When we were first asked to pick what legs were preferred to run at Hood To Coast, I didn’t do any research. I looked at a chart that told me which of the 12 runners had the longest and hardest rated legs and picked the top 3. When I was told that I was not runner #5, who had the hardest legs, I was a tad upset. I felt like if I was going to run Hood To Coast, then I wanted to GO HARD. I got my 3rd choice, runner #2.

I tried to switch with Emily who was runner #5, again not looking at the terrain. She said she would have been glad to switch if I did not have the leg that was down the side of the mountain. She was messed up from the downhills at Boston and didn’t want to injure herself. [as fate would have it I am so thankful that Emily was #5 – she had almost all UPHILL legs – and I’d prefer a downhill to an uphill any day!]
Turns out that runner 2 had a 1,500+ foot drop on the first leg. Literally down the side of a mountain. I freaked. This is what you get Dorothy for not researching.
I did not think much more about it other than the fact that I wanted to run fast, even though every common sense cell in my body told me that it was dumb to run fast downhill on the first leg. I would either injure myself or kill myself. My last two legs would be crap if I ran fast.
I agreed to myself that I would take it easy, we weren’t competing for time anyways, it was about having fun and spreading the nuun love.
Fast forward to lunch time on race day and I was stressed. Happy, but stressed. It was way hotter than I had imagined it would be and I didn’t have time to eat lunch before my leg took off. I ate some blueberries, an apple, and a packet of barney butter and drank a sugar free red bull. I hoped it would be enough, but not too much that it would bother me during the run. I had drank more nuun in the past 24 hours than I had ever before. I knew I was hydrated this time. The heat would not beat me this time!
My teammates who didn’t really know me yet could tell. They could tell I had my game face on. They reminded me that I didn’t have to be so serious, I could run for fun. I agreed, but still had the pre-race jitters.
When I saw Runner #1 coming, I knew it was on. The relay does that to me. It’s a team atmosphere and I want to run my heart out because I want to do it for the team. I want lots of high 5’s when I get back. I want to feel the pain that comes with pushing myself to the limit.
I took off running as fast as I could. Roadkill [the term for passing people in a relay] was happening left and right. I only got passed once. It was by a VERY strong looking chick – by strong I mean, she looked like she definitely took suspect stuff before she weight lifted at the gym. I hit the first mile in 6:22. Instead of doubting myself I looked down at my Endorphin Warrior Bracelet and reminded myself to BELIEVE [fun giveaway coming soon!].
Mile 2 was a 6:18 – I was pumped. I looked around at the mountains, and thought to myself that life was good. That stuff like this is what life is all about. I felt sooo blessed on the side of that mountain. It took all my energy not to get chocked up. I didn’t want to cry – I needed my breath.

Mile 3 was a 6:08. I was in heaven. My head felt like it was going to explode, but I pushed on – telling my body not to slow no matter the pain. My quads screamed out. 5:59. WAIT a second. I did I read that right. I started to FREAK. 5:59 is the fastest race mile I have ever run. I do not care that it was down the side of a mountain. It was down the side of MT Hood for one and it was my legs pushing me down and my quads taking the impact. I deserved that 5:59 whether or not gravity was helping me! It was in that moment I knew everything was going to be amazing. If I ran 11 minute miles from here on out, I didn’t care. The trip was already worth it. I felt like I had made it in life. IN what dream did I actually get picked to run Hood To Coast?

My last mile was a 6:08 and then a sprint .4 into the finish. My overall time was 32:50 for 5.4 miles. Faster than I have ever run in my life on a leg that was rated HARD.

Here I am dead tired, recounting those hot, hard, downhill miles to my teammates, who would soon become my friends!!
When I finished I immediately starting telling the president of nuun and my teammates that I knew it sounded super cheesy or that I was trying to kiss a$$, but that I really appreciated this opportunity and that it was FREAKING AMAZING.
Coupon Code *afternuundelight* gets you 25% off nuun till the end of September!


  1. You definitely KICKED @SS!! I have to tell you that I LOVED watching you run. You looked focused, yet relaxed. In fact, you are pretty much my new running idol!

    Great recap!

  2. You are amazing!! Great job, I hope to one day be able to run 6 minute miles. I was running low 7's before my baby was born so my goal is to surpass that and get into the 6's. Thanks for posting, your such an inspiration.

  3. I LOVE that these posts are still coming! Way to go!! I LOVED leg #2, I kind of think its the best one! :-) It's funny because that was the first time I ever saw a mile that started with a 6 and I was so happy, I think I wrote the same thing, that I didn't care about the mountain drop! I did it in 2010, this year I was leg #9 and desperately missed #2! You might mean 1,500+ ft drop though, 15,000 would be quite a lot! :-) I can't wait for hood to coast next year! Are you going to do it again?

  4. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Nicole – Thanks for catching that :) big difference!! I hope to do it next year – but who knows — we are trying to convince nuun they need us back. Columbus Marathon is up next for me though. What will you be racing this fall?

  5. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Lisa – I'm flattered!! You are a rockstar runner :)

  6. Wow is all I can say! I can't wait for the day I can run a 6 or 7 min mile! You rock!

  7. "I felt like if I was going to run Hood to Coast, then I wanted to GO HARD."

    Perfect. I felt that way, too. Of course my "go hard" is a much scaled down version 😛

  8. OOoo my goodness lady you are sooo fast. you deserve that 5:59 mile, totally, absolutely don't negate it, you rock!

  9. Gracie (Complicated Day) says:

    Rock star!

  10. SupermomE12 says:

    You did amazing! You run with all your heart and soul which is why you do so well. Great job!!! :) (and isn't running downhill super fast a blast?)

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