Who’s That Girl?

I started blogging when I fell in love with running! Seems a bit nuts that after running a race I would want to sit in a chair for hours and write about running when in all reality I’m a back of the pack kind of runner. So why the hell would I want to share how slow I ran or how horribly sore I was after?

This blog started out as a way for me to remember all the fine details of a race. Once you have done so many races those details that were amazing on that day start to blur out. First off I have a horrible memory, second off the bigger picture is that I had to train for a new race and make room for new memories! After a few years of running and on and off blogging I worked my tail off to get my Certified Personal Training Certificate. During the process of that journey I realized that fitness and running is so much more than the movements and the way that I was feeling. It is most importantly how I can now make others feel! Seriously, I had no idea that I was inspiring people with my slow as a turtle pace. Or that people were watching my transformation from over weight drinker and smoker to a fitness professional. I started receiving texts, facebook messages, emails and I thought “well shit I want to keep inspiring those people and hell, who knows, maybe I can inspire more too!!!!” This is the reason that you (yes lucky you) are able to read about my accomplishments and even my dreadful defeats.

As you probably have gathered by now I write about running, fitness, personal training and my own fitness journey. During the course of the next few months my goal is to chat with some new people, make new friends and connect though a common interest of running and fitness! I hope to help others and also to learn over the course of the next few months.

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In Myself I Trust (Rock and Roll Denver 10k)

The race was to start at 7:15 and it was 7:24 when I hopped in my corral! I didn’t miss the start but I was REALLY warmed up! The race started as any race does. I was shedding my hoodie and long sleeve shirt before the first 1/2 mile (only guessing here). Like I said I was REALLY warmed up! I was in a great mood despite the chaos that was my morning. This race was going to be different than all the others. I could feel it!

Let me back things up a bit here. This Weekend I kicked off the start of my race season with a nice little 10k! That’s right, no running since June and decided to run a 6 Mile race! It went better than I expected with not even as much as a mile ran in the last few months. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that no traditional training and deciding to get up and run 6 Miles doesn’t come with some very valuable lessons!

I woke up Sunday morning BEFORE my alarm. Generally its a task for me to wake-up before 7 am any day of the week! Race day is the only exception! I did my thing. Got ready and headed out the door to meet my big brother at the Light Rail. As I was pulling up to the station, so was the train I was suppose to be on.

At this point there was no way I was going to be a passenger on that train so I watched it pull away with my brother in it and casually got my gear together. Ill condense the rest of what I call the “before the start line chaos” that started off my morning from this point: The train I actually needed to get on was not running that day which messed up all precise plans on how to get to the 10K start line. I proceeded to get on the “wrong” train since I had already gotten my ticket. Then I ended up walking from said “wrong” train to the 10K start line (adding 1.4 miles to my 6 mile race). Because I decided to walk to the start line I was also LATE!!!!

Course map...my route is in green.

Course map…my route is in green.

I knew this race was going to be different because I decided to ditch the Garmin and my running apps on my phone. That’s right folks! The entire race I had NO idea what mile I was in OR my pace (thankfully Im really good at keeping a steady pace). I am all about stats! I LOVE checking my progress and knowing current distance, elevation gains, ect. So much so that even though I use a Garmin, I also use running apps. Yes I will admit, at the same time. What can I say I love data!!!!

I started out at my normal pace and my good mood mixed with the weather was PERFECT! When I race I people watch and get lost in my play list. This race I wasn’t people watching like I had done in the past like checking out their gear, wardrobe, or crazy costumes. This time my Personal Training skills were in FULL effect. I was watching other race participants strides, alignment and determining their muscle imbalances (PT’s are cool like that).

Good Morning Downtown Denver!

Good Morning Downtown Denver!

Around what I imagine was mile 3 I was back on planet earth and present. It was then that I realized two things. 1) I forgot deodorant 2) I needed a bathroom break SAT!!!! I generally don’t do pit stops but when you wake up at 4:43 am, your around 4.4 miles in to your journey, and its been about 4 hours since you last peed. There is no other option but to answer natures call. About 10 minutes later I was able to answer the call. By the way if you have not experienced having to pee WHILE running, in my “expert” opinion I suggest you keep it that way!

I got back to the race but my focus was now very broken. I bantered back and forth in my head about walking instead of running. Generally I do intervals but since I wasn’t using my Garmin or a running app I was simply running. Then a quote I had read a few days prior popped into the old noggin, “The body will only go where the mind takes it”. I might be paraphrasing but still it resinated. Did you know technically that you have an unlimited amounts of energy stores in your body? Its true, so IF you wanted to you could go for hours upon hours of any activity. It is our brains that convince us to stop. You CAN run the whole distance but will you let your mind take you there? In that exact moment I decided that my mind was unbreakable and that I was going to let my mind take me there!!! My goal was not only to finish this race but finish by running the whole damn thing!

I continued running. I let my mind take over until my feet started screaming for mercy. I began to walk. Crap! I could feel the first effect of my lack of training! Literally I could feel Blisters forming and the weight of my feet seemed to be the same as cement bricks. My right knee was irritated. I was breaking focus again. I thought of the quote. It didn’t help. Then I thought “either way your feet will hurt. Your knee might hate you right now but walking will only prolong the time it takes you to get to a place where you can give them relief”. So I ran. I kept running.

Sprinting towards the finish line!

Sprinting towards the finish line!

Just when the thought of walking crept up again my anthem began to blair though my headphones and I couldn’t help but to pick up the pace! I ran though the parking lot of the capitol still unaware of my distance. I turned the corner and there it was!!!! The finnish line was about a block and a half away! It was all down hill! I went into a dead SPRINT!!!! I let gravity take control and I was lost in my playlist! My mind was unbreakable! The pain in the lower half of my body wasn’t even on my radar! I had tunnel vision, all I could see was the finish line!!!!!

As I write this I am 24 hours post race. The smells and memories are very vivid. Today I have virtually no data to analyze and I feel so free. Instead of worrying about all the data I just let my self run and enjoy everything around me. I did check the race results and even with no running for 4 months my pace is right on target from where I had left it. How did that happen? I have been doing HIIT and Circuit training over the summer which studies show have similar cardio benefits as traditional cardio training (ie running). I didn’t believe it when I heard it but I guess this little experiment proves it to be true!

Alright to the nitty gritty! What the hell did I learn? Below is my list in order of importance…

5) Its ok to make pit stops but try to make it to the start line on time so you can use the facilities then…

4) I learned that yes circuit training has the same cardio effects as traditional methods HOWEVER traditional cardio training (like running) conditions your feet, ankles and knees to embrace pounding the pavement of long distances. How do I know this? I currently have 5 blisters total, and the ankles and knees are a bit wrecked. Nothing a little TLC can’t fix thankfully!

Swollen Blister ridden feet are no fun!

Swollen and blister ridden feet are no fun!

3) Have a back up travel plan. When your up that early and wondering around a part of town you don’t know very well…have a plan B.

2) NEVER forget deodorant in a race. Not for the sake of others but for your own!!!

Here I am in an endorphin utopia.

Here I am in an endorphin utopia.

1) In myself I trust. I can have the same outcome without all the data and bullshit that the running magazines try to sell me. All I need to do is trust in myself, my mental focus and let my mind take my body where I want to take it.

Where The Hell Did She Go?

Alright, alright. So I got a wee bit distracted since January! The condensed update is: I quit my Corporate Job, I am now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and building my own business called FitThis! Nothing major or anything!

Okay, I know they are all huge milestones so I guess i should explain myself. I decided I was tired working on someone else’s dream day in and day out at my corporate job! It was time for me to dedicate my life to living my dreams and have the freedom to take care of my family the way I wanted to! My entire life I have always wanted to help people and impact lives for the better but I never knew HOW. It took 29 years of trying to figure out the HOW and one day I had an epiphany. Seriously this S.O.B landed in my lap! Make my life my career! What an idea! Running, health, fitness, (and bears OH MY)! I have researched health and fitness for many years. Some would say I would “nerd out” on it. Truthfully I cant deny those accusations. So I took the jump to become a personal trainer and nutritional coach.

Lets get serious for a moment: Most people don’t realize that currently 66% of Americans age 20 and up are overweight. Of those 34% are obese. To top it off more than 9 Million young people (2-19) are obese. To clarify a bit, people who ore overweight are 25-30 lbs above the recommended weight for their height. Obesity refers to a person who is at least 30 lbs over the recommend height for their weight. Why is this a big deal? This is why: Excessive body weight is associated with a LOT of health risks. Don’t take my word for it! Its everywhere. Google consequences of Excessive body weight its all there.

So we as Americans know that being overweight is bad and that we need to eat better. Easy. We are told all the time to maintain a healthy body weight blah, blah, blah. What we are not told is HOW. That is the issue at hand. It has been surprising how little people know about nutrition, exercise, and overall health. Since becoming a personal trainer I have encountered people that do not know how to read a nutrition label, how to cook a healthy meal, or how to exercise. No joke.

As most of you know, I have gone though my own transformation and I am still on my journey. Had I gained the knowledge from my NASM course prior to my transformation, DAMN it would have been easy! But when I first started my weight loss journey I was the average Joe who was ready to change. I had to dig for info and research. Thankfully I “nerd out” on that stuff. But most average Joe’s are not interested in that crap and have better things to do with their time. We all want the results, to feel fantastic, and (dare I say it) look good naked!

My job is just that to get people the results they want, help them feel fantastic, and I just take their word that they look good naked. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a magic wand to use on my clients and poof they are done. I does take hard work and sweat. I provide the knowledge, encouragement, accountability and the tools to help people reach their goals.

My mission is to teach people the HOW, WHAT, and WHY of health. Then for those people to share it with their friends and loved ones. So people can stop dying of the array of preventable disease’s imagethat comes with excessive body weight.

For those of you reading this that are looking for a health change: YOU CAN DO IT! Rally a team. Thats right get a professional that meets your needs. Get your family and friends on board to encourage you, workout with you, and to celebrate with you when you HIT those GOALS!!!!!!

I can’t lie this is the BEST job I have ever had! Every day I get to help others achieve goals while my soul is fulfilled.

Being Fit Is A Lifestyle But We Get To Pick How To Live It

What a week! First my personal life crashed to the ground for about two days, in turn I ate my feelings; a peanut buster parfait, coca-cola slurpee and a bag of funyuns to be exact (not my finest moments, but at the time I was wrapped in comfort and felt like i was in heaven). So now on top of the personal shit, I had an insane work week (the last week of the month is always a crazy fiery hell), boxing classes were canceled, and the snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours makes me want to hide in bed under covers! I love running but I love my warm bed much more, and a blanket fort can melt away any bad mood! Problem is when I’m not running I’m thinking about running…and just when I muster the courage to go out in snowy conditions I have daymares about falling on the ice and breaking one of my precious running legs! Rough week in the life of a first world female…thank god on top of it all Pinterest didn’t crash…if it did, that would have just done me in!!!! Faced with tough stuff all week I still managed to keep my ass moving and nutrition on track for the week! Besides my sugar induced coma Sunday I have been leaving my stress on the gym floor in little droplets of sweat and I have loved every second of it!

My first workout of the week was boot camp. I got there a little late which in January with all the resolution chasers is a big no no! The only spot to take in the class of almost 30 was front row center. I was late and obviously not in any mindset to fight placement! So I said meh fuck it who cares! Then came the warm up…simple, jumping jacks. Did I mention I was facing the mirror that is actually a wall? Simple. Jumping. Jacks.  All I could see was my fat juggling up and down in the mirror (fuck you front row). I felt embarrassed and almost quit. Instead I realized when I walked into that room everyone could see my size. My body did not change from the time I walked in to the time I started jumping! The only difference was now that the same mass everyone saw when I walked in the room was in motion. Then I thought to myself at least it’s in motion and I’m working towards what I want! Then I got back to hard work and instead of focusing on my fat in motion I made sure I had good form and congratulated myself on the changes I have seen in my body since starting this journey! I also decided not to wear that shirt again unless I knew I was going to be motionless.

The other highlight of the week was my feeble attempt at a real two-a-day. I decided to take a spin/weight lifting class at 6 am and then 12 hours later take on bootcamp. Let me start by saying I had never done spin class and the last time I woke up at 5:30 am was for the Rock and Roll Half in October (before that I was up at that time because I wasn’t done drinking). Anyways I keep hearing/seeing things that imply that being fit is a lifestyle. So naturally I thought to myself I’m on the fitness train lets do this shit! Well as usual I am late by 2 minutes, but it turns out only real gym rats show up to a class before the sun rises! This class had plenty of room with only 10 participants including the nutso instructor. I still had to face the damn mirror (but I was much farther away from it so I managed). I will spare you all the details but I will say it was AMAZING!!!! I will be returning next week at 6am for another ass kicking! Anyhow the day went along fine I went to work I felt great and I carried on to bootcamp. Big mistake! I was front row center again and I didn’t realize how fatigued my muscles were from spin/lift class. I felt like a bag of bricks! Seriously those people on biggest loser work out 8 hours a day! wth? Why cant I? I muddled my way though it and I decided that maybe once a day is fine for me for now.

Now for what you have all been waiting for….the weigh in (like how you have to read that B.S. to get to the good part)!!!! So Weight in….OUCH! I will say that I’m sure my sugar binge and weight lifting/strength training had a lot to do with that. Am I upset? Nope. Im still losing inches! Today I had to retire my second favorite pair of jeans darn!!!! Remember weight loss is not always about the number on the scale its the over all size and end product!20140131-222348.jpg

I learned this week that sometimes we regress to old habits (like parfaits), Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew (two-a-days) and that being fit is in fact a lifestyle but you get to pick how to live it.

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Guess who’s back? Back again…

I am approaching my second year anniversary of running and I have decided  to come back to the wonderful world of writing! Don’t get too excited its not for you…its for me! Don’t get me wrong I love that you are currently reading this and possibly mad at the last sentence I wrote, but documenting races and how my body continues to change is is imperative for me! When my shitty memory fails me I can come here and relive all the pain and triumphs. I am also more than happy to share my little world with you (see I’m not that mean) because no matter what adventure we embark on it’s nice to know we are not alone. Whether your a runner, a softball player, musician, or zoologist we all have a story to tell and I encourage you to share yours too! Now that craps out of the way lets get to the update stuff!

Since I started this blog (almost 2 years ago) I have lost 40 lbs and have 30 more to go to get to my goal weight! I have done a another half marathon (that makes 2). I will be writing about that here shortly so without spoiling it, I would say went MUCH better then the first! I also completed the Though Mudder…not my shining moment in my athletic career but I did cross that stupid finish line and learned a valuable lesson in heart and not giving up. 20140124-214538.jpg

I am still a part of the Rocky Mountain Road Runners and I still race over 12 times a year!  Im in 2 running clubs one meets on Thursday at 6pm, which is cool because I get to use my headlamp since its dark, but its hard to go sometimes because all the bar and food is right next to where we start our run! In fact last week we thought  it was cold and our tummies were growling so we did what any American would do we flipped a coin and lets the fates decide! Heads was run club, tails was dinner and beer. It was tales!!!!20140124-214552.jpg Next thing you know I’m drinking out of a freaking bucket with a shovel! And I mean that very literally! Yikes! The other run club meets on Saturday at 7:30 am at the Run Colorado store. I love Saturdays run because my big bro is there, no bars are open or in the general area, and I start my weekend off positively! Its amazing what running Saturday mornings will do for you trust me! I benefit by long runs on Saturday because I tend to not get into too much mischief on Friday night then Saturday morning I’m up at at em by 6:30. During my run I’m thinking about my goals, plans for the weekend, healthy meals I want to plan or try during the week…and the list goes on!!! Moral of the story? Find fun healthy shit to do and your more likely to stay out of trouble. With that said I need to find a running club on Sunday mornings! So what should you expect from this blog in the future?

Well, as always I will be providing poor grammar, horrible spelling, swearing, and a look at the world of running from the eyes of a soon-to-be-not overweight person (this should be interesting)! But really…since this blog is about running, weight loss, and overall healthy stuff that’s what your going to get! I welcome any questions about my workouts, nutrition program, running, well anything!!! My only request is we stay positive my friends!

Cherry Creek Sneak (10 Mile)

Jess and I had picked up our bibs on Friday and it started to sink in. We were going to do 10 freaking miles! I kept remembering how horrible the half marathon went last year and began to doubt myself once again. I remembered how painful those 13.1 miles were during the race and after. My brain was telling me that I was an idiot for even thinking of doing ten miles. Not to mention my bib number was 1313! Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Jess and I talked about possibly changing from the 10 mile race to the 5 mile. After some discussion and debate we decided we could conquer anything so forget 5 miles we were all in for 10!

Was I doomed????

I felt like this was a sign….

I did everything right prior to this race. I felt like since I had pizza the night before the last race and rocked it, I should make this pizza thing my pre-race meal. So I did just that. I drank the water I knew I would need, laid out my outfit for the next day, and went to bed on time. I slept well but woke up with a feeling of impending doom! I hopped in the shower nervous, stomach in knots, and my head racing.

Race Crew

Race Crew

Jess arrived. I took my pre-made omelet (well something resembling an omelet anyway) and coffee to-go. In the car Jess and Ginger were full of laughter and fun while I was in the back of the car trying to maintain my composure and eat my meal. My stomach was not having it! I ate less than an egg and a few pieces of spinach. The coffee I brought was left in the car untouched. I knew the lack of calories could spell disaster, but tossing my cookies was another disaster that I felt was more important to avoid.

Jess and I talked about doing the 5 mile again instead of the 10. I really felt like my body was going to explode…okay I just need to get real here; I felt like I was going to shit my pants and barf… perhaps at the same time. My mood had changed drastically and Jess could tell. I knew the 5 mile was too short but well the 10 mile was taking its toll on me and the race hadn’t even started! Jess knew I was shutting down. Out come Jessica’s inner coach and reasoned with me. I still wasn’t excited, but the 10 mile was in my near future and there was no turning back!

Letttsssss Goooooooo

Letttsssss Goooooooo

We started off with a nice walking pace the first 5 minutes or so. All my energy and nerves got to me I couldent contain myself anymore and off I had to go!!!! So we started running and kept on as long as we could. We didn’t have an exact plan so we just went where the wind (and our bodies) would take us.

The race had all of the standard stuff. People on the “sidelines” cheering others on. Funny signs lined the raod with sayings like…”remember…you paid to do this” and “run like you stole something”. Which anytime I pass those I giggle…I mean, I really cant help it!

One group of spectators were ringing cow bells from the 3rd story patio of their home. Of course as soon as we got close enough we began to shout “More COW BELL!” Yes, they obliged. Somehow in the mist of shouting and running a RACE we had arranged to go back to cow bells house after the race to have breakfast with our new favorite fans! Who makes breakfast plans with complete strangers during a race? WE DO!

One of my favorite parts of the Cherry Creek Sneak is that I get to run down the middle Colorado blvd and 1st ST without getting run over or arrested! For me this is the most liberating part of running a race in the city! I get to run on the sidewalk, in the street, on the wrong side of the street, or my favorite on the median!!!!!

As expected my excitement to run an any part of the pavement started to dwindle, things started to hurt, and energy stores began to crash. The dynamic duo (Jess and I) managed to keep each other a float just long enough to see the finish line. It was then that we got our “second” wind.

Finnnniiissshhhhhhh

Finnnniiissshhhhhhh

Running was still a big chore but when we were close enough my tunnel vision kicked in and next thing I knew I was sprinting across the finish line!!! Finishing time was 2hrs 15 minutes!

That was rough!

That was rough!

I learned that having a partner in crime can help though those tough times when “the wall” hits you like a ton of bricks! I am a back of the pack kind of gal but the feeling when I cross the finish line with my bestie by my side; feels like first place!

Repeat Runnin of The Green (Downtown Denver 7K)

Last year I did Runnin’ of the Green as my 3rd race ever and my first 7K! I learned many lessons during this race last year and actually followed my own advise (all because I had a blog to relive the moment)! This year I was ready for the crowd, I ditched the tutu, and ready to run the hills! runnin20132The morning started off with some highs and lows. My nerves were off the charts! I was worried because Jess was sick. She still wanted to run the race against her doctors orders. I wanted her to run with me too but I was terrified that something would happen to her. Worst case scenarios started running though my head. I was smoking like a chimney! Beyond that I was excited to take on the course that to-date I thought was one of the hardest courses in my race history (it came in second to the half marathon).

runnin2013

We got to the start line about 20 minutes early, anxious for what the miles after the start line had in store for us. My head was racing but the sight of tutus, green, and a familiar start line calmed me a bit. I enjoyed people watching. Laughing at the silly girls in costumes. We reminisced on the previous year and again vowed to never run in a tutu.

After what seemed like forever, we were off! I was so amped up that had Jess felt better I would have started off running at a sprint! I would have been down and out by mile one…like last year. What I’m about to say I mean in the most kind way..I was thankful that Jess was sick and we were going to walk. While walking and knowing that we weren’t going for a PR, I took time enjoying the people and scenery around me.We snapped pictures. In all actuality I must have looked drunk. I was “wogging” next to my BFF with the biggest goofiest grin on my face.

runnin20131After a bit we decided to jog. I really think that Jess felt bad that I was so amped up and we weren’t going anywhere too fast. Around mile one Jess and I slowed down to a wogging pace again and she looked at me …”can you do me a favor since you have so much energy” she asked. “Sure what can I do for you” was my response. Jess then pushed me while saying “go run”. I laughed and If you know Jess like I do you don’t tell her no while she is pushing, punching, or kicking you. So I ran with the same goofy grin that I had started the race with.

I kept a pretty good pace. Still smiling I looked to my right and Jess has caught up to me! I felt great! I was outside in the sunshine, Jess was with me, and my body felt like a runners body! Well I mean that I was telling my body to do things and it was listening! Unfortunately her spurt of energy was short lived and she urged me on again.

Around mile three Jess caught up to me. She said that she wasn’t going to be able to catch up with me again. After handing me her Garmin I felt bad I was leaving her and taking her beloved watch. We exchanged encouraging words and off I ran, because I knew if i didn’t Jess would kick my butt once she was well again.

Looking at the watch I realized If I wanted to beat last years time I had some ground to make up. So I decided to pace my self with a guy who was possibly the tallest man I have ever encountered! Brilliant…Laura…pace your self with a dude that has legs up to the sky!? I didn’t think about it that way when I was running. I just thought hey hes pretty quick…I want to go pretty quick! Now it seems like a horrible idea. Weather it was a good or bad idea doesn’t matter any more, point is I kept up with the guy with the sky high legs! With my goofy grin I continued to run still worried about my friend that I left behind.  It may seem a bit drastic but when you leave your hurt/sick running buddy in the dust it feels like leaving a soldier in the battle field alone. Thats when I started repeating in my head, “This is for Jess”.

I was getting close to the finish line. I was in a good rhythm. The hills came again. My predetermined strategy was to run down the hills and save energy/catch my breath wogging up the hills. I ran down the first hill…I tried to wogg up the hill but doing so screwed up my rhythm. I had to continue running. So I did, still smiling. At this point I had under a mile and only a few minutes left to beat last years time. I wanted to slow down but I knew that it would mess up the rhythm and, “ain’t nobody got time for that”!  Then the time on my watch became non important as a voice in my head chanted, “can’t stop wont stop”.  The race became a mental race. My body knew what I wanted it to do and it was doing it. It was my brain that needed the convincing. This continued up and down the last two hills.

I saw Wazee street. I knew just around that corner was the finish line. One last hill up and around that corner was the finish line! Sprinting up the hill my mind was clear. I acknowledged each step as each foot pounded the the pavement with pure determination. I had achieved running zen!

I was up the hill, I was still smiling, and the finish line was in sight! As usual, I went blank. I have decided when the passion takes over I go blind. I finished at 55:53! I did it for myself and my “fallen” comrade!

If you will recall… that happens to be about 4 minutes FASTER than last year! Just when I thought that I was stuck and I was never going to be the runner I had imagined being this race gave me my motivation back! I am doing all this right. I’m getting faster stronger, more determined! I started running just to lose weight, and here I am blindly in love with it.

In other news I would also like to report Jess made it! I was terrified that she would be taken by ambulance or something (one of those wild worst case scenarios)… BUTTTTTT she finished! She also did not sustain any additional sicknesses or injury.

Sticky Notes to Self:

-Any time you doubt yourself think of this day and remember you are achieving your “impossible” and you are and athlete.

The Devil Made Me Do It (Devil Dash 5k)

As I have stated in many posts before…drinking the night before a race is a REALLY bad idea especially if you don’t plan on going to bed before 3 am and having to get up by 7 am. Needless to say I didn’t listen to my own advise…AGAIN. I still managed to get up on time and drag myself around and get ready.

This race was special to me because it was not just Jess and I running, jumping, crawling, swimming, yes thats right we had convinced others to join our insanity! The Devil dash was a milder version of the warrior dash. Despite my hangover and lack of sleep I was stoked to have our friends Jenny, Mark, and Brittany with us. If you remember from my first blog, I ran my first race EVER with Jenny and Mark! Mark left us in the dust that first race (no hard feelings Mark). Previously I ran with Brittany during the Valentines Day 5k in 2012. So it was nice to be surrounded by familiar smiles!

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Before Race Crew: (from Left) Jenni, Mark, Jess, Laura (me), and Brittany.

As I was complaining about my own stupidity and how shitty I felt one of my friends mentioned that our wave did not start until 11am. The current time was… 8am. I was so confused!!!! At this fragile time in my little life, everyone in the car started chattering about the fact they were all confused as to why I wanted to leave by 8am. Yep thats right!!!! I was the idiot who thought our wave was WAYYYYYYY earlier then it was! I was the one who demanded the night before that we HAD to leave at 8am! In hindsight… I would like to say WHY THE HELL 1) did everyone agree to 8am 2) WHY didn’t anyone SAY anything!!! The day was off to a terrific start!

We arrived 2 hours before our start time. I was no longer excited as I once was because now we had to WAIT 2 hours THEN race. We got our wrist bands and bibs and noticed no one was checking wave times and such (it was a pretty small race to start). So we were off! Obstacle course races are hard to put in order (or go over each obstacle so here is the condensed version)!

Running, ice cold bath, run though tires hanging from the over pass, go over a web of ropes… and then continue run soaking wet. Slosh, slosh…my pants and shoes were full of water threatening to fall off, I had shin splints, and I was close to puking! Mark is very athletic so he took off at his own pace and left the girls in the dust!

Miserable, I came up to the river. We had to wade across this river of “sins”… Jess, Jenny, and Brittany held hands and started wadding though the ice cold water. I thought it would be a great time to swim! As I was moving though the water I noticed that I was swimming forward but for some reason I was moving to the left. Gulp!!!! The current was taking me away!!!! I may have panicked a little… just a little. Jess attempted to save me, but all I really needed to do was put my feet on the ground beneath me2015/01/img_1046.png.

The stairway to heaven…or as I called it Hell was a lovely mile or so in the direction of up. This thing was so seep that I had only watched ONE person run it. Everyone else, my team included, would hike a few yards and take a break. Then repeat. Once at the top of Hell we had to scale down the other side to get down. That part was easier for sure but take one wrong step and your tumbling down that hill!!! Then tunnels, hopping over things, and the mud pit awaited us

The river incident really encompasses what the entire race was like for me. I kept thinking oh this is easy I got this…truth is I didn’t. I was completely off. This was not a race I was running for time thankfully. When finished I felt truly humbled. Sometimes things don’t go your way and you have to remember to just put your feet on the ground beneath you and move forward.

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After shot of the race crew

I am A warrior hear me Roar! (Warrior Dash)

After I finished this race I knew I was a worrier before I had even crossed the starting line. Jess and I were in the first wave on Sunday morning so, we left Denver for Copper Saturday night. She drove. Music was blaring. The road twisted left to right and around again. We followed. Another cigarette down…and I was beginning to panic. The ride felt like it took forever. Signs reminded us to slow down. Other drivers reminded us why we disliked being on the road.  Meanwhile all I could think of was race day. It was our first obstacle race. Thinking of jumping over fire, crawling though tunnels, and climbing over walls raced though my mind. I was sure I was due for a broken bone and this race would provide it.

Once in Copper I recouped as we approached the course. From the road we were able to see one of the walls we had to climb up then slide down, the fire pits that we had to jump over, and other people that finished the race. I felt at ease seeing other participants happy (and not injured). I decided that finishing the race was no longer an option but a necessity. I was going to conquer my fears of being inadequate, clumsy and most of all a big ol’ chicken. I was going to become a warrior! Little did we know the obstacles that we were able to see from the road were some of the smallest on the course!

We wandered back to the hotel. “Are you doing the Warrior Dash?” asked the gentleman at the front desk of the hotel (we were staying in Frisco). This man was the start of the crazy we experienced while there. Each time we passed him he offered us his “fresh baked cookies”. Not only were the cookies full of gluten but by the way he acted they were also full of the date rape drug and he was ready to help whoever ate them to their room. Eeeek! Needless to say we did not eat the creepy guy cookies and went out to meet some friends that did the race earlier that day (the race was two days long in different  waves).

On our way to the bar we watched someone jaywalking across the street at the same time we made an illegal U-Turn. Suddenly we saw police lights. We freaked out until we had noticed that the police were interested in the Jay walkers NOT us! Moving along we passed by some seriously strange people and went to a bar called Moose Jaw. I wish I had the words to acuratly depict this strange town but I think its one of those places you have to experience for your self. I also chalked the crazy up to the fact it was summer in this small ski town.

When we met up with out friends they were gushing with stories of the day they had. I hung on every word. I wanted all the details. All the advise. Shit, if they had drawn me a map I would have studied it before going to sleep and etched it into my mind in my dreams. Thats when things got “frisky again in Frisco” and someone brought a cat on a leash into the bar. Jess and I decided this place was too weird for us and left. We walked down the strange streets of Frisco back to the car. Decided that since I forgot a towel we would head to the walmart. Where we met more colorful people! I decided not to hold this against the town Frisco since any walmart you may find yourself in has crazies from left to right.

We arrived at the hotel got offered cookies and declined AGAIN. We played Crazy 8’s nervously in our room. Anxious for race day. Then lights out.

Morning rose as did we. The drive from Frisco to Copper is a matter of minutes. I wished it was farther. I was doubting myself again. Confidence was out the door (I was WAY OUT OF MY ELEMENT). I was so lost in my own thoughts I had gotten on the shuttle without my ID and waver. I made a quick round trip and made it to the start line on time.

Standing at the start line Jess knew I was off. She looked at me and said “Think about all the things you have done in the last year and how much you have accomplished”. She was right. I had become a runner 8 months ago and 9 (or more) races ago. My doubt was and has always been the biggest motivation in all my accomplishments. I took the negative energy and flipped it.

We crossed the starting line. Ascended up the face of the mountain. It was so rocky and we were stuck in the pack. We walked as did most others. We encountered many “road blocks”. Ill will spare you the lengthy details here is the condensed version: (the following run on sentence is dedicated to Grammar nerds) climb over a half wall then under barb wire over and under about 4 times, run, get down from hill using a rope with knots, walk up a 2X4 walk across (don’t fall) and then get down, run, over and under again, run, go up full wall (which you climb up like a ladder then slide down), run, JUMP OVER FIRE, run, hike up another part of the mountain, make your way though barbed wire, crawl through half tunnel thing, more hiking, follow narrow trail though trees (don’t fall), climb a bigger wall descend using rope, run, climb up a net (tallest of all the obstacles) climb down, run, run, MUD PIT, FINISH LINE!

I may have missed a few or they may be out of order. Either way I accomplished it. Jess and I together make it with just a few scrapes, bruises, and lots of mud! Besides the mud pit I would say my favorite obstacles were climbing up the walls and the nets. I have a terrible fear of heights and that was my greatest obstacle. Honestly going up isn’t so bad…going down…no bueno!

As we approached each obstacle on the course I doubted myself. After completing each one I felt stronger and It dawned on me half way though the race that the physical obstacles I faced during this race represented so much more. Crossing the finnish line with muddy hugs and congrats I realized I was a warrior before I had started the race.

We finished with a time 59:55 (Not so bad considering that its only about 20 minutes off our PR)

Sticky Notes

– NEVER eat the cookies!

– Stop Doubting yourself.

– Live life like a Warrior.

Underwear? Under…HERE! (Drop Your Drawers and Run Wild 5k)

Allen (my brother) and I arrived at civic park…nothing too wonderful to report. At first I thou2015/01/img_1037.pngght we were at the wrong place. The park was quiet and it seemed that no one was around. It was a friday afternoon so this race was rather small. I was not too excited to run a race in civic park AGAIN but I was stoked to run with my brother.

Allen is an awesome runner and my inspiration for my own personal journey. He also has his own blog – http://allenrunsfar.blogspot.com/. He has completed MANY marathons 5ks and even a 50k. Not to mention hes pretty swift too!

I would be lying if I said that it was a great idea to do a race in the middle of a summer afternoon. The heat before we even started was making me melt. This race was to help raise donations to help those in need have underwear. Strange but ok. So this meant that people were running in their skibbys. Oh and some had capes! Allen and I did not take the underwear 2015/01/img_1036.pngonly route (and no I did not take pics of those people)…maybe thats why we were melting!

The race started out and I was excited!!! Allen was pacing with me and we were doing my normal pace. Soon the heat really took over. I was SERIOUSLY melting. I was having a hard time breathing and walking was a chore. Allen kept trying to get me to run. While I did appreciate his efforts I walked most of the race. I felt terrible! I finally got to run with him and here I was dying. I kept telling him to go on without me. He didn’t. Which made me fell pretty special but also bummed I was dragging him down. We did get to talk a lot. Well he did. I was so out of breath and over heated that I could only muster a few words at a time.

We crossed the finish line running though sprinklers going off which made for what I thought to be a pretty epic finish to my really lame performance. I don’t know my finishing time… and quite frankly I don’t care what it was. Im just glad it was over!

Maybe in the future my brother and I can run together again. And Perhaps I will be strong enough to keep up with his pace!

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