2 Months and 4 days… that is precisely how long I’ve been planning this blog post. 2 months of stopping and starting, not ever letting myself finish, of finding ridiculous ways to put off writing and publishing this post, 2 months of continuing to hide. To share something that, at the heart I am still working on believing I can do. To put myself back out into the world and to not care what people think. Really I think that last part, the part about hiding and not wanting to put myself back out into the world, that’s been going on for longer than 2 months; probably more like most of 2021. I’ve been hiding, busying myself with work and all things Covid and then my Mom’s knee replacement surgery and moving and then Covid again. Its amazing how something like a stupid virus can take up so much space in your life if you let it. So here I am, getting ready to put it all out there. Ready to take a step, to do something I feel compelled to do, because I want to share this experience with someone. I want to connect with people again, I want to get back the life that I used to live, and let go of a life that’s been pretty narrowly focused for a while. So even if no one reads these words, I am standing up and showing up for myself instead of just hiding behind another meaningless episode of Below Deck on Bravo or spending hours scrolling social media or YouTube watching other people live their lives while I sit on my couch and watch it all go by.
Way back in the early days of 2020 I had a stupid, big, crazy, scary goal – I was going to participate in the TransRockies 6 Day Stage Race. I had signed on to work with a running coach who had a solid track record of coaching people through successful trail races of all distances. I was signed up for a series of races that would help me get to this goal. I was prepared to do the work, I had dreamed of being on the start line in Buena Vista, CO for several years and then well you know the story. Global Pandemic hits, turns life upside down and the stress reaction in my body was too much to manage. I stopped running, started eating and drinking and well sadly all races were eventually canceled and I let running, my fitness and all my running goals slip away. I will now share that I have also managed to gain 20lbs. While my rational brain understands that a lot of the weight was my body’s response to high levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time it is still a very hard pill to swallow. I was Weight Watchers Leader for pete’s sake! I’ve run 9 marathons! How could this happen? Regardless of how I got here, I am here and well it’s time to get to work.
TransRockies 2021 came and went and I eagerly cheered everyone on from my home. When they announced that the 2021 race would be back I thought about trying to get my rear back in shape and to the start line, but I also realized I was a long way from being physically and mentally ready for a race of that magnitude; running 120 miles over 6 days at altitude. Add to that I had an opportunity to travel to Alaska to celebrate a friend’s 50th Birthday around the same time as the race, I opted to take the no questions asked deferral into 2022. So here I am, I had every intention of writing this post and publishing it back on August 1, one year from the date of the start of Transrockies 2022, but you already know how that went. Now, there are 10 months left to go and I am working hard on my mental and physical games. I’ve signed back on with my coach (Greg @ultraningarunnr, thanks for taking me back and I have faith in both of us that I will be ready come August 1, 2022.) With his help I am finally back to running consistently and I’ve even started to actually do my prescribed strength training and running on trails, something I managed to skip out on the last time I worked with Greg. I am also working hard on my weight and overall fitness, but I think that’s best explored in a separate post.
I wish I could explain why, but I really want to share this experience. I want to tell my story and I am also hoping that going public will help keep me going when the runs get really long, when I am tired and don’t want to go out to run or when I don’t want to make choices with food that support my goals (food is fuel, not fun! My new mantra). I’ve convinced myself numerous times that no one will really care and no one will want to read what I have to write, but I am also not going to let my inner critic stop me. As this is starting to get long and I need to get to bed, I’ll end by summing up my current goals on my road to TransRockies 2022:
1) Lose 10% of my current weight by my birthday which equals 1lbs a week.
2) Keep following my training plan and work my butt off to be ready to run the 25K at Ouachita Switchbacks in January.
3) Post once a week on Mondays to check in, provide an update on training and this little project of mine; to rebuild a strong, healthy, athletic body.
Thanks for joining me for this first step of an epic adventure!