. I think it’s safe to say that we all took in every second of it, appreciating the significance of what we’d just accomplished and experienced together. Though we came from all over the country, here we all were watching the sunset over the ocean and the fireworks later that night together, not as strangers, but close friends. It was hard to believe that just a few days earlier, we were struggling to even remember each other’s names.

This relay encapsulated so many of the reasons I love running. We might’ve come from different backgrounds, but running unified us. It didn’t matter that our ages, abilities, lifestyles and goals weren’t the same. We’re all runners and that’s what mattered. We got to explore the Pacific Northwest on foot, which was even cooler than the Duck Boat tour through Seattle. We got to meet our online running community IRL (a term that Mason learned means “in real life”). I thought the girls were inspring enough through their blogs and social media, but they’re even more amazing in person (not that that’s surprising!). It makes me so happy that I can now call them my friends, not just my “twitter friends.” Running is usually considered an individual sport, but relays like Hood to Coast elevate what we do to another level with greater meaning. We couldn’t have done what we did without the tireless effort from every member on the team, gutting it out in our sparkle skirts from the first leg to the last. Again, I can’t thank everyone at Nuun for making it all happen.

With that, I can only hope that our paths will cross again! I’m SO thankful for the opportunity and yes, for social media that’ll keep us all connected until that day comes!

Here are more photos from the race:

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Want to read about my pre-race adventures in Seattle? Check out Part I of my Hood to Coast Race Report.

#HeardInVan2: “I feel like f-ing David Copperfield!” – @devonamills

“I can’t justify paying for chocolate.” – @shoenerd13

“Use your indoor duck!” – @devonamills

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Race Report | Hood to Coast With Nuun Part I (Pre-Race)

Before I dive into the Nuun-tattooed details of my epic journey in the Pacific Northwest, I gotta take a second to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to everyone at Nuun for giving me the experience of running Hood to Coast. It was the opportunity of a lifetime that is only getting sweeter the more I think about it. Megan, you pulled off the Herculean feat of corralling 36 women through what I’m sure was logistical hell. But it went off without a hitch and you did it all with a smile and a sparkly skirt. Casey–our fearless driver–you navigated that gigantic van with finesse (and just two curb kills!). Thanks for putting up with six crazy women, inspiring us with that pep talk before we left, and those delicious beers afterward. And Mason, thanks for making it all happen. You made us all feel welcome from start to finish, and I truly appreciate everything that you did for me and the other women. THANK YOU!

Hello Seattle! (a.k.a. The Land of Over 400 Starbucks)

1238155_10151604672272467_1710004976_nMy Hood to Coast journey began with the day that never ended. After a butt-crack of earliness departure with Hannah–we left Bethlehem at 3:30 a.m.–we landed in Seattle at 1:30, somehow still wide-awake and (almost) fully functional. We met up with a group of teammates–yep, we found each other via twitter–and went to Nuun HQ before taking a quick walking tour of downtown. We hauled ourselves up the hills toward the very first Starbucks, through the Public Market, and down beside the ferris wheel by the water, getting to know one another along the way. The trip had barely begun, and I was already having a blast.

Meeting a group of 35 other run-bloggers, some of which we knew by their Twitter handle instead of their real name, was almost like speed dating. I loved how we all quickly accepted that no one really knew everyone, but that didn’t stop us from striking up conversation over a few beers and bowling balls later that night. Heck, here was a group of women all passionate about one thing: running. And it bridged that awkward gap between strangers and friends faster than Team Cherry Limeade tore through 200 miles.

The first night in our hotel room, Lisa M., Lisa, Jenny and I all marveled over the fact that though we hardly knew each other, we already felt like close friends. We swapped running stories, compared notes about training (I learned that my fueling needs some umm….work), talked boys and marriage and kids, you name it until we had to cut ourselves off so we didn’t stay up too late. My mom said it seemed like we were all modern-day pen pals, which is totally right.

I might’ve only spend a few days with these women, but I can’t tell you how much I learned from them. They all carried themselves with confidence, poise, and grace. Since I was one of the youngest in the group, it was so neat to hear them talk about their experiences being mothers and wives and how they balanced it all with their running. Their advice and words of wisdom will certainly stick with me when I start following in their speedy footsteps.

The Nest and a Run Around Green Lake

1157453_10151604673172467_162739095_nOn Thursday morning the Nuun crew took a field trip to the Oiselle nest. Over the past year, I’ve been absolutely intrigued and impressed by what this tiny, innovative company has grown into. Between signing Lauren Fleshman and then having mid-distance stud Kate Grace make her mark at track Nationals, Oiselle is shaking things up in a good way. They’re not just in it to make stylish women’s running clothes (which ROCK by the way – I’d wear the Lux Layer we got all day every day if I could); they’re a group of real runners looking to inspire women and make a positive impact on the running community as a whole. So… you can imagine my excitement when we got to visit Oiselle.

Off the bat, we met the one and only Sarah Mac Robinson, a fast-as-I’ll-get-out runner whom I’ve followed on twitter for a while. She was as awesome and bubbly (and tall!) in person as I expected her to be. (And yes, I totally geeked out at her!) She took us on a quick run around Green Lake before bringing us back to meet Oiselle founder/CEO Sally Bergesen and the rest of the flock. Needless to say, I love the company and the women that make it happen that much more. Keep doing what you’re doing ladies!

The Duck Boat and Captain “Phlip”

1003390_10151604677567467_1825669548_n-1Before running the mother of all relays, we took part in the mother of all tourist activities: A duck boat ride through Seattle. Complete with quakers and a driver with a… colorful (?) sense of humor, a duck boat tour takes you through the city before literally driving into the water. Before we knew it, he had the whole “crew” waving plastic swords and toilet plungers at people on the streets, all while screaming “UFF DA!” whenever we passed one of the 400+ Starbucks that are sometimes literally across the street from one another. It was an admittedly cheesy, but hysterically fun way to sightsee.

“Water Our Melons” & “Spit Don’t Swallow”

1174896_10201349571353846_1084161609_nThose were the slogans that adorned Team Watermelon’s vans. (Believe it or not, they are hardly dirty compared to what we saw later on the course. Ha!) Thursday night, the teams transformed our white vans into fruit-covered masterpieces. We didn’t really decorate our van for my first relay, so it was way too much fun drawing a giant watermelon on the side of a van with my teammates Devon, Meghan, Lisa M., Lindsay, and Laura (and our driver Casey!). It was team bonding at its finest and it set the tone for the race.

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Speaking of the race, here’s Part II of my Hood to Coast Race Report!

More photos from the pre-race fun:

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#HeardInVan2: “I’m just so happy to be here, that was so amazing!” – @runwiki after completing her first leg

“We have an 8th person in our van. Her name is Stacy.” – @shoenerd13

“I found my strong at TJ Maxx.” – @TwistNRun

Packing List For Hood to Coast With NUUN

htc_300x300*** Update: This might be a tad old, but I have to say, this list totally worked. Comment below if you have any relay-related questions!

Okay, I can’t believe we’re only a MONTH away from the Hood to Coast relay with Nuun! It’s one of those things I forget about, then remember again only to become more and more excited. Oregon. Team Watermelon. So soon!

To keep me occupied until Hannah and I are finally on our West Coast-bound plane, I’m starting up this packing list (to build on this one, which also includes some tips) so I don’t forget anything. (I’m excluding the obvious things like toiletries, because, hey, we all know we need Body Glide!) I’ll keep adding to it as I think of things, and share your relay essentials, too!

1. iFitness belt (or something similar) – I carried my phone and emergency info in this just in case I got lost or had to stop. I also attached my bib to it so I didn’t have to pin/unpin it between legs.

2. Travel pillow – Sleep is key. This’ll help make that uncomfortable van a tad more cozy and make dozing off easier on the plane.

3. Car charger for your phone

4. Small towel and/or moist towelettes/baby wipes  Showers are rare, so a sweat rag is a must.

5. Flip flops – To wear between legs and in the shower if we get access to ’em!

6. Cozy clothes – Bring a sweatshirt/long sleeve shirt and sweats to change into when you’re done running. Again anything to make that van more comfy is essential.

7. Headlamp/reflective vest – Your van should provide this, but if you don’t feel like sharing sweaty gear, bring your own!

8. Three sets of running clothes – Unless you really want to pull on that stinky sports bra for round two. Pro tip from Lisa @runwiki: “Put each running outfit in a gallon-sized zip lock with the leg number on the outside. Then after you run a leg, put the wet sweaty clothes back in so that they don’t get your dry, non-running clothes wet.” ***YES! Pack your base layers (socks, undies, sports bra, singlet, and shorts) for each leg in ziplocks. Then after each leg, change into your next fresh set ASAP. Anything to keep you from feeling grimy is key.

9. Plastic grocery bags – To double as a laundry bag and keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones.

10. A layer for any weather – That means a water-resistant jacket, a slightly heavier top, maybe tights, etc. The weather can change drastically over the course of the race, so come prepared. Don’t get stuck running in freezing wind in just a singlet. 

11. 2 pairs of running shoes – Just in case it rains! (Via Jess at Blonde Ponytail)

12. Compression socks

13. Cap/sunglasses

14. Colgate Wisps – An easier solution to the toothbrush/paste and water bottle method. (Via Kimberly @healthy_strides)

And as tough as this may be (girls, I know we like to pack like this), bring only the essentials in as small a bag as possible. You’re sharing a van with six other people (and their stuff, too), so you’ll want to pack as lightly as possible.

What else should I add to the list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Friday Faves | I’m So FREAKIN’ Excited

Lots of pretty sweet stuff happened this week. Let’s get right to it:

  • We officially unveiled the July Boston Marathon cover of Runner’s World last night, which means I couldn’t be more excited to hear everyone’s feedback. We immersed ourselves in this issue for a full month. I’m so proud of what the staff produced. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at how the cover was created (yep, we voted on two cover concepts and put our ballots in a shoe box), check out our Editor-in-Chief David Willey’s note herecoverpadded
  • The only other Boston-related news I’ll share with you this week is this: Bombing victim Jeff Bauman and the man who saved him, Carlos Arredondo (better known as “The Man in the Cowboy Hat”), threw the first pitch at a Red Sox game. Couldn’t be happier to see these two grinning from ear to ear with joy. (Click on the photo to link to the video.)
  • I lied a little… had to share this, too. Fills my heart with joy.
  • Hannah and I booked our flights for Hood to Coast with Nuun! Which means it’s officially happening! I’m so FREAKIN’ excited.
  • Ummmm…I need this shirt. ** hint hint Mom and Dad, birthday’s coming up! hint hint **shop-homeboy-tee
  • This needs no explanation. Just watch. You’ll understand.
    which reminded me of this from college (watch from 1:25):
  • Here’s super fun “Flashback Friday” where @losingrace reviews her first five marathons, complete with highs, lows, and some insanely badass PR crushing.
  • “My big morning drama was … race morning poop! I didn’t have one. Where was it!? And more terrifying, where would it show up?! Hopefully not a mile 17. I would have given anything for a little race morning poop. But we were lining up and its chance was gone.” – @oiselle_mac from her hysterical race recap, which is one of my all-time favorites. (I’ve also had those EXACT thoughts before a race. Perfection.)
  • And I’ll end this post with this adorableness. Love it Jocelyn!

     

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” – Peter Maher

Big News! I’m Running Hood To Coast With Team Nuun!

htc_300x300Now that life has finally started slowing down, I ecstatic to formally announce that I’m going to be on Team Nuun for this year’s Hood to Coast relay! I couldn’t be more thankful and honored for the opportunity to create new, real-life bonds with a group of seriously inspirational women runners. And now that I’ve done my first relay, I know exactly how epic they are. In the words of Kristen Wiig from SNL: “I’m so FREAKIN’ excited!

If you’ve never heard of this race, Hood to Coast is a 198-mile long, 12-person relay from, get this, the top of Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean in Seaside… in OREGON! (I’ve been dying to go to Oregon forever now, so this fact alone makes me pretty darn happy). Not to mention it’s been dubbed the “Mother of all Relays.” Talk about the perfect setting for some Nuun-fueled scenic running and friendship forming!

Here are the official Nuun teams – I’m on Team Watermelon (heck yes!): 934997_10100500019249470_494126289_nLearn a bit more about my awesome teammates by checking out their blogs below:

Team Watermelon – 

Mallory – Run Eat Run Eat

Kara – Welcome to Karadise

Hannah – Fit Girl Happy Girl

Sarah – Run Far Girl

Catey – Random Thoughts from the Zoo

Meghan – Shoe Stories

Lisa – Run Wiki

Lindsay – Twisted Running

Devon – Dev on Running

Team Lemonade – 

Leslie – Triathlete Treats

Lisa – Lisa Runs for Cupcakes

Jolene – Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run

Andrea – the MF Dre

Kristen – Defy Your Limitations

Kimberly – Healthy Strides

Karen – Reason to Play

Jesica – runladylike

Jenny – We Wander and Ponder

Holly – Leaps of Faith

And here’s a shapshot of what my legs will look like (I’m so ready to take on that “very hard” middle leg!). Let’s go Van #2!Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.13.08 AM

Thanks again to Nuun for selecting me to your team! I really can’t express how excited I am to take part in what I’m sure will be an unforgettable weekend!

Now I’m certainly no relay expert yet, but since my first is still so fresh in my mind, here are a few tips, tricks, and FYI’s I learned at the Golden Gate Relay:

  • Invest in a travel pillow! It’s pretty small and will make the unfortunately very uncomfortable van a bit more bearable when you’re attempting to sneak some sleep in between your runs.
  • Also invest in your own headlamp…unless you’re into using a still-damp one from your teammates. Yuck! We’re going to get to know each other very well, but sharing sweat is a little too personal.
  • Pack for any kind of weather regardless of what the forecast says. I experienced both blazing heat and freezing, gail-force winds in a 30-hour period. It was lovely.
  • Bring cozy clothes and flip-flops for the time in between legs. You’ll want to shed those sweaty layers ASAP, and there’s nothing better than a dry, warm sweatshirt. Speaking of sweaty clothes, also bring a few plastic bags to dump those in post-run.
  • Because showers are few and far between, a small hand towel or moist towelettes are a must.
  • Eat real meals when you can, especially if you’ve got more than an hour or so before your next leg. It might not be your ideal pre-run food, but you’re body with appreciate something more than Twizzlers and crackers. That being said, also bring/buy foods that do work for you, too!
  • Same rule applies for bathroom breaks. Have the chance to use a real bathroom instead of a porta-potty? Use it.
  • Bring a car charger for your phone. For obvious reasons, you won’t spend much time near an actual outlet all weekend.
  • Give up worrying about your appearance (or body odor for that matter) from the start. We’re hardcore women running a relay, right! =) When I finally got to shower and looked in the mirror, I realized I looked like a frazzled, sweaty mess, but I figured, eh, whatever! Made that first shower that much sweeter, though!
  • Via Leslie at Triathlete Treats: When packing, pack all three sets of clothes in seperate big ziplocks and post-run just put the sweaty clothes back in the bag.
  • Finally, if you’ve never run a relay and have a question about running one that I didn’t talk about above, post a question in the comments section below! Add your own tip, too, if you’d like!  

QUOTE OF THE POST: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller

Friday Faves | Uplifting Moments

Here are a few things (a bit from this week and a bit from last) that made me smile, laugh, and warmed my heart:

  • I don’t know if I could love this cover of Boston Magazine any more. It’s downright perfect. Read about its conception from the magazine’s editor-in-chief here, and read Hannah’s interview for RW about it hereBostonMagCover_0
  • Speaking of shoes, some speedy women wore these kicks at the Boston Marathon:
  • Perfect. Y’all deserve a Boston Marathon spectators-sized round of applause.
  • Across the pond at the London Marathon…amazing support.BIZrP6CCcAA9di9

And the non-Boston related favorites of the week:

  • My girl Hannah at @fithappygirl is running her FIRST marathon at Big Sur on Sunday! Suppressing excitement over this. =D Read her pre-race post here.
  • This unexplainable video that’s produced many much-needed laughs this week:
  • And finally the belated BIG news: I’m on the Hood to Coast Nuun Relay team! I can’t tell you how excited I am to a) meet the rest of my awesome teammates and b) go to Oregon! AHHHHHHH! Happy news!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “I learned, one, you shouldn’t ever quit. And I learned, two, you’ll never be able to explain it to anybody.” – Jim Ryun

P.S. Headed to the Big Sur International Marathon today! Stay tuned for a Race Report!