Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blue Moon 5K

On Friday, I got to run my first ever trail race.

On the way to Denver to spend the weekend with Kristen and her parents, I made a pit stop in Colorado Springs for the 2nd annual Blue Moon 5K.

After a 3+ hour drive, I made it to the park with about a half hour to spare.  I waited in line to get my bib, but they were out of safety pins.  So lucky me got to carry it for the whole race.  At the last minute, I decided to grab my phone so I had music for the race.  Good call!

Everyone made their way to the start lines.  Not much of a warning or countdown, but we were off!

We rounded the corner of the park and headed into Ute Valley Park, a beautiful park with some great trails.  The trail shot up into a quarter mile incline that was tough.  By the time I reached the top, my chest was pounding.  I used the rest of the mile basically to catch my breath as I was winding through the forest.

Then, it got incredible.  Once I caught my breath, it became one of the best races I have ever done.  I loved the inclines hopping over branches and rocks.  I loved the downhills feeling my momentum pulling me down.  The weaving in and around paths, the dirt, the rocks, the trees... it was all amazing.

I think I'm hooked on trail races!

Official Time:  32:42

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Recently, I've posted about struggling with motivation, trying to get consistency back in my running.  It's been a tough couple months to stay on top of any sort of training schedule, but I'm learning to be ok with that.  I'm not the most thrilled about gaining 15 lbs, but here I am, and I'm ok with that.

Now that RA training is over, I'm determined to give myself a schedule that allows me the chance to be successful for the rest of 2013.

That means a few things:  4ish days/week of running.  2ish days a week of strength training.  Cross training.  Workouts.  Eating right.  Go time.

I've thought I was ready before, but now I KNOW I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.  And here's why:  I get BORED when I'm not working out.  I get antsy.  I get tired.  Yesterday, I went on what I call a "cleansing run."  That is what I call the first run in a while (in this case it was about 3 weeks).  It's pretty much a throw away run, meant to right the wrongs that eating poorly and not exercising does to me.  Usually, it's a 1-2 mile thing.  Yesterday, it was almost 4.  My body is telling me it's time.

So... here we go!

I have my first trail race this weekend, another 5K in September, then a half marathon in October.

Game on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Doesn't Kill You

A friend of mine, who just so happens to be a professional strongwoman (see this post I wrote a year and a half ago), asked a question via faebook that has been rattling around in my head for a few days.

She asked: "When did/do you feel the most strong?" 

I've had friends and family describe me as strong-willed, courageous, and the type who accomplishes anything I set my mind to or have my heart in.  I may have a lot of moments where I feel strength, but here's my secret:

I am strong because I have been broken.  I have hope because I have been weak.  And I have meaning in my life because I have been lost.

Throughout my life, I have struggled with confidence, my weight, and depression.  I have had days when all I felt is emptiness.  I have had days when all I felt is worthless.  I have had days when all I felt is that I don't want to be here any more.

But those days are gone.  Because I am strong.

I feel the strongest when I am at my lowest and I take a look at myself in the mirror and say, "enough is enough."  When I go head to head with my biggest fears and insecurities and I win the fight.  When I can stand up and say that I have conquered those obstacles, challenges, and internal voices telling me to give up.

When I want to quit.  To run.  To hide.  When everything is telling me that I'm not strong enough.  Not smart enough.  Not tough enough.  Not enough.

And I stand up and say "Today is the day when everything changes."

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela