from the beginining

I am feeling much better today.

Whew.

That was a close one.

I’m telling ya, ZICAM can cure anything (write that down).

Anyways, when I was lying in bed last night, I couldn’t stop thinking about running. This Saturday I will be running my second half marathon of my life, and for some reason this time around I feel more prepared, both mentally and physically. Even though I have been running for about six years, it has taken me a long time to say that I am in fact a runner.

I started running when I was in college and it was definitely not love at first sight. Yikes. I hated running and large part of that had to do with me huffing and puffing because I smoked cigarettes (total crazy town, I know).

After about a year of trying to smoke and run (who does that?), I decided that it was time to give up running or smoking cigarettes. I physically couldn’t do both. Thankfully my holistic angel showed up on that fateful day and told me to stop smoking. Okay, you’re the boss!

Best decision of my life. Well, besides marrying Mr. B of course.

Once I quit smoking, I started to see running in a whole new way. First of all I could breathe. And second of all my body was able to progress (i.e. running faster). Who would of thunk? Geesh.

In my early years of running, I would run three to four times a week either by myself or with girlfriends. Nothing over 3 miles because after all, I was still in the infancy stage. But with each step I took, I knew I was one step closer to becoming a real runner.

My senior year of college is when I blossomed. I remember the first time I ran 5 miles with Jamie. We ran laps around the track at the Rec and I thought I was going to die (such a drama queen). But I didn’t quit. Once I finished, I was in complete shock. Did I really just do that? Holy bananas! I remember texting Mr. B and telling him that I ran 5 miles. His response, “Why would you want to do that?” Little did he know that he would eat those words six years later! (He ran a half marathon this past April).

Soon I realized that running made me feel fantastic. There’s nothing like a good runners high to make your world seem a little brighter. I looked forward to running every day because it was a way for me to have quiet time and really clear my mind. I was hooked.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008. Mr. B and I had been in Denver for almost a year and started playing kickball with the village. At one of the games, Listy asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with her. She had a couple full marathons under her belt so was ready to rock.

But this was not an ordinary race. The Golden Leaf is a trail run that starts at 9,000 feet at Snowmass Village and ends in downtown Aspen. I was like pssshh. There is no way in hell I would be able to run that far at that altitude.

She convinced me to say yes in about 5 minutes (Listy is good). The next week our training began. You would think that I would have had at least a 5K under my belt, but no. Apparently I like to do things the hard way.

My training was a mess. I didn’t know how to run properly (so awkward). The eating and drinking part was a killer because back in 2008 they didn’t have all the fancy organic GU shots. All they had were these nasty, watered down GU shots that tasted like crap and made me sick. So I decided to 86 the GU shots and not eat while I was running. Brilliant. Plus, I ended up having to train on my own because Listy hurt her knee.

Can you feel the deck stacked against me?

I have no idea how I completed my training, but I did. When race day arrived, I was an effing mess. I remember standing at the starting line with Mr. B about to ball my eyes when the gun went off. It was time to nut up, or shut up.

The next three hours were insane.

I ran up a side of a mountain, jumped over streams and boulders, and even passed a hunter with a bow and arrow. In a way, I was running to survive. It was epic.

I finished in 3:02:00. I didn’t care. I survived without refueling and with little water. Once I saw Mr. B at the finish line, I was so overwhelmed with joy I couldn’t help but cry. It was truly a life changing moment.

Now it’s 2011 and I am about to do it all over again. Things are different, but the nerves are still there.

I thought I would share some of the pros and cons between the two years:

2008

Pros:
– complete ignorance
– 500 runners
– heart rate monitor
– super cute Nike outfit with hair in pig tails

Cons:
– ran the race by myself
– no other races completed (not even a 5K…what’s a bib? timing chip?)
– no fuel
– hardly any water ( I actually drank water out of a man’s hand because the aid station ran out)
– no trail running shoes
– never ran on an actual trail
– never ran above 5280 feet
– didn’t take a single picture

2011

Pros:
– running with friends
– fuel (Cliff Shots!)
– camelbak (h2o baby!)
– trail running shoes
– garmin
– full marathon under my belt
– camera + flip video
– wardrobe upgrade: running tights and dri-fit shirt

Cons:
– 1,000 runners (word got out)
– taking pictures while I run (damn blogging)

Given all of this information, I should have a better race.

But.

We shall see.

Muhahaahhh!