Throwback Thursday: Ragnar Northwest Passage 2012

** I wrote this partial relay recap waaaay back in 2012.  I never quite got around to finishing it {spoiler alert}, as it’s been languishing in my drafts folder for the last 4 years, but it’ll give you a good idea of how much fun relaying can be.  I highly recommend it! ** 

Remember when… I ran a relay in July?  And was regularly blogging?  Yeah.  Me too.  I might as well get back into writing by posting the longest race recap ever.  There will be no breaking this up into separate posts.  You’ve been forewarned.


I think I’ve finally figured out why I have been putting off writing this recap.  I feel bad about having had more fun than I did at Hood to Coast last year.  There.  I said it.  It was MORE FUN.  Part of me feels like I’m being mean saying so.  It feels like I’m somehow negating the friendships I made through HTC.  That’s not the case.  Things changed after HTC for me.  This year I felt like I knew people already – Nuun staff in real life and teammates from Facebook and Twitter.  Last year (even after all the emails) I still wasn’t sure what everyone would be like.  To my introverted self the pressure of meeting new people was a little paralyzing.  HTC helped me get over it a bit so Ragnar was easier.  This year I was more confident in my running abilities and at peace with my pace.  I admit that last year I felt like I was the weakest link in our van.  This year I got over myself.  Comparing Hood to Coast to Ragnar is like comparing apples to oranges; you can try, but they’re just different.  

* The Beginning *

My Ragnar weekend started on 19 July – a Thursday and also my anniversary.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Colin deserves the “Husband of the Year” award for telling me it was okay to spend 3 days on my own (don’t worry… he and Spud had fun too).  After putzing down the I5 we arrived at Nuun HQ in the early afternoon.  It was just in time to join Caitlin as she picked up Holly from the airport.  We had a bit of an adventure trying to buy bagels on the way there, me being no help navigationally, of course, but it all worked out.  This was when I learned that, due to a rental snafu – “sorry, we just don’t have your nice comfy 12 passenger vans, oops – hard work was being done to ensure we’d be able to get around.  We were saved by Good Chevrolet and Michael’s Chevrolet when they each loaned us one van!

Caitlin dropped Holly and me at the hotel and we promised we’d arrive back at HQ for dinner.  Lauren met up with us and we played tourist (disregarding the fact that we were all at RnR Seattle in June), going to Pike Place Market after hitting up a Starbucks.  Might not have been the smartest move to walk, but it was a nice day.  I didn’t end up buying anything though I longed for the cheap, beautiful flowers I couldn’t take over the border.  After returning to the hotel Lauren drove us up to HQ so we could meet the rest of the team.  We sequestered ourselves in the waiting area – love the cardboard couch! – and, as people arrived, we doled out the fun accessories people brought (sunglasses and jelly bracelets to go with the 90s theme).  We sort of felt like we were invading since the office is really open, but eventually Mason and Zoe called us out on hiding and told us to make ourselves at home.

* Wherein I get tipsy and chatty… *

Apparently a Thursday evening hosting bloggers called for a party atmosphere at the HQ (although reading Twitter has lent me to believe that any day is an excuse…).  By party I mean drinks were involved.  Since I was the pariah who doesn’t drink beer I had the choice of gin or vodka.  Since I don’t drink gin, vodka it was.  And perhaps more than I should have had.  Now, this wasn’t entirely my fault.  Yes, I drank it all, but Mason made it for me.  Pretty sure it was 3 parts vodka to 1 part Tangerine Lime Nuun All Day – in a red Solo cup.  If that wasn’t the ratio I am a cheaper drunk than I thought!  Anyways, I get chatty when I drink (and then really quiet if I’ve had too much).  I just realized I’m like Raj on Big Bang Theory, ha!  I was pretty happy to see Italian food for dinner.  Next time I will eat before I drink!  Over dinner we got to know each other, Mason said some nice things I don’t remember, and then it was van decorating time!

When we were done Lauren drove me, Holly, Becky, and Jenny back to the hotel.  We took advantage of the rooftop hot tub – the distant lightning made one question the choice – and turned in relatively early.  Becky and Holly had an early pick up to get to Bellingham for 9am while Jenny and I got to take our time as we were in Van 2.

* It’s Raining.  Aw, crap. *

Usually I can start a recap with “the day dawned bright and early.”  Yeah, no.  The day dawned at regular time and was pouring out.  The extent of my wet/cold weather gear?  My Sugoi jacket and my Vancouver marathon long sleeve.  No extra shoes.  Not even really extra anything.  Tyler and Kim from Nuun picked Jenny and me up at 9am, where we joined Stacie, Dawn, and Megan in the van.  I put in a request for a frontish seat (after having been in the back row last year) and got the first row with Stacie.  We actually kept to our seats for the most part of the relay.  Our first stop was Starbucks/Kim’s house.  We needed coffee and she needed a few things she forgot (and also offered up extra cold/wet weather gear for those who had nothing either).  I grabbed my usual venti tea and scone for breakfast, which turned out to be a poor idea.  That much tea, a tiny bladder, and an underwhelming amount of rest stops = running to the bathroom at our first exchange!  And then running to the port-a-potty because they were free!  Yes, I understand school fundraising, but not to make people pee!!!  Not cool, Bellingham High.  Not cool.

After the drama of finding a place to go we convened back at our van.  We had a while before Van 1 would hand off to us during which we needed to change, attend the safety meeting, pick up various race stuff, and hit up the merchandise tent.  I got a hoody (which I am wearing as I type) before they sold out.  Unfortunately, I should have also bought the pint glass as those were sold out later on.  We decided to find a place to eat and wandered over to a local sandwich shop across from the high school.  I felt really bad for them because they didn’t know about the relay.  Obviously a miscommunication somewhere as that could have been a really good day for them.  It wasn’t too much longer until it was our turn to head out.  Jenny grabbed the snap bracelet from Meghan and we were off!

* Whirlwind *

I’ll be honest with you.  This part is kind of blurry.  Even though I’ve done a relay before it’s amazing how fast it all seems to go by.  Pretty much my recollection is this: Jenny starts, we drive, cheer her on a couple of times (really bummed I forgot my cowbells at home!), get to exchange, Kim runs, we drive, cheer her on, get to exchange, I get out and ready to run.

My first leg was 6.1mi/9.8km along Lake Samish.  I’ve only ever seen the road I ran along from the I5, but it gave me a fair idea of what it would be like.  The weather was cool, but not raining.  I was nervous, but feeling pretty good.  As usual I went out too quickly although I thought I’d be okay.  Not so much.  I got a massive stomach cramp about half way through which I wasn’t anticipating.  It slowed me to a walk as did the hills that I wasn’t quite well enough trained for.  I wasn’t all that keen on the hill coming up to the exchange either.  Mostly because I seem to have blocked it from my memory and didn’t know it was going to be there!  Along the last stretch of my leg I succeeded in scaring the crap out of myself.  There was something in the bushes along a driveway, probably a squirrel or something small that sounded much bigger.  Anyways, I had my iPod with me in my handheld and the cord moved with my arm.  I looked to see what the noise was, got hit by the cord, and jumped a good foot into the air.  Thankfully there was no one else around to see that!  It started spitting rain a little bit when I came in to hand off to Stacie and then I was done.  My final finish time was 1:02:25 – 10:13/mi or 6:21/km – super proud of myself as that was the fastest run I’d run in a very long time.

Post run I got changed back into my neon cheering wear as I was off duty for the next however many hours.  Stacie handed off to Dawn, Dawn handed off to Megan, Megan got pelted by gummy bears, we handed off to Van 1 and it was dinner time in Burlington!  Again, it seemed like people weren’t notified about Ragnar coming to town as Red Robin was hopping with relayers and a local soccer tourney filling it up.  The manager was pleasant, but frazzled as she’d been there the majority of the day.  My adult sized macaroni and cheese was the perfect dinner.

* Late and Stupid aka Seagull Fishing and Lemon Tea *

Funny things happen during relays when you aren’t running.  In reality, and to the outsider, they probably aren’t all that funny.  But to 7 people who have been running/driving/going non-stop pretty much anything is funny.  Or downright hysterical.  After dinner all of us were pretty tired from a long day.  But then the conversation somehow turned to seagull fishing.  Stacie had to explain as all of us gave her “WTF?!?” looks when she brought it up.  Essentially, lay down under towel on beach, put food/bait on top, feel seagull land, sit up and trap bird in towel.  See?  Hysterical!  I can’t remember if this was the same time Jenny made us watch a video of the dolphin midwife, but that was hysterical in a gross way… I know you’re dying to look that one up, but seriously (srsly) don’t.  We didn’t do much more than drive straight to the next exchange and try to get a little bit of sleep.  I managed to get about 2 minutes of sleep as every time I thought I was close to dozing off something would wake me up.  The 2 minutes came right before our alarm went off.  Oh, well, it was to be expected.  We all roused ourselves to see Jenny off on her second leg.  She had a really hilly leg and it was pretty darned dark so we made sure we stopped and cheered quite a few times.  At one point we parked at the top of a hill and had ourselves a little, and rather loud, dance party.  Not sure that the other vans appreciated our enthusiasm, but, meh, we were having a great time!

Jenny handed off to Kim and she headed off.  We made sure to stop and cheer for her as the second half of her leg was unsupported.  More loud dance parties ensued – I think the other runners liked seeing us.  About half way through her run Kim was starting to hurt.  However, she is one tough lady and pulled through admirably and with a fair amount of speed.  And just like that it was my time to run again.  It was 3:30am and, because he is awesome, Tyler agreed to run with me.  I wasn’t too thrilled with the thought of having to run this leg by myself.  It went through a bit of an industrial area and, as I’m not the speediest of runners, I was a little paranoid.  I thought the first part of the path was dirt or gravel, but turned out to be a paved bike route.  It was also fairly well lit.  But there’s safety in numbers and I was glad for the company; especially when we saw the seagulls painted on the path – got the giggles then and wished for a camera.  Unfortunately for Tyler he wasn’t really prepared for pacer/bodyguard duty and ended up running in his safety vest and non-techy clothes.  I know that there would have been many times during this leg that I would have given up and walked had I been alone.  As it turned out I ran 2.7mi/4.35km in 28:24 – 10:31/mi or 6:32/km – which I consider a win since I was going on no sleep!

Once I handed off to Stacie (who took Tyler with her; again, safety in numbers) I went back to the van.  Just before getting there we were somewhat accosted by an official who was very adamant that Dawn know where she was going on her leg as she got to cross the Deception Pass bridge.  I get that he was just being safety conscious, but it seemed like a bit of overkill at 4 in the morning!  Stacie had a ridiculous uphill for her second run.  Since it was early morning things were getting loopy again.  I don’t remember who was awake for it, but Kim, who was driving with Tyler out of the van, started serenading our runners with Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup.”  Essentially there was a promise of a cold drink, dubbed “Lemon Tea” for it’s Nuun-like resemblance, at the end of leg 22.

Red solo cup,  I’ll fill you up

Let’s have a party, let’s have a party

Red solo cup, I’ll fill you up

Proceed to party, proceed to party

This was srsly (another inside joke that I really can’t explain) one of my favourite parts of the relay.


Wordless Wednesday: Packing



It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 3 months since I found out that I wouldn’t be running HTC I would be running Ragnar Northwest Passage with Nuun!

The ball gets rolling on Thursday with Colin and Spud dropping me off at HQ in the afternoon.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but Colin earns the title of world’s best husband as 19 July is our 9th wedding anniversary.  I think I’m going to have to push really hard for an ultra team next year so we can have a 10th anniversary trip!  #runnerds! Once I’m dropped off I’ll be meeting up with Holly (van 1), who is coming in from Oregon.  I’m assuming we’ll toodle around town until it’s time to see the rest of the team for dinner and van decorating.  I asked about decorating rules this time around and, unfortunately, this is a no-go:

Window art is highly encouraged, but there was a bit of an issue getting the rest of the van clean after Hood to Coast 2011 (so I heard – thankfully it wasn’t me that had to drive up to the rental place in it…).

Thursday night I’m hoteling it in Seattle with Holly, Jenny (van 2), and Becky (van 1).  I’m pretty thankful that I’m not in van 1 this time around as they have to leave at 5:15!  My Friday starts at 9am with a van ride up to Bellingham-ish.

According to the handy Ragnar pace calculator I should be running at the following times:

Leg 9 * 6.1mi/9.8km * Moderate: 4pm

Leg 21* 2.7mi/4.3km * Easy: 2:30am

Leg 33 * 6.8mi/10.9 * Hard: 12:15pm

Apparently I was blinded by my love of downhill. Forgot it was quite an uphill to earn it!

For running a total of 15.6mi/25.1km within 24 hours I’m surprisingly calm.  Not sure if it’s because I’ve done a relay before; it’s NOT Hood to Coast, therefore less pressure; I feel like I know the people better this time around; or just because I get to hang out with the Nuun folks, but I’m so happy to be able to do it!  I”m packing tonight so it won’t be a mad dash tomorrow and hopefully I won’t forget anything.  Tomorrow’s Wordless Wednesday post apparently has its subject matter!

Pop back on Friday for ways to follow our team!  Twitter will be the main source, but I’m sure Facebook and maybe blogs will be utilized as well.  Just a head’s up that I won’t be tweeting much myself due to roaming charges (free WIFI is where it’s at!), but if you search for @lovemyrunners you can find out how I’m doing.

Three Things Thursday: Everything’s Coming Up Roses


I won another Twitter contest!  I be getting a prize pack from Shower Pill (makers of towel-like wipes for stinky athletes) just by following them on Twitter and retweeting about their contest.  Yes, it’s marketing at it’s best, but I’ll take it!

I haven’t even tried their product, but I already love their customer service.  I was contacted, told that they didn’t have my shirt size, and was it okay to send a substitute size?  For the “hassle” (I guess) of potentially being out the shirt as I wanted it they also said they’d send a second box of wipes!   I assume most companies would just have had a take it or leave it attitude since it was a contest so I’m extremely impressed!  And now I have extra wipes for my stinky self at Ragnar in June.


 I finally got to try Nuun All Day!  The new line is enhanced with vitamins rather than electrolytes so, stating the obvious, you can add it to your water all day!  Smart cookies, those Nuun people…  

It comes in four flavours: Blueberry Pomegranate, Grape Raspberry, Grapefruit Orange, and Tangerine Lime; there are 15 tabs per tube and it works out to be the same cost per tab as regular Nuun.  Colin and I tried them all out yesterday.  A little more water than I needed to drink right before bed, but I was excited to try them.  The order above is how I’d rate my favourites.  Since I don’t drink water very often (it doesn’t taste like anything!) I decided to see how a very diluted tab would taste.  I put one tab in 48oz/1.4L.  It is perfect for me!  Just enough flavour and colour to trick me into drinking water.  I’m sure I’ll still drink it according to directions (1 per 16oz/473mL), but I’m loving this alternative.

Just a little bonus for my American readers who want to try All Day or buy any regular Nuun for that matter (sorry, Canada, they don’t ship up here yet):

Use the code bloggerslovenuun when purchasing at to get 15% off your order!  


It never ceases to amaze me how much social media can open doors or what happens when you get up the courage to ask.  For the second time this year I get to be a race ambassador!  After completing Earth Run on Sunday I was tweeted a congratulations from the Surrey Marathon for finishing the race.  If you remember from a few posts back I was considering them as my fall marathon until I decided I just wasn’t ready for another full.  Anyways, I said thanks and cheekily asked if they needed an ambassador for their race.  Turns out the answer was yes!

I am going from having nothing on the schedule after Ragnar in July to training for a half marathon on 30 September!  You can bet that there will be many blog posts about my training in the weeks to come so please, please keep me accountable!

Fabulous Friday

Despite finding out that I wouldn’t be running with these ladies in August, this week has turned out to be a decidedly glass-half-full kind of week.

1. I get to run Ragnar NW Passage in July. And when I said with Nuun, I meant with Nuun – it’s their corporate team. I’d be silly to turn down this opportunity and I’ve already been stalking the legs trying to decide which one I want!

2. I won a twitter contest! A really good one – as in, $126.20 from Oiselle. These are what I’m thinking of getting:

Arm warmers – probably in black since that matches most of what I wear.  Not exciting, but I’m not too much of a pink-loving girl and the orange ones won’t go with diddly in my running wardrobe…

Long Roga short, Stride short, or Bum Wrap – do I want to hide my thighs, suck in my bum and thighs, or hide my bum?  I’m leaning towards the Roga simply because they look like they’d transfer to regular wear more easily.  Yes, I do wear my running clothes as everyday clothes!  And, admit it, so do you!

Runbow Tee:

Thoughts or reviews on any of these? I love the Green Lake Hoodie (and it’s on sale), but it would still use up a good chunk of the amount.  Seriously, this is like being a kid in a candy store – I want one of each!!!

3. I booked my follow up appointment for my heart-rate training for June. I was originally going to re-test in July, but they offered me a substantial discount for booking in April. This way I’ll have my new numbers pretty much right at the start of fall marathon training. It meant giving up my Brooks Pure Cadence for now, but this is better for my training at this point. I know I haven’t gotten a lot faster (been slacking on the once a week zone 3 work) however, I feel like I am getting much better at staying in zone 1. Since I’ve been doing most, if not all, of my runs on a treadmill I know I’ve increased my speed for zone 1.

4. My marathon is next Sunday (6 May). I might feel woefully underprepared in terms of breaking 5 hours and getting a PR, but I know I will finish it. I’m excited to get my shirt (will be women’s specific) and medal because they’re really nice!

5. I got to go swimming with Spud yesterday. Yes, we hang out almost all day everyday, but this was part of school so he got to play with his friends.  I am totally counting this as cross-training!  Since there were more kids than parents/supervisors I had an extra child to look after.  Turned out that their favourite activity was having me hold them as I navigated our way through the lazy river.  Of course, I had to make sure the current didn’t run us into the walls so I got a decent lower body workout while holding 40lbs under each arm!  Win-win for everyone!

What made your glass half-full this week? Any good news?

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Missing out on running with Nuun here…

…means I get to run with Nuun here.

 It’s hard to be {too} disappointed.

More to come.

“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.”  ~ Jonatan Mårtensson

(thanks Mel for posting this today)

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

Nuun tells us Tomorrow!

It’s only a day away!

It’s On Like Donkey Kong!

It’s here, it’s here!!  

Jump up in sheer excitement and put your thinking caps on! 

Nuun is now accepting Hood to Coast applications!

You must be:

You must have:
An active blog

You can find out all the details HERE.

You have until 9 April 2012 to get your submission in.

Go.  Do it.  Now.

BREAKING NEWS: I Wanna Run {Again!}

HUGE {semi-secret} announcement from Nuun

They are sponsoring team(s) for Hood to Coast 2012!

Application process to be announced mid-March.
Be sure to follow on Facebook {here} and on Twitter {@nuunhydration}!

Just a reminder of how truly awesome it was:

* I would have loved to have kept this to myself, but it’ll be out soon enough (and everyone else is talking about it, too).  You can bet that I’ll be applying again – not sure how I’ll up the ante this time!

Hydrating for Black Friday!

I know that many of you are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday.  There’s nothing like spending time with family, stereotypically watching the game – which ever team you support, and relaxing on a day off.  

Of course, there’s the day after Thanksgiving to look forward to as well.  In Canada we have Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) to ransack the stores in the hopes of finding good deals.  I’m incredibly jealous of Americans since Black Friday is 100 times better than that.  For all of you crazies who are going to brave the stores please remember to be well hydrated!  You can’t race for the good stuff if you’re feeling sluggish or crampy!

Nuun is offering discounts on their boxes of regular and U-Hydration flavours until the 25th.  I know that I’m late to the party in telling you about it, but there’s still time to order!  

If you don’t get your delivery before Friday you can always hope that it’ll be there for you to sip on when you do your shopping online on Cyber Monday.  Apparently warm Nuun is delicious!

"What’s Nuun?" Wednesday

Hood to Coast van-mate Dorothy at Mile Posts commented on Facebook that we all kind of take for granted that our readers know what Nuun is.  Yes, I spout on and on about how I love it and how grateful I am for the opportunity they’ve given me.  But I guess I am assuming that everyone knows what it is and how it works.  And I know that isn’t true.  Case in point: I’ve found myself explaining it to co-workers and we sell it at our store!  So here’s a cheat-sheet, so to speak, about Nuun.*


What is Nuun?
Simply put, it’s flavoured electrolyte tabs that you put in your water.  

What is in Nuun?
Stuff that helps you NOT bonk.  Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2.  There’s some other scientific-y stuff too.  If you love the extra boost, there is caffeine in Kona Cola and Lemon Tea.

What’s not in Nuun?
Carbs (so use food or gels/chews too!), Sugar, Gluten, Corn (but some products used to make Nuun might have it so not totally corn free) or Animal byproducts. 

Why is Nuun good?
See the not bonking part!  The worst part about sports and exercise is running out of steam.  By replacing your electrolytes as you sweat you keep your body happy.  Here are the cut-and-paste reasons electrolytes are important: 

“The body has to perform a delicate balancing act to keep water and electrolyte levels just right. For example, whenever sodium levels dip too low, the kidneys are stimulated to produce more urine, which restores the balance by lowering the amount of water in the blood. And when the sodium level gets too high, thirst develops, stimulating the person to drink. A hormone is also secreted by the brain in response to thirst that causes the kidneys to produce less urine. Together, these effects result in dilution of the sodium and the restoration of balance.” 

Or, in layman’s terms:
“Nuun’s special formulation of electrolytes helps increase the amount of water that’s absorbed into the blood stream. That means more of the water you drink is actually used to hydrate you instead of being eliminated because the electrolyte balance wasn’t right.”
No sugar!  And it’s safe to use if you are diabetic.

Under 8 calories per tab, which is technically 2 servings.

How does one use Nuun?
Find favourite bottle or glass.  Fill with 16 oz of water or cut a tab in half and use 8 oz.  Select one of 11 Nuun flavours – or 15 if you add in the 4 U Hydration flavours – and drop in water.  Watch it bubble and dissolve (it’s not carbonated, but does have a slight fizz if you don’t let it sit for a couple of minutes).  Drink and Enjoy!  


Who can use Nuun?
Anyone.  You don’t have to be an athlete to like it and use it.  It’s not going to hurt to get electrolytes.   

Hopefully this gives you an idea of why I love Nuun.  If nothing else it’s another tool to keep in your running box!  

If you have more questions ask away!  I’ll do my best to come up with an answer for you.

* This is good practice because I’m going to have to explain it to people on site in August!

Wordy Wednesday: Things I Love & Hate Edition

Stuff To Love: 

Yesterday was our 8th anniversary!  In true we-now-have-a-kid-and-therefore-no-money fashion we had a regular day.  Colin worked, came home, I went to run clinic, Colin ran, we watched tv.  My parents are making us dinner tonight to celebrate – much appreciated!

After sort of complaining yesterday morning about not receiving my Nuun gift pack yet it came in the afternoon.  Score!  I actually got a few more stickers and another bottle, but the bottle was put to use right away.  Strawberry Lemonade and Grape were my first trials.  I put too much water in the first one, but it was still good.  I tried to smell it right after taking off the cap and ended up snorting a bunch of powder.  Oops…  

Grape, though, is awesome!  The smell of it reminds me of gum I used to chew as a kid (Double Bubble).  It contributed greatly to my perfect tempo run last night.  Rarely can I describe a run that way, but everything came together just right.  I felt so good.  I found the perfect pace group (2:10 finish); it was cloudy and windy, but not cold; my leg that was bothering me from wearing old shoes to work on Sunday didn’t act up – thank you right Soleus; I was strong on the hill (little, but still a hill) by making up a really corny mantra about not quitting; and ended up doing just under 5km in 32 minutes.  Yay!

Something To Hate:

Why is there no good way to get a good photograph for official documents?  The above photos are from our currently expired passports (on the left) and the pictures for our new ones (on the right).  Canada has this dumb guideline that you have to have a “neutral” expression on your face, meaning you can’t smile.  I guess they want you to look like you would if you were apprehended…  Let me just say that Spud did so well with not making faces.  He looks like he’s in a lot of trouble in his, but he was very well behaved at the store.  

I said on Facebook the other day that I’ve gone from fat head to slightly crazy eyes.  I guess that’s better than Colin.  He now looks like a normal, albeit tired, guy.  I’ve always thought his 2006 photo kind of looks like a serial killer’s mugshot.  I guess we’ve moved up in the world!  

Challenge for the day: I dare you to post the “best” government issued photo you have!

Team Nuun Tuesday

Welcome to my new Tuesday feature where I discuss all things relating to my Hood To Coast adventure with Team Nuun.

“Team Nuun Tuesday” has a nice ring to it so I thought that I could condense all of my ramblings and thoughts into one post a week rather than have a smattering about it here and there.  It puts it all together nicely and, if you are sick to death of reading about HTC, then you can just avoid my blog on Tuesdays until the end of August!

Fun and exciting things that happened this week:

* We received our leg assignments!  Drum roll please and hip, hip, hooray: I’m running Leg #1 (13 and 25)!!!  This was my first choice and I am extremely excited to have gotten it.  It’s listed as the least difficult and has the lowest mileage, but that isn’t why I chose it.  I wanted to do it because leg #1 runs down the side of Mt. Hood.  Literally.  It’s a steep road and there is a 2000ft elevation LOSS in 5.64mi/9km.

                                                                     Images are © Hood To Coast

* One of the reasons I’m happy with my assignment is that I can train for it.  All I need now is to find one or two of my real life friends who are willing to help me out.  If anyone wants to run down Mt. Seymour Parkway with me or at least drop me off 9km up the road let me know!  I’m not joking.  

* I came home from work on Friday to find not only 2 emails from Nuun regarding placements, but 21 other messages from teammates!  We are all apparently very proactive.  So far we’re brainstorming team names and slogans to write on our vans.

* I found out my teammates and couldn’t be happier!  Lots of amazing women and I’ll get to know the ones who aren’t in my van in the time before and after the race.

* Google Street View is great.  I looked up all of my routes so I at least have some sort of idea of where I’ll be running.  The only problem is that the view for Leg #1 was shot in the winter.  I’m not going to be running with 15ft of snow plowed to the side of the road.

* Today marks my first ever 2-a-day!  Like many things running, if you’d asked me 2 years ago if I thought that it was a good idea to run twice in one day I would have looked at you like you were nuts.  I ran a steady and slow 7.5km in about an hour this morning with Spud and will do a 3km tempo run with my half clinic this evening.   

Monday Musings

Yes it’s late in the day, but I need to get this out of my head before bedtime…  Ah, the bullet point.  It makes posts so much easier!

  • Went for my long run yesterday.  7km was on the schedule, but I ended up with almost 11km… I forgot how fun half marathon training is because the runs are so short!  I was trying to kill time between my shift ending at 5pm and the start of the cashier meeting at 8pm.  I tried to keep it not too hilly and sort of succeeded.  No huge uphills, but a couple of gradual hills that went on forever… like 2km.  Ugh.  Would have been fine if it was on a normal road, but it was all driveways.  My butt was killing me at the end.  It didn’t help that it was super muggy out as well.  Most of my co-workers thought I was crazy.  
  • Ran my first run in a running skirt yesterday.  Colin stopped by the Sugoi sample sale the other day and picked me up the Stamina Skirt for $15.  Seriously not too many complaints.  It fits really well and doesn’t move around a lot.  The shorts rode up a little on the inseam, but nothing Body Glide and quick readjustments couldn’t fix.  Not too sure about having a white under short, but unless I get caught in a strong wind no one is going to see my backside…  Besides that the only thing that irked me a tiny bit was that the edging at the front flips over on itself.  Purely an aesthetic thing though.
Looks like this only it’s light blue with white piping.
  • I think I’m now a confirmed skirt girl.  But it has to have the shorts, not a liner.  Maybe one day (Christmas, hint, hint) I’ll receive the holy grail of skirts: a skirt!  
  • A while back (before the Canada Post lockout) I received the Eazy-Bandz headband that I won on Amanda’s blog.  I  it!  I picked out the Iridescent Sequin band.  I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like because the pictures online look gold or white, but the ribbon part is actually silver.  It’s awesome.  I also love the fact that they have sizing.  Because I wear mine close to my ears and forehead I was a “tween” size.  It barely moves when I run and I’ve worn it a whole day with it moving only about 1/2cm back.  The only time I notice any movement is if I crane my head back to look up really far.  Matt at Eazy-Bandz was great to deal with and was willing to ship it to me in Canada even though that’s usually an extra cost.  Like running skirts, I didn’t know that I’d love headbands until I tried one!  
  • Colin went on a run before dropping me off at work on Sunday.  I specifically asked him not to run through one of the trails since it’s (black) bear and cougar season right now.  As in the sign at the trail head says, “Cougars Are In The Area.”  When he came home I asked where he ran.  Of course, he said, “First I ran through X.”  Seriously?  It’s 7:30 in the morning!  That’s when the animals are out!  
  • During the aforementioned run Colin said there were signs that the bears had been about.  Besides the easily identifiable poop he said he saw where they had walked through the tall grass, etc.  He also came across an odd phenomena that we dubbed “Slugpocalypse.”  He kept seeing slug trails that abruptly stopped and the gravel looked disturbed.  The best we can guess is that the bears bunted the slugs as they ate them…  Funny and disgusting all at the same time.
  • I love summer!  Sure the weather here is leaving a lot to be desired, but the season means fresh fruit.  Colin took Spud out to a local strawberry farm on Saturday for their opening weekend.  Spud got to pick strawberries, play on a tractor playground and, because he’s lucky, loved and they were in the area, Bramma and Baba bought him a strawberry milkshake.  I’m looking forward to the raspberries coming out!  And blueberries… Once we go up to Colin’s parents’ place in the summer we’ll be able to gorge ourselves on peaches, apricots, etc. since they live in the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.
  • Still riding the Nuun HTC high.  Every so often I’ll break out in a happy dance, much to Colin’s amusement.  I’ll hear later this week (I think) which leg I’ll be running.  Choices were 1, 3 and 2 in that order.  We’ll see what happens.  It doesn’t really matter which one I get because I get to run HTC!!!  
  • Not sure if I ever mentioned it, but Colin and I are doing Warrior Dash this August!  Some friends from our marathon clinic mentioned they were going to be signing up at a post-run breakfast ages ago and I basically invited us along.  We’re renting a house in Whistler, BC and plan to have quite a party weekend.  Should be super fun!  


Thanks everyone for your congratulations yesterday!  In case you couldn’t tell I’m excited too!

If you happened to be stalking Nuun’s Facebook page on Tuesday night (and, if you entered,  don’t pretend you weren’t) you would have seen that I had a bit of a conundrum.  Spud’s end of year picnic started at 8:45 Wednesday morning.  It was at a park about a kilometre away from where we live so we had to be out of the house by 8:30am.  Nuun was announcing their team at 9am PST.  I don’t have a smart phone so there wouldn’t be any checking from the park.  What to do?

I hemmed and hawed all evening.  I had a couple of “Negative Nelly” moments when I was just convinced that I wasn’t going to be chosen.  I kept apologizing to Colin for being a “Debbie Downer.”  To which he told me to be a “Positive Polly” (or “Positive Perogy” since that was dinner).  It at least made me laugh.  Going to bed, I still was unsure about what I’d do in the morning.

Finally I decided that I would call Colin at work once I arrived at the park.  He said he’d probably check even if I didn’t want to call and, of course, I didn’t want to find out when I got home if he’d known all along.  Impatient, much?  Our conversation on Wednesday went something like this:

Me: Have they posted it yet? (it’s 8:58:37am).

Colin: No.

Me: Have they posted it yet?  It’s 9am, by my watch.

Colin: No.  I’ll call you.

5-ish minutes later…

Colin: I already called you once.

Me: Sorry, have it on vibrate/ring and they’re mowing the grass.  Yay or nay?

Colin: Yay you!

Me: What?  Really??!  I got in?!?!?!?  Commence happy dance in middle of the park, which is me tippy-toeing on the spot with my arms in and hands up by my face.

Colin: Yup.  There are 20 on the list and 6 alternates.  You’re first on the list, but it doesn’t mean anything because it’s alphabetical.  

 That’s fine.  I’m in!

I had so many other things I wanted to ask, but I could tell he was busy.  The rest of the morning was spent having fun at the park and making sure Spud didn’t fall off of any playground equipment.  I didn’t have much time to think about it until I got home.

Of course, the first thing I did was turn on my computer and check Nuun’s blog and my email.  Then I congratulated the other runners.  Then I stalked my stats to see how many people came by my blog.  It wasn’t long before we were all contacting each other and trying to figure stuff out.  It’s crazy how fast things move.

While I’m still a little stunned that I made it I know it’s real because I have to send in things like my 10k time, leg number preferences and other fun stuff.  Thank goodness I have almost 2 months to prepare for this.  Not only do I need to get my training underway (at least I’m in a clinic already) I have to figure out what to pack/wear/etc.  Colin’s taking vacation and will hopefully spend the 4 days in Seattle with Spud.  Lots to do.  

Here’s why I’m stoked that I’m on the team:

  • I’ll get the chance to figure out stuff about me.  Get to know myself if you want to be all hippy-dippy about it.  
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.  All the talk of HTC when the movie came out really peaked my interest, but to be a part of it now is so cool.
  • I’m the token “foreigner.”  I’m sure I’ll hear a bunch of “oot and aboot” jokes.
  • I will finally get to meet some ladies whose blogs I read.  A few teammates know each other and some don’t so it’ll be a nice mix.
  • I just gained 19 friends!  Crazy!
  • I will represent an awesome company!
I’m sure there are more, but those are the top reasons that come to mind.    

Wordless Wednesday: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Edition

Tuesday On Tenterhooks

Yippee!!!  Nuun is announcing their HTC team tomorrow!  Still stressing, but feeling as confident as I possibly can.  

I never posted my actual entry.  I couldn’t figure out how to put it up without making a HUGE post.  Sure, you saw the video outtakes, but the video wasn’t even my real entry.  Mad props, by the way, to those of you who did a video and sent it out into the online universe.  You are far braver than I!  But I was emailing with Tricia at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical yesterday and she asked to see it.  So I figured I should probably figure it out and just put it up for everyone to read.  

Like I told Nuun in my (scripted) video: My entry [one reason for each of the 197 miles in the relay] is honest, I like to think it’s funny and sometimes it’s just downright dumb.  But it’s what I’ve got.
To read: click on white box with arrows at top right corner.

"Ain’t Too Proud To Beg" – The Temptations

Yes, the title of this post is very EMZ, but it seemed appropriate.

As you all know I applied to be on Nuun’s Hood To Coast relay team.  The deadline was last Wednesday and the “winners” will be announced this Wednesday.  Let me say now that this has been the longest week of my life.  It even beats out the last week of my pregnancy.  Spud was 10 days early so I didn’t know my last week was my last week; capisce?

Anyways, about this last week.  I think I have officially driven Colin nuts.  A lot of “do you think it was good enough?”  and “do you think I’ll make it?” type questions.  I know that he does support me and does think my entry was good.  Pretty sure, though, that after asking him for the 20th time in one day he just starts to humour me.  The other thing I’m doing is practically stalking the Nuun Facebook page.  Thankfully I’m not the only one.  I know it’s silly since there is no announcement for another 2 days.  But I figure it doesn’t hurt to make sure they know I’m still out there and stressing!

So back to the title.  I know that this isn’t a popularity contest.  If it were the team would be made up of the most popular “big” bloggers.  Which would be cool.  However, I wouldn’t be on it.  As I was reminded: If you don’t get what you want, it’s probably because you didn’t ask for it. 

Therefore, I’m asking.  Again.  

Please let Nuun know on Facebook that I should be on their team.  Will it make a difference?  Who can say?  For all I know, they’ve already selected their favourites.  But at this point I’m not above begging.


Back to stalking ’til Wednesday…

Please, Enjoy Watching Me Make An A** Of Myself

What I’m about to post is essentially my worst nightmare.  If you’ve known me for a long time you already know that public speaking is not my forte.  I speak too quickly and usually feel extremely nauseated.  I just don’t do centre of attention.  Never have.  

That said, I’ll apparently do anything for Nuun’s HTC contest.  I’ve put myself out there more in the last 5 days than I have in the last 5 years.  

Without further ado here is my HTC “blooper reel”:

I had plenty of time to mess up when I taped myself.  It was just take after take for 15 minutes (hence the fading light).  Note that I have 1:27 of screw ups; there were way more, but these were the good ones.  By contrast, the video I sent them is only 58 seconds long.     

Monday Musings

1.  Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final is tonight.  If you read this blog you know who I’m rooting for.  That’s all I’ll say out of fear of jinxing it.*  

2.  There is nothing worse than obsessing over things that are out of your control.  I submitted my entry for the Nuun Hood To Coast contest on Friday.  The problem with being somewhat proactive is that now I have to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  You get the idea.  The contest doesn’t even close until the 15th.  They don’t announce the team until the 22nd.  

I’m confident and my entry will speak for itself.  But I’m terrible at biding my time.  Just ask Colin.  I’m a ball of anxious nerves.  It sounds kind of silly, but I’m honestly sure this is why I don’t put myself out there too much.  The “will they like me” question is killing me because what if they don’t?  In my head I know that it has no bearing on me.  That’s the insecure 15 year old me talking.  It’s not like they’re going to send me an email saying, “You know what?  Yeah, just not good enough and we don’t like you.”  Either my entry was more creative than the other hundreds or thousands of entries or it wasn’t.  If I don’t make it onto the team, I don’t.

After reading that last paragraph it’s obvious I simply need to let go and stop over-analyzing. Easier said than done, of course.  I’m sure you’ll hear about it a couple more times before the 22nd.

3.  My half-marathon clinic starts tomorrow!  Hip hip hooray!  It’s 16 weeks long (I think) and will train me for the half in Victoria, BC in October.  Colin’s going to be training on his own for the full.  It’ll be nice because I’ll be able to watch him finish since my race will be over first.  I’m so glad that my running is back to being scheduled.  I’ve been so lazy lately.  The best thing is that the runs is how (not) long they are.  I’ll be able to do most of them on my own since they’re short (think 4km tempo runs, etc.) and it stays light out for longer.

4.  I’m considering having a Facebook page for Running 42km.  I think my real-life friends might be sick to death of all my running related status updates and blog post links.  Question is, though, would any of you “like” it?  It’s another added thing so I’d only want to do it if you are interested.  Let me know.  

5.  My parents, Colin and Spud surprised me yesterday with my birthday cake.  This is only significant because my birthday was back on 17 March.  Things were just too busy around my birthday for my mum to make my labour intensive cake so we had a different one that Spud picked out.  Of course, being a mature 31 years old, I complained that I didn’t get “my” birthday cake.  For the past month or so the cake and icing were in the freezer, but there was never a chance to assemble it.  Spud did very well not spoiling the surprise yesterday!  I wrote off his comment, “Happy Birthday, birthday girl!” (said with a big hug) as just him being his cute 4 year old self since he made me a block birthday cake a couple of days before.  I’ll post a picture of what’s left of it for Wordless Wednesday!

*No snide remarks from you Barefoot Neil Z.


That’s the number of reasons I sent Nuun in hopes of getting to participate in the Hood To Coast relay with them.*  

A couple of things in case you didn’t know:
Nuun is the purveyor of “electrolyte enhanced drink tabs.”  Here’s why it’s super: it has electrolytes; it’s portable; it’s sugar free; and it comes in a whole whack of flavours.  

Hood To Coast is a 197-mile relay in Oregon from Mount Hood to Seaside.  It’s the largest running relay in the world.  There are some pretty fast runners who race the event.  Most teams, though, go to have fun.  It’s basically 31-1/2 hours of finding out how much you like your (new and old) friends.

This year Nuun is a bronze sponsor for the event.  While I’m sure it would have been more than easy for them to fill a team with their own employees the fact that they are putting up one of their entries as a prize is awesome!

When I heard that they were inviting female bloggers – thanks AMR– to get creative and enter their contest I knew that I wanted in.  I just didn’t know how I wanted to go about it.  I’m not terribly artsy-craftsy, nor am I competent in front of a camera.  Being that I’m a history major I found something written to do.  I’m crap at essays (or anything for that matter) extolling my virtues.  But a list was a little less intimidating.  Until I decided that I should give them reasons why I should be on the van.  And maybe one reason for every mile of the relay.  It went well for a while then became daunting.  I begged Colin to come up with reasons.  He gave me 2.  When I couldn’t sleep I’d lie there and think of things to add.  I finally finished a week after I started.  Some of them are great, some good and some mediocre.  Some are personal and some are funny.  Thankfully I never had to resort to “This is reason 186” as a reason.  

I figured that it wasn’t enough to just send in the list.  Yes it’s awesome, but there was no face to the name.  So I did what I am terrified of doing.  I made a video introducing myself.  Pure cheese.  I refuse to put it up on here due to embarrassment – and the fact that there’s personal information in it.  I might put up a series of the bloopers though.  Lot’s of “darn it!s”, “craps” and “pbbtthss”.
I know this is true of all entrants, but I really want this.  It’s not just because I think that it would be a fun event.  There’s no denying that the teenager in me wants to party all night while my adult self knows that I should be sleeping.  The runner in me wants to be challenged.  Marathons?  “Easy” (thinks the 5-hour marathoner).  Approximately 3 10Ks in a day and a half with people I’ve never met?  Challenge.  I know that I can physically do it.  Yes, I’m not insanely fast, but I can keep up my speed for a 10K.  

It’s the mental aspect of this relay that I know I need.  I’m having a hard time explaining this in words even though it makes sense in my head and my heart.  I need to figure out who I am.  Right now whenever I think about me all I think is “I’m just a stay at home mum.”  Yet I know that I’m so much more than that.  But I don’t know what.  I’m stuck in a rut.  Sometimes I feel like there isn’t much of me left even though my 20-something self before I had kids didn’t really know me either.  See, not making much sense, right?

All I want is a chance to figure it all out and I see this as the way to do it.  When else am I going to get to escape my life (and it’s a great life, don’t get me wrong) for 4 days?  

Here’s where I need you:

There is no “most votes gets it” winner.  The van teammates are picked at the sole discretion of Nuun.  I think that my entry holds its own and can probably get me in.  It meets all their criteria, but I’d love for you to show your support.

How?  And don’t feel pressured to do so.  Honestly only do it if you think I deserve it.

  • Comment here.  You don’t have to tell them I’m awesome (though I won’t complain if you do!).  If you want to explain why you’re “voting” for me, feel free.
  • Let them know on Facebook.  All you have to tell them is that you think Alanna at should be on their HTC team.
  • Let them know on Twitter.  I don’t tweet, but if you do you can contact them @ministryofnuun.  Same as above, just say “Alanna at should be on your HTC team.”
Thanks for your help!  It means a lot!

* When I typed this all I could think of was Tyra Banks telling the poor “models” that the might have to go home.

Three Things Thursday

1.  Where have I been, you ask?  Mostly just reading other blogs.  It’s not like I’ve been out of town or anything.  Just kind of blog lazy.  I haven’t been running much since I don’t start half marathon training until next week so there really hasn’t been much to say.  

2.  I think my blog stats are messed up.  I went from having about 5-10 pageviews to having 151 yesterday.  The weird thing is that they’re coming from blogs I read, but they haven’t linked me anywhere.  Not that I mind my stats getting skewed.  It makes me feel more popular than I actually am…

3.  I’ve almost completed my entry for Nuun’s Hood To Coast contest.  It’s taken me a week, but I hope to submit it tonight.  I think (and hope and pray) that I actually have a shot at making it!  For those of you who don’t know Hood To Coast is a 197-mile relay in Oregon.  I’ll post about it once it’s sent off.