Hood to Coast in T-Minus Two Weeks

We be running around the mountain, here Nuun comes! (source: Wikipedia)

We be running around the mountain, here Nuun comes! (source: Wikipedia)

Holy jeez, in two weeks I’m going to be running (stumbling? falling?) down Mt. Hood in Oregon with a team of 24 ladies, on a quest for the ultimate beach party that awaits us in Seaside, OR. That’s the point of Hood to Coast, right, the beach party?

Just kidding! But seriously I can’t believe Hood to Coast is almost upon us. It feels like yesterday when I got the news that I was picked to run on Nuun’s team but alas, the summer has flown by at the speed of light, and race day is nearly upon us.

I’ve been so focused on training for the Marine Corps Marathon this summer, and documenting it on this here bloggy, that I’ve neglected to talk about HTC. For shame! Well, this week I finally had the opportunity to assess where I am with my operation-get-speedy and examine my legs of the “mother of all relays.”


First, operation-get-speedy is moving along and I am, in fact, getting quite speedy (in my book). Throughout the summer I’ve focused on staying consistent with speed workouts- mostly track workouts, tempos, and progression runs- as well as upping my mileage quite a bit from what I was doing for Big Sur. I’m five weeks into MCM training and I’ve already hit 37 miles/week which was my second highest mileage week for Big Sur. So, there’s that.

I’ve also noticed significant improvements in my interval splits (mostly 400s and 800s) simply because I’ve been doing them more often. My progression runs, a personal favorite, have been very good too with each mile decreasing evenly to come to a negative split for the total run.

But what’s even more amazing is my “easy/comfortable” pace is getting much faster. Last week I did a 3-mile shakeout run the day after my 13-mile (hilly) long run and my paces were incredible:

Mile 1- 8:46/mile

Mile 2- 8:13/mile

Mile 3- 7:45/mile

I think the true goal of my whole operation-get-speedy plan was to improve my overall fitness and lower my paces for regular, everyday runs. And to get faster for Team Watermelon!

HTC Leg Four Whoop Whoop!

Which brings my to my Hood to Coast leg: I will be runner four on Nuun’s Team Watermelon running a total of 15.16 miles out of our 198 mile run. I’ll admit, I have one of the “easier” legs but many of the women on my team have been running for much longer than I have so I’m fine being the token beginner.

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The first portion of my leg is the longest mileage run coming in at 7.18 miles and it is completely downhill. I’m still not sure what time of day I’ll be running it either but that will definitely play into the difficulty.

Leg four will be my first leg.

Leg four will be my first leg.

My second leg is shorter, just 3.78 miles and it’s relatively flat and described to be on gently rolling terrain on the should of Highway 30.

Leg 16, easy peasy

Leg 16, easy peasy

My final leg is also another short one totaling 4.20 miles and is described as a gradual uphill climb on paved road.

Leg 28 and I'm done!

Leg 28 and I’m done!

After those legs (and in between) you can be sure I’ll by cowbelling my little heart out for my teammates while chugging Nuun and pounding Picky Bars like there’s no tomorrow. Oh, and resting, I’ll try to do some of that too.

This will be my very first relay and I’m excited/scared/stoked to find out what lies ahead in the 198 miles from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean. I know one thing for sure, it ends with a party and beer, so I’m in!

Have you ever run Hood to Coast or another relay? If so, what do I need to know?