The entire trip to the Pacific Northwest was a whirlwind of excitement, nerves and fun. It would be impossible to share every moment, every giggle, every rumble of the stomach as anxiety ate my insides. I can barely remember them, even, the memories washing in like the tide of the Pacific Ocean, depositing bits of sand onto the shore that is my psyche.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't share a few things with you before wrapping up my Nuun Hood to Coast experiences.
1. Grass is always greener at Green Lake. Thursday morning, after a bit of sleep and pot of coffee, I found myself in Northeast Seattle at the intersection of Green Lake Drive and Ravenna Boulevard. The Ravenna Boulevard, the namesake of my beloved Brooks shoes.
We were there for a shakeout, a short and (for me) arduous 3-mile run. The air was crisp and the lake a welcome change from my dark and familiar neighborhood routes. I ran with two of the Nuun girls, Lauren and our fearless coordinator Megan, at a slow clip as we rounded around the water. It felt harder than I should of but I blamed the travel and focused on the fun ahead - visiting Oiselle.
The Oiselle HQ is small but homey, and I pretty much wanted to find all the things and take them home. I got a little shy and did a major fail in talking to some of the Oiselle all-stars but loved hearing the owner chat about the company's relationship with Every Mother Counts and their team for Hood to Coast, which featured Christy Turlington. Sadly, CT was not there ... not that I would have chatted but ya know.
2. Teamwork. I've joked with a friend or two that the only way I'd have a running group is if they showed up to my house every day at 5:30 a.m. And most people don't want to do that ... so, yeah, I lead a relatively solo life as a runner, joined only occasionally by my three favorite men.
This weekend, it was different. I had people by my side when I was slow and teammates cheering me on when I was fast. I had people to inspire me and people to push me to be better. We're all at different places and paces but for that weekend, we were a team.
The experience was new and exhilarating, and it motivated me more than ever to find a group of women to share my miles.
3. "Do you want to go swimming?" After days of nonstop socializing, the invitation to head to the ocean by a small group of the Nuun crew was hard to resist. The beach, at water's edge, was quiet and the sun was setting in a brilliant show of color. The splash of the guys jumping and diving broke the air as I stared toward the horizon. The water was cool but not as cold as I had anticipated as it lapped over my feet.
"I'll go as far as you'll go," Zoe said as we ditched the Sparkle Athletic skirts and walked toward the surf.
I headed in cautiously at first but reveled in the force of the waves, going a bit further each time. I laughed and smiled, relaxing with each push of the water as the weight of the race washed away.
My heart aches to be back on the beach that night, to feel the way I did then, but I'm so grateful for that memory and all of the others that have deposited themselves into the story of the race.
In case you missed it: Freshly Squeezed: Running HTC and To my dearest Nuun
This post concludes my #nuunhtc stories. If you have questions, I'd be more than happy to do a Q&A post but wanted to err on the side of brevity and focus (for me) with the recaps.