Friday, September 7, 2012

Leg 25 {Power Arch for all!}: Hood to Coast 2012

I ran my last leg of the relay on Saturday morning. 
I think it was around 9 am.
After spending several hours in the van in a pretty uncomfortable position and getting very little sleep,  I got out of the van and my legs felt sore and heavy.  I was now feeling the pain from the severe downhill of leg 1 in my quads...aouchy.  
I was also still dealing with GI/intestine problems and I really wanted coffee!

One thing that was perfect: The weather!
See:  damp chilly morning...I LOVE that.

HTC2012 Caroline

Yes I am ready.....No I swear... I am...really

HTC2012 Caroline

No sparkly skirt for that leg, the reason is simple; it was too big.  It moved a lot during the 2 previous legs and it was a little annoying..other than that I liked it OK for this kind of occasion.  It won't be my choice of outfit for the Long Beach Half Marathon but for HTC it was great.   This was the last van exchange so we got to see people from the other teams.

I spent most of the time I had either in line for the porta potty or walking around to try to loosen my legs...but that did not do much.  It hurt just walking so I knew running would not be pain free.  Could not make up my mind on what to wear...long sleeves? short sleeves? no sleeves...?  Always best to be cold over being hot..so no sleeves! I lined up at the exchange station and waited {with Tricia who was waiting for Lindsay} for Kelsey, our runner 12.

HTC2012 Caroline


HTC2012 Caroline

I was happy that I still had a leg to run and that leg 13 (see previous post) was not my last memory of my Hood to Coast experience.  I wanted to go out and just enjoy Oregon and the nature and just BE in the moment.
I remember thinking "This is IT, you have waited since April 24 for this crazy ride and it is almost over....take it all IN"

Kelsey arrived and handed the stick to me one last time.

HTC2012 Caroline

Leg 25 is all rolling hills.  Beautiful all the way.  I am so lucky.  I loved that leg.  Before the first mile, my $%$^ groin, who had been pretty quiet all along...even during the crazy downhill, decided that it was done with the running.   And I mean DONE.  Sharp pain and all.  Each step I felt it just like I did in Fontana.  I DID not CARE. I had told myself before leaving for HTC that if I had to rest for 2 weeks after it is over than so be it, I'll do that but there was no way in hell that I was not going to run my 3 legs.  I think I had been pretty lucky with the groin situation up until then.  

For the first time my team stopped to cheer me on while I was on the course.  (it was not allowed for Leg 1 and second one was at night).  I could see them from far and I got really emotional.  It meant a lot to me that they stopped.

  
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And I got a Power Arch a la Dead Jocks!!!!! I LOVED it!!!

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As I got closer to the end I was smiling and crying at the same time.  My stomach on the other hand was clear on what it was doing : The Revolution.  I went in dry heaves mode shortly before I got to the exchange....not again...seriously....

htc2012-caroline htc2012-caroline

I needed a moment before joining my team.  Vanessa waited for me to make sure I was OK.  That girl is just so so nice. 
Mason was there also.  As soon as I got to him I thanked him for picking me on this team and for everything they did for us.  I told him I was so grateful to have been a part of this.  I also apologized for being the slowest one.  I was really overwhelmed in that moment and   
he was very supportive and kind.  Made me cry.  I won't repeat all that he said but in short...that the pace was not what was important and that he knew I clearly had given all I had and that he could not ask for more. 
And I did.  I can say for sure 100% that I left all I had on the road. 
Do I wish I had more to give...well yes of course.  Don't we all? 
I felt happy and proud
Thank you NUUN.

htc2012-caroline
(I am left handed...this shows how overwhelmed I was....!)

I had completed my Hood to Coast!  We still had 5 more legs to go.  We stopped for everyone to cheer them on and played "Call me Maybe" super loud as we passed our runners. 

We mastered the art of the Power Arch! (Dead Jocks got nothing on us now!!)

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htc2012-caroline
htc2012-caroline
htc2012-caroline

Thank you for reading.
I got one more post....the conclusion...

Before I go...I do want to thank all of you who have read and commented on these HTC posts.  Thank you for your support on my last post.  I got emails and comments and several asked if NUUN did anything regarding what happened during my 2nd leg.  The answer to that really is I don't know (They did send beautiful flowers to my house when I got back home).  If they talked with HTC people, they did not share it with me.  I don't think that it is NUUN's responsibility to do anything.  I am an adult.  I contacted Hood to Coast once I got back and told them (again) what happened.  I received an email from them today and they said they would work on this issue for the future.  On their website I read that they have bike patrol security during the night for legs 9 to 12.   13 needs to be on that list.  Also several people said I was brave...I do thank you for that but really I wasn't...Brave are the people who are serving for their country..people fighting cancer like our teammate Harmony's husband and many others....people who went back in the towers...almost 11 ago. 

12 comments:

XLMIC said...

CLIFFHANGER!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Boston Bound Brunette said...

Caroline you are such an awesome runner! You fight no matter what obstacles are in your path! You are so honest and you tell it like it is. I love that about you and I am so glad that Nuun chose you to run this relay. I am glad that I got the chance to meet you and you inspire me!

Linda W. said...

So glad your final leg was better. Kudos for toughing it out to the end! Love the power arches! I'm making my team do these for next year.

RockStarTri said...

The power arch seems so cool. The night leg scaries are so not cool.

I'm sure you'll remember this experience for the rest of your life. Epic.

Kate said...

Way to be tough with that groin issue. And you ALWAYS leave it all out there, the way you end with the dry heaves so often proves that you're giving it your all. It's been fun living HTC through your (and the other) posts...and I don't even have to feel bad about not applying or jealous because I wouldn't have missed my race that weekend for anything. :)

Cathryn said...

I love this post...primarily because you're smiling again but also because of what you said at the end, about it not being Nuun's responsibility to deal with the events of your previous leg. I love how you take your own responsibility - too few people do that, these days. HTC DO have a responsibility to ensure their runners are safe, so you did right to contact them, and Nuun have considerable influence so if they can help, it would be good if they can - but you're so right in what you say and it's so refreshing to see that!!
And you were brave!

Terzah said...

I'm so glad your third leg was beautiful and peaceful (even if not pain-free) and that your team was so supportive the whole time. Great work!

Jocelyn said...

wow you all did the "runner tunnel" a lot!! I'm jealous!!

H Love said...

wow...love the team spirit and I love you. OK...I said it. :)

MR DETERMINED said...

Awe what a cheerleading squad you have there. Looks like a fun emotional event. For me...brave is anyone that faces a fear no matter what it is...meaning you were brave.

dreambigrunner.com said...

You are one of the most determined women I ever seen! Congrats on finishing all 3 legs even though you had so many obstacles in your way. I hope you recovered well.

Raina said...

Great photos ! It looks like you got some rough terrain. Dry heaves sound no fun. Now I need to go backwards to the post before, because I want to know what happened the leg before.