Monday, August 31, 2009

Jock Strap in the Van, Take One

Top of Mt. Hood. The Race is On!


Our Team


Yeah I've been MIA, but my bad ass is back from Oregon's Hood to Coast Relay with stories to tell!!!! My first story is this:


197 miles
12 team members (Team Strands/Puma Cats)
21 hours, 37 minutes
30th place out of 1,004 teams
6:33 minute/mile avg pace

That's right. Go back and re-read it if you have to. I am going to milk those stats like nobody's business because this is the only time in my life I will have anywhere close to these bragging rights. I will have you know, I am personally responsible for bringing the min/mile average up (that sounds like it's a good thing, but "up" is definitely NOT a good thing in this situation). I'm glad my team mates all ran 5 min/miles so I could do my 7:30s and we could come away with a decent overall average.

For me 7:30 min/miles is phenomenal but when you're on a team with these ridiculous athletes, you kinda lose perspective. I thought to myself: shit what is wrong with me? I should be able to run 5 minute miles. It can't be that hard! I am such a loser. Again, you lose perspective over 21 hours and no sleep and a smelly van and elite athletes and too many Cliff Bars and no coffee and one too many porta potties that smell like the inside of someone's crotch.

My second story is: I did not defecate by the side of the road or in my pants. I did not have sharting or extreme farting in the van. In fact, I didn't poop for three days. When the race was done and we were in Portland drinking strong draft beer, things started moving through. I left some nice turd balls at Henry's in Portland.

So the experience!!! Chance of a lifetime. If I had not won this contest I would never find myself in a position like this. I can't thank http://www.strands.com/ enough for taking me along. If you haven't signed up with them on their social network/running/biking/fitness site you should. It was seriously like being transported into someone else's life.

We arrived to Portland and to meet up with our Puma team. We're given at least $400 worth of gear each including new training shoes, running jackets, running pants, tech shirts, t shirts, shorts, singlets, water bottles, etc. Because Ken and I are goofy this way we go back to our room and add up how much it's all worth cause the price tags are still on. Then we model it for each other. We keep looking at each other saying, "we are way out of our league." But it's fun anyway.






Next day we get in our vans and head up to Mt. Hood. Our team mates are studs. One runs for New Balance. Another is training for the Olympic Trials. I remind them that I ran my first marathon in 4:03 this year!!!! I'm sure they were really impressed inside. Hey ya'll look at me I am a stud too.

Our start time for the relay was 6:30 p.m. I was the 7th runner so it was about 10pm when I put on my headlamp and reflective vest (that's all I wore) and waited for my runner to show up with the baton. It was craziness standing on the side of the road with someone yelling out the team number as runners came in to you could grab the baton and go. I was so pumped to run I grabbed the baton, slapped that baby around my wrist and took off. About a half mile later I turned onto some back country Oregonian road with no street lights. No one around. It was eerie and surreal. I would occasionally get passed by some punk who thought he was cool passing a girl. I would scream at him, "Slow down you show off! What do you think this is? A race?"

I ran my heart out, literally. I left it on the side of the road, oozing. The course was so hilly for those 5.65 miles, but I felt I couldn't slow down. The team was depending on me. I was in a movie and the crowd was waiting for me and the girl in the wheelchair was going to get up and walk if I got there in a fast time and the band would be playing and fireworks would go off and everyone would put me up on their shoulders and....well, not really, but I booked it as fast as I could probably because I was afraid of being abducted, raped and left for dead on that road.

My next two legs went surprisingly well given I was going on no sleep and a steady diet of trail mix, Goldfish, and Twizzlers. After 21 hours ending up at the finish on the Oregon Coast was pretty damn cool.

And the van smell? Kind of like wearing a dirty jock strap like a mask for hours on end. I finished my first leg and promptly took out the Huggies and wiped myself down. No one else did this, and I didn't ever do it again. We all just stunk, pure and simple. With each hour and each run the stank increased. You kinda got used to it. Eau de schweaty nuts. I might bottle it.

We saw lots of clever van drag along the way:




Some of my favorite team names were: The Third Leg is the Hardest, the Rusty Trombone, the Dirty Sanchez, the Nads, the What's That Smell, the Case of the Good Runs, the Terds, the My Husband's Third Leg is Short...and the list goes on.

So I made it and lesson learned. Yes I'm waxing all philosophical on you. The richness of life is found in continuing to move outside of your comfort zone. Thanks for all of your support friends!!!!

36 comments:

  1. Awesome job and those stats are sooooo worth bragging about!
    Also, I am very jealous of all the free Puma gear! Enjoy! I totally prayed for you not to crap your pants, guess it worked, lol!!!
    Glad your back safe!!!

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  2. all i have to say is WOW. your stats are more than impressive. the puma apparel is AWESOME. and that experience looks like it was amazing. very jealous. congratssssss

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  3. Wow! It sounds GREAT. You did AWESOME. I would be more than intimidated running with people of that caliber.

    I am running a 12-person relay in February and looking forward to it more with every relay race report I read. My team consists of various bloggers I have met this past year or so. Fun times.

    I am glad you had a good time (and didn't have poop issues). Congrats!!

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  4. You're so awesome...love your recaps. Glad it was a great time and maybe someday you'll do something like this again? If not, well at least you got to do it this time and you'll always have the memories. I think I'm stealing your baby wipes idea though, also known as the how I can not smell on my way to class from the rec because although I seriously LOVE the way I smell when I work out, I don't think anyone else can even stand it

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  5. Awesome job girl! You deserve bragging rights for the rest of your life! Thats insane! :) I love and am quite jealous of all the puma gear! I totally would have sat down and figured it out too! Im all about free goods!!! Way to go! Great job!!!

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  6. That's crazy!! Congrats! What an awesome opportunity that you had, and it sounds like an amazing time!

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  7. Freaking awesome! Phenomenal recap and what a fantastic experience, not to mention great swag :D

    Congrats!!!!

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  8. "Strong Draft Beer" - Indeed!

    Brilliant report. Makes me want to go out and run a relay!

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  9. That was so much fun to read, especially the part about the dark road and no lights, I can totally picture it. 30th place out of over 1000?? Definitely milk those stats for all it's worth! CONGRATS, what an amazing experience!

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  10. So awesome! Looks like it was a blast and congrats on the speedy stats!

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  11. haha thats such a cool race report... sounds like an experience. We have a similar race here in KY, but I'll be doing 3 marathons around it, so I won't be able to participate.

    Great job on your times!!! 5 min/mile is just insanity!!! hehe good job again.

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  12. You are seriously awesome, woman!! Way to tackle it and not look back. Sounds like quite the experience. Congrats to your whole team. Freakin' awesome!!! Enjoy the swag, too.

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  13. Sounds like you had a freaking blast! Congrats on your most awesome race. I wish that I could run a 5 minute mile. Hell, I'd be happy if I could run a 7 minute mile! Way to go!

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  14. THIS is why I love to read blogs... what an awesome adventure!! This was a phenominal post. My heart was racing while I was reading through your commentary haha! I almost felt like I was there. You can TOTALLY hang with those bad-ass runners... you fall in the same category as them. 6 min miles?! YOU ARE INSANE!!! Way to go... I can't wait to hear more... don't leave us hanging!

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  15. Congratulations!! What an awesome experience. I am a little scared of the strong draft beer now.

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  16. Very, very impressive! What awesome stats to hold on to! And thanks for making me spit out my coffee all over my keyboard this morning- always a great way to start a day! :) Glad your intestine's survived and so did your heart! :)

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  17. AWESOME!!!! So, so awesome!!!
    Way to go "running your heart out." What an experience!

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  18. Beautiful! YOU ROCK and make me want to do the same thing!

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  19. Man a team finish of 30th in that race is STOUT!!!!! Great job and congrats.

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  20. Sounds like a great experience! I'm so glad you had fun and your team did great! Disappointed there are no good poop stories, though.

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  21. Nice job! What an awesome experience, and free stuff to boot!

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  22. Holy Smokes, Congrats to you and your teammates!!! Sounds like it was truly an incredible experience. Loved reading your post, you're such an entertaining writer.

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  23. You're amazing you!
    I really like the van scrawl and the creative team names.
    Congrats on completing a great relay!

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  24. Stumbled across your blog while searching for a t-shirt. Your relay story was inspiring and about what makes runners such a close family. We recently competed in a 203 mile relay (Texas Independence Run) from Gonzales Texas to the San Jacinto Monument in Houston. I was slated to be the van driver but after 2 people dropped i let them know i was able and more then willing to run as fast as i could for the 3 or 4 legs of the 203 mile course. It was an incredible event, even though our misdirections didn't set us on a winning course. What a great event, and i will always thank the elite group of athletes that inspired and cheered as i ran 8's to their 6's. We laughed and ran and now have lifetime friendships.
    Jenn in Corpus Christi Texas

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  25. Great job Beth! It was a pleasure having you with the group! These races are not ALL about speed. You are very positive person with great energy and enthusiasm...people with those traits lift the performances of everybody around them...elite or non-elite. Thanks for sharing the great recap!

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  26. LOVE your story! And hot damn those are awesome stats! Way to go!! You rock!!

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  27. This is AWESOME!!! I just found your blog - so I read all of the posts leading up to this race. Congrats on the Strands win - what an awesome lifetime experience!! I've heard Hood to Coast is a great relay - you are inspiring me to do one next year!! :)

    Happy Running - and I look forward to reading more!!

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  28. I'm so glad you got the opportunity to do this race. Sounds like something you'll never forget. Good times my friend. and 30th. Damn!!

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  29. Awesome job!! I can't tell you how many times reading this made me laugh. And made me want to do a relay!

    Thanks for the encouragement on my 20 miler. I needed it!!

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  30. What a great race report and an amazing opportunity!

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  31. What an amazing opportunity! I am so happy you got to do this. I just love the running community - how they are all so supportive, but zany, with great senses of humor :)

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  32. HEY! I just now logged back on and read your message. I didn't have a long run this weeknd; my coach wanted me to do a run test to see where I am at and to try and figure out my marathon goal pace. Next weekend is 14-15 miles. I feel like I am slightly behind because of my foot injury. I would love to do a long run with you sometime! I will travel to run; do it all the time. Let me know your plans over the next few weeks.
    Tara

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  33. i'm clearly behind on blogs. so i'm just now reading this, but all i can say is. AWESOME. OMG. AWESOME!!

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  34. just catching up (finallllly!)

    good lord that is a fast team!! WOW :) sounds like an awesome experience though!

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  35. Very Awesome! It gives me interesting on reading your story. Just keep on posting.

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