Why did I pick running? Was I trying to run away from my problems? Somedays….a lot of days….I struggle. I honestly don’ t know if it is normal. Some of the feelings I have about life. Most people looking in see Happiness. I really have no reason not to feel that way. Right? Today I had a thought about running and WHY i picked running. The more I run the more intune I come with my body the more I can control. This weekend I ran a 1/2 marathon without listening to music. I remember seeing the sunshine through the clouds. I remember seeing the beautiful farm fields and the beautiful mountains. I ran by cows and horses. I thought the course was BEAUTIFUL! I was discussing the course with friends and they HATED the course. They asked me if I remember running down the ugly city block or if I remember the unevenness of the street. Honestly, I don’t remember that. Maybe I was just so intune with the beautiful start of the course that the ugliness didn’t phase me. Maybe that is why I picked running. It helps me to look at the beauty in life even when things might not be as perfect as they seem. The patter of my feet on black tar road or on the soft dirty mountain is almost like mantra that helps me focus and go into a meditated like state. This race was the first time that I didn’t PR but honestly I could careless. My soul was so happy after. Even thinking about it I feel a breath of new energy come into me. There will always be another race or run. I was able to enjoy the beauty. I was able to run with a blind runner. I was able to help a highschool girl who was running her first 1/2 marathon. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful memory. I wish I could have that feeling all day every day and not just when I am running.
This post is going to be hard to post just because there will be a LOT of emotion. Yesterday was a VERY surreal day for me and it all went by really fast. This is where I want to thank every friend who has helped. This is where I want to explain where my journey began and where I am now and where I am heading. Life is a journey.
In May 2012, I went online searching for answers. I felt very alone in my marriage and unwanted. When you make someone a huge priority in your life sometimes you forget to take care of yourself. I felt like I needed to find something, anything to make me feel a sense of belonging. I happened to stumble upon meetup.com. As I searched for different hobbies and interests I kept going back to running. I had NEVER liked running growing up and was never good at it. I decided to join a group called Phoenix Pheet. I tried to strike up a conversation on the Meetup but someone directed me to their facebook. I knew I wanted to start running or jogging or maybe just walking….I did buy a jogging stroller that MOST moms seem to buy their kids so they can “lose the baby weight”. Whenever you join a new group or activity I am sure you feel very intimidated. I am very social person by nature and will strike up a conversation with anyone. I HOWEVER, at first, had NO desire to go running with these people. Why would I join a running group and NOT go running? I didn’t know HOW to run and I knew at that moment I couldn’t even run a SLOW SLOW SLOW mile without walking. There was NO WAY that I was going to actual go out and run with these crazy people who seemed to run 5 times a week and did marathons on the weekends. SO I stayed my distance for awhile and would most interact online which I am sure how a lot of people knew me as. The girl who posts way to much. I did pick the perfect time to start running in Arizona…..SUMMER…..100 degrees and sun! I did want to start running but I didn’t want to actually run with these “Real” runners and make a complete fool of myself. Someone posted when I joined that there is a Summer Series in Arizona where you complete a 5K. It was cheap enough that I didn’t feel horrible if I ended up walking. So I set out jogging and pushing Landen and “training” (honestly maybe running once a week) to run a 5K. I did end up meeting up Pheet at the summer series. I am horrible but I am not sure I meet at he summer series but I do think it was a good place for me to start. YES there were a TON of fast runners but the nice thing was there were also walkers so I felt okay with my run and walk. I was VERY slow but I did it. I learned early on to set goals and work towards them.
The next “goal” or “chapter” I pick a 1/2 marathon. I again avoided social interaction with runners for pheet in fear of being judged on how I wasn’t “a real runner”. I did seek advice on how to train through facebook and they opened their arms and welcomed me. I tried training and honestly training completely alone is HORRIBLE for the pure fact that you will most likely give up on yourself before you give up in front of people. I yet again “trained” but not as much as I should have. On 12/2/12 I set off for my first half. I did meet up with Pheet before the race and they were ALL very welcoming. I had NO CLUE what I was really in for. The furthest my trainig log had me run was 10 miles which I believe was normal but I had NOT kept up on running the shorter runs so my endurance as not there. BY MILE 9-10 I was done. I was in tears crying and asked why did I pick this horrible hobby. I had my cell phone on me and I ended up calling me husband at the time telling him I couldn’t do it. I felt like knifes were going into my back. He ended up being at the finish waiting with our son and told me he would start heading out to me and he would “run” (more like crawl for me) in with me. As we turned the corner I saw all these smiling faces and people waving and cheering….these people were not the normal crowd….things were torn down and medals had ran out. The people starting cheering and waving…..it was PHEET. Some of them only took over an hour and here I came in 3:03:39 and they waited to cheer me on, on my first 1/2. That is when I learned most AMAZING GOOD runners DON’T judge you by your time or pace. They judge you on your heart and soul. All they care about is cheering on one another. They are there when you go to a dark place and start to have a lot of self doubt. They are there to pick you up and tell you all the positive things you have done and show you the light again. THAT is what running and the running community is to me.
Since that first REAL non-facebook interaction with pheet I have slowly come out of my shell. First starting with a few runners here and there. Then slowly working my way into doing TRACK. Track to me is where people really can see how slow or fast you are. The best thing though, if you are like me and slow, you just get MORE people cheering you on to finish the track work out =). Another great thing about track is I can take my son to track and he can learn what a healthy lifestyle is first hand and see it is FUN.
I have had many chapters since my first 5K and half. I have had the GREAT pleasure of finding trail running and what ULTRA running is. I have PRed at every race since I started running (that is the great thing about starting slow). I have found out and joined teams for Ragner Del Sol and Ragnar Trail McDowell Mountains.
Last year I decided to make the jump and sign up will at the RnR Expo for the Full. At that moment it felt like an amazing idea. All these people were at this expo and looked like they were having fun. I even volunteered at the iRun water station and had a blast. It wasn’t till a few months went by that I started to stress and worry. Up till that point I had been horrible at following plans. I knew though for anything over a 1/2 I couldn’t just step on the street and run it and complete it. AS time went by my friend and the lady who started Pheet Kim decided she would help me set up a training plan. The first 1/2 of my training plan went SMOOTH. I ended up PRing at my 1/2 (2:28:33……. 35 minutes and 3 seconds then my first 2 years prior) and I felt GREAT after like I could keep running or that I could have ran harder. Running can much be like life….it has its ups (amazing runs) and its downs (crappy runs or no motivation to run at all). I was on a runners high after that 1/2 but I forgot what it felt like to have some bad runs. I ended up having some shin pain and started to have a lot of self doubts. I ended up skipping a few midweek runs but still tried to get out there for my long runs. I had a few conversations with running friends including Kim to try to get out of the funk I fell into. I did end up skipping one long run during my training which yesterday I was kicking myself for but the past is in the past and now I know better. I DID following this plan better then I did for any other training. I did notice I got faster on my short runs. I was even able to break the 9 minute range. I was able to keep up with Jess and Mitzi on our Monday night runs. It felt great.
I am SO happy that I picked Rock N Roll as my first full. I have meet some runners that feel RnR is to expensive and that it isn’t a by runner for runners race. Yes RnR is expensive but you get a lot out of it. RnR is not put on by local runners ( I AM ALL ABOUT local places) but a lot of local friends come out and support. I think it was the perfect first full.
This is the moment where I take time to thank everyone (I hope I don’t miss any) personally:
KIM- Thank you so much for creating Phoenix Pheet. Honestly if you had never got online and created this group I would have never meet such amazing people. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to make a training plan for me, for taking time to hear me complain about how I am horrible at running, and for being such a great role model. Thank you for pacing it out at he end for the walk and run. IT made the last two miles enjoyable Thank you so much for the beautiful necklace you got me after my first full. I will FOREVER cherish it. I didn’t read the card till today because I felt so overwhelmed with emotions that I went numb yesterday. The card made me cry and made me realize that I need to write how I felt today. Thank you so much for being my friend
Mitzi- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I would have gone to a self doubt place yesterday at mile 14 if you had not jumped in and ran with me. Your spunky attitude and happiness helped a lot from mile 14 to 20. Everyone asked what time I wanted to come in. My huge goal was under 6 hours (so that way I would beat my first 1/2 time). I believe I finished under the true goal because of you coming out and talking sense into me. You are an amazing friend!
Brooke- You were an amazing person to run the marathon with. I still feel bad that we didn’t get in at 5:30 but there will always be another race. Sorry for going to dark places at moments. It was nice to have someone to chat with the WHOLE TIME! I felt like the time did go by 10 times faster having a running buddy then if I did it alone. I am down to train for another race and run together if you are!
Mark H.- Thank you for pacing us at the start. It gave us a great goal and plan for that goal. I am still new and learning how to figure all that out. Thank you for running with me up and down A Mountain. We need to start that again.
Miguel- I HEAR MIGUEL I HEAR MIGUEL! I could hear you on the speaker phone before we even got to the irun station. I am pretty sure everyone around thought I was crazy when I was yelling Miguel from so far out that their was no way you could hear me. You are such a bright and happy person in the running community. Thank you so much for being so much more then a running friend. I have cherished are little runs on Mondays around the canal by your house. I hope one day to be 1/2 the dirt bag runner you are. Hope many adventures are in our future! BORN TO RUN 2015!
Stephanie and Larry- Thank you so much for running track workouts. I know you guys take your own personal time to do this free for the running community. Thank you for supporting ALL levels of runners and encourage us to get out there. Thank you Stephanie for running with me for a short time and give me a prep talk. YOU ARE AN AMAZING TEACHER not only to your own students but also to all of us runners.
Cristian- You have the most HEART I have ever meet. I know you can be very quite at times but you are an amazing friend and runner. Thank you so much for texting me yesterday asking how my race went hen you had an AMAZING race! Your heart and soul will get your far in life. You inspire me!
Jess- Thanks for being out there on Monday nights. Thank you for pushing me to be better. Thanks for being a friend outside of even running
Mark C- Thank you for opening up iRun! It is not only a store but a place that people come together as friends. I always enjoy visiting and getting new shoes or gear.
iRun Water Station- THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who came out and volunteered at the water station. It was amazing to run by and see familiar faces.
Victor- Thank you for pushing me on Monday nights to run faster. I think because of you I was finally able to get into the 9 minute range.
Claire- Thank you for letting me rant to you a few weeks back. I know you completed your first full last year and I need a pep talk from someone who just did something I was about to do.
Chris- Thanks for being so social online for Pheet. I am pretty sure you were the first one to welcome me to Pheet.
Sara and Silvia- Thanks for being my rock through the crazy pass two years. Thanks for being such great friends and supporting me in running even if you might not totally get it. I miss you guys
Mike- Thanks for putting up with the crazy moments. The moments when I have horrible runs and then I am grumpy because I want my body to do something and it won’t. Thanks for putting up with me when I come home sweaty and gross and am to lazy to shower right away. Thanks for taking the kids in the morning when I leave for hours to get my long run. Thanks for being at the start and the finish and even TRYING but missing me at Irun Water station. Thanks for being a HUGE greenbay pakers fan BUT STILL knowing that yesterday was about me and me reaching for the stars andcompleting something. Moments like that mean the world to me. OH AND thanks for taking both kids basically all day yesterday 😉
Landen- I love you to the moon and back. I am motivated to be a positive role model to you. Thanks for always smiling and cheering “GO MAMA GO!”
Quang- Even though we are no longer together. I would have never found my passion. I would have never found myself if I had not experience very dark times. I would have never found running. Thank you
Even if you are not listed here and I have meet you during my journey of running. I am sure I through of you yesterday. I thought of how amazing each and everyone is in the running community. WE bring our own spirit and selves to the running family to make something great. Sadly, I was upset at the end because my own family couldn’t make time in their busy lives to come see me do something that means SOOOOOOOO much to me. I could have stopped and cried about it but luckily my voice of reason at times, Kim, was there to explain that some people don’t get it. I had to sit and count my blessings for a moment…..My running family to me is really FAMILY. Thank you! Thank you for being there to support me. Even if it was just a wave, high five, or a pep talk. It means more then I can ever express.
What is next you might ask? One reason I started this journey is to push myself. TO prove to myself that NOTHING and NO ONE can break me. I see trails and Ultras in the future. I am taking time to enjoy the moment. 2015 is going to be about volunteering and giving back to the community that welcomed me with opened arms even when I thought I was not a runner.
PEACE LOVE RUNNING
I have wanted to write about this for awhile but have not had time due to the holiday season. AS I wrote in another post I attended the Javelina Jundred on November 1st. I had a great time watching other runs accomplish goals. If you are not a runner or maybe new to running you don’t really take the time to realize HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT has been put in to run that one race! I am only training for a full marathon at the moment and I feel like I am putting a lot of work in for that one race. I can’t even being to count how many hours, how many trails, how many good runs, and how many bad runs these runners have gone through to get to the point that they are doing 100 miles or 100K. It is amazing and something that I bow down to them for. Ultra running is NOT for the weak that is for sure.
My friend Tim Hackett, who ran the 100K, and Cristian Rios, who ran the 100 miler, were nice enough to answer some questions for me about their experience at Javelina Jundred and questions about running.
Tim’s son’s crossover from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in the spring of 2010 made him realize he needed to get back into a regular exercise routine, when a weekend backpacking trip around Sedona showed him just how out of shape he’d become. He first started riding his bike and hiking, then, in the fall of 2010, he then decided he would train for and complete the PF Changs Rock & Roll Half Marathon January 2011.
Races he has ran are at athlinks and ultrasignup here:
Q:I know you are super active in the Aravipa community. You go out to their group runs and do a lot of their races. What lead you to Aravipia?
Amy English introduced him to the Aravaipa trail races and group runs in the summer of 2013.. Great community!
Q: I know this was your first 100k. What made you decide to sign up for a 100K?
The quote around most people never going far enough to know how far they can go. I want to see how far I can go.
Q: Was there a breaking point for you at Javelina Jundered? What helped you get past that point?
No breaking point, but had some injury issues and fast walked a fair amount of the 3rd and all of the last 15.3 mi loops. I shattered my right big toe in a night trail race 8/13, and neither joint now works, which has caused other issues in my foot, Achilles and knee, but has not stopped me. It has slowed me down though.
Q: I noticed at the race that some racers dressed up for the race since it is close to Halloween! I saw you when you came into the aid station and saw you were dressed as a Baywatch Lifeguard with a bunch of other runners or paces? How did that come about?
Erica Smith’s idea, that snowballed!
Cristian started running his junior years of high school. His first day of practice, he started loving running. Before he started running Ultras he just ran Arizona Road Runners Races and P.F. Chang Rock n Roll. His from high school was Paul Bonnett. Paul was doing ultras when Cristian was on the team. Cristian would ask Paul about his races and starred to think that it would be nice to run 100 miles and to do Western States 100.
Q: When I first meet you it was in 2013 at the Aravaipa races Insomniac Night Races I was new to the idea of Ultra Running. I was new to running in general. At every night race I heard your name mentioned and you ended up dominating that summer. What lead you to Aravaipa Races?
Paul Bonnett knew the Coury bothers and they asked him if the team want to run a 12 hours night run and we signed up and that is the first new year of Aravaipa races. I ran 44 miles in 12 hours. I started volunteer at their races.
Q: Was this your first 100 mile race? If so what lead you to this race? If not why did you decide to do a 100 mile race?
I tried to run 100 mile race last year but I dropped out. This year I tried to finished Mogollon Monster 100 race but it got cancel because it was flooding during the race.
Q: Was there a breaking point for you? What helped you get past that point?
There were breaking points during the race. What help to past that point it was everyone who believe in me and my little sister and brother. Everyone who cheer me during the races.
Q: What is your next race? Do you have any big goals for 2015?
My goal for 2015 is to run in Western States. If I don’t get in. My other goal is to run 2:40 in Boston Marathon
The great part about the running community is how open and welcoming they are to you. I have noticed that it even more true within the Ultra Community. I love talking to runners about why they started running, what crazy races stories they have, and any tips that they have. Thank you so much Tim and Cristian for sharing a little bit about your running experience and your running story!
Till next time
PEACE LOVE RUNNING
I know it is a day late but it was a crazy busy day on Thanksgiving. I also needed the time to really reflect on what I am thankful for…..
1) LANDEN! I have and will be thankful for him! He is my amazing crazy boy. I hope that we keep bonding and have a strong mother son relationship. Now that he is getting older we are starting to have a lot of great adventures. He is starting to show interested in things I love which brings me happiness that we can share it together. Today we went trail “running” together at South Mountain. Moments like those I will cherish forever. IT is so crazy to see him grow and get stronger. He even asked me to take a video of him running LOL.
2) Running and Running Friends
I am so thankful for running and I am thankful that I found running friends that push me. On thanksgiving I was suppose to meet up with running friends to run but sadly I overslept. I did go over to South Mountain and run 8 miles by myself. It was nice and relaxing. I was able to really reflect on life and thanksgiving. It makes me sad that people are so wrapped up in the holidays that they don’t take time to do something they LOVE. I have aches and pains but I am so thankful to be healthy. I have two feet that helps me take me where I want to be on some beautiful trails.
I hope you all took time to really think about what you are thankful for. Really reach down and see what makes you happy and take time to do that!
In October I had the pleasure of participating in Ragnar Trail McDowell Mountains here in Arizona. I did Ragnar Trail last year as well. Ragnar (road) was my dream race when I started running about two years ago well because there was not a trial option and when I started running I had NO IDEA that trail running existed. This past year I have been able to do the Road for the first time and the Trail for the second. I enjoy the TRAIL a lot more. I love that you are not stuck in a car and that you get to hang out with other running friends who are not on your team. This year was even better then last year! My friends from iRun who were the defending winners were there. Aravaipa Running was challenging iRun and actual won this year. Aravaipia is the running company that has made me fall in love with trail running and the trail running community.
My team as ALWAYS was amazing. I decided to make a video of what I took while I was out at Ragnar. I am already ready to do Ragnar Trail in 2015. I would also love to do other Ragnars in other states.
FUCK FUCK FUCK shit UGHHHHHH! Sorry for the poor choice in words but that is what is going through my head. I feel like the past week in training has gone to sh*t. I am now on week 10 and I am starting to hit a wall. I feel like I SHOULD be able to run stronger and hard….my SHINS say otherwise. I felt great the day after my 1/2….I felt GREAT the day after RAgnar but fast forward to now and NOW I am in pain. It really depends on the day but tonight I hit my limit. I should be able to go out and do a nice 4 miles. I am not sure if it is the cold or what but it feels like someone is JAMMING needles into my shins. I have been trying to wear compression sleeves and stretch after runs. I need more ideas on what to do.
After tonight’s crappy run I am starting to have a lot of self doubt. I am so frustrated with my body. My heart wants to run but my body is not playing fair!
Any suggestions or ideas? Maybe even just post a happy positive thought. I need it.
This weekend Ironman took over the Tempe area. Last year was my first experience with Ironman because my friend Kim did it. Last year I saw that they had a kids race, just running, so I thought Landen could do it. My son, Landen, is only 5 years old but expresses interest in running mainly because he is around it so much. I try to take him out running as often as he asks. One thing with a 5 year old you never know WHICH 5 year old you will get! Most of the time Landen asks to go running and gets bored within 5 minutes. I figured that on Saturday when we went to the race he would run and walk the mile. To my shock Landen came with his A game and ran the whole thing. I will say I was SHOCKED and not prepared. I luckily did wear my running shoes but I had brought a backpack and was wearing warmer clothes since it was cold out in the morning. As soon as we started I was telling him to slow down and pace himself but about 1/2 through he was going strong and showed no signs of stopping. It was the first run that I have done with him that he didn’t complain and wanted to keep going. I feel a tad bad because he was slowing down for me since I wasn’t prepared to run the whole time. MOM knows better for next time. I am almost sure he could have gotten under an 11 minute mile if I was more prepared.
I would highly suggest doing IronKid if it is in your area. It is a great way to get out and show your kids how important fitness is in their life. Landen was so proud of himself when he was done. Hell I am still super impressed and proud of him. I have already started looking for more races to do this winter since he seems to be interested in running even more. We also went down on Sunday to watch the IronMan and he of course loved it and kept asking to run and do the race.
Here are some pictures and a short video of him finishing….
This past Thursday I had the pleasure of taking photos at a local running event. I am in NO WAYS a photographer but I do enjoy capturing special moments. I have been wanting to help out in the running community so this was another opportunity to get involved.
The event was put on by Arcadia Life Adventure. Arcadia Life Adventure’s “mission is to educate, engage and empower our community to be more passionate, motivated and transparent about our goals, fears, interests and relationships, by promoting skillful living through the practice of F6P: Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances, Future, Fun and Philanthropy.” They are located in Phoenix, Az, and have weekly events. If you are interested please visit their facebook page and like them ARCADIA LIFE ADVENTURE.
Arcadia Life Adventure’s decided to to a FUN 5k for Halloween. They encouraged people to dress up and come out to O.H.S.O to enjoy a 5K, beer, and food. Runners ran around the canal that is behind O.H.S.O and then enjoyed an after party with prize drawings. I was able to capture the excitement and fun through photos and put together a video. I really enjoy running films/photos so it is fun to try to learn new skills while sharing my love of running with people. Hope you enjoy!