|At the start - Mount Hood!|
I was lucky enough to be part of one of nuun's three teams, After-nuun Delight. I loved that name. Like, loved it. Just scandalous enough to get laughs, but looked seriously tame next to vans with team names like "My Third Leg is Hard." I don't want to get sappy here, guys, but if you look past the erection jokes (COME ON. You KNEW I meant that third leg) you'll see that I truly had the experience of a lifetime.
I have the tendency to be a cynic at times. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with this whole event. Eventually, I was going to be forced to talk to someone I hated, or be shoved into doing something I didn't want to do, etc. In reality, that never happened. I already love nuun products, but loving the product does NOT mean you will love the employees. But then I did. I am semi-convinced that they were faking it the entire time, because no company is THAT nice when running on zero sleep and being forced to poop in porto-potties for 36 hours. At least, I'm not that nice. But they were.
|Van 1 Team Night! L-R: Mason, Lauren, Caroline, me, Robyn, Susan and Shanna|
It's getting long, and I'm getting sappy. But straight up: there is no experience like this, and I am incredibly grateful for everything that nuun did over the course of the weekend. Especially Mason, our van driver/midnight runner extraordinaire. I met tons of people, ate roughly 16 pounds of gummy bears, formed bonds with my vanmates and had my first solo night run.
Oh, you guys read this to hear about running? My bad. I'll try to focus. I ran three legs, and here are the recaps of each:
Run #1 (Leg 3) - 3:45 PM Friday
My Garmin says that this run was 4.4 miles and that I ran an average of 6:50 pace. Obviously, my Garmin is on crack. That's all wrong. Sorry to people who thought I mysteriously got super fast. The ACTUAL numbers for this run were : 3.93 miles, 29:12 and a 7:25 average pace. It was gorgeous, paved roads and, um...straight downhill. Damn. I was hoping to avoid that detail. Yes, it was the perfect gradual incline at the perfect temperature and is undoubtedly the fastest I will run ever. And holy crap it felt so amazing. If all running felt like this, I would do it all day, every day.
Run #2 (Leg 15) - 1:30 AM Saturday
This run was right outside of Portland and was the one that scared me the most. For starters, it began at 1:30 AM. Anyone who knows me should realize that A) I am never even awake at that time, and B) If I am awake, I'm sure as hell not running. Luckily, adrenaline kicked in and helped me through. I did, however, have a minor battle with the reflective vest I wore, which scraped me up pretty badly. Other than that, it was fantastic. I couldn't really see my pace on the Garmin in the dark, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out at the result was 7.24 miles in 1:01:59, for an average pace of 8:32 I have to say that at this point, my legs didn't really hurt like I was expecting them to. The terrain was rolling hills, but it never really was a problem.
Run #3 (Leg 27) - 11 AM Saturday
So here's where things got interesting. At this point, I had slept sitting up in the van for about 2 hours, and I was exhausted. And feeling a little "off", stomach-wise. I ate some Pepto Bismol and told myself to just shut up and deal with it. Unfortunately, just stepping in and out of the van was challenging around this point. The course was rural and beautiful though, and I just kept on keeping on until the end. Total miles: 5.6 in 51 minutes for a 9:06 pace. I swear I was sprinting to the finish, but it may have been something closer to 10 minute miles. Whatever. Details.
Well, there you go. I swear, it seemed longer than that in person.
I know part of the process is thanking people for the swag. And man, was there some swag.
I can't even handle that right now, but I will say that a) nuun rocks my socks off, b) Tiger Tail is better than the Stick (in my honest opinion) and c) Sparkle Skirts may seem silly, but they aren't annoying and they did a great job of keeping us noticeable and looking like a team. Will I go buy myself the whole rainbow to wear for races? Nope. But I sort of, kind of loved them for this event. Sssshh. Don't go telling anyone and ruining my hardcore cred. (P.S. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm not even the tiniest bit hardcore, nor do I have anything resembling this so called "cred" that gets spoken of.)
Cliffnotes Version: I ran Hood to Coast. I love nuun. I got swag. I made friends. I wore a sparkly skirt and liked it. I toured Washington/Oregon in a van and visited 5+ Starbucks destinations in 3 days. I had the time of my life.
Have you ever done a relay? Do you ever plan to?
More importantly, who wants to invite me to join their team? I bring good snacks and sing "Call Me Maybe" loudly on a regular basis. How could you NOT want 36 hours of that?
Sparkle skirts. Discuss.
First response: gag me with a spoon.
Second response: no seriously, gag me.
After trying one on: hmm...these are kind of cute, I guess.
After running first leg: yep, love the skirts. Feel pretty. Need a tiara to complete the look
After running third leg: f'in skirt. No more.
Overall verdict: Fun accessory for a team run or a themed run. They make you stand out and get noticed, if that's what you are after. After 36 hours, you will probably hate it.