Friday, August 10, 2012

Things I look forward to as a second time Gore-Tex TransRockies runner

For those of you who do not know me very well, I should start by saying that I can be a little on the rigid side (ok, sometimes rigid is an understatement). I like to have facts, data, info, control; especially pertaining to what will directly impact the flow of my day. Last year, when Ben and I prepared for the Gore- Tex TransRockies Run, my biggest fear was not wondering if I would finish, even though I started with a nagging foot injury. My biggest fear was not feeling like I knew all of the logistics, which caused me to feel a little out of control. I remember having so many questions prior to starting and trying so hard to let them go.

As it goes, everything turned out wonderfully last year (ok, except for the fact that Ben got some nasty bug on day 4). This year, as I prepare for Gore-Tex, I come at it with a new sense of peace and excitement. I feel like I am able to relax quite a bit more, knowing that there will still be unknowns, but also knowing what I came away with last year. I am downright excited. I know most of you reading this won’t be doing the race, but I feel the need to share what I learned last year and what I am excited about. Here are just a few of these things.

·         Anything can happen in this race. Last year, Ben and I had awesome training and he got sick on day 4. We still finished, together, and had an awesome time. This year, we had good training with fewer miles, but I know we are both stronger runners overall.

·         It is important to have fun, especially if you are not running as a competitive runner. Take time to soak in the views, laugh all the way through the creek, talk with people you run next to, and remember to savor and enjoy the present moment.

·         The shower trucks are amazing.

·         It is easy to gain weight during this race. Strange, considering you run 120 miles in six days, but the food (and the beer) is just that good.

·         The volunteers are amazing!

·         There is nothing like the nervous excitement at the start line in Buena Vista. I mean, who would not be excited to run 120 miles in the mountains and then camp with a bunch of random people?

·         Recovery is so important. Getting into the frigid streams is tough, but oh so helpful.

·         The food on the night of day five is amazingly good. Don’t miss out!

·         During stage one, the first aid station is almost like a mirage in the dessert. Take advantage and enjoy the volunteers!

·         It is ok to look like a nerd in spandex pants and compression socks under your shorts. Everyone else will be doing it by day two.

·         There is no water late at night or early in the morning, so if you like to wash your face first thing, face wipes are the way to go!

·         The first night can be a tough night of sleep with all the different noises coming from the tents around you. Bring ear plugs if necessary. By night two, the sleep is so much better!

·         Don’t be afraid to stop and help a fellow runner. Everyone is trying to get to the finish! Last year when Ben got sick, we collected at least 3 different remedies from friendly runners trying to help out.

·         Day six is especially tough. You are so close but so far. The sounds of the finish line from the top of the mountain are well worth the climb.

·         There is nothing quite like being off the grid almost completely. Apart from sending updates to my family and checking on them, it is so nice to have next to no communication with the rest of the world!

·         The people that run this race are some of the coolest, hardest working people in the world. Have fun making new friends!

·         Take advantage of the PT’s who set up shop at the camp. Even if it is something as minor as a blister needing to be popped and disinfected, they’ve got the goods.

·         Spending five nights in a tent with your running partner/husband, sharing the views, pushing hard together, and crossing the line together is so worth the work!

Here  is to an awesome 2012 Gore Tex TransRockies Run!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Running with purpose

It is really easy for me to find reasons to run. I know I usually run because: I love to, it is good for me, it keeps me balanced, I sleep better, I love to, and the list goes on and on.
Sometimes, it is also really easy to forget that there are other reasons to run. Recently, my community, the one in which I live, work, play, and run, was traumatized by a tragic shooting at a movie theater nearby. In these situations, it is often easy to feel overwhelmed and at times, helpless. Well, I know that there are two things that usually help me refocus and find joy: prayer and running.
That said, I found myself wondering how to use running as a way to support those affected by the recent shooting. Last night, the Boulder Running Company in Greenwood Village (if you have never been to this specific store, I would strongly recommend it… they are awesome!!)  hosted their weekly pub run. Instead of just getting together to run and enjoy beer and food afterwards, Adidas decided to pay $3 per mile, up to three miles for every person who ran to a fund for the shooting victims. Fifty-five people showed up to run. As I watched people filter in, I was struck by the fact that most of us don’t know each other and many of us were probably not directly impacted by the shooting. The one thing we all had in common was that we could gather to do the one thing we enjoy to serve a greater purpose. How cool is that?
So, if the next time you start to wonder why you run, I would challenge you to look around and see if there is some greater purpose you could be running for.