Coming back has been really fun. If I am honest I was completely burnt out at the end of 2015 - 4 years of working my tail off, all to crescendo (#bigword) in injury, and then there was this race against the clock to try and get healthy and make it happen, and it was exhausting - mentally and physically. So I was not sure how 2016 would pan out, would I even feel like doing this again, the commitment, the early mornings, the focus, the attention to detail, etc? So I decided to just let it happen. I read this poem every morning and it helps me stay right in the moment and not constantly freak out that I should or shouldn't be here or there.
So we wanted the 1st race back to be a) super low key b) local and c) one where Justin could come. I ran the IrishAZ 17K - it was a weekend Justin could come, I had never raced a 17K - instant PR!, and it was right here in Phoenix. It was pretty much a perfect weekend. Justin calms me down completely; in fact I was so calm he was fixing my shoe lace when the gun went off (NOT my normal mojo). I didn't even freak out, just had to have a little giddy up in my step to start off :) After talking to coach we didn't taper for this or anything, it was more like a training run. I don't think either of us knew what I would do as we had not done any speedwork yet. So I guessed with a "A" goal of 6:45 pace throughout? I ended up getting 6:28 pace for the 10.5 miles, good for 3rd overall female, 1st in my age group for what that's worth - which really I didn't care about - I cared about how I felt - - AMAZING. I have never felt like that in a race, it felt like a tempo run? Granted the pace was nothing to write home about, but it was very encouraging and a huge confidence boost. The rest of the weekend was even better, we went to some swanky Arts Festival and acted like we knew a lot about Art, ate a ton, did some wedding stuff, hung out with a lot of my buddies, and slept in. Pretty Perfect :)
|I love this picture, it was right after and just a spur of the moment kodak moment :) Although Kodak not in business anymore, so maybe iphone moment?|
|Classic Awards ceremony picture, he was weird not going to lie.|
|I like this one too- One of Justin's classics - he's actually really legit at photography, it's pretty cool :)|
- Religious about my hip routine - 3x a week
- Working with Becky on strengthening my Back so my arm doesn't swing out to Utah, which we think jacks up my hips -- this has been a slow burn but I think we are getting somewhere (Lord knows what would I do without Becky)
- Preventative massage/chiro work
- Nutrition Tinkering
- Pre and Post Run routine I NEVER skip (Becky created them, and they are working really well)
So then, for fun I was asked to do this elite relay for the Tri for the Cure here in Phoenix. I was paired with a pro swimmer and cyclist - which was just plain sweet to see them in action. And they were hard core - - I am sure when they saw I was their "runner" they were like "you're kidding". Ha. I dont blame em, I was nervous as hell, not to goof that up. But what a cool experience. Swimmer comes out of the water a tad behind, cyclist gets it and I couldn't see her but she made up some SERIOUS ground on the bike, and handed off to me, and said "Don't lose it sister" GULP. So I ran like I stole something - - first time I have seen 5's on my watch in years for mile splits. We ended up eeking out the win, and it was FUN. I think the best part of that day though was hanging with my teammates - I don't get to spend a lot of time with Amy, and we got to talk a ton while we warmed up and cooled down. I got some great wedding advice that's not your standard "OMG, you will love it, what does your dress look like, etc". Solid heart to heart that I needed. She's a good egg :) And then I got to run 14 miles with Camper - - which was nothing short of BRUTAL b/c we were both spent after racing. I hope no one saw us!!!! But we too had a great conversation about how you always feel like you are never doing enough in life. Anyways, sometimes I think the beauty of this awesome sport is the journey to where you are headed via the conversation & friendships along the way.
|Camper, Me, & Amy|
|This picture deserves a WHOLE blog post, which it will get! (Soon I promise!)|
Which all led to, Hawaii! Huge Bucket List item - - I would need a whole 'nother blog post to explain how this came to be, but just trust me - it was meant to be ;) It all just kind of fell into my lap. Anyways, if you are looking for a bucket list race to do - The Hapalua (which means the half in Hawaiian) is AMAZING. I have never been treated so well, from start to finish, a great experience! The course itself is not a PR course, it's rather hilly, with one HUGEEEE hill - Diamond Head. But despite that I ran a 1:22:43 (3 seconds off my PR), so we were pretty excited!!! I got 2nd overall female, 1st in age group - and again I didn't even feel like I raced? It was like a tempo run. It's very odd. But I had a blast, and at the top of Diamond Head I literally had to take my hand and close my mouth b/c the view was astonishing! It is also rather humid there (75% compared to my 5% here!!!) so that took some getting used to; but nothing that bothered me really. Overall just an amazing weekend! I slacked a little on my recovery routine - and I paid for it - but back on track now, and learned my lesson.
|standard race picture - looks like I'm struggling, but I swear I wasn't :)|
|Awards Ceremony with this 94 year old Hawaiian Lady who was asst. race director and ridiculously nice!|
And to now....spending a lot of time training with "W"- we are a good match in personality (extreme introverts, our runs can be done in silence :), pace, and goals. I am just happy - - love where I am right now, and at peace. And that is a feeling that you can never take for granted, because you never know what tomorrow holds. xooxox
|W and me on our Sunday 17 miler....maybe we said 20 words the whole run, yet I think we still had an entire conversation in the silence.|