Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Run of Remembrance 10k Recap

I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a community that advocates running and living a healthy and active lifestyle in support of wonderful causes.  For the 2nd year in a row our local running store 26.2 held the Free Run of Remembrance Race.  This event includes a 10k/5k/1mi and is completely free to the public. All donations if you chose to donate go to war veterans.  It is such a fun, family friendly event and such a great way to honor those that have sacrificed so much and served our country.

A bunch of my friends from HS that we met up with before and after the race.  Almost all of them were running they're very first 10k and totally rocked it!!
I decided to race the 10k and my sister decided to race the 5k.  We met up with tons of friends at the start and it truly had a real "fun run" feel.  I really enjoyed being surrounded by new and excited runners, elite runners, experienced runners, kids, grandma's & grandpas, and just an amazing mix of people. It was such a great, great, vibe!  Runners truly are so friendly and I could literally hangout with runners all day long and never be bored for a split second. 

Race:  I had no real plan for the race besides getting a good tempo workout in.  I have been recovering from a cold and dealing with some pain in my left foot so I knew that I needed to be smart and not risk getting injured before my marathon in 10 days.  I also knew the course was incredibly hilly so I was just looking forward to having fun and getting a good workout in surrounded by runners.  Perfection in my opinion!  I managed a 1 mi warm up despite all the fun I was having chatting before the gun went off.  Once the race started I went out a little fast trying to swerve past 5k runners but quickly settled into a comfortably hard pace.  6:50, 6:57, 7:20, 6:58, 6:44, 6:25, 6:02 with an overall time of 42:31/6:51 pace.  I felt like it was the perfect effort and with all of the hills in the first four miles it was definitely a great workout!

My Sister ran the 5k in 27 minutes and I was so excited to hear her time when she met me at mile 6 of my race.  Pretty impressive considering she is 20 weeks pregnant and rarely trains.  She is such a natural athlete and I am so incredibly proud of her.

My parents also totally surprised us by showing up at the finish line.  I truly have the most amazing family ever and I never want to take that for granted for one second.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my parents screaming and cheering at the end of a race, nothing!  It doesn't matter how well or terrible I perform but having them there means the world to me and always reminds me that it isn't necessarily the race that matters the most.  It is more about the person I have become and the relationships I have built since I started running that truly resonate with me.

Yesterdays race was such a great reminder to me of why I run.  I run because I can.  I run for those that cannot run.  I run for my brother, for the fallen soldiers that fought they're lives for our freedom, and for so many others who are not physically capable of running.  I run for you and I never want to take one single step for granted! 

After the race we headed out to Eureka for the evening to spend time at Trevor's grave and celebrate my Grandpa's Birthday.  It was an absolutely gorgeous and peaceful night and the perfect ending to a wonderful Holiday weekend.

Have a great week everyone!  It is officially shorty shorts, Sunglasses, watermelon, popsicle, BBQ, corn on the cob, swimming season!  Awwww Summer!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Make it Work - Family First

First of all I need to encourage anyone reading to go and read this blog post from the Addict To Athlete blog.  As someone who has dealt with addiction myself, in my family, and with many very close friends this post hit close to home and is very worth the read.  "Nothing’s impossible, it just takes a little longer."

I rented the movie I Don't Know How She Does It from the Redbox the other night only for the simple fact that Sarah Jessica Parker is the lead role and I just love her.  I knew nothing about the movie but it ended up being a great show and really got me thinking about the importance of family, balance, prioritizing, and just making life work.  The show basically depicts Sarah Jessica Parker's life as a working Mother with a very prestigious job and how she lets her career interfere with time spent with her family.  I think that many of us can relate to this scenario. I often get asked how I juggle working full time, going to school part time, running 70-80 miles per week all while still spending quality time with my family.  The simple answer is; if you are passionate enough about something you will find time for it.

My family has always been incredibly close but since Trevor passed away I think it has brought us even closer.  Life and relationships are so precious and time spent with family is simply irreplaceable.  At any instant life can change or end without warning and I never want to live with the regret of choosing running or anything else over my family!  Family first, work second, and running as much as I possibly can in in between.

I am very passionate about running and I truly don't think that will ever change. I love running, it brings balance and purpose to my life and it is very important to me.  But at the end of the day no PR I could ever set can ever compare to the satisfaction I get from spending quality time with the people I love.

So if that means waking up at 5am on a Saturday morning to run 18 miles before driving two hours just to see this kids smile.

Cutting a Speed workout short so that I can babysit this little one.

Skipping a run altogether just to talk to my Mom on the phone.

Or waking up at the crack of dawn to do a Long Run before work on a weekday so that I can spend the weekend helping to babysit these little rascals.

That is absolutely what I will do because I never want my family or friends to feel like I am too busy running to spend time with them.  Running and training is important but family is much more important and I never want my running to come before my family.  So thank you Sarah Jessica Parker for the reminder that running will always be there for me but memories missed with family can never be reclaimed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Faith - Provo City 5K Recap

May 5th to most people is Cinco De Mayo.  A Holiday to celebrate Mexican heritage, take swings at a pinata full of candy and munch on chips and salsa. 

May 5th to me is so much more.  It is the day my baby brother Trevor was born into this world and for the past 24 years that is all it has ever been to me.  A day that we spend together as a family to celebrate Trevor.  Strawberry shortcake, Taco Bell, and the Jazz in the playoff running is all Trev ever wanted for his birthday.  I remember the day very vividly from three years ago when we celebrated Trevor's 21st birthday as a family.  This would be the last Birthday I would ever spend with my brother on this earth and it truly was the perfect day. 

Since Trevor's death in October 2009 I have grown, matured and changed immensely in every single aspect of my life.  I have learned to focus on the bigger picture, to never take anything for granted, and to hold on tight and love and serve those I care about most with all of my heart.  If I had to define the way Trevor's death has helped me flourish and cope the most I would use one very small five letter word: Faith.

I woke up on May 5th and reflected on Trevor's short lived but hugely impacting life and I was overcome with love and faith.  As I jogged up to the starting line of the race tears fell down my cheeks as I thought about how lucky I was just to be running on my brothers birthday and how no matter what happened it was still going to be a very special day.  I did not feel nervous at all because I knew that whatever happened in the race didn't really matter and the most important thing was that I was enjoying the moment and running for Trevor.

Since the race was almost a week ago I have forgotten a lot of the details but you can click here to read the re-cap on my training blog.  My splits were 6:09, 6:22, 6:20, .43 seconds for the last .1.  19:35/6:18 pace and 3rd female overall.  It was triumphant and exciting to throw my hands in the air, see my parents screaming and running towards me, and to know for a fact that Trevor was right there beside me.  I felt his presence stronger that day in that very moment than I have felt in a long time and I don't ever want to forget that feeling. 

I had faith and believed in my abilities to run sub-20 on May 5th 2012. I also have faith that I will see my brother again and I can only imagine that just like crossing that finish line it will be magical.   Everything in my life, no matter how hard to comprehend or understand at the time happens for a reason and I have faith that great things will continue to take place as long as I continue to believe.  When life gets hard I don't want to complain or give up I just want to work harder because as long as I am dedicated and determined with faith everything else will fall into place. 

After the race I was able to run the last 7 miles of the marathon with Julia and then my family spent the rest of the day celebrating Trevor's Birthday.

May 5th will always be a special day to me and running sub-20 on such an important day was really just the icing on the already perfect cake.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just a Few "Highlights"

Workouts:  On my training blog.

First I really really want to apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  I know I don't owe anyone an apology and that I blog for me but I really have missed the connections.  Blogging is important to me and I truly do love it.  I have made so many friends through blogging and I really hope I can find time to get back to it and reconnect.  Thank you to those that are still stopping by and I promise you some good posts coming up soon.  I really do strive for my blog to be some sort of resource for new runners so hopefully I can get back to that.  Anyone want to buy me a new computer?  My computer from the stone age is 9/10ths of the problem. hehe

For now I will share with you just a few of the "highlights" from the past week or so.

Just a few more pictures from the Color Me Rad 5k with my sister.  Running with my sister was such a highlight in my life.  So much fun!  We are planning to run the FREE Run of Remembrance 10k together on Memorial Day and I cannot wait.

My brother Trevor turned 24 on Saturday and we celebrated his birthday together as a family.  We had cake & ice cream, sang Happy Birthday at his grave, and celebrated his life.  It was such a highlight to spend this time with my family and dedicate the day to Trevor.  Happy "You You" to you Trevor!

Another highlight was running a new 5K PR in honor of Trevor on his Birthday.  I finished the Provo City 5k in 19:35 and could not be more thrilled.  The fact that I accomplished this elusive sub-20 on such a special day makes it even that much more exciting and monumental.

Julia and I after our races.  It was definitely a highlight to watch Julia cross the finish line of her 4th marathon!
And last but certainly not least how could I go without mentioning the highlight of babysitting my nephew once a week.  He brightens my day and helps remind me to relax, smell the roses, and just enjoy the simple joys of life. 

Cannot wait to have a new little Neice or Nephew to spoil rotten. :)

Those are just a few of the "highlights".  I will be back tomorrow with a full 5k PR recap.  I am also working on a post about my hydration/nutrition for surviving the Boston heat wave.  Hopefully it can be some sort of resource to those who have e-mailed or commented with questions.

Have a great day everyone and thanks again for your continued support.  Do something in your life today that is worth highlighting! ;)