adventureenthusiasts

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

Tomorrow is My First 50k!

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Or will it be? HA I’ve been dealing with patellar tendinitis and can tell there are some hidden gems of unknown pain hiding throughout the solar system of my left knee. it’s funny how this happens. Last summer a few weeks before my first trail marathon, I severely sprained my ankle getting groceries out of the car that were supposed to be my groceries for climbing El Dorado Peak the following day (also a mountain I still have yet to climb).

i can have a super great healthy year and always, right before the race, I get injured. People tell me that I shouldn’t be running injured and blah blah blah but I’m sort of in a state right now of: “If I can run, I’ll try”. I can run — I just know that after tomorrow I’ll need to pull back and get more serious.

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In the last couple months I’ve seen massage therapists, a PT, my chiropractor, as well as trying cryotherapy, buying a buff gun thingy....and have been using band work to strengthen the knee. It’s all hit or miss and sometimes I feel okay but if there is a hill going up or down, game over.

What a great deal that 31 miles only has 4400 ft of gain tomorrow? I’m just hoping to finish. I’m just hoping to make it before cutoff....but if I need to drop out tomorrow, I will.

It’s no big deal.

I run because I love to run. When I’m healthy, I find myself signing up for all these races because I’m feeling good and then when the time comes down to it, I wonder why I do this so often.

But one thing about me is that I never give up. It’s almost best that I don’t care what happens tomorrow because for me, when I stop having expectations - I have more fun. I’m a creature of strong anxiety before ANYTHING that I do. My friends know not to even talk to me about a race or climb a week before we do something because they already know how bad my anxiety gets me. Before I climbed Adams this past summer I was telling them that I’d never climb again and that it’s not for me. I’m silly.  

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So here’s a blog to tell you hi! I’m attempting my first 50k tomorrow and I give no fucks and grateful to just show up and do what I love. The cool thing is that I’m not here to impress anyone - I’m not here to prove I can do this, I already know that I can. Let’s see if my body will let me:) 

(side note: I forgot to say that it’s the Deception pass 50k here in Washington)

Running

Death and Running to Heal

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People love to run. People hate to run. I don't realize how much I love running until it's placed in front of me. 

I got sober 4.5 years ago when shit got real, when I had either two choices. Die a slow death of living as an alcoholic or get sober. You obviously know which one I chose and it saved my life. Everything I have today including my emotional and spiritual health is due to my sobriety. I went to a memorial last weekend for a friend of mine who got sober at the same time as me. About a year ago I asked her about things and why I hadn't seen her around outside of teaching yoga and she told me a story about how her new (relapsed) way of living was working for her and everything was great... Fast forward to a week ago she was taken from this disease and it hurts my hurt whenever this happens.

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The memorial was beautiful and she has so many people that love her. Pastor Ryan said something that really stuck with me. It was something along the lines of "I am not here to tell you where Madeline went...I don't  know what happens once you die, I know you already know a theory or two but I do know about life. I do know that we ALL have an expiration date and we will all die, but what I do know about is how to LIVE. Everyone knows that they will die but do they know how to truly LIVE".

My friend Tiffany and I had a sunset trail-race directly following the ceremony (like 40 minutes to leave, change, and get in line at the race. It was the Bridle Trails Winter Festival Race and it was everything from 5 miles to Ultra distances. I just signed up for the 5M as I was sick all last week and hate doing loop courses. We both went from memorial to run and oh was it exactly what we needed. We were emotionally heavy after the ceremony and once we started running it was just BLISS.

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Running has that way to just let you forget all the things that clog your mind...or at least work through them. I am currently getting ready to run a marathon in Bend, Oregon this coming April! The month before in March, I am joining a Run Like a Girl retreat to Costa Rica and I can hardly wait! Through my toughest times, running always helped save me. I need to continue to do it to remind me how to LIVE.....and live fully. 

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