The Connection Runners +

"Me? Trash talking?!" HTC leg 3

Previous Hood to Coast recaps HERE.

After our van completed our second legs, we headed to "the sleeping field" at the next van to van transition in the town of Mist. We were all exhausted and actually looking forward to sleeping on the ground, unfortunately the traffic was INSANE. It took us a couple of hours to get there. I rested my eyes in the back seat, thinking that may be the closest I got to sleep. Our driver Alex was AMAZING at keeping the van positive.

We pulled into the field at about 5:20 am. My next leg was projected to start at about 7:30am, but we figured the other van may be ahead of projected time. Some of the team caught an hour or so sleep outside in the field.

I curled up and slept from 5:45 to 6:45 in the back seat. Of course by "sleep" I mean: check my phone every 10 minutes, thinking I had missed my alarm. At 6:45am we got up and waited in an insane line at the Honey Buckets. I was FREEZING cold dressed in long sleeves, capri's and a zip up hoodie. After taking care of business, I ate a couple of chocolate covered espresso beans, had a sip of nuun and tried not to panic.

At that point, I had ran 2 legs, one of which was screaming down a mountain. We had about 60-90 minutes of sleep and weren't fueling properly. I mentioned to a team mate that I was afraid I'd tell my body to "go" and it would say "NO!". In fact, I believe I told a few of them "I'll try my hardest, but if you see me walking, just drive by. Don't cheer me on, just act like you don't see me,I'll get there."

I was tired, and it was so cold* (hello, I'm used to 108) that as much as I knew I'd try... .it just didn't seem physically possible.

Turns out it was a good thing I got ready early, our team captain from Van 2 came running up, letting know they would be in early. I needed to be in transition NOW. I tossed my jacket and made the decision to bring along my walkman mp3 player. Hood to Coast has strict rules about running with music,due to safety reasons. But, they DO allow you to run with music "below your head". I looped my walkman around my neck and decided I'd just turn it up. It wouldn't be loud enough to bother others, but I'd have it for a boost.

In no time at all, XLMIC was flying into transition. I snatched the slap bracelet and set off. I was cold and tight, but instead of being miserable... .I realized I was LOVING it!

My last leg was short, 3.75 miles. The first mile was relatively flat,but the rest was "rolling hills". Honestly, I'd take rolling hills over flat any day. It took me a bit to warm up,but soon I had a "power song" on and I was PASSING dudes. Yep, I had more road kills on this leg than the others combined. In fact, my pace on this 3rd leg (on hardly any sleep,with sore muscles) was almost the same as on the first DOWNHILL leg. Here is what was playing as I passed the first 3 guys:

Yep, as cheesy as it sounds I put it on repeat and felt like I WAS ruling the world. I would pick a target and catch up and pass. Prior to the leg, I just focused on doing my best, I didn't feel especially competitive. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or food, or the cool weather,the music or what, but suddenly I WANTED to track people down and pass them.

I haven't talked about our other nuun team so far. Unfortunately, Nuun Platuun and After-nuun Delight didn't have much interaction along the way. We were at different paces (their team projected to finish MUCH faster than us) and we were all worried about simply making it to the next transition. However, we were aware of where each other was in the race. Somehow, we ended up leap frogging with them throughout the race.

We'd be ahead,then they'd blow past us and we would repeat. We knew going into it that their team was much faster, but the emphasis wasn't on paces it was about having fun. I didn't expect to see them on this leg, they started it waaaay before us, but suddenly I was crested a hill and saw a glimmer of a sparkle skirt their team was sporting.

And then, I WANTED our team to pull ahead of them... ..even if we'd only be able to hold it for the next few legs. I'll admit, knowing they were such a faster team made us feel like the underdogs. (sidenote: these were just our girly personal feelings,nothing to do with nuun. They ROCK!) In that moment, I didn't want to be an "underdog".

So I picked up the pace. I could tell the other runner was struggling poor thing, so I asked if she was ok. She said yes... .and then I passed her. I flew up and down the next few hills on a high. It was a small thing, but I felt like I was FINALLY showing people what I had.

I came FLYING into transition, pumping my legs as fast as I could, feeding off the cheering of the crowd. I saw the president of Nuun, Mason on the sidelines yelling "Great job Tricia".

In that moment, I felt like I belonged, like I deserved to be on the team.

I handed off to Captain Cupcake, and while I don't remember it, apparently I very loudly said "GO! They're right behind us!!!"

(still catching my breath, but BEYOND stoked with how much I enjoyed that run)

Umm yeah... I'm not a trash talker. I had no clue that was coming out of my mouth, I guess I got caught up in the moment. Luckily, the other team (After-nuun Delight) seemed to take it well. They said "We heard what Tricia said, it's on!"

It was now a light hearted competition to the finish. And I had just done my part, and done it well.

*outfit by I ended up being super thankful I ran in the long sleeve, it kept me warm without over heating me. The skirt was comfy and the compression capri's kept my IT bands happy

My 3 legs were done, but the race wasn't over yet. Did we hold on to our lead? Check back for more soon!

food, HAPPY, hood to coast, muscle, nuun, nuun platuun, race, road, running, and more:

"Me? Trash talking?!" HTC leg 3 +