Wednesday, May 16, 2012

stronger [part 3]. {kelly clarkson.}

read part one here. and read part two here.
although our end of the beginning exchange was a little rocky we managed.
my mom was off to climbing her part of the mountain. 3. something miles uphill.
as our car started to make it up the mountain we realized how big of a mountain it was.
it was straight. up. hill.
we aided her at mile 1. she was looking good.
she then continued to climb.
realizing how uphill it was she had to walk.
the funny thing is, is that EVERYONE was walking.
there was not one person running up her mountainous leg.
her leg was full of switch backs. so as you climbed one part of the mountain you could look up and see where her next part of her run was.
it was unreal. i can’t even explain how uphill it was.
some people related it to hiking the Y. more like running the Y.
i personally have never done that so i don’t know if that does her leg justice but it sounds about right.
as we continued to aide her she asked where her exchange was.
we all looked to the top of the mountain and said in unison. “up there.”
it was an unreal climb. but she made it. and the greatest feeling was that she was done running.

next was rachel.
she had a 3. something mile uphill climb.
she did so great.
her goal was to run the entire time. and despite the hills she ran all the way.
at her exchange with jen, rachel was on a major high.
not only had she just ran all the way she was also done with her legs.
there were some woot woots out of her mouth along with some hugs.

jen had a 7. something up and down hill run.
seriously her run almost seemed redundant.
she would run up and then she would run down.
she started out really strong.
but after about mile 4 it hits you hard and she had a slight slowdown.
but she finished strong.
knowing i was again next i was half very nervous and half excited.
i was nervous because let’s face it my first run didn’t go as planned.
but i was excited because this time i was running downhill.
like straight downhill.
the kind where if you misstep and fall you will roll all the way down and off the canyon wall.
the kind where you have to lean backwards so you aren’t too top heavy.
the kind of hill where you might as well sit down and slide to the bottom because the chance of falling is quite high.
let me just remind you i was going down the other side of the death hills previously ran.
this is why i was excited.
i love running downhill. or so i thought.

as i saw jen coming i was nervous but i was ready.
the beginning of my run was a uphill.
but this time i knew. what goes up… must come down.
and down it came.
i was flying.
i felt so great.
i just let gravity pull me down the mountain.
my team would pass me and i would continually give a thumbs up and a big cheesy grin.
this was my kind of run.
this was a moment when i realized i actually loved running.
but don’t let me fool you.
my running high came to a crashing point.
i don’t think i mentioned. i was to run 7. something miles going down 2000 feet of elevation.
so that 7. something miles turned into a hurtful run.
as i learn in all my exercise science classes.
eccentric movements are way more powerful. therefore much more soreness after an eccentric workout.
running downhill is strictly eccentric movements.
around the killer 4 mile my thighs started to burn.
and then they started to be a flame of fire.
i started to definitely need my team.
because i was flying down the mountain the temperature started to get higher.
i started to need water. and i knew i needed to slow down.
but no matter how slow or quick i went my thighs continued to burn.
each time they aided me that was all i had to say.
“my thighs are on fire.”
as i came up to mile 5 i knew i would be ok.
i just kept telling myself it could be worse.. i could be running uphill!
i then came to mile 6. one mile left.
this was the longest mile of my life.
it was full of switch back where every corner i turned i expected to see the exchange flags.
but the flags never came in sight.
i just kept turning corners.
my thighs were still on fire.
after almost giving up because i honestly thought i couldn’t continue on my legs hurt so bad.
but then i rounded a corner and there it was. the flags.
i couldn’t have been happier.
i ran through and passed off to Lindsay.
once i was done i was so tired. and my legs were still on fire.
the greatest feeling was knowing i was done.
i downed some water and then we were on our way to aide Lindsay.

lindsay had a 8 mile down hill run.
hers luckily was a gradual downhill to start our way back into the “city”
we met her at mile one and she was flying and was so strong.
lindsay’s leg was lucky enough to have cattle roaming a couple feet from the road.
being a 14 year old girl she was scared of the cows.
as we passed her she yelled out to  us “please stay close to me. i am scared of the cows!”
we stayed nearby her to protect her from the roaming cattle.
as she was approaching mile 2 we drove up a little and we parked our car behind this other car full of young college age boys and girls.
as my mom jumps out to help lindsay we hear this from a boy in that car.
“that’s my girl right there she is the one.”
we then heard mumble from another one of their teammates.
then “yep that is her. i am asking her to dinner tonight.”
obviously this throws my mom into “mother mode.”
she flips her head around and says.
“you know she is only 14 years old.”
my mom then gives lindsay some water and walks back to the car followed with a..
“and she is my daughter.”
this obviously sends an awkward silence but luckily we were ready to move to follow lindsay to her next mile.
this is when things went downhill.
before lindsay ran the race she was dealing with a bum knee.
right as she passed mile 3 she yells to us “my knee hurts really bad.”
this makes us all nervous because she had 5 miles left.
next thing we know she starts to cry but she continues to run.
all of us in the car had been very teary the entire race because we knew how much we needed each other.
this again threw my mom into “mother mode.” but in a different sense.
as we were following her with her crying my mom stops the car and says
“i have to go out and help her.”
my mom jumps out as we switch drivers and slows down her running pace.
their conversation went a little like this.

lindsay “my knee hurts so bad.”
mom “you need to slow down a little.”
lindsay “but it just hurts so bad.”
mom “how about we walk.”
lindsay “no way! i am not walking. i am going to finish my leg.”
mom “how about you let me run a mile for you while you rest your leg.”
lindsay “no way! that is cheating i want to finish this. we are not going to cheat.”

side note:
there were a lot of teams who would have multiple runners run one leg. so they would switch runners in the middle. this made us so mad because we were dying on our runs and then someone would just jump in for their strong runner. therefore we were bashing their teams all the time calling them cheaters.

this conversation went on for a little longer before it finished like this.
mom “well then Lindsay if you won’t let me run a leg for you. or if you won’t walk then you need to quit your crying.”
this was enough to make lindsay get her head back into the run and she continued to run.
she then decided she didn’t need anyone to run by her anymore and that she was ok.
we were then coming up to mile 6.
my mom decided to leave rachel and i at the mile marker why jen, sue and her drove up to get sue ready for the exchange.
rachel and i cooled her off and ran with her until my mom came back to pick us up.
lindsay was going strong again with only a mile left.
she finished strong and had an awesome run despite her minor break down.
after the exchange we realized how close we were to the finish.
we all got super excited because we were almost done.

sue had a 6.75 mile run to bring us to the finish.
it was a slight downhill and she had a strong run.
the last 2ish miles was running on a path through a park.
because she wasn’t so sure about the path rachel jumped out to run with her.
we told them we would meet them at the finish line to all run through together.
as we saw rachel and sue coming in to finish we were all so stoked.
we started meeting her stride as we ran through the rest of the park through the finish line.
i am pretty sure we were all smiling so large crossing the finish line together.

we had finished our race. one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.
we definitely earned our stripes.
after 65 hot hard miles not only had we completed the race we were not the last ones done.
we watched people run in after us and we realized how awesome we were.
we were an all girls team who beat multiple all girls teams.
one all male team.
and we beat 15 mixed male/female teams.
we were pretty proud of ourselves.
we had just ran from 8:15 am – 7:54 pm.
we ran a average of 10.45 minute miles.
and we tied for 29th of 45 of the female teams.

if you would have asked us that night if we would do it again it would be a massive HECK NO!
but now that we have had some days off and have forgotten our total struggle and hatred towards the race we now say we would like to do another relay again. but we would probably never do the moab red rock relay.
lets just say it was a very hard experience.
but it made us grow and realize that we truly can do hard things.

rachel at the end of her run. if you look close you can see the mountains below. that was the elevation our run started at.

mom helping lindsay out on her run.

we finished!!

our medals we earned.

we earned our stripes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

stronger. [part 2.] {kelly clarkson.}

read part 1 here.
the next morning we had to eat breakfast and get to the start line before 8:10
we of course had to take "before" pictures.
we also had to scope out our competition.
knowing we were definitely not a top competitor we felt we should talk ourselves up and bash other teams outfits. because let’s face it if your outfit isn't top notch you shouldn't even consider running.

they started the run in groups of 20 people every 5 min. 
luckily we were in the first group.
we had our first runner line up. {that being shelly aka my mom.}
her first run was a 7. something run. 
she figured she didn't need us for water until about mile 4ish.
after she was off we continued to wait at least 30 min before our team car made the journey.

we finally decided to get on the road and get to a good stopping place to hand off a water.
we saw shelly in the distance running and right as we pass here these are the words out of her mouth.
"i need help."
considering she was only about at mile 4 of 7 we all started to get nervous.
we quickly pulled over and i ran out with a water bottle and a spray bottle.
i ran beside her spraying her to cool her down as i was giving her words of encouragement.
she just kept saying “something happened with my heart.”
and she would say “i am so sorry i know i am in last.”
what she didn't realize was how many people behind her were walking.
i continued to say "you are doing great." "keep running you have done this before." etc.
i then jumped back into the car and we drove up one mile. 
as we saw her approach again i jumped out to spray her again.
this time all she could say was "it is so hot. make sure everyone knows it is so hot."
she then asked "how far have i gone."
luckily we had past a mile marker on the road which indicated she had 2 miles left.
we told her we would see her at the exchange.
i relayed the message of the heat and we continued on.
at the exchange we got rachel ready for the pass off.
once she was off we stayed by the car for mom to cool down and we figured some things out.

1. it was hot. like so hot while running you think you are going to die.
2. we needed to aide our runner every mile.
3. even though we all like running solo. seeing our team up ahead was the best thing ever.

rachel had 7. something miles to run.
we got into the car and met her at about mile 2.
sue jumped out to spray her down and hand her water.
her only thing she said was "it is so hot."
we then met her at her next mile and continued the same thing.
this went on for her entire run.
we then drove jen up to get her to the exchange.
after the pass off to jen, i became so nervous.
i knew i was next.
i also knew jen only had a 3. something mile run.
we aided her at 1.5 mile and she was doing great.
we told her we would see her at the exchange.

let me give a little preface right now about my running life.
out of our team i have been running the longest.
which meant everyone demoted me the hardest runs.
lets also throw in there that i have had shin splints since about january.
therefore i have only been doing truly long hard runs once a week if even that to train.
lets just say i was nervous for my runs.

i waited nervously at the exchange.
as i saw jen running her last stretch i knew this was it.
my 5.3 mile straight up hill run.
she did the pass off and i started to run.
my first mile plus maybe a little was a steep uphill climb.
i hate running uphill.
i ran the first little bit and then i realized the hill just kept going and going.
it was so hot.
i had to keep climbing up.
once i made it to the top of my first two hard hills i got a little relief going down.
but only for a quarter of a mile.
then i started the climb back uphill.
it was brutal.
it was so hard.
it was so hot.
i am not sure if i was even moving.
my team aided me multiple multiple times.
without them i honestly think i would have just curled up in a ball on the side of the road and waited to die of heat exhaustion.
i continued to "run"
my team aided me at a mile marker and i didn't know what mile i was on.
they let me know it was mile 3 and i had 2 to go.
i wanted to cry right there and then.
how was i suppose to continue for 2 whole miles.
i was roasting.
i was tired.
my feet hurt.
and i wanted to cry.
i kept praying for a breeze. and praying for strength to finish.
as i continued up the mountain i kept thinking of rachels analogy.
and i kept telling myself that i had done this before and to just keep moving.
even if i was doing 12 min. miles.

{rachel shared this in relief society the sunday before our race.}
she started out sharing how we were going to do this race. and the race represented our life. she said how before the race we had a team meeting to assign runs. we were assigned our runs with how much training and how experienced we were. but after we were all assigned we all promised that we would be there for each other. and although someone might have a harder hill to climb then another we all promised that we would be there to cheer each other on and to aide our runner in any way possible. she continued with this analogy and turned it to life. she said that she thinks before we were born we were all looking at our lives. we noticed some people had harder "hills". while others had longer legs. {meaning trials.} we also noticed that each of our lives were meant for us. and that they were tailored to fit our strengths and abilities. but in heaven when we saw each others "hills" we promised that we would be there for each other. and that we would be there to help lift them up and to "aide" them in every way possible. but when we came to earth some of us forgot. we forgot our promise we made to each other to help each other in our trials and hard times in life. and we forgot so much that instead of keeping our promise to "aide" each other instead we judge each other. and we make each others legs harder then they were meant to be. and instead of judging we need to be there for each other. we are each others team members and we need to be at every mile. at every hill. offering water and offering any help that we can possibly give. 

back to my run.
as i was thinking of this i kept saying in my head.
you were meant for this run. you can keep going.
don't stop now you only have 2 miles left.
despite my legs and feet being on fire.
despite the sun beating down on my skin.
despite the want to throw up on the side of the road.
despite the want and need to walk.
i finished my leg.
i ran through the exchange and handed off to lindsay knowing i probably would never have to do anything so hard in my whole entire life. but if i did i knew i could count on my team being there to help me. and also i knew that if i had survived that 5.3 miles i can survive anything.

once i had cooled down and i had rehydrated my body we were off to help lindsay.
she had a 2.94 mile gradual up hill run.
lets just say she rocked it.
she then passed off to sue who was suppose to have a 3. something up hill run.
but it ended up being a 2. something uphill.
she ran great.
she claims that she was “shuffling” but it ended up being a great shuffle.

as we were driving up to the next exchange we realized they had cut her run down and the exchange was quicker then expected.
this kind of threw our team into a whirlwind because it ended so much earlier we were caught off guard.
so between rachel and jen driving back down to sue to aide her, her last time and informing her she didn’t have to climb up the hill of death.
and my mom realizing not only will she have to take on the hill of death, she also had to hurry and pee in the bushes and mentally prep herself with only a few short minutes before the official exchange.
it was quite a stressor for our team to have to whip into action in such a short period of time.
but without fail we did it flawlessly.
this point also marked our “half way” which means we had all ran once and now we were going to run our last legs.

before the race in front of the start line.

our team with our awesome neo pulse shirts.

stronger [part 1]. {kelly clarkson.}

oh my. this past weekend was pretty much life changing.
we are going to start with our friday adventure.
just for the record. i am writing this in separate blog posts because it would have been 5 pages long.

the plan was to meet at our house at 12:00.
which meant checking lindsay out of class.
sue driving from heber.
mom coming home from work at 11:30
rachel and jen walking across the park.
and well i guess i just walked right out the door.
we packed our car with food. drinks. and running clothing.
we then decorated our car.
because lets face it we wanted everyone to know where we were headed.

once everything was packed and we were all situated we started our long journey to moab.
we talked about life. about training. and about everything in between.
after we smack talked the other decorated cars on the road we finally made it to moab.
we found our hotel and got situated.
after which we made our way to the race starting line to sign in.
we got our t-shirts. our car decals. and a bunch of other random things.

we then had to figure out where to go for dinner.
after much discussion we chose a pasta. pizza. patio place. {i can't remember the real name.}
we ordered our food with "carboloading" in mind.
i ordered a veggie calzone which was delicious and HUGE.

after dinner we decided that we needed to drive the course so we knew our whereabouts while running.
we also wanted to be able to see the hills that were going to be required for us to run.
as we started we had sayings of "oh that doesn't look too bad."
"oh that is just a small hill. you will rock that run."
"oh that hill is a doozie but don't worry look at the down hill right after that."
we continued with the positive running thoughts through out the whole 65 mile run.
little did we know we were a little deranged that night.
because those "not so bad hills" were straight up brutal.
but lets not jump the gun quite yet.
we decided to go to bed and get some rest. 
obviously i didn't sleep too well because of nerves.

team car of love.

massive veggie calzone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

change. {taylor swift.}

what an exciting crazy week!
lets back track to last monday.

just as luck would have it i had all 3 of my finals all on last wednesday.
now granted it was going to be nice to get them all over with
but studying was a different story.
i had to prioritize my time between three exams.
and i had to retain all the information in my head for three exams.

after a total of 20 hours in the library consecutively over 3 days my brain was fried.
i took my first exam. not awful. not awesome.
my second exam same as above. 
could have been worse. could have been better.
my last exam.
lets just say i rocked it to say the least.

after my three exams i just sat and slowly let all the info in my brain leave.
seriously my brain went from a headache to not a care in the world.
well when that happens i apparently become hyper.
not the oh she is happy hyper.
not the complete crazy hyper whom you can't control.

we went to krave.
we went to the "spinny" park.
we won't go into detail about the spinny park.
and we hit up walmart.
followed by watching an 90's movie.

i was out of control.
what could i say it was my last night in cedar until 2014.
and i had to go out in style.
leaving my mark everywhere.

the next day i had a wonderful presentation.
lets just say brooke and i rocked it.
{no i do not have multiple personality disorder. my group partner is also named brooke.} 
then came the dreaded goodbyes.

i had to say goodbye to one of my best friends and roommate christie.
seriously she is the best.
we have conversations across the room by reading each others minds.
we talk because understand each other.
we help each other be better.
simply put we are one.
i miss her immensely.

don't get me wrong i will miss my other roommates but christie and i were best friends.
oh i will also miss my neighbor aaron.
he practically lived in our apartment.
we sorta fought like brother and sister.
but we were still friends. sometimes.

i am going to miss cedar.
and my friends there.
but change is inevitable.

now my focus is on 3 things.
red rock relay. {this saturday.}
half marathon.{june 9.}
and obviously mission. {july 11.}