Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May the course be with you.

Good Morning Friends!

It's been a while. Life has this weird way of everything catching up at once, everything happening at once. Sometimes it's so overwhelming to think of all the things I have going on and try to balance at once. I try to continuously remind myself of how god damn privileged I am, how lucky I am that I can wake up and do what I love everyday. So, let me fill you in on what has been keeping me so darn busy lately.

A little over 44,000 people participated in races this past weekend (May 27 & 28). From the 2km, 5km and 10km races on Saturday, to the Half and Full Marathons on Sunday.

I ran my first half marathon on Sunday and let me tell you, that was probably one of the hardest things I've had to physically do in my life up to this point. I push myself most days at the gym, but I've never had to push myself this hard for 2 straight hours (just over 2 hours, to be exact). I signed up for this race in October feeling confident that I could train lots and be totally prepared. Then, Crossfit came into my life and I got very deep into training for the Open, and then my first competition that I assumed I was just fit enough to run 21.1kms without any real running training. I have never run over 15kms before, but when I did it felt really good and my legs felt great. This Sunday I prepped the night before, woke up with good time, had a good breakfast and wasn't anxious or stressed on my way downtown. I felt good and eager to do it. I stupidly wore a t-shirt and while in the corrals I regretted that decision. I knew it was supposed to be sunny and warm, but wasn't expecting the heat and sun that came. The first 10km felt good, I was keeping my usual 5:30 pace and hoped that I could keep that for the remainder of the race. By the time we got to Tunney's Pasture and out on the parkway towards the War Museum, I knew I was in for it. My legs started to feel insanely heavy and the heat was starting to get to me. I walked, for the first time in a race in the last 2 years. I was disappointed that I had to, and kept the walking only within water and hydration stations.

As we came up the main drag in Hull, past the History Museum and across the Alexandria Bridge, I knew I had to just push. Head down, keep hydrating and just keep moving. I still stopped at water stations because I knew if I didn't keep hydrating, I would be passing out. I had a belt on with two water bottles, but those emptied fast.

The last stretch through downtown was the hardest of the entire day, yet I felt so motivated to finish and get in the best possible time I could. The emotions that come over you as you run down Sussex, down the canal, is one that cannot be explained unless you've done it. So many people came out to cheer, see you struggle and yell out words of encouragement. Every runner that runs the race weekend can agree with me that we finish because of those words. They seriously help, even though we may still look miserable.

I finished with a final time of 2 hours and 12 minutes. Leading up to it I wanted to sub 2 hours. At about the 13km into the race I knew that wasn't going to happen and started aiming for more around 2:10. For my first half marathon, one that I hardly properly trained for, I am very happy with that time. My goal was not very realistic going into it and I thought I could keep my pace for the entire thing and be fine, but did I ever get a wake up call.

I am so happy I did it and am now able to check off that little box in my "Life Goals" list. I say this in probably every post I write but 2 years ago, a half would never be in my realm of things I could do. I am now fit enough to just do it, albeit in pain, and finish, with a pretty decent time and a smile on my face. See below picture of me crossing the finish line, with a smile. 

I also got the great opportunity to be apart of TEAM AWESOME, which I have spoken about in past Blog posts. I finally got to meet most of the team this weekend and I have to say, everyone was so Awesome, so nice, so inviting. Some gave me tips, some gave me words of encouragement. It was great to feel apart of a team in this individual sport. We all also received VIP passes that allowed us to watch the races from a tent right next to the finish line. I feel very honored to have been picked as apart of this team. Everyone worked so hard this weekend. Big congrats to all!

Aside from running this past weekend, life has been crazy otherwise as well. Work is very busy and starting to travel a lot for that. Crossfit is still the love of my life and although I had to take a few days off (3 in a row, to be exact), I am excited to get back into my grove and train hard AF (excuse my language) this summer to hopefully see an ab or two pop in and hopefully continue to compete in competitions. 

I'm also moving (again)! I haven't moved in a year and a half but it's time for a new spot. Moving has been rated one of the most stressful things you do in your life. I officially am in my new place as of Saturday, so that will be a big weight off. I am staying in the Burg, obviously, and moving right next to Hintonburg park. Very excited for my new spot in the heart of the best neighborhood in the city!

But life is great! I continuously wake up every day so happy and content with where my life is heading. Obviously it's not perfect but I can honestly say that I am very happy. 

Anywho, there's no easy way to sign off for me, I could ramble forever. :) 

- Denise

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