Saturday, March 22, 2014


After a particularly hard run this last Tuesday I sat down with my computer and started writing a post titled Everyday Is A Struggle. I talked about how hard it was running out here because I wasn't used to the altitude and how on every run I felt like new runner again, with my lungs burning and my legs just not wanting to turn over. I wrote about not only how every run was a struggle but about how every thing in general was a struggle due to missing friends and family more than I ever thought possible. After a while in front of the computer I had wrote what was on my mind but I just didn't feel like the words where there the way I thought they should be, so I closed my lap top and went to bed with full intentions of revisiting the writing Wednesday and posting it. But then things changed.

I was at the Denver office all day Wednesday so I got back to The Springs just in time to change, eat a snack and get over the The Boulder Running Company for a 5:30 group trail run I had heard about. This would be only the second time since I have been here that I've ran with other people. All my other runs have been spent solo on the trails behind my apartment and my thoughts have always went to how hard this was and wondering if I made the right decision in moving here. I needed a run with other people, and I needed it BAD! I'm a very introverted person but with a week and a half of alone time under my belt some social interaction was in order.

I was a little concerned that I would not be able to keep up with anyone since any time the trail starts going up my heart rate decides it should do the same and begins beating out of my temples! The first couple of miles were pretty easy with some time spent on the road getting to the trail head but my I was still struggling slightly to get into a rhythm with my breathing. We hit the trail dropping into single file with me right behind the lead guy and three other people right behind me. I spent the majority of the next mile following him step for step, if he picked it up I picked it up. I didn't want to be the reason the three behind me had to slow down! My breathing was a bit labored and I just kept thinking to myself, "I don't know how long I can keep this up!" Then I glanced over my shoulder expecting to see the other three right on my heels, but to my surprise we were pulling ahead of them!

As the lead guy picked it up a bit more I decided to stop at the top of the climb and fall in with the other three. I didn't want to do anything stupid with the 100 next weekend and I really didn't know exactly where we were going since this was a new part of the trail for me. The others crested the climb and I said "I don't know where I'm going! I'm gonna stay back with you guys!" With a bit of a chuckle I fell in behind them and off we went. A couple of the guys asked me if I had a Marathon in May after we discussed what was on our schedules for that night. After I told them I had a 100 next weekend the conversation picked up, with questions from them about how long it would take and so on. The girl we were running with just kept quite as she is an ultra runner herself.

Before I knew it we were about 4 mile in and my lungs WEREN'T screaming! We were going down the trail at a decent clip and I was keeping up! I was pleasantly surprised! After that first loop the two guys peeled off and the lead guy from earlier, Jen and I went out for another loop. We all chatted about what our race plans were for the summer., both of them were looking at some 100K's that sound fun, so I listened and put in the back of my mind races to look into after the 100!

We finished our second loop and hit the road for a short jaunt back to the store. Once we got back I decided to run it out to 9 for the night. I said my good byes and accepted the good lucks and set off for the last bit of my run on a great high! I finished up and drove home and felt great. I had just had one of the best runs since I had been here! I didn't set any records with my mid 9 min/mile pace, but I felt strong! I had just kept up with two local ultra runners! It doesn't sound like much but it was a big deal for me. I feel like it may have been the turning point in my running out here. Since Wednesday night I've had two other great runs and I feel like I'm adapting to the altitude a bit more every day. I'm still a long way from being completely acclimated but I'm confident that with in the next few months I'll be running strong again like I was back home. Just in time to start going higher into the mountains!

So all in all maybe the reason the words just didn't seem right Tuesday night was because they weren't 100% true. Don't get me wrong, it is still a struggle every day to realize that I'm a 1000 miles away from the people that are most important me. Its tough to accept the fact that I wont see any of you on a daily or monthly basis like I'm accustomed but maybe I just needed some human interaction while doing what I'm most passionate about to realize everything will work out in time, and everything will be exactly how it is meant to be.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Settling In

This past week has been a whirl wind to say the least. I've been meaning to write but with everything going on I haven't had the chance, or the words to say. My thoughts are kind of all over the place and this post will most likely be the same way. Please bare with me!

Last Friday morning my parents came to Evansville to help me load up the U-Haul before I left for LBL with Michele and Wayne, and I have been going non stop since it seems. We got to Grand Rivers Friday afternoon for packet pickup and realized there was no Papa Johns or Subway anywhere close for us to pick up our pre race meals. We ended up going on a bit of an adventure that involved 50ish miles of driving and a pizza pick up in a bowling alley parking lot that resembled more of a drug deal than anything!

That night was spent at the condo with everyone. The group got me a big picture that they all signed, Kendra and Kevin got me a plaque that they wrote a nice message on the back of and Cathy got me a Superman bank since she always calls me Superman. She told me it was to be used to save money to come visit one quarter at a time. What really pushed me over the edge and almost made me cry was the glue stick Michele gave me. Long story short she has always been the glue that held our running relationship together as she puts it. Its earned a permanent home in my pack.

The race Saturday went awfully, I'll get around to a race report at some point. I crashed on Michele and Wayne's couch Saturday night and said my final good byes Sunday morning. Papa Wayne was wrong, I didn't cry before I made it to the end of the road, I held it off for 60 miles!!! The next two days involved 1000 miles of windshield time and getting everything into the new apartment with the help of my parents. The move would not have been possible without their help and I am forever grateful!

My parents left Tuesday around noon after I got back from an interview with another company. I've had a crazy turn of events and I'm actually going to work for a different company than the one that I moved out here for. It's going to require me to move to South Denver in the near future so that's another thing that I am having to figure out.

The stress has definitely been building up over the past couple of days with accepting a different position, the reality that I have left my best friends behind, and the 100 coming up in two weeks. Today the realization that this isn't just a vacation set in and the water works began flowing! I'm not normally an overly emotional person and I don't wear my heart on my sleeve but today was hard on me.

I've explored some trails over the past couple of days that are literally right by my apartment complex which is really nice. I'm not doing anything to crazy since the 100 is in two weeks. I'm embracing the taper!!!

As you can tell by this post my thoughts are all over the place, and I apologize for the scattered post. I'm looking forward to getting settled and getting back into a routine and I'm really looking forward to seeing Michele and Wayne in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Some back history....

After talking about it for about a year I decided to finally do something about it and started looking for jobs. I put in my first resume on a Friday evening and by the next Tuesday I was booking a flight to Denver that weekend to spend some time in the mountains and interview for a position Monday morning. Little did I know that I would have 3 interviews lined up with 3 different companies by Sunday evening.

I left the first interview feeling like I had completely bombed it and would never hear from that company again. Within an hour and a half they had called me to set up my final interview before I caught my flight home the next morning. Completely shocked and excited and every other adjective I could use to describe being nervous I went on to my next two interviews.

I didn't expect to come back from this trip with a new job so one can imagine how shocked I was to have an offer from both of the last two companies. Now I had some decisions to make! Nothing a little time in the mountains couldn't help with though. My buddy Chris G. and Misti H. took me to the top of Mount Sanitas that night and I enjoyed yet another run in the mountains, while we all talked about the crazy happenings of that day and the looming decision I would have to make soon.

The view from Mt. Sanitas. Photo Courtesy of Chris G.

The next morning I arose super early for another interview and to catch my flight back home. The final interview went well and I was very confident that I would be receiving an offer from them by the end of the week, but I had already made my decision on which job to take. I flew home and my training partner picked me up from the airport and I told her I would be moving to Colorado Springs in a few weeks, just 3 weeks before our upcoming 100 miler.

Fast forward roughly 3 weeks and here I am with only two days left at my current job and only 4 days and a wake up before I begin my drive across the country with all my belongings in  a U-Haul to begin the next chapter of my life. The past three weeks have held a whirlwind of emotions and have been chaotic ironing out all the details of the move. I'm beyond excited for this new start but I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified. I'm moving farther away from my family and leaving the best friends I have ever had. The BOR is the reason I am the runner that I am today and without this amazing group of people I wouldn't be where I am now. They will be truly missed. Luckily this Saturday before I leave I get to run one last race with them in Kentucky. LBL 50. I'll be running the 50 miler as my last hoorah with the group and I cant think of a better send off than one last weekend of us all together.

Race and move report to follow sometime next week...