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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My racing calendar

This is easy.
It's short.
I haven't made any long-term racing plans, because I'm not ready for the mileage and NOT ready for the speed.
The only race I have? The end of this month. Hood to Coast!
A friend asked me last month and I cringed...I was afraid I'd eventually get this question. I just didn't know how to answer! I kind of wanted to do a relay, just to check it off my list, but I also think it will be hard on the ol' body. I finally got pressured into saying yes, which I did while David was gone on a 3-day silent prayer retreat. That sounded like the perfect time to sign him up, too, so I did.
Poor man. He puts up with a lot.
I've never done a relay and I don't exactly know what I'm doing, so if anyone has any advice for me (packing, nutrition, training) PLEASE share!
One thing I want to try doing is running with food in my stomach, since this is something that is usually a problem for me. I ran 3 miles on Sunday with a pork chop in my gullet and felt like death, so I have work to do.
Any advice or suggestions? Let me know!


  1. Hahaha. The pork chop thing made me laugh. Maybe ease into it? Like with gentler foods: bananas, yogurt, oatmeal, bagels, etc. Jumping right in with a slab of meat sounds awful!

  2. I loved Hood to Coast. Do separate ziplock or drawstring bags for each running leg. Outfit, everything you'll need (except watch, and I actually wore the same shoes for each leg). I can basically guarantee you'll love it. I was runner 12, I think there might be posts on my site about it. So I ran PM into Portland, then a morning run, then the finish!

  3. HTC is fun, but some logistical challenges. :)

    - Be prepared for some temp swings (it gets a little chilly at night). I'm always freezing at night, so I brought sweats/sweatshirt. Having a blanket or two per car can be helpful, too.
    - Organize between car occupants to avoid duplicates, excess.
    - Compression socks are prob your friend.
    - It will be super crowded for the first 100 miles because there is a relay/other race that joins. Things thin out after that. You'll want to drive straight to next relay point each time, as traffic can be bad, and parking congested. We hit traffic in downtown Portland for one leg, so make sure your runner is ready to go and can hop out of car if needed to make exchange.
    - I put each run's complete outfit into ziplocks so that they're all together and ready. (bra, shirt, socks, shorts) Then, put that dirty set back into bag when changing to avoid stanky err-thing syndrome.
    - Bring flip flops to wear in car between legs.
    - The more headlamps your team has, the better. Nothing worse than putting on a pre-sweaty headlamp.
    - Bring small massage item (stick or tennis ball) to work out lumps and bumps without taking up a ton of space.
    - Bring a lounging outfit to change into between legs/sleeping (you're not always going to want to immediately put on your next running outfit).
    - Bring PB sammies or apples or other easy foods for the car - we stopped along the way for lunch (I think burgers, once), & some larger stops have food.
    - Save big meals for larger, van-switch breaks, and eat as soon as you can within that break to give your body time to digest. You'll usually have a few hours between van exchanges.
    - Eating strategy = runner # dependent. For ex, I was runner 1, so if I ate at beginning of major van switch, I usually had 2-3 hours before next run, but if I had been runner 6 and ate during major van exchanges, I would have had twice that time (the entire other van's runners, plus all of mine would run before I had to run again).
    - Regardless of where you fall in running line-up, if you eat immediately after each leg (either in car or big meal), you'll have hours and hours and hours before you have to run again. If you're worried about eating and running, just plan on grazing and avoiding big meals entirely (totally doable in the car or along way).
    - Consider baby wipes for the car to quickly refresh on the go, but expect to be a little grungy. I've never showered during a relay (seemed weirdly luxurious and a little weird), but they are available at various larger stops.
    - Sleep whenever you can, because you won't often get the chance.
    - Bring a car charger for phone.
    - We all limited our luggage to one small bag for non-race items, and then placed those in the trunk underneath anything we might need to access for the race (food, etc.). The stuff we actually needed during the race went into another small bag that we kept in the main car area for easy access. Hauling things out of suitcases in the back is time-consuming and frustrating.
    - Try and always have someone awake with the driver. Fender benders, etc. happen towards the end because the roads get narrow, backed-up, and you have super sleepy runner-drivers.
    - Have fun with it. On one leg in Portland, there was a brewery handing out cups of beer along path. I totally took one and didn't die and it was a fun story that added to experience.
    - Get out of the car whenever possible to stretch your legs a bit, and rotate who gets front seat (usually we gave front seat to runner who just finished leg).

    Best of luck, and have a blast!! -- Hillary

  4. I second the lighter food options. Pretzels, Bananas, plain toast. Food that is easy to digest, and in small portions.

    I would also bring a poncho or old heat sheet from a previous marathon. In between legs, you might want to throw yourself on the ground/grass to stretch and or sleep.

    Do you guys have a cool team name? It's gotta be better than team cherry limeade.

  5. I've heard that Hood to Coast is an amazing experience! I hope your body tolerates all of those miles ok - and running on a stomach with food in it! My sister and her husband have done 3-4 Ragnar relays and they just love them. I don't think it's for me as I'm not fun to be around AT ALL when I'm sleep deprived and considering the fact that I can't sleep in my own bed, I think sleeping in a van would be darn near impossible... but for less rigid/more flexible people it sounds like a very fun experience!

  6. Such a fun race! I would recommend bringing lots of smaller snacks that you like such as trail mix, bars, pretzels, peanut m&ms, PBJ. Etc that you can snack on as you may not have a chance to really eat and digest a meal depending on how fast your team is. Also, bring a sleeping bag if you can for any rest stops and plastic bags to throw your wet clothes in once you've finished your legs. And maybe those wet wipes to feel a little more fresh. :) Have fun!

  7. I love that you signed up your husband when he wasn't around to protest. You've got some awesome manipulative skills.

  8. That sounds like fun. I've been asked a couple of times and couldn't do it, but maybe someday. I agree with Allison, the porkchop sounds a little heavy - maybe go with something lighter like a full pan of lasagna or an enchilada or giant burrito.

    1. Bahahahaha! Then polish it off with a large milkshake.

  9. I've only done one relay and it was really fun. It helped that I was on a team with ladies that were not competitive.

  10. I've run Hood to Coast twice - it's so much fun! I agree with the tips above, but my highlights would be:

    1) Pack each running outfit in a giant ziplock bag so you can throw your sweaty clothes back in after running to prevent getting everything smelly and moist. Plus, you don't want to be searching through your bag while in a van.

    2) BABY WIPES. You'll feel so refreshed after running, I promise. (And you can bring separate face wipes too if that's your thing.)

    3) As for eating, I'm pretty sure I just grazed the entire time. (And became known for eating all the M&M's out of the trail mix, sorry not sorry.) We did stop for pizza after one of the van exchanges to get a little more food in, but no one ate too much.

    4) Cell services can be spotty in a few spots along the route - just a head's up in case people are planning on using the internet for directions. Drivers can get lost on the route, so just a heads up!

    5) On that note, be sure to bring phone chargers - either the portable ones or ones for the car.

    6) Make sure to bring what you need to take care of your body - in your case, whatever you need for hip exercises/recovery (I'm assuming here). Some people would bring "the stick," or coordinate with your van to bring one foam roller among everyone. Compression socks if that's your thing!

    7) If your van likes music, a jack for hooking up a phone to the car. Oddly enough, my team for the first year I ran HTC enjoyed talking to each other so much that we never ended up turning on music. For the second year, "Call Me Maybe" was our jam and we blasted it as we drove past our runners.

    8) Take a look at what runner you are and what your legs will look like. The first few legs have some SCREAMING downhills, so you want to prepare for that. Others have some tough uphills. Mental preparation!

    That's all for now - HTC is SO fun! Enjoy!