Back in 2008 I decided to face some of my fears. First being my anxiety about racing. I entered ten 20K trail races. Second being afraid of heights, I spent a good amount of time rock climbing. Lastly my trepidation of the water, I learned how to swim rather than just doggie paddle. Not surprising, I also found abilities that I didn’t know I had and I enjoyed the journey.
As the journey developed and I raced more I have had ups and downs. Injuries, plateaus, doubts, and new anxieties have come and gone. I remain an experiment of one and 2014 has been unique. I started training with Magdalena Lewy-Boulet at the end of 2013 and she’s been instrumental with breakthroughs. I added more hills, speed, and I’ve stopped wearing my watch. It’s the first time I’ve been able to run 400s and ½ mile hill repeats and venture up Diablo and feel like I can excel at all. My legs have still been an on and off issue, but I am learning to not over think, to just listen to my body, and push through when I can and not dwell when I can’t.
At the beginning of this year I did my first 50K in two years and set a PR. Way Too Cool 50K was a blast and I enjoyed most of the trails along with Magda. The next stop was Boston in April. It was not the race I had hoped for and I fell apart at mile 17. It happens. I was grateful to be part of the experience this year and lived it up.
Since Boston I’ve been running less mileage, but more intensity and more hills. Next stop is this Sunday, the US Mountain Running Champs at Loon Mountain. It finishes with a 46.2% grade! I will take my high school cross-country coaches advice and just imagine it’s flat, put my head down, and just keep moving. I won’t lie this race is out of my comfort zone. It’s short, it’s all uphill, it’s got great competition. It’s perfect, no watch needed.
Just wanted to give a brief update. More to come post-race… up the mountain I go!