En Route to Old Pueblo

So here is the scoop, I am currently sitting on the plane headed toward to Tucson, AZ. This is IT! The third and final race of the Southern Arizona Triple 50. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with excitement and enthusiasm… and of course, those darn pre-race jitters. This will be my 9th ultra distance, but no matter how familiar I get with the process – the jitters never completely disappear.

Yet, there is something truly special to be said about the anxious buzz that ensues in the week leading up to a big race. It’s a combination of excitement, fear, nerves, and readiness. After training so hard for many weeks, my body certainly appreciates the rest leading up to race day. While, simultaneously my mind is about to spin out of control without a physical outlet to release my nerves. However, I know on race day it will be a few days of nerves we’ll spent. The hope is, that my legs feel brand new.

If you aren’t familiar with distance running, it is safe to say that most (if not all) distance runners utilize their hobby in an array of therapeutic capacities. For me, running IS therapy. It is a means to escape the people and situations that otherwise consume my day. It is a means to free my mind to wander and my eyes to fixate on stunning scenery. It is one of the few places where all the cares and stress of life simply starts to melt away. There is freedom out there. Especially on those desolate trails. The best part about it, is that the trails and the earth were made to carry us. All the weight of ourselves can be unloaded on the ground. I don’t mean the weight of our bodies. I mean the weight of our struggles. In times of intense anger, frustration, longing, or desperation – I often find the best “cure” for me to process my feelings is to let them all out on a run. As I ride the tide of a cresting wave of emotion, I find myself feeling rebalanced on the other side.

Running, to me, is so much more than running. As I embark on the 50 mile journey tomorrow at Old Pueblo I am reminded that it will be a day of great celebration. The hard work (the training) is over. Tomorrow will be about enjoyment and basking in the glow of the effort and discipline it takes to get to that start… and of course crushing 50 miles on my own two feet… but, who’s counting?

I’ve spent the last few days drowning myself in Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea. On Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and body aches. I was not so gently reminded that there are always forces at play that are beyond our control. But, regardless of the outcome tomorrow – I am so grateful to be part of such an incredible growth experience. With every training cycle and every race I grow in new ways and discover new parts of myself I never knew existed.

And don’t get me wrong. There is not a chance in hell that I won’t cross that finish line tomorrow. If I’m feeling good I will push for sub 12 hours! Can’t wait to share the photos and recap with you all after. #wishmeluck #herewego #oldpueblo50 #southernAZtriple50 #readytokillit

About this Blog.

This is an entirely new experience for me. I have always loved to write, from the time I first learned how. As a young girl, I would spend my free time writing imaginative short stories about fictional situations. Throughout high school and college writing was always one of my favorite outlets. As I completed my master’s degree, I found myself thriving on the composition element of my program. Writing has always invigorated me.

Running, however is my greatest passion. I didn’t fall in love with running until I reached my early 20’s. It was at this time, I found myself in an unhealthy and controlling relationship. I lost sight of who I was. Running was a means for me to escape a negative situation. Running also gave me back a sense of self-influence that I had unknowingly given-up. In the following years, it was also running that gave me the empowerment and courage I needed to leave that situation and pursue my dreams. Running then became my method of reconnecting with myself. It helped me come back home to who I am.

Along the way, I have experienced many (literal) ups and downs with running (and life). All of which I fully intend to disclose in this blog. Running has been a life saving grace for me at many tumultuous periods of my young life. Running has also been my preferred mode of escapism, at times even becoming an obsession and an all-consuming practice. At this time, I am thrilled to report that my relationship with running and with nutrition is at an unprecedented healthy balance (although admittedly, it has not always been so). It has been a challenge to achieve this balance and I am left graciously thanking my parents Deb and Mike (rest in paradise), my best friend Ashley, my partner Logan, and my sister Willow, as well as the people closest to me for always encouraging me to conquer my daemons and maintain this balance.

In congruence with the human experience of life itself, my journey to run ultra marathon distances has been a series of incredibly high highs, and incredibly low lows. As life has dealt me many unpredictable (and often unwanted) hands, I have adapted a gritty and mean, “poker face”. What I have found over the years is that many of the elements surrounding ultra running (from training and preparation, to execution and strategy) parallel the human experience.

My greatest hope is that through the uncut, raw, often emotional contents of this blog, perhaps even the smallest part of my story might have a positive influence on someone else in need of hope, encouragement, or healing. At the end of the day, as cliche as it seems, even the rockiest, most challenging trails end with a beautiful view – and a smooth, flowing downhill. Just as in life, we are given tremendous challenges and expected to find beauty in our situation and manage to persevere. But how do we persevere when we just want to quit? That is the primary experience I wish to share and explore.

I am still learning. I am still growing. I have a great deal of self-healing that I wish to evoke through the writing and self-exploration shared here. I hope that this blog will also help me to uncover new means to promote my own development and emotional health. We are all a work in progress. Please subscribe if you want to learn more about everything from training and nutrition, to race prep and gear, and follow my journey as I explore all of life’s challenges and how to conquer whatever comes my way. #letsgrowandhealtogether #adventuresofanultrarunner