Hood to Coast, I Made My Impossible Possible
My big impossible goal of 2018 was running Hood to Coast, the most famous and intimidating race in my home state of Oregon!
I’ve been running for five years, but always struggle to call myself a “real runner” because I’m slow, take walking breaks and have no natural athletic ability (I’m working hard to change this mindset). I run because I love to be outside, and because it helps my anxiety; when I get anxious I can’t take deep breaths, my muscles tighten up and get stiff/sore, and I feel like I’m dying. Kind of exactly how running makes me feel – but at least with running I know WHY I feel like that, and it’s something I can control.
There were a lot of struggles leading up to Hood to Coast, including an extremely hot summer that really messed with my training (it’s hard to run when it’s still 90 degrees at 9pm!), going on my very first international trip just three weeks before the race, and ramping up my mileage too quickly in the spring that resulted in a hip injury that still was not completely healed by August when I ran Hood to Coast.
I didn’t think I would actually make it through Hood to Coast without an epic meltdown or letting my team down in some way. I struggle to push through pain, and I knew I wasn’t as properly trained as I needed to be - the furthest I’d run was a 10k in one go and as runner #2 I needed to cover 17.5 miles split over 3 legs in 24 hours.
But I survived. More than survived, I had a total blast! Tons of things went wrong including blisters (that tore, and then new blisters formed in the wounds, and took months to heal), unexpectedly having to sleep on the cold ground in the fog for only 2 hours before my last leg, hardly eating any of the food I packed because I was so nervous I was nauseous the whole weekend, and my team accidentally ran out of water in the middle of the race. But I laughed so much it hurt, sang along to many Disney songs, cheered my team like crazy, and ran as hard as I could!
My goals for 2019? Do better at the sleeping and eating thing for Hood to Coast (yes, I’m doing it again!) and string all those miles together to run my first half marathon. I’m never going to be an amazing runner, but I’m sure as hell going to continue pushing my limits and having fun.
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