“Dear Nuun”, seems a little formal now? ”Hey Nuun!” ”What’s up Nuun?” ”My Dearest Nuun”… Geez this is hard. Let’s just go with “Nuun”.
I owe you a big fat thank you, and even that doesn’t seem like enough. I’ve been trying to avoid this recap because 1) I’m lazy, 2) I procrastinate (don’t tell my students that) and 3) if I actually write this it means this whole thing is coming to and end. I’m rather fond of this denial train, but I got to get off some sometime: next stop, acceptance.
As you know from my Hood to Coast application I was sort of ready to just walk away from all this htc madness after 2011.
But it’s hard to quit something you love, not matter how much it hurts you and those around you. And let’s be honest (because now you really know I’m a truth teller) Hood to Coast hurts (in the best sort of way) and it makes you come back for more and more.
I confess, one way or another, I’ll be back (I really hope this didn’t trigger an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice- that was not my intent… at all. For reals).
Back to htc. We’ve had some ups and downs. Good years and bad years like any relationship, but I really thought last year might be the breaking point. No need to dig up old memories, best they remain in the past but I found myself teamless at the end of it all and maybe just maybe a little heartbroken (man I like me a run on sentence).
I’d talked my way on to a team before so I figured I’d land somewhere, but I also knew I needed something a little special to bring back that spark: and Nuun, you were and are that something special.
There were many magical moments along the way but when it comes down to it the 6 people who share a van with you (if you are lucky enough to have a van driver) will make or break a relay. And my team made this relay. Nuun, you did a great job picking some amazing ladies.
Now we all know I’m normally a pretty selfish blogger and only talk about myself but I can’t help but share a few words about my amazing teammates (and then I promise to talk about myself a lot… this is about me right?).
Leg 1 Caroline
First off, I’d have like 4 pictures for this blog if it wasn’t for Caroline and her masterful photog skills (props to you lady). On top of that she’s my favorite French Canadian… I might just call her up to listen to her accent. Caroline is also one of the bravest and quickest thinking ladies around (legit check out this post). And she volunteered for what I think might be the hardest leg of all: Leg 1.
When recruiting people for htc the normal response one gets is “I’ll run any leg but one or two”. Not only did she rock her legs but she did so with a smile. My quads hurt just thinking about it.
Leg 2 L to the B (Lauren)
Health, you totally miss me right (like how I just made it all about me). LB we had our moments… okay maybe I had my moments. But look at me now, I’m such a better person. Health helped me become a better person (dang this is still all about me).
Okay for reals, this gal is amazeballs. When I think of LB she’s always rocking the biggest smile that’s just contagious and I can’t tell you how important this is in a van. Everyone’s tired, hungry and just a little sick, so to have a smiling and somewhat sarcastic teammate is just priceless. AND she volunteered for leg 2. She legit rocked it and with no complaints.
Leg 3 Vanessa
First things first, isn’t she just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? And she’s gluten free and she writes about cooking??!! I mean win win! And she’s a baller. While most of us are busy training for reasonable distances like the marathon she’s training for a 50k! Yep that is 5-0!
Vanessa killed her legs and they were tough (especially her middle and last leg). She did it with smile and wicked sense of humor but she was also super supportive. It’s easy to just get wrapped up in your legs and what you need to be doing but Vanessa was really thought about others and supported the team (… er I’m not so good in that area… hmm again all about me…)
Sarah umm… Susan
Pretty cute hugh guys? And single #justsayin. Susan killed it. She’s coming off a lengthy break due to a temperamental back but you never would have guessed it. She killed her legs. But more importantly she can fix anything (she’s a nurse after all).
She fixed my sunglasses for me and our air conditioning vent (though I think initially she may have broken the vent…). She’s also not afraid of blood or puke all good traits for a vanmate. On top of all this awesomeness she’s pleasantly sarcastic with a twist of dry humor. Very important in a vanmate. Susan you miss me right? Did I mention she’s fast? She also convinced me I didn’t have pneumonia… Now about this sun rash/bug bite? I can send you pictures?
Leg 5 Shanna (the Smack)
Shanna was lucky enough to get lucky leg 5. It’s the hardest leg (no really that’s according to the official htc website). I actually requested the leg which I now see is completely insane (and really should have known all along… I mean this isn’t my first htc kids).
I think within the first 10 seconds of meeting we decided we were besties and separated at birth. Now we just need to work on moving to the same city… for now we will be reunited in a few weeks. (Or Hood to Coast every summer ) It’s kind of funny how we just clicked but sometimes there really aren’t words to get to explain it… maybe it’s because we’re the same person?
Shanna got sick in the middle of her first leg and it really didn’t let-up until she was running her last leg. I’ve been sick on a relay before but never this bad. I would have been crying and calling my husband to pick me-up but she hung in and cranked out the hardest final leg. (Did I mention we were separated at birth and can’t wait to be reunited???).
Leg 6 ME!
Hmm… what to say? I’ll come back to this…
Van Driver Mason
Our fearless leader (he’s sort-of a big deal at Nuun and we we’re lucky enough to have him as our driver). Mason did all the really important things like drive us from one exchange to the next, help us find food and let us sleep while driving to the next exchange… but here’s a secret… he’s also pretty cool (don’t let him know I said that… it might go to his head).
As I said earlier liking your van is really important but maybe what I meant to say is being able to laugh together and laugh at yourself makes a good van great and Mason was a really important part of our experience. I guess the guy’s pretty funny (geez don’t let him know I said that…) which helped us all relax, be ourselves and have fun. He really set the tone for our van (um he was our leader) and he took care of us which included running with a few of us (including yours truly but more on that when I actually write about my legs).
Okay enough of this #vanlove.
Back to my open letter to Nuun (what is an open letter anyways???)
Nuun, you saved my relationship with Hood to Coast (geez Robyn dramatic much) and for that there really are no words. When I was ready to give it all up you provided an experience that I know will never be topped. It’s easy to think it was all the cool stuff we did (or cool swag we got) but really it was about all them people we met… all the bloggers and all the Nuun staff; I’m truly amazed, inspired, and humbled by everyone I met along the way.
I promise all the running details soon (er… sort-of soon) but since this is already a ridiculously long post I thought I’d leave you with a few (and by few I mean a lot) of pics. If you actually made it to the end of my Nuun htc app you’ll remember I highlighted my 13 strengths as a relay teammate… I’d like to think I lived up to my end of the deal… but I will let you be the final judge.
1. I heart me some Nuun.
And I still heart me some Nuun. AND I tried a bunch of new (to me flavors); yes there are flavors outside of grape and citrus… including banana and kona kola.
2. I have super sweet style. (I mean this blog is called run pretty run fast)
I still like running skirts, knee-high socks, and sparkle (all at once).
I’m clearly not afraid of wearing navy and black together.
I prefer matching others (I like me some color coordination).
If we can’t all wear purple I’m good with the rainbow coordination (and matching Nuun night Ts).
And stickers belong on sunglasses.
3. I’m fast. (again please refer to blog title)
Clearly I haven’t recapped my legs yet but they were solid, maybe not quite as fast as I hoped for but I’m a runner and clearly never satisfied (that’s why we keep lining-up at that start line over and over again).
This pic is leg one and yes I totes passed all those peeps.
4. I am excitable.
I mean… really…
These two might be more excitable… #justsayin
5. I’m fun in a van.
6. I’m reflective.
Hmm… #fail. No pic… you’ll just have to trust me on this one that I wasn’t hit by any moving vehicles.
7. I’m have super sweet relay hand off
Sure, anyone can hand off a little slapstick bracelet… but what about a Nuun water bottle?
8. I smile pretty.
9. I take awesome pictures.
I mean… really amazing pics.
10. I’m a supportive teammate.
Well I’m holding on (for dear life) to the htc handbook so I must be doing something supportive right?
Here I am talking to the Nuun Noon team… not my team… hmm maybe I need to change this point. (On a random not that’s my friend Megha in the blue sweatshirt in the back… she ran on the Puke and Rally team… true story).
11. I have tank tops to match every Nuun flavor.
No update on this one… but yeah… I still have way too many of these… I may have worn a few during the weekend events (and I may need a 12 step program for owning too many of these…).
12. I’m not afraid of a port-a-poty (or Honey Bucket if you’re from Washington)
And clearly I’m not the only one…
13. And I live in SEATTLE (um… okay I’m on the eastside, but I work in the city!)
Even if my view is still from the eastside.
So Nuun I still can’t believe you picked me but I am forever grateful. (Especially since now we don’t have to worry about sort-of awkwardness if and when we pass each other on the Burke, or Arb or Greenlake).