Tomorrow...two weeks....pretty much how things are working out here lately. Yowza.
On to the good stuff.
Friday morning started nice and early for us van one people.
The three other ladies in my room were all van two people, so they were planning to sleep in a little while I got up early. Well, mostly. Allison is a super early riser anyway, so for her getting up at 5 something was sleeping in! When my alarm went off all three of my roomies were sleeping. The winner part here is that I forgot to switch my alarm, so it was a duck quacking. Who *doesn't* want to hear that super early in the morning? Nice. Though quite fitting after the whole Ride the Ducks thing.
I was smart enough to get all of my things into my backpack so that I could quietly sneak across the room-by the light of my phone-grab my backpack and get to the bathroom so I could get ready without disturbing the sleepers. Without disturbing them anymore than the duck alarm did anyway.
Thinking ahead, good! Forgetting that I left my clothes for Friday morning laid out separately and not in the backpack, bad.
I snuck back across the room and grabbed my clothes, nice and quiet.
I snuck back across the room to the bathroom, went to gently set my backpack down just inside the bathroom door aaaaand knocked over the metal bathroom garbage can on to the tile floor with a big crash. Not so quiet.
And don't worry, after getting myself dressed and ready to go, I snuck back out of the bathroom and grabbed my suitcase to drop off at Nuun HQ, was doing great with the being quiet again....until I was getting out the door and dropped something and crashed again, slamming the door to boot. Superfantastic.
I'm sorry I'm a super klutz who has a weird alarm. Thank you for not hating me (I hope) because of it.
I would have felt defeated with that kind of start to the day, but it's pretty typical for me, so no biggie.
Met up with all of the other van one people in the lobby, and after a few minutes of chatter we were loading up in the vans and on our way out!
The drive to Mt Hood was fabulous. I wondered how the personalities in our van would mesh. They were all fabulous people (which should go without saying at this point) but none of us had spent much time together so we didn't know each other terribly well yet. It took all of about 23 seconds for us to jump right into conversation and I don't think it stopped the entire drive. It was so great! We talked about little things and big things. We talked about Sarah's Jack and everything they have been through in the last year (check out the amazing things she is doing to raise funds for CHAD), which naturally led conversation to everything with Sam. Having told his story so many times over the past few years, it's usually just part of the conversation. I was a little taken aback that I really shared everything about his story and ended up crying too. (at least I wasn't the only one teary, right?) Obviously I felt super comfortable with all of these wonderful people to let that out.
Before we knew it (but after a Starbucks stop of course) we were at the point on the road where we were driving through where we would run our first legs.
And then, there it was.
Met some legends.
And before long it was time for Megan to set out on the first leg screaming down the mountain.
It was amazing to me how quickly everyone's first legs went by.
Sarah took off and my legs were starting to get really antsy. After sitting in the van all day and watching everyone else head out, I was so ready to run!
Thankfully I had enough time to loosen up my legs a little bit before she got there, and I was ready to fly when she did!
Fun moment in the few minutes I had before starting my run-I was walking over to the exchange chute and another team was scrambling to get their runner 6 over as their 5 came in sooner than expected. As she was running over she turned around and yelled "Are you Catey?! I read your blog!" I felt all special. Though I never caught up to her on the run I was able to meet her at the next exchange, so that was super fun! Hi Heidi! It was great to meet you!
And look-I was so fast my leg was blurry.
And then there was the cheering, and the next green sparkle skirt up ahead.
We scarfed down food and hit the road again, heading off through the dark.
After sending Megan off on her second leg and climbing back in the van, I realized it would be a good idea to attempt some sleep before I was to run again.
Bonus to being a mom: you've been so tired at so many awkward hours, and grabbed sleep in all sorts of weird spots in effort to keep a newborn/infant/toddler/preschooler asleep, that propping yourself up in the back corner of a van and dozing off really isn't as challenging as it once may have been!
I have a few fuzzy memories of people heading out on their runs in the night, but I will admit that I slept pretty well considering the circumstances!
As we pulled in to the exchange where I would begin my next run (also a Safeway right there ironically), I awoke to find that a couple of other ladies in the van were not feeling well. Stomach problems were taking over. Aside from feeling absolutely awful for them, I got worried. Had it just been one person I would have chalked it up to bad luck. But since it was multiple people, and everyone happened to have eaten salad at dinner....I was a little nervous. I was looking at the ladies curled up in the fetal position on van benches and felt so bad for them! I hoped it wouldn't last too long for them (and honestly, hoped it wouldn't hit me as well!), and stepped out into the misting rain to wait for Sarah.
All suited up in my nightgear I headed out for 5ish miles uphill. Thankfully it wasn't the brutal uphill that awaited the van two runners on their night legs, but it was a nice steady incline for the whole leg. I pretended I was at home running my favorite gradual uphill stretch (except I was running through civilization here instead of fields like at home).
I started out feeling good, and kept on feeling good. The misting rain felt great, and the temperature was nice. Such a great middle of the night run! I really do love this part of relays-there is something so liberating about running through the dark.
I passed a few people in the beginning, one being a woman that caught up to me again about halfway through. At first I was annoyed because at that point she was trying to push a little ahead of me, then would drop back just a step or two behind me, then back up a step or two....I don't love leapfrog. But after leapfrogging a handful of times, she finally settled in just beside me. At first race mentality kicked in as I realized that she was breathing hard and would struggle to keep that current pace so I was thinking I would hold her there for a bit and then take off. But then I realized that I would lose some of my push to keep my pace if I dropped her, and running with company in the dark was kind of nice. Plus her headlight was much brighter than mine.
So we hung together for the rest of the run. Neither of us spoke, except to thank the volunteers and offer encouragement when we passed others. Until the last quarter mile or so when I realizes she was starting to drop back. I turned around and encouraged her to hang in because we were close and I needed her to keep pushing me. She obliged and we both kicked it up a notch. Running in to the chute together was great, she grabbed me immediately and thanked me for staying with her. I returned the thanks for motivating me to hold my pace and for keeping me company. It was exactly what we both needed.
Run 2: 5.2 mi, 41:08 (7:55avg), 11 roadkills and no stomach problems. Hallelujah!
I channeled my inner "it's the middle of the night and I really don't care" and changed out of my nasty sweaty clothes in the middle of the field/parking lot. Well, not the middle, I was kind of hunkered down in front of the van to stay out of headlights and satisfy my prude side. Then I climbed back into my little back corner of the van and fell asleep again. I was getting more sleep on this trip than I do in a normal night at home! Yes!
We awoke in yet another field (notice a pattern?), parked next to this loveliness.
After an epic wait for a bathroom-yes, that is just part of the line
We made it in time and send Mallory off on her last leg. Thankfully she was feeling better. She killed it again.
She finished up and Kara was off...this poor girl was not feeling better. Well, she was I guess, she wasn't puking anymore so that was good. But poor Kara had been sick all night and was literally running on empty. She tackled her last run like a champ despite the dry heaves hitting her midway through. She was a trooper and still was only a couple of minutes off her projected time! Props.
This leg went mostly downhill, a few quick uphills in the first two miles, before it veers off for a real uphill before the big down starts. This was such a beautiful leg.
There was a super long line up of vans again and I passed our van probably a mile from the exchange. I was just hoping van two was already there waiting for me!
Thankfully they were, and I handed off to speedy Meghan. Run 3 done. Great feeling.
Run 3: 5.35mi, 38:48 (7:15 avg) 22 roadkills. Yes I was counting!
And that was it. Our running was done. The rest of our team still had 6 legs to finish up to bring us to the finish line of course, but our part was done. So wonderful. So much fun.
We headed off to Seaside where we would meet the rest of our team and the other Nuun teams to gear up for the big finish.
(after stopping at Starbucks on the way of course)
One more installment...too much fabulousness to cram into this.