Monday, August 24, 2009

My Nature Filled Weekend

What... a weekend. My good friend Katie convinced me to run a half marathon up in Ashton, Idaho where she now lives. I... of course, thought it sounded like fun... up until the 10th mile, anyway. I drove up on a Friday afternoon, and we checked out the course and did a little bit of site-seeing. Afterwards, I made a special "pot sticker" dinner, and spent the rest of the night catching up.

The race went pretty well, the first 3 miles was on a trail, which I'm sure slowed me down a bit when I got caught up behind slow people. At mile 2, I decided it was time to keep track of my "kills" of the female variety. I ended the race at a +19. It was also great to have Steve, Katie, and the kids, Abi & Evan (Ed) to cheer me on along the way, and they even made a clever little sign. Of all the nights, the night before, the smoke detectors decided to go off on three separate occasions, waking up the entire house.

The first 8 miles were a piece of cake, and around mile 10, I was starting to wish it was over. I kept going strong, and finished with a 1:43:14 time and third in my division. It's amazing how not playing soccer has affected my speed. All in all, I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments this year. Each race I have entered, I have at least placed in the top 10 in my division. I'm hoping to keep that streak going.

After the race and the medal ceremony, we packed in as much as we could before I had to leave the next day. Check out my Mesa Falls Adventures in my newest movie.

Thanks again Katie and Steve for an awesome weekend. No more letting 4 years go by before our next adventure!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Battles Of A Runner

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face." - Gatorade Ad

Totally surprised I didn't burst into flames... it's good to be DONE!

No matter what you do, or what sport you play, everyone faces their own battles. I often wonder what other runners are thinking and what their challenges are. During my last race on Pioneer Day, which was a 10K, I thought a lot about those battles I faced.

TRAINING: I only had a week and a half to train for a 6.2 mile run after 3 weeks off due to a knee injury, and finally a cortisone injection to get it back and functional again. If anyone knows me, I train hard for optimal performance.

DISCIPLINE: It takes discipline to keep a training schedule and stick to it. There are days where I'm tired, but no matter what, I push through my workouts with everything I have.

HEAT: There are so many levels of heat. First, I feel that training in the middle of the day, in the heat makes me work harder, so I opt to run during my lunch break. During my 10K, I noticed another level of heat that I face. My race pace pushes my body so hard that even at 8:00 in the morning, I can feel my body temperature rise so high that I feel like my shirt is suffocating me. If I can get my midsection some fresh air, I tend to do better. Then, there's the dry mouth heat, that you feel like you're going to die if you don't get a few ounces of liquids in your body, or poured over your head.

PAIN: There are so many types of pain. The pain in your legs that turns them to jello, but you keep going anyway. Physical pain, such as blisters from miles and miles of rubbing. The worst kind of pain, is the pain in your gut, just under your rib cage beneath the xyphoid process. It's the pain where you can't decide if you are going to hyperventilate or throw up. But again, you keep going.

MIND GAMES: There comes a point where I feel like my mind has split into two. One second, it will tell my body... "It's okay to walk." NO.. it's not okay, for me, and I have to quickly snap back to reality before my body catches wind of the suggestion. It's easy to give in, and I in fact did during that race while going up "Goliath Hill". I will say I was disappointed in myself for that, which leads me to the final and most crucial battle I face.

COMPETOREXIA: Yes, I made up this disorder, but it makes total sense to me. I am SO competitive that no matter how well I do, it's not quite good enough for me. I guess you can call it being hard on myself, and I have no idea where to draw that line. I finished the 10K in 46:26. Not a bad time, with all things considering. 1- I am coming off an injury, 2- it's still a sub 8 pace, and 3- I placed in my division. As a competorexic, this is what I see... 1- injury or not, I should be better, 2- I didn't set a personal record (PR), 3- I placed SECOND, not first. After each race I've run, I have received so many compliments on how great my stride is, or how well I tackle hills, or how someone has tried to catch up to me, but just couldn't. I am so bad at receiving compliments, and in my mind, I can't help but think of the things I should have done better.

My second place medal

My new goal is to try and find a good balance and learn to be proud of my own accomplishments. I have another half marathon coming up on Saturday in Ashton, Idaho, and I really want to take it easy, because let's face it... Races HURT. But then my competorexia kicks in, and I want to at least win my division. I'm still torn on how hard I want to run, but chances are... I'm going to kill myself. Wish me luck.