Hood to Coast 2017: Portland Running Company Girlz

by Jodi

This weekend I ran Hood to Coast for the third time.  Thank you Dave and Paula for the opportunity to represent you and your store that has changed the culture of Portland's running community. It was such an honor to be a part of the Portland Running Company Girlz team.  
Our Team, minus one

These women are...
  • Strong 
  • Fast
  • Determined
  • Kind
  • Funny
  • Zesty
  • Fierce.

These women...
  • Chase down their dreams 
  • Love their families well 
  • Friend hard.

These women are...
  • Small business owners
  • Race directors
  • Executives
  • Personal trainers
  • Physical therapists
  • Administrators
  • Photographers
  • Nurses
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Wives
  • Moms.
I glean from their wisdom. Laugh at their wit. Dig deeper than I thought I could dig because I watch them do the same.

We run our guts out on every leg...

BECAUSE WE CAN.


We know that running is a gift and we don't take it for granted.






These women brought it to the race this weekend. We encountered some challenging speed bumps along the way, but we didn't wallow.  We adapted to new exchange zones that took mileage from prepared runners and added mileage to others who already had a big mileage load. It was cold at night.  Hotter than expected during the day.  I tripped in a pothole in the pitch black and almost face planted on the concrete. We ran neck and neck with our biggest competition, until our van got stuck in a holding pattern while  Race Officials addressed an emergency.  Our poor runner was stranded at the next exchange for almost 20 minutes in the freezing cold, but she didn't complain. In spite of - or maybe because of - these challenges, we pulled together and chased down a goal.  And we did it as a team.








My teammate said last year, "I didn't come here to be mediocre.  I came here to kick ass." (Don't judge me for the curse word).  That stuck with me and it tumbles around in my head every time I'm racing and easing off would be so much more comfortable than finding another gear.

There is NOTHING mediocre about my Portland Running Company Girlz.  These women...
  • Push hard
  • Adapt to challenges
  • Laugh at adversity
  • Compete (man do they compete!)
  • Encourage
  • Drive like maniacs
  • Live life fully.
199 miles from Hood to Coast.
23 hours. 41 minutes. 38 seconds.
7:08 average pace
2nd place in our division
30th place overall

Well done Girlz.  I'll run my guts out any day with you.  Until next year...

My race by the stats: Not my fastest or favorite leg of Hood to Coast, but I kept a positive attitude and gave it my all on every leg in spite of a few challenges.


Mileage
Pace Per Mile
Difficulty Rating
Notes
Leg 11
4.60
6:59
Easy
Had to stop for traffic lights three times and lost at least 60 seconds standing around waiting for the lights to change.  So hard to get started again after interrupting my cadence.  Only saw five runners (passed them all).  It was kind of eerie to be on the Springwater Corridor in the dark with so few people.
Leg 23
4.18
7:02
Easy
Tripped in a pothole and almost face planted.  Shoe came untied with less than a mile to go.  Had to stop, take off my gloves, and try to tie my shoe with shaking legs and hands.  GRR!  50ish road kills.
Leg 35
7.14
7:48
Hard
Unusually hot for so close to the coast. Fully exposed. Gravel (big chunks of rock) road with no van support.  105 road kills cause most people were walking or running slower than usual.  And Yes… I counted each person I passed to keep my mind off the misery of how hot it was.





Did We Just Become Best Friends? Ultra - Cascade Lakes Relay 2017

by Jodi

You guys... guess what?

I ran an ULTRA RELAY RACE and lived to tell about it.  I still am riding the wave of adrenaline.
Our team (wearing shirts Hillary designed for us) at the start in Diamond Lake

Last weekend I tackled one of the hardest physical and mental challenges of my life: relaying 216.6 miles with only five teammates in just over 29 hours.  My portion of running was 40 miles – 24 of it on soft gravel road or trails.  The elevation is one factor that is difficult to train for since I live at sea level.  Every single mile of this race is at elevation with a TON of climbing (not my speciality).  With those factors considered, I made it my goal to average an 8:00 pace so I was STOKED to discover that my average pace per mile was... (wait for it)... an 8:01!  #nailedit
Sweaty is sexy right?
Photo credits to Mara who ran on another team with a bunch of my friends.

My team ran up and over mountains, past wetlands, rivers and mountain lakes, and through Oregon’s beautiful forests.  And can I pause for a second to talk about these teammates?  Each one of them is so talented - and not just at running.  They are humble. Kind. Thoughtful.  Funny as all get out. Compassionate.  And tough as nails.  What a privilege to race with them.

Clearly jumping is not our forte.
We didn't have any fun at all.
The boys are Crossfitters first.  Runners second.  As if that wasn't abundantly obvious. They are all muscle. 
When we started at 10 am on Friday it was already hot.  We ran into and through extreme heat, then into middle of the night So Cold You Could See Your Breath, and back into extreme heat.
Accidental reverse twinning with Hillary.
Most of our crew. 
Poor Mike had to climb up the Cascade Lakes Highway on his fifth leg in high heat.  He got after it one mile and a time and rocked it out.
Getting slap happy.  At this point we had been up for 30+ hours. 
My teammates got eaten alive by mosquitos, lost toenails and grew some horrendous blisters and my callouses grew to the size of the state of Montana.  We didn’t sleep for 40 hours, changed in the back of the van after each leg, and used baby wipes to “shower.” 
 
Tim had almost 100 bug bites like this all over his arms.
Our fifth of six legs wrecked every single one of us. Tim joked that the fifth leg was “crushing his soul.” I wanted to lay on the dirt trail and cry. Or bum a ride. Or both.  The last 400 meters to the exchange point were grueling. 

Giving Tim a fresh Frog Togg.  At this point he had climbed more than 800 vertical feet in less than five miles in 90 degree heat and still had more than a mile and almost 200 vertical feet of climbing to go.  He is a beast.
Just wrecked from Leg 5 and a mountain summit.  You did it Buddy!

Our sixth legs were so victorious we cried.  Well, I cried.  Like choked over I Can’t Believe I‘m Doing This sobs.  I ran down the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway wheezing and smiling past a stream of tears.  I was one Happy, Hot Mess.  I still can't really believe we just did that.
Finishing up my last leg.
Getting love from my team.

I did it.  40 miles in less than 29 hours.  What the heck?
Our team name was Did We Just Become Best Friends and it was so appropriate.  Some of us started as strangers, shaking hands as we loaded the van.  We all finished as friends who shared a life accomplishment together.
 
Finish line shenanigans.
We knew running CLR as an ultra team would induce physical and mental suffering.  I can get grouchy when I'm running, especially if I fall off my predicted pace.  Add in sleep deprivation and it could have made for some Crabmaster General behavior.  We made it our team goal to Spread Joy, even when – and maybe especially when – we were suffering.  I even wrote "Spread Joy" on the back of my bib to add a layer of accountability for myself.  This perspective made running CLR as an ultra relay one of the most amazing race experiences of my life.   
Spreading joy.
Our team crossed the finish line 100% spent and 100% satisfied.  I may have fallen asleep under our table in the middle of the After Race party cause that's how I roll.


100% spent.

CLR as an ultra team was supposed to be a Bucket List one-and-done event, but our team is all in for one more ultra next year cause runners are a crazy breed. They even helped me keep my streak alive by hobbling a mile with me the day after the race.
 
Keeping my streak alive the morning after the race.
Did We Just Become Best Friends?  I think we did.

216.6 miles
8,111 feet of climbing
29 hours, 14 minutes, 17 seconds
8:06 average pace per mile
6 runners
1 van
1 Grand Adventure

What is your Grand Adventure?  Why not quiet the excuses and grab life.

#grablife #handfulbra #adjustablebra #clr2017 #didwejustbecomebestfriends #ultrarelay #whyirun #runeveryday #runstreak

BY THE STATS 


LEG
DISTANCE
DIFFICULTY RATING
TIME/PACE
FEET OF CLIMBING
Leg 1
11.00 miles
WTH
1:31:33; 8:24 avg. pace
819 feet
Leg 2
3.85 miles
Easy
29:21; 7:37 avg. pace
166 feet
Leg 3
8.9 miles
Very Hard
1:11:13; 8:03 avg. pace
221 feet
Leg 4
7.00 miles
Moderate
52:14; 7:33 avg. pace
5 feet (mostly downhill)
Leg 5
7.06 miles
Moderate
1:02:05; 8:48 avg. pace
213 feet
Leg 6
2.23 miles
Easy
14:29; 6:29 avg. pace
0 feet (all downhill)