Adventures In Running: Hood 2 Coast Pt 2

My first Hood 2 Coast continued...

The relay is over and I would bet people are already planning for next year.

I left off the Pt 1 post with the Wonder Women. This was the shirt for our team in 2004:


Because my family had been doing the race for years, I got to jump on board the team of mostly family members. I can't quite remember who talked me into it, but I know my cousin, Alyssa, and many of my aunts gave me great advice on how to train. My sister, Larisa, had done it the year before, and I wanted to try it.

I started long-distance running in college. After college (I had no job except jewelry-making at the time), I spent a month in Oregon visiting family and training on the hills around my aunt's house. There is one really huge hill that is the perfect trainer for a Florida girl coming to do Hood 2 Coast. I did a lot of stairs during the months leading up to my trip, which helped.

The relay begins at Timberline on Mt Hood. I was in van 1, leg 4. Each runner does three legs (three runs, if you will) over the 24 hours or however long it takes your team to run 199 miles. The distances for my leg were something like 6 miles, 4 miles, and 5 miles. That may have changed since then.

Thinking about it, I realize this happened eight years ago now. I do remember quite a bit about this particular Hood 2 Coast, and certain details especially stand out. Like my cousin, Tori, started us off and ran the steep decline from Timberline. She and her sister, Anna, were splitting leg 1 and Anna would be doing the last two legs. Later, I found out it was because Tori was pregnant with her son, Matteo! It amazed me when I heard, and I've since learned that some runners don't stop running until late into pregnancy. Hardcore!

My first leg went well. It was warm, but nothing I wasn't used to. Mostly, it was flat. However, as I approached the hand-off station, I noticed something. And as soon as I handed off the bracelet, I ran to the Honey Bucket. Yep, started my period.

So many things happened after that, but I'll try not to go into too much detail and gross anyone out.

First of all, cramping. I took Ibuprofen, which did help, but like most women, it pretty much just takes the edge off. After the six of us in van 1 all did our first legs, we got to shower, eat, and rest at my aunt's house. Getting to eat and sleep did help as well.

When it was our turn again (after the six people in van 2 all ran their first legs), we drove to downtown Portland for the hand-off from leg 12 to leg 1.

For my second leg, it had gotten dark. I think it was around 10pm. Runners are required to carry a flashlight during the nighttime legs. I wore a headlamp, which was kinda uncomfortable for me. In the future, I would prefer carrying a small flashlight to having it on my head.

I remember that this leg was a challenge. I felt tired, not energized as I had been for the first leg. Apparently, the second leg is often the most difficult. After already running once, you know you still have to run one more time when your turn comes around again. Mental thing, but also physical, obviously.

For now, I'll pause the story here just as we're getting to the gross parts. Which I will try not to tell in too much detail. Stay tuned! Next post will also contain the pics I took during the relay.