Aug 312010
 

I took that picture right after we dropped off Daryl at his last Leg. I don’t know if you can tell how exhausted and sore I feel from that picture, but trust me–I was. It was COLD at the last Exchange zone. When we had dropped James off at the Exchange before mine, it was hot and I was sweating from the sun. I was applying  sunscreen like mad, and I was worried that the two water bottles I had on my hydration belt would not be enough water. I was considering taking a small bottle of Gatorade and just carrying it while I ran. That’s how hot it was.

So I was completely surprised when we drove 7 miles to my last Leg and I was freezing! I wasn’t sure what to do. I figured I’d warm up when I started running. However, I was worried about the possibility of the beach being cold. I did not want a repeat of the hypothermia I had at Reach the Beach.

I used the bathroom twice while we waited for James. He thought his last Leg (about 7 miles) would be done in 60 minutes or so. I decided to quickly change to the damp clothes I wore for my second Leg since they were warmer. It felt gross and clammy, but I was freezing. Who has two thumbs up and is ready to kick ass? This girl!

I was worried about my running ability. I tried not to think about it. I tried to tell myself to just relax. It was hard.

I waited with Janell and Allen at the Exchange. James showed up ahead of his estimated time.

James arrived! By this time my legs strangely felt loose. I guess I was excited.

So Leg 36 was a little longer than my last, and had some elevation in it.

Once James tagged me, I took off. My legs felt okay and I surprised even myself!

The first part of my Leg was on an old logging road through a forest that had been clear-cut. The picture below was all I could find when I did a Google search. I wasn’t able to take many photos while running.

The old road was part gravel with lots of uneven ground and rocks. It was also uphill. And brutal. My ankle was was really hurting me and I was glad that I had wrapped it with an Ace bandage before I ran. I knew I’d need all the support I could get. I tried not to focus on the pains in my body and just run. I took a few photos once the trail ended and I got to the road. None of them turned out very well, but this is where I was running:

Once the log trail ended, I was on the road again and it was all downhill. My legs were hurting but I was running pretty fast downhill. I was also really hot. The temperature on Leg 36 changed 4 times. It started freezing, then was blazing hot, then comfortable, then cold. I had to take off my jacket as I was running because I was so uncomfortable. That took quite some skill: removing race bib, removing jacket, re-pinning race bib, trying to run while hold jacket. Annoying! But necessary.

My legs were okay as I was running downhill. I saw a professional photographer and tried to smile and not look totally retarded. :) I was still going downhill.

Then the treeline cleared. I was out of the forest and running down the hill into Seaside. Seaside!!! I was almost to this spot, I knew it:

But I wasn’t yet.

I tried to inhale and smell the ocean but I couldn’t smell it yet. I kept running. The ground was finally fairly flat and I noticed that my thighs were locking up as I continued to run. My ankle hurt. My knee ached. I knew I was in bad shape. I ran passed miles of cars and vans stuck in traffic. I ran through the winding route through Seaside. I passed a parking lot full of vans and thought, “I must be close!” But I wasn’t. The route kept going.

Earlier in the day Michael had texted me saying he saw the bridge I’d run over to get to Seaside. I’d asked him how flat it was. He said it wasn’t. I had not expected to see this crazy pedestrian bridge! It was an upside-down “U” shape. Meaning straight up one side and then straight down the other. When I turned the corner and saw that bridge I almost started crying. I couldn’t believe it. I was so close and my running was resembling limping more than anything. I felt like I was dragging my dead leg behind me. Pull it together! DON’T CRY!

I glanced at my heart rate monitor to see how long I’d been running and was so disappointed…I knew I was running slow. I stopped the negative whining in my head, even as people passed me left and right, and told myself that at least I was running.

I kept thinking “I can do this. I am almost done. I am almost there. I’m almost to the finish. One more mile.”

I was so emotionally distraught.

I kept running.

I was NOT going to melt down and give up when there were only 2 miles left! I’d come so far! I can’t give up now. I can’t. I won’t.

The volunteers were all really supportive and nice, telling me “Good job” and “You’re almost there!” Complete strangers walking or sitting on the sidewalks in town cheered for me and told me to keep going. I could do this! Dammit!

I started to see sand on the ground in places. That meant was getting close. I saw the horizon and a clearing up ahead. I kept running/limping. And then I could see the boardwalk. The last MILE of Leg 36, running along the beach on the Seaside Boardwalk! I could see it!! I was almost there!






About Lisa Eirene
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  8 Responses to “Hood to Coast – Leg 36”

  1. Wow…this was an amazing post, I could feel your stress, soreness and iron will. I hate running but I seriously admire those that do and posts like this make me want to run (but not really).

  2. [...] epic one. All year I had trained for Hood to Coast. My brain was consumed with 197 miles.  It was challenging, cold, and totally worth [...]

  3. [...] remember standing in the Coastal Range–freezing and not dressed appropriately for my final Leg of Hood to Coast. Waiting for my teammate to tag me…wondering “Can I even WALK at this point?” I [...]

  4. I am so happy to have stumbled upon this! Thank you so much for writing this alll out and everything. I don’t know if you’ll ever see this comment :P. I will be doing the 12-24-36 legs of H2C this year. So excited and so nervous. Write ups like this are such a huge help :)

    • Have a fantastic time and let me know how you do!

      • i will! So glad you got the comment :)

        I have been reading back through your whole H2C experience this morning… and am soooooo grateful for all you say… nail clippers, how hot you got, how cold you got, food, just everything. It is so awesome that you did this.

        Are you doing it again? Would you do it again? lol

        • I’m so glad you are finding it useful! The food I brought worked well for me. I loved the bagel sandwiches with deli meat and cream cheese. The bananas didn’t last in the van.

          No, I probably wouldn’t do it again. But I’d do something similar, or smaller…

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