Year End What’s Up/ What’s Next

Well, 2014, it’s been real.

This year has been a huge tornado of firsts and changes. Sometimes, a few life path alterations keep us pointed in the same direction, but I have had so many this year that I truly feel like my life has started in on a new journey.

The year started off in an epic way- my first lifting meet! I flew down in January to Dallas Texas to meet up with some of the best people on the planet- other Rebels from Nerd Fitness. We met up at a Crossfit gym, and cheered each other on towards a mountain of PR’s. Hanging out with them was a highlight for me, and now that it’s almost a year later, I miss them all so much. Such good people.

Nerd Fitness Crew

In May my best friend and I did our very first Spartan race. It was one of the most challenging things I had done. The water was freezing, the obstacles were difficult, and the finish was epic. I’m thinking I might even shoot for more in 2015…

Spartan

June brought one of the most epic things I have ever done, which led me to one of the most amazing communities ever. GORUCK. I participated in a Light, and now I have plans to get a challenge in 2015, and maybe a few more events? Hint hint, GORUCK, a scavenger in Colorado would be cool…  My reward to myself and a belated birthday present was Ziva, my GORUCK pack. Easily the most comfortable bag I’ve ever owned.

GORUCK Light Class 322

Most of my summer was spent hiking, 14ers in specific. There are quite a few that I still want to get to, and 2015 has their names written all over it. I’m really excited to get back out on the trails and to keep pushing my limits. I was trying to think of which summit was my favorite, but I don’t think I can nail it down to just one. Catching sunrise on Mount Sherman was amazing. Getting 3 out of 4 of The Quad was challenging and fun. Pikes Peak was an awesome hike and though it was long, it was gorgeous, with multiple different types of terrain. Evans’ summit was quick, and the way down was… trailblazing…

The Quad

In August I took a twist with my 5k adventures and started to Ruck them (ie, carrying weight in a pack, and instead of running I do a quick walk, like a shuffle, but more effective.) I had been shooting for 45 minutes or less with the weight, and at the Esprit de She I clocked in at 44:08!!! I was on fire and I felt amazing!

Esprit de She 2014

In the fall I started attending November Project on Wednesday mornings, before work. The workouts are killer, and though I’m the slowest person there, I never feel unwelcome, and I always get a good burn. Free fitness? Hello. I’ve even been given the positivity award twice, which is crazy because THEY are the ones who keep me positive!

NP5280

I finished up the year taking a massive step towards a Life Quest goal of mine (Becoming a Search and Rescue K9 handler). This December, I completed my Wilderness First Aid certification. We spent 2 days in the mountains working through lessons and scenarios, and the scenarios specifically showed me that this is what I want to be doing.

Med Training Group

Unrelated to health and fitness, my life took another huge turn. In September, I felt like I was being called out of ministry. I had been working at my church full time for almost 8 years, and the thought of leaving my job scared me and made me sick to my stomach. But, God provided and showed me where he wanted me to go- and confidently I went. The change has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I know it was the right thing.

Related to health, I also started to see a chiropractor. I am feeling great, and I am hoping that the long term benefits to this are everything that I hope they will be. My Chiro showed us our X-rays and walked us through all the different aspects to them; I feel sort of like an expert on my spine! All the areas where it Zigs instead of Zags directly relate to issues that I have physically and emotionally. It’s amazing.

Upcoming for 2015:

1. More Spartan! I’m thinking a Super?

2. More GORUCK! A challenge in June for my birthday!

3. More November Project! Ya’ll good?

4. More 14ers! Bierstad, Quandary, Democrat…

5. More safety! I’m applying for my church’s safety team!

6. More lifting! I am determined to get my 500# club patch this year!

I’m preparing for a wild ride…

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Texas Marathon Race Recap

My first marathon is….. not technically in the bag. I skipped it and went straight to the “Ultra Marathon”

Confused? I can explain…

The race weekend started out great! We flew into Dallas and got to the packet pick up in no time (despite my apparent lack of attention to emails I’m sent… sorry Beth…)

As we pulled up the the Hyatt House, Pixie flew out of the building with an awesome glomp of joy!

There was no pomp or circumstance with the pick up- just a folding table where they checked me in, gave me my number and shirt, and a map of the race on an easel.

Race number

We collected our things and headed to McKinney to relax, have dinner, and walk around town. All these things were necessary as they are the best thing to do to get your mind off of what the following day will hold. I went through all of the stuff that I had brought with for energy and clothing and made decisions about what to put in my pack and what to wear.

There are so many options for fuel, and I brought most of them with me: carb boom, sport beans, Hydrate, chews etc.

Feeling like I had done all I could do, I set my alarm for 4:50 and headed to bed.

Sunday morning I was calm, like creepy calm. B made my oatmeal while I got dressed. Everything was already in order, so I was able to mindlessly get everything on. On the way down to Fair Park we swung by a Starbucks so I could get my mocha. I was thrilled as punch, as I had cut off caffeine for the 3 weeks leading up to my race and this would be my first jolt of coffee energy in a long while!

Arriving at Fair park we pulled in and made our way towards the festivities. They had rows of porto potties, and we must’ve been early enough that we didn’t have to wait very long to use them. Inside the hall they had vendors, maps, photos etc. I’ll be honest, it was really nice to have somewhere light and warm to wait for the race to start. It wasn’t very cold that morning, but knowing how hot it would be later, I was dressed rather lightly so the heat was appreciated.

photo (6)

As they began to announce that our start was 10 minutes away we made our way towards the starting line. The marathon portion of the series was rather small- only about 500 runners- so it was nothing like the mobs of Colfax or Bolder Boulder, and that was a good thing.

Pixie and I started getting our tracking devices ready and I was programming my watch to the target pace she and I had agreed upon: 11:45. While I was doing that I noticed that there weren’t waves, like I had originally thought, but rather PACE groups! I have never run with a pace group before (it had never even crossed my mind!) but while I had my phone out I opened the calculator. I told Pixie that the 5:00 pace group would be running roughly 11:27 per mile! We both instantly agreed that we would stick with them as long as we could.

The excitement culminated as the announcer said that it was time!

Excited!

5. 4. 3. 2. 1!!!!!!

We were off!

It was so hard to not go off like a rocket, but having the pace crew in front of us, I felt confident and happy! We followed them through twists and turns and in a bit my garmin (and everyone else’s) beeped with 1 mile. There were no course markers, but I didn’t think anything of it. When my garmin went off with another beep alerting me to 2 miles, and I could see a one mile marker off in the distance I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to not pay attention to it- we were having a great time with the 5 hour pace crew, and I was really enjoying the run.

There were a lot of hills, but nothing that my training had missed, so it wasn’t too bad. We stopped at the first water stop for a Pixie potty break and got moving again to try to catch the crew. We stayed near by them, but never quite caught back up to them.

The Whiterock Lake Park was beautiful, and I was super grateful that it was overcast and cooler outside. I felt like we were going along at a good clip, and around 8 miles (by my garmin) we slowed to take some fuel. I decided to use my Carb Boom first, and I have to say the kiwi strawberry was pretty tasty. I have had GU in the past, and it never set well on my palate, but this product was delicious. I had Herbalife Hydrate in my pack and used that to wash down the goo.

We started back up again with the jogging, and while we were slower than the 5 hour crew, I was still happy with our pace of about 11:50/12:10.

The water crew people were great- they said they were competing to win a prize, but I have yet to see where I would vote on that? Oh well!

At the top of the lake we left the park and went into a neighborhood to the north. We wove in and out of the neighborhood, and the trees and shade was great, as the sun was starting to come out and slowly roast me…

My half marathon split time was 2:34:51 and this is a MAJOR PR for me! (Prior half PR was 2:43:15ish) I was making great time!!!

As we left the neighborhood and began to make our way around the other side of Whiterock Lake, the sun was really starting to get to me. I could feel my body temp rising and no water stop had water that was cold enough to bring me back down.

Also, the mental battle of knowing that we would be running over a mile longer than we had planned was starting to become very real to me. I didn’t want to run that far. I felt cheated and lied to with every mile marker that we passed.

Around mile 16 we saw my hubby and Beth. I felt a little silly because we had slowed to a walk and we talking, so in the picture we look like we are just going for a leisurely stroll around the lake. I promise, we weren’t!

Finally around mile 19 I decided it was my turn to use the potty. I was glad that I did! It was nice to sit down, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back up, so I didn’t stay in there long!

I quickly caught up with Pixie and I noticed that we were both starting to feel a little defeated. At mile 20 there was a wicked hill that we walked up, and I was so tired that I used the fuel given to me at the water stop at 20, instead of trying to get into my bag for my own stuff.

At mile 21 I hit the wall. It was bound to happen, given the extreme heat and sun as well as the negative emotions regarding the mistake that was made somewhere on the course that was forcing us to run longer that we wanted.

At mile 23, right after another potty break, my garmin died, a little over 5 hours into the run.

Note to self, run my race in less than 5 hours next time!!!

I came out of the bathroom and didn’t see Pixie anywhere. I started to jog, back at my 11:45 pace, even though I didn’t really have it in me, because I needed to catch her wherever she was!

At the 24 water stop I finally caught up to her, as she was coming out of the potty- she thought I was next to her and was far off before she realized I was gone!

We spent the last few miles lamenting about our energy/heat/emotional level.

We cheered to ourselves as we crossed 26.2 miles, according to her Runtastic app, and then struggled to continue going.

I was getting so tired of people leaving the park telling us that we were “almost there”. Ok, folks. The worst thing you can say to someone finishing a marathon is that. You and I have very different definitions of what “almost” means and 1.25 miles is not almost. Sorry.

At 27 miles we saw our friends and they were cheering for us, waiting to feed us BBQ!!!

NF Team

At long last we saw the finish line.

We joined hands and raced through, together!

Medal

27.35 miles in 6:16:03!!!!!

A final picture that sums up everything……..

Psalm 26.2