Friday, June 26, 2015

One year after Western States....what I know.

"Life is a mystery, 
Everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home"


I love running in the mountains so much.  There is no place I would rather be and when I am there I literally never want to leave; so when the opportunity to run Western States came to me last year through a sponsorship through Libby Jones and The Active Joe- it was indeed a dream come true.   You can read about that experience here:

Last year at this time, my life was a whirlwind of chaos and change.  Jorge and I had separated, and the crazy emotions that came with that rocked my world.  I quit my very unsatisfying job teaching (sorry- that was just me- I am in awe of teachers and all they do!) and started my own coaching business while also working for Run On!  My financial status was shaky at best, and I was so unsure of myself that I jumped out of an airplane just to prove to myself that I still had some guts.

Now as Forrest Gump would say, "Ultras are like a box of chocolates- so delicious....but you never know what you're going to get."  ( or something like that).
At Western States I was fighting a battle that has never been presented to me before-  THE CUTOFF  (cue daunting music).

That whole damn race I did everything "right".  My nutrition was spot on.  I didn't go out too fast.
I stopped to take care of my feet when I needed to. I smiled at the aid station workers and was mostly cordial to my amazing pacers.  I was one of 10 racers who ran a negative split, but the whole time I was fighting the damn cutoff.  I even heard the warning horns at one point for God's sake!

Doesn't it seem that in endurance racing there is always something?
It could be the heat, humidity, a side stitch, your stomach, stupid mistakes, going out too fast, falling off a cliff.......  That's just ultra racing.  Deal with it sister.

Doesn't it seem like in life there is always something?  An unexpected bill.  An injury.  You're too busy at work.  You gain weight.  Your kids get sick.  Your best friend dies.
Yep- you know what to do......

During Western States I kept hearing over and over in my head by my late friend and coach Mike (of that I'm positive) that if I just keep doing what I'm doing, I would be ok.  I would finish.
Yesterday, I was all knotted up  about building my personal training business, and what did I hear once again in my head?  Just keep doing what you're doing.  Stay patient.  You'll be a success.

In the past year I've started a new job where happiness greats me every single day.    Through love and forgiveness on both ends our broken relationship has been mended. I've stepped out of my comfort zone and completed an Ironman. I am working on book ideas,  dreaming of making enough money to travel the world,  doing my best to help others find their true potential, and am allowing more time to spend with my family and friends for fun and play.

What I know is that there will always be something.  Just keep doing what you do.  You are already a badass, and at the finish line it's completely worth it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Because someday I will no longer run.

"No day but today" 
Jonathan Larson- Rent

The humidity covered me in a wet blanket as I headed out to run, but today, instead of pushing it away in anger and disgust, I embraced its warm moisture.  A sweaty slow run seems a small price to pay for the nourishment of this Earth that we depend on for life.  I slowed my pace, noticing vibrant green plants, blooming wildflowers and smiling faces; for someday I will no longer see.

I ran as hard as I could up the hill that I always dread, stopping at the top to appreciate the strong pounding muscle that is my heart; because some day it will no longer beat.

I allowed my lungs to burn for a second, feeling their almighty, life giving power; because some day I will no longer breathe.

I turned off my watch, allowing my legs to run the playful pace they wanted to; because someday I won't be able to run.

And as I settled in to a perfect rhythmic breath, becoming one with the Universe, she whispered to me-
"All of that is true..........but you will never die."

Friday, June 19, 2015

Life's Paradox

You know those circumstances?
The ones that you think will never happen to you
And when they do, they rock your world like a fucking earthquake?
The nights where you find yourself curled up in a ball on the floor, gasping for air in wailing denial.
The days that you take one hour at a time.
The months where you wish, hope and pray.
Seasons that stay frigid
Years of nightmares?

You know those moments?
The kiss that you never want to end.
Chocolate so sweet that you close your eyes to savor it.
Snow capped mountains and whitecaps on water.
Fingers entwined.
Seeing your breath.
Sunshine on your shoulders.
Loving so much your heart could truly burst?

The sun and the moon
Yin and Yang.
Man and Woman
Life and Death
You can't have one without the other.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Poor Girls guide to training for an Ironman

"Welcome to the jungle we take it day by day
If you want it you're gonna bleed but it's the price to pay
And you're a very sexy girl that's very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights but you won't get there for free
In the jungle welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
Ooh, I want to hear you scream"

Guns and Roses

If you signed up for an Ironman- you're already in the hole.  Big time.
Here are five tips for training for an Ironman on a poor girls budget:

1.  Work where you train.  The membership is included, and since you are going to practically live there, you can nap on the leg press machine.

2.  Make this THE RACE for the year, and don't travel.  You've spent over $800 on one entry.  That means 8 less smaller races you do this year, and less miles on American Airlines.

2.  Eat beans and rice.  The combo makes an inexpensive super food.  Be sure to drink up on the water too- its FREE!

3.  Train more- party less.  That just goes without saying right?  4 am comes really quickly, and margaritas = $$ AND a really crappy run the next day.

4. Be so good that your equipment doesn't matter.   You can't afford the Roka Pro Swim Skin or the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultimate, so you're going to have to make up for it by being strong, stubborn, and tenacious.

Will it be worth it?  Well, that's for you to find out.
You've got this girl.  No excuses.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

You're not stuck

"And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
Paulo Coelho

If there is one thing that I have learned in this life- it is that you are never stuck.

It will be scary.  It will challenge your beliefs.  It will bring up emotions you have long tucked away.
But you are not stuck.

It might require continuing education, writing a resume, several interviews and learning to balance your checking account-
But you are not stuck.

You might need to talk to a counselor, depend on others for help, pray and meditate for sanity-
But you are not stuck.

You might have to get used to living paycheck to paycheck.  You may lose friends.  People may think you are crazy-
But you are not stuck.

Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage- be brave, courageous and free.
You are not stuck.