My dream of running started back in May of 2009. I jumped into my first Bolder Boulder after not training all winter and only a few runs in the Spring. Oh yeah and the two days before the race were spent with the stomach flu. Not exactly the ideal situation, but probably the most "fun" I have ever had in a race. I crossed the finish line completyly spent, I had no idea how tough the course was or even what a 10k felt like. My time was ok, I ran a 37:55 for 11th place female but man did it hurt! It wasn't so much what had happened in the last 38 minutes that changed me but more what was about to happen in a couple hours.
After I crossed the finish line I found Kevin and the boys so we could get a good seat to watch the Memorial ceremony after the races were over. We both thought our kids would love watching the jets, parachuting men and all of the festivities. As we sat in the stadium we ended up seeing the elite race come through. I remember hearing the crowd cheer these runners on as I watched Tera Moody and Alisha Williams run for team USA into the stadium. With goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes I looked at Kevin and said "I want to do that!" At the time I'm sure Kevin thought I was nuts. These women were running considerably faster than I had just run. Not to mention THEY were real runners I was just a mom who ran on the treadmill. The next day I went in to Doug Bell and told him I want to be in that race someday, I want to give running what I can and train. I had no idea at the time how this was about to change my life!
Fast forward to now. This weekend I will be running in the Bolder Boulder International team challenge! I am going to get to finish in that stadium with my family and friends cheering me on. I can't tell you how much this means to me! I know to a lot of people it sounds cheesy and goofy, but it's the whole reason I am who I am today. That one race changed my life! There have been races in the past 3 years that I have had the honor of being a part of. Many USA championship races and most important the USA Olympic Marathon trials. All of which have been amazing and a dream! But for me Bolder Boulder is the race I feel the most excited and honored to be a part of! It is the place I started, it's always been the thing I have strived to have the honor to be in, not to mention it's a local race! I know it's a little nuts. I mean who would choose to run at 11 in the heat verses at 7 am in the cool weather? Who would prefer to run with 20 or so women instead of a huge field that you can tuck into men to help you out? Chances are you could end up alone. Chances are you could end up at the back for a bit. The thing is is this. Running is full of ups and downs. I have had a year of so many amazing ups. Joining the American Distance Project has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. No it wasn't easy! I had to disappoint some people and leave what I was comfortable with behind. But it has brought me to the place I stand in today. The last few weeks I have struggled with myself on a physical and mental level but once again God knew how to help me. On Monday I will run my little heart out and give 110% to finish in the stadium with all my loved ones around! This is the biggest "up" I could have! I feel like I have really given a lot to running in the last year. Lots of sweat, pain, tears and sacrifice from both me and my loved ones. Plus lots of work from my teammates, my training partner and coach. So in a weird way I feel like yes it is all worth it. It's the little victories in running and life in general that keep us plugging away!
I have so many people to be thankful to for all the joys and gifts I have been given in life! God has really blessed me with so much more than I ever dreamed of. I have an amazing supportive husband, two beautiful children, a brother who probably thinks I am 100% insane for doing this but still comes along to cheer me on, family who supports me, amazing training partner and friends, awesome sponsors in the Boulder Running Company, Adidas, and Powerbar, and freaking awesome teammates!!!! I do look back now and find it funny how it worked out. That day I looked at Alisha and Tera and idolized them! That hasn't changed a bit they are two of the most amazing runners, but now I have had the honor of being their teammmates. They have given me advice, encouragment and support. I'll still always look up to them as runners but now I look up to them as women and friends. It's funny how God will put you in the right place to help you make the decision to change your life forever!
Can't wait to see you all out there on Monday! You better believe I will be out there drinking my coffee cheering you all on to a great race! Than as I run no matter how the race turns out for me I will listen for all of my friends encouraging words and remember just how blessed I am to be in this race!!!!!