If you read my last entry, you recall how EXCITED I was for the Hood to Coast race, and the Sparkin' HTC team, made up of SparkPeople! In all my excitement, I totally dorked it up and thought they'd be coming through Portland on Saturday.
They started the race FRIDAY morning at Mt. Hood, and would be hitting Portland Friday afternoon. Yikes! At least I was having my Friday off from work, so I was Sparkin' away that morning and started checking out the HTC webpage and realized my mistake.
Needless to say, my level of babble to Bill kicked up a notch. Heh. Poor man. Good man - he listened to it all, and made sure we finished our errands early enough that we could leave for the site of Exchange, where KAYAKID had told me both vans would be, and the whole team - except the runner for that leg (turned out to be KEAKMAN).
KAYAKID had said they should be arriving around 5 or so, but wouldn't know for sure until KEAKMAN started her run. We left the house at 3:30, because.. yea, I had ants in my pants and didn't want to be late (who knew what Portland traffic would be like trying to get there) and wanted to be sure we could find somewhere to park.
We arrived at the location (and knew we were in the right place from the Hood to Coast signs set up at the site) and it was only 3:50. Uhhh.. ok, we're early, let's cruise around and see what we can see. We piddled about for a half hour and headed back to park. Still no sign of runners, vans, officials - anyone! Slowly though, vans started trickling in, and around 4:45 or so the first runners started appearing.
Aaaaaaaaaallllllllllright! Here we go!
We watched teams come and go, runners run in and make their exchanges (giving a slap wristband to the next runner for the next leg), ogled and chuckled over team names. We figured out RoadKills wasn't a team name, but a designation that their runners had passed that many other runners. Lots of people, lots of cheering, lots of SUN and FUN.
We walked the parking area several times, up and back, to see if I could spot the Sparkin' vans. We always came up empty, and I started to worry that we'd missed them somehow. We hung out cheering and watching until around 7. By then, I was ready to say 'we tried!' and head home to see if I could get updates from the HTC team page.
We got in the car, and carefully made our way out of the parking area (did NOT want to be responsible for running a racer over. That would be bad!) So we're heading down the road back to town, and I spot a van with a big ole SparkPeople emblem on the front.
SparkPeople! It's them! WooHoo!
Bill whipped the car around and we headed back, parking not far from where they were gathered. I climbed out and head for the group of people, and 10-15 feet away let out a big "SPARKPEOPLE!" and threw my hands in the air. They looked at me and answered with a "Yes!" and then..
Then I froze. Uh.. huh. I hadn't thought out what to say past "SPARKPEOPLE!" so I stuttered and stammered and somehow managed to spit out that I'm a SparkPeople, too!
They were great, gracious in the midst of their race, and, as I explained to Bill later, for me it was like meeting total RockStars! These are people who are like me - were like me, started at some point on SP, working on becoming healthier, more fit, more fabulous, and they're still involved and still working and still succeeding.
I'm shy by nature - that doesn't translate well here in text, but meeting new people usually isn't my forte. This though, was important, and I put myself out there and they reciprocated. There were hugs and - have you tried saying CBAILEYC outloud? It's a mouthful, but I spit out my username to folks and figured out who most everyone was.
SP Coach Nancy was among the team, and she's as wonderful as the rest. More hugs, more smiles, and there's me, tongue-tied and waving my hands about madly (yea, I'm a hand-talker when I'm nervous) telling her how much I love SP and what it's meant to me and I just HAD to come down to support the HTC team.
Time's a funny thing - it goes by quickly, but seems to take a while. I'm sure Einstein is rolling in his grave with my description here, but whatever. Before we knew it, one van had to leave to head to the next exchange point, and the other was staying to pick up KEAKMAN after her exchange.
I admit, the name of the lady she passed off to escapes me. My apologies to her!
I got to talk with GAYEMC, TRUEART2, met KASHMIR at the end, and watched the exchange, then felt like a goob when they introduced me to KEAKMAN because she'd just run her hiney off and was breathing and recovering. She was gracious as well, and I appreciated it.
It was time for them to move on, and we had to scoot off, too. It was falling dark quickly, and they had many miles to go. You know what I said about time back there? Yea. It was all over in the seeming blink of an eye, and yet I'm never going to forget walking up, yelling SPARKPEOPLE then freezing like a deer in headlights before finally babbling away at these great friendly awesome people!
It was so awesome in fact that I woke up early this morning, checked the clock, and wondered when Coach Nancy would start her final leg - she was to start at 6 a.m. I got up, made the coffee, took the girls out, and hit SP to spin the wheel LOL and start checking for updates.
Once Bill was up, and we'd both had a yogurt (I'm SO not a 'eat first thing in the morning' person) we motored off to the golf course. We completed 4 miles in 76 minutes (W00T us!) and I kept telling myself while we were tackling the big hill that if the Sparkin' team can RUN mountains, I can darn-well climb my happy huffin'-puffin' behind up this little hill - and I DID! All along the way, I kept the HTC team in mind and picked up my pace and kept striding along.
Once we got home, feeling mighty accomplished for the walk, Bill suggested we take the girls for a spin around the block. We did one more mile in 22 minutes - this mile took longer because Maggie has to stop and piddle (or.. ahem.. y'know..) in every other patch of grass she sees. That's alright, though.
I got five miles in today. I'm going to keep improving. I'm doing a 10K walk in October. Who knows what I'll be doing this time next year!
Today, I RAWWR'd and I love it! What about you??