Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hood to Coast 2015 Prep

It's almost race time! For the second year in a row, I'm doing the Hood to Coast relay with a team of coworkers. I'm in van 2 as last year, but this time runner 10 (of 12). This leg is actually rated slightly easier, and is slightly shorter, than runner 8 which I did last year. Leg 10, 5.5 miles, is very flat and even slightly downhill, on the Springwater Trail. Leg 22 starts with almost 2 miles uphill (and I think on gravel - this is the end of the section in which leg 8 is entirely on a curvy, hilly, gravel country road), but then continues downhill for the remaining 4.5. Leg 34 is some rolling hills but super short at only 3.5 miles.

The weather will be a little iffier this year than last. Last year got warm-ish, though not super hot (I only have temps up to the mid-70s recorded on my legs). This year is only up to the low 70s, and lots of potential - in fact, almost certainty, I'd say - of rain. I know the area certainly needs the rain! Though for the sake of the race I'd hope perhaps it can stay more intermittent and not too heavy. 

Running wise, I haven't done anything too specific to prepare. After all, I'm doing plenty of runs that are as long as my longest leg (speedwork and tempo runs are in that neighborhood, or longer!), and lots of running on back to back days. I feel pretty confident that my marathon training will carry me just fine for HTC. In fact, I'm basically going to use it as part of marathon training. To taper, I've skipped my speedwork and tempo runs this week, and am going to try to run all of my legs at either the "strength" speedwork pace (11:50) or tempo (12:00) paces that I would have been running for those. 

We had a team dinner last night, and hashed out many of the details for what to bring and what time we'll be doing what. I got designated as a co-captain, to lead van 2, as our team captain is in van 1 (and she and I are among only a handful of HTC veterans on the team this year). Here's what what I was busy packing after the meeting:

Team race gear
3 van race signs (bibs)
Nighttime safety gear - 2 blinky vests, 2 headlamps
Race handbook

Team van gear
Masking tape (to tape signs to van)
Tarp (for sleeping in field after it rains)
Paper towels
Food - I'm adding cookies and string cheese, other snacks being bought for team
Garbage bags - for keeping the van tidy, and also in case of rain (use as ponchos)
Flashlights - van will have 4 total - at night, incoming and outgoing runner will have headlamps, rest of van can have a flashlight
Car phone charger, plus extra USB cord
Audio cable to connect phones to stereo (some areas of race don't have good radio coverage - or good phone signal, so I have music downloaded to my phone)
Extra batteries/charger for headlamps, blinky vests, and flashlights
Toiletries - wipes, hand sanitizer, body glide, vaseline

Also being brought by teammates:
Cooler & ice
Water, gatorade, and snacks bought for team
First aid kit
Foam roller and stick roller

Personal running gear
SPI belt
Race bib & safety pins
Running shoes
Individual nut butter packets (a fuel option I'm experimenting with)
Hat (if it's raining)
Leg 1 running outfit
Ziploc 1 - leg 2 (night) running outfit
Ziploc 2 - leg 3 (midday) running outfit

Personal gear
Towel (to protect seat from sweat, and using as pillow, and in case I shower)
Energy drink for before each leg
Toiletries - lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chap stick (might add soap so have shower option?)
Ziploc 3 - misc clothes (race shirt for crossing finish line, long-sleeve shirt if it's cold)
Flip flops

I'm debating packing a second pair of running shoes - the only reason I think it's worth taking up the extra space is because of the rain - if they get soaked on an earlier leg it'll suck to have to use them later on. (But I am bringing running socks, which I virtually never use, so as to minimize problems from wet shoes if that is the case.)

I've actually got it all condensed to this! The larger back bag can go in the back of the van (tarp and blanket - will only need when stopped). The left bag is van/team shared stuff, so that will probably wander around the van. The right bag is my personal stuff to stay by my seat. 

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