31 miles

Running

Finishing My First Ultramarathon

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I didn’t write a post directly following my race. So here I am now, sitting in an airport getting ready to meet my boyfriend in Sunriver, Oregon and figured this is a great opportunity for a follow up.

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I can’t believe despite my injury, I finished that race. I felt like it went as perfect as it could have gone. The first 20 miles were pretty relaxing and I kept a pace that would allow me to save my energy and ENJOY the race in its entirety. As you know from the previous post, I chose the Deception Pass 50k through Rainshadow Running. There was only 4500 ft of gain which was nice to keep it runnable  and not toooooo much up and downhill which  benefited me since having that knee problem. I stayed with Becca for the ENTIRE race as well. That was really the best part. Sometimes we’d talk for awhile, made some friends around us, other times we ran in silence trying to keep our groove and mind right.  

My boyfriend drove Becca and I which allowed us to tear up watching “How to run 100 miles” for the millionth time on the car ride down. That is my goal. I would love to run 100 miles someday. When I first got sober I was obsessed with Scott Jurek, Rich Roll and Dean Karnazes. I read books about ultrarunning continuously before I even fathomed the idea of running more than 10 miles. 10 miles was a lot for me in 2013. In my mind, an ultra was IMPOSSIBLE. In 2013 I would run every single day. It was usually only 3-7 miles but I did it. I didn’t know about headlamps or reflective gear and I found myself only running in the dark. See- I was a party animal so when I stopped drinking and doing drugs I found myself restless in the evenings. Evenings were usually my time to party with people I barely knew and now I was left alone. I cut everyone out to stay healthy. With no friends and restless evenings - I found myself running after the sun went down, fired up by adrenaline and loving every moment of it. I would listen to all those books via audiobook so that I didn’t have time to think about anything else on a run and keeping me forever inspired. I think addicts make great atheletes because if we stop the very thing that we loved most (destroying our bodies with drugs/alc.) then we have to channel all that addictive energy somewhere. So that’s what I did. I ran. All I could think about was running. I’m not the fastest and I didn’t care how long I ran, I just know that I always felt better after it was completed.

in 2015 I stopped running because I started mountaineering and everyone in the course kept telling me to stop because running hurts your knees and it would ruin climbing so I just followed directions. I climbed a couple volcanoes that year and realized that I hate carrying 45 pounds on my back and moving slowly. Climbing never got my heart rate up and I found myself constantly hating the process of training. When I would climb with the group I would just tell myself to go one step at a time and think about the runners I’d read about. I would think ‘if they can run for a hundred miles, I can walk up this goddamn mountain’ :) the climbing happened, it was fun to get summits, eventually I started rock climbing and that was fun too. None of this lit me up inside the way running did. I used to think that damn, I could run this mountain and get some of these summits in a day with a lighter pack. It would be the best- no camping, no heavy gear, no freezing to death, and I would enjoy this more. 

I left that group two years later and since then, the thing that fills my life with joy is to go light and fast(faster than walking at least:) 

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Our 50k was a blast, the last 10 miles hurt. My knee started acting up around mile 20 and I just slowed my pace. I started to count my steps when my mind wouldn’t stop rolling, eventually I got back into the groove of things. When we both passed 26.2 we cheered for ourselves in excitement since we’ve never even ran a marathon before. The last two miles of the race felt as long as the first 20 but knew how excited we were to almost be done. Derek met us at an aid station that we passed a few times and along with the finish line which made my whole day.

Finishing the race was the best feeling in the world and man my knee hurt. I accomplished my goal of a 31 mile race while I’m 31 years old. Within one week, Becca and I signed up for the Sun Mountain 50 miler this coming May. It was a personal accomplishment since I first got sober.  I realize now that I am capable of going farther. Capable of anything as long as I keep enjoying the journey.

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Running

31 Miles, 31 Years of Life

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As I wrote that title, I literally said "Am I 31?" out loud alone at home on my couch just now. I mean is this what happens? You start to forget your age? I can't believe I just said that out loud and had to ask myself what my age was. I think since I've turned 30 I stopped thinking about my age. The time is also flying by so fast and I can't keep track of anything. 

Anyway what that title means is that I want to run 31 miles in a day by my next birthday coming this January. It feels so nice to sit down and write here again. With all the social media buzzing around, sometimes just writing more than a fucking paragraph feels like way too much work but I have to remember that anyone who is reading this actually wants to read about whatever it is I'm doing. If they didn't care - they wouldn't be here. If no one reads this, then that still doesn't matter as well! I think I just miss the days where i literally blogged twice, sometimes three times a week for 7 years. I can't believe I had that old blog forever. But like diaries, the moment I feel that an era has passed, I throw the diary away aka delete my old websites. 

I end up writing with too much detail that I look back and it feels embarrassing. 

In my last era of true blogging I wrote about running. It was 5 years ago and I was just starting to run. I recently got sober in July of 2013 and had a lot of thoughts, feelings I wasn't used to, and energy to expel. It truly changed me. In 2015 I joined a mountaineering group and stopped running as much because I was told that it would injure me for climbing. I was in a place where I just followed directions and thought ok sure, no more running. Training for climbing season was dreadful. I would spend that year carrying weight going up the same steep hikes over and over usually around North Bend. I climbed Baker and Rainier and that was great and all. Then a couple years ago I stopped training. I stopped climbing for the most part, and I started going on the fun hikes with beautiful views that I loved so much. I started becoming obsessed with packing lighter. Basically anything to get me as far away from mountaineering as possible. I started trading my hiking boots for trail runners. I got the vest, my bare essentials, and started running the flats and the downhills. 

This is still basically my life today and that's the happiest I've ever been. I remember the first couple years of sobriety was easy for me because I literally had no friends from having to cut out all the drunkies from my life....so I ran as much as I could and had nothing stopping me. I'm in a similar place today - except today I surround myself with other runners to push in the direction of my dream.

 

When I first got sober I read the book called Eat & Run by Scott Jurek and it was the sole reason for buying a pair of running shoes. When I used to climb, I would think about ultra runners stories and I would tell myself "Tiare people can run 100 miles in a day....you can walk up this mountain slowly while tied up to your friends". I could climb anything knowing that there were runners running miles that seemed absolutely impossible for me.

Some people here in Washington look at Rainier everyday and say to themselves, "Someday I'm going to climb that mountain."

For me: "Someday I am going to run an ultra."

 

That has literally always been my dream. I could always see Rainier as possible, I could see anything as possible.....but when it came to long distance running, I was backed in a corner thinking "not me. that is impossible for meeeeee,"

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So I'm 31 today and today I'm looking at this as POSSIBLE.

It makes my heart burst.

Nothing makes me more excited. I am not fast, I also don't care where I place or how long anything ever takes, but I do have passion and that is enough for me. 

This December 8th I signed up for my first 50k - the Deception Pass 50k and holy smokes I'm so excited. It will be one of the easier 50k's so that is why I chose it as my first. The area is absolutely beautiful and I will try to share my journey along the way, or you can follow me on my Instagram = @tiarevincent

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