Glimpse of Winter

Glimps of Winter

A little frost and winter weather just in time for the holidays.

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Garden of the Gods 10 Miler Race Recap

I did it!! I finished this race!! I was waaaaay slower than my PR and finishing at 2:09…but I’m done ūüôā

Pre-Race: Honestly, I’ve been pretty relaxed in terms of my prep for this race. I want to challenge myself but I want to do it on my own term. In the training department, I had a schedule to follow but I wasn’t very good at sticking with it during certain weeks. I had several great practice runs (and it forced me to work on hills) and overall, I became a lot closer with my running friend, B (added bonus). Although I had everything planned out, the two weeks leading up to the race was just absolutely nuts in terms of “life.” Two days before the race, I managed to squeeze in some time and picked up my bib at a local running store. This race also marked the first time that I drove myself to a race, ran it, and then drove myself home (my husband usually drives me and I will force him to cheer me on). I’m usually very excited by the prospect of running a race so I always do a little outfit planning the night before (mostly in anticipation of the weather). This time, however, I just sort of winged it the morning of the race.

The Course: They weren’t kidding when they said HILLS on the course. This is the most challenging course I have ever run on. The hills were frequent, some very large, and the altitude was an added bonus. I had decided beforehand that I was going to run/walk the course mainly to deal with the frequent uphills. I also need to make sure that I don’t push myself too hard because I had “other” things to do in the days following the race (I will go into this later). Despite that this is not an easy course, it was BEAUTIFUL. I had my phone with me and managed to snap several pictures on my run (yes, I wasn’t there to win the race). The view was simply amazing!! I hope I will have the opportunity to run this race again next year and with more prep, maybe I will beat my time from this year.

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Afterthought: It’s amazing for me to think that I only ran my first race (ever) Spring 2012. That was only a little over a year ago! A year later, I have two 10 mile races, one half marathon, and several 5Ks under my belt. I love this feeling of growth! I love that I’ve found something that I truly enjoy in the midst of all that goes on in our live (career, bills, relationships, marriage…you name it)! It’s an awesome knowledge that I can continue to challenge myself physically and mentally through my runs. Running will always be my sanctuary. I’m leaving for California on a short work-related trip starting tomorrow. This time, I won’t be brining my running kicks with me because my legs will need a little time to recover. I’m already thinking about my next race though – what distance and what location? I have several in mind, including the Santa Barbara Half, but I’m definitely on the look out for others.

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B and I post race!

It was indeed happy running!

Wordless Wednesday: The Rocky Mountain National Park Edition

Last weekend, the spouse and I drove up to the Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather was gorgeous and it’s just a joy to be surrounded by nature. Here are some pictures from our day there:

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Above the tree line, there is still ice/snow…and lots of it!

 

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Except the weather was warm so people were wearing shorts!

 

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Crazy high snow banks on the side of the road

 

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Breathtaking views

 

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We chanced upon a herd of elks…it was amazing!

 

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Nature

 

How has your week been? Happy Wednesday!!

Motivation for Running

Aside from feeling more upbeat about my academic work, I am also trying to pull myself out of a running slump. I am definitely¬†not¬†an athlete or even someone who just relish a good sweaty workout. I’ve been really inactive most of my young adult life (aside from the mandatory gym class) and even through college. Before I was 22 or so, I’ve been blessed to live in a big city where the main mode of transportation was the subway/bus/walking. Finally when I was in my third year of my phd program, I finally realized that I had to workout regularly because I was living an extremely sedentary lifestyle. That’s when I started running. The reason I picked up running was mainly because it was relatively low-cost (just need a pair of good sneakers), I had the flexibility to run whenever I feel like it, and I could do it anywhere (since I was traveling a lot during that time).

In the 2+ years that I’ve taken up running, there’s been some up and downs. I’ve been blessed with only suffering very minor strains/injuries but my motivation for running ebbs and flows. When I lived in California, it was really easy to run all year long. The weather was just perfect even during some of the colder months and for a year or two, I sported a nice winter tan from running outside. Since I’ve moved to my current town, I’ve been running far less because I’m intrinsically not very motivated by physcial acitivies. This slump in running coincided with the period when I started to struggle with my own life goals (let’s just call it an existential crisis because that’s what it is). One thing that have always helped (somewhat) to keep me motivated in my running is actually signing up for races. I’ve ran a few here and there…not doing phenomenal in any…but I’ve managed to finish almost every one of them running the whole way.

After looking around for a bit (and chickening out a few times), I finally signed up for the Garden of Gods 10 Miler! Honestly, I’m a little scared because even though the course is supposedly beautiful, it is¬†hilly with a total of ¬†200+ feet elevation gain throughout the course. It’s also in June so depending on how the weather is, it may be hot. But I guess there’s no use psyching myself out before the race is even here…plus I have about 2 months to seriously train for the course. It’ll take a lot of work on hills and upping my cardio-vascular capabilities so I can run hills at an altitude!

I think I’m up for this challenge! Please check back for training updates as I prep for this awesome race!