Sunday, May 15, 2022

 Wine Country 1/2 Marathon 2022


Ohhhh this race was so awesome and terrible and perfect!

I’m going to try to be concise in hopes that helps you read and get an idea of the race/course/my experience. 

Going into this race, I wanted to use it as a training race for Eagleman 70.3 in 4 weeks, but I also had trained enough to do decent and feel solid going into this half.  I hadn’t done this course before, was just very HAPPY to be going to do a fun run and then hang out with friends, and felt excited to push myself.  I was worried about the weather, but I was fully committed to running it even if it ended up raining since I didn’t go last year due to a huge rainstorm during the event.  Didn’t want to do that 2 years in a row.

 

Race week I felt HORRIBLE.  Exhausted (had a few nights of not sleeping), and my body was so so tired and my breathing was terrible (either from being overtired or allergies or maybe just typical for a taper week?)  So, this led me to worry a bit.  I was very loose with my training plan- skipped a little of my plan in order to just get more rest.

Race morning, it was rainy during the drive, even though my weather app called for no rain, grrr… Sprinkled a bit during packet pickup and about 20 min before race start, started LEGIT raining, kinda cold. I wasn’t thrilled.  This is what treadmills are for😊  It was cold and I Just wanted to begin.  Rain tapered a little as we began, but the first mile I thought was “grose”.. like my feet felt wet in my shoes already, mud on legs all over, puddles, the first 3 miles were mostly all on gravel roads (mud roads).  And within first 3 miles BIG HILLS!  My splits weren’t super duper strong because all the hills, but I knew it was still strong and appropriate for the course and conditions.  I also had a terrifying early pitstop in a port o pot at mile 3.  Why so early, grrr.  Usually I at least make it to mile 7-8.

Mile 3-8 were strong, but still hilly and I had another pit stop behind a bush on the course.  Luckily that was the last!!

The course was not my favorite because we basically were at the finish line around mile 8, but had 5 miles left, so turned and BACKTRACKED 2.5 miles that we had already come, and back.  So, that meant we were on these little country roads that were mostly 1 lane size, with runners in both directions. (along with potholes filled with puddles and mud). **yes, my ankles are sore today from the terrain, which I actually welcome as a nice little training effect.

This is where the race got really challenging, both physically and mentally.  Physically, the hills from mile 8.5-10.5 were SO hard going back.  So hard that I was grunting, making sounds, saying some words.  It was so hard.  A guy behind me yelled at one huge mountainous hill- WHAT IS UP WITH THIS COURSE!?!  I screamed back “THIS IS RUUUUUUUDE!”  It was terrible. PLUS, then it started to become mental- like where int eh WORLD was the turn around.  Since we had already been on this road, for some reason it felt to me like we should have been at the turn around, and it just wasn’t coming.  I misjudged like over ½ mile thinking it was right around the corner and so it became frustrating that it wasn’t ever there and we kept having to go up up up up up.

It was during this time that I got passed by another girl runner.  At the time I thought I had been in 3rd, so when she passed me I was like “shit- that takes me out of top 3.”  I kinda wanted to be in top 3 in case there was any wine as a prize, etc!!  But at the time, on those hills, there was nothing I could do.  I just kept plugging along, making my sounds and saying my words.  We were FINALLY about to be at the turnaround and I saw the girl who had passed me coming the opposite way.  She was near a guy who said to a guy I was running near, “come get me.”  So, I kind of took that and when we got to the turnaround, I said to the guy I was near, “let’s go get them.”  I normally like to stay within myself, compete at this point in a race just with where I am, and not make it about anyone else.  But, for some reason I felt like I wanted to be a bit aggressive and try to stay “in it.”  He kind of glanced at me unsure, but then he started to pick up his pace and I start to trail behind him and try to keep up also.  Then, I was like, shoot, I don’t think I can, but I already said this to him, so now I felt stupid.  So, I kept my effort and somehow it became ok to maintain.  We kept pulling closer and closer to them.  By about 11.5 miles, I knew I was gaining back on her and I could definitely get to her.  I had planned to get to her and kind of hide behind her for a bit, but before m ile 12, I Just passed her, thinking, do it now while you can and then just try to see if you can keep plugging more time away.  So, when I passed her, I had over a mile left to keep the lead, and I kinda hate that because then I’m being chased.  I’d prefer to do the chasing.  But, I said to myself this is 4x around the track, take it little by little, stay focused on form, being smooth and efficient.  I didn’t turn around at all, so I was hoping I was putting some distance in between us.  But last ½ mile I heard someone behind me, and I knew someone was right there, and I was like shit go harder.  I knew how close we were, we turned the corner into the winery and ¼ mile left.  I literally could HEAR these footsteps and I’m like SHIIIIIIITTTTT and went all out, literally just 100% of what I had, and this is on very tired legs.  Less than .1 from finish a guy passed me and I Was like maybe that was the footsteps and she is not there, so I may have let up slightly because I thought I was going to maybe die of effort.  I made it to the finish line and she hadn’t passed, so I thought I had top 3!  I was super happy for that, but mostly for my EFFORT and FIGHT!  I don’t normally fight and play “strategy” like that, and I had kinda fun doing it!  She ended up being 19 seconds back, so clearly she hadn’t given up either based on my last mile split which was strong and also she had to be working pretty much as hard as I was!

I ended up 5th overall, and first in my age group.  I don’t know where the 2 other girls were that finished ahead of me, since I didn’t really see them during the race, and I saw the men who were in front of me since there were so many out and backs I only saw 2 women in front of me for the whole race, so it’s kinda strange, but honestly I don’t care because I know I did my 100% . Literally, it was every single thing I had.  I’m super proud of it and it was exactly what I Needed- a huge kick in the behind, a big training effect for my muscles.  I am sore today in quads, calves, hips, ankles and even kind of my shoulders and traps😊  I kinda love it.

It was so much darn fun.  I sat with 3 friends for a few hours after and we had beautifully yummy wine and huge laughs for hours.  It WAS LITERALLY the BEST.

BEST BEST BEST.  I loved it so much.

I may not recommend this half marathon as a first time ½ marathon for someone.  But I would DEF recommend the 5k and 10K.  The 10K is still a challenging course, don’t get me wrong, but since you don’t have to backtrack and do half of it over, it makes it better.  Plus there were tons of run/walkers and walkers for both of those!

I’m set up perfectly to finish a big training push and then taper for Eagleman on June 12!  Super happy that I committed to this race.  It wasn’t ideal- it was prom for Phoebe, so I knew I’d have to come back at some point to be available if she wanted me for any help, but we had a great 5 hours of fun, and I know without a doubt I am more fit than I would have been without committing to this race!

Here are my stats and splits:

8:11

7:51

8:05(bathroom stop)

7:45

7:35

7:55

7:39

8:33 (bathroom stop)

8:28

9:33 (this was the BEAST OF HILLY MILES)

8:35

7:51

8:05

1:47:24 total time, 8:09/mile pace.

5th OA, 1st age group.


Friday, May 13, 2022

 

2022 is Rising Sun Fitness 15 year anniversary of being full time on my own!

15 things I’ve learned from 15 years in business.

1.       Work is different at different stages. When I began 15 years ago, well….. first… I was SCARED.  I worked NONSTOP, FREAKING EARLY HOURS ALL THE DAYS…. Burned the candle both ends.  I don’t regret it, but I definitely am not at a stage that I want or need to be breaking myself down to that extent.  It wasn’t sustainable, but I realize that sometimes at the beginning, you do have to take a deep breath and attack for quite a bit of time to establish a strong base.  I am thankful that along the years, I have always been someone to ask myself questions to ensure that I am living and working in alignment with my character and values of what is right for me.  Some years this means different things, but without asking myself the questions to check in, I don’t think I would be as aware of what the “stage” I was in required of me.

 

2.       Plan for SEASONS, including REST.  Ok, this has taken time, and is an ongoing learning process for me.  I am used to FULL FORCE, 100% commitment and focus.  I have learned over the years that I break down.  Many of you have seen this in me(!).  I work until I literally can barely get out of bed.  My physical body, but also my mental/emotional health just needs an exhale.  My energy is SAPPED.  I have learned that for me, in this type of job where it is critical that I remain passionate and energized to share this motivation, that I plan times to regroup.  It may be a week at the end of a summer, it may be planning an afternoon of QUIET doing yoga at the dock by the lake. I need to have a planned regrouping, re-energizing, to feed my soul.

 

3.       Continuing education is key for motivation!  I love learning and am so lucky that it inspires me!  I find it semi- annoying to do conferences on these timelines and save the paperwork to submit for my certifications and pay all the fees, but on the flip side, I barely care because I LOVE learning these things so much!  I have found over the years, if it is a weekend conference I am going to, I plan for another day or two or whatever the time needed is, to INTEGRATE what I learned into practice.  I go back through my notes, and write up a whole sheet after each presentation on…. What does this mean to ME, and what are even 2-3 things that I can add to my DAILY WORK that allows me to bring these things I’ve learned to my athletes, clients, participants.   I love blending what I learned into a usable format.

 

4.       Best marketing is word of mouth.  I am so aware of how lucky I am that I have so many who support me by spreading the word about Rising Sun Fitness- and I think of this also as supporting those you know- giving others info of what is out there, available, to make their days better!

 

5.       Am I spread too thin, or maybe the variety of what I do keeps me well rounded?!  I sometimes ask myself this question when times are getting overwhelming.  Because let’s be real- I get overwhelmed …. Often!!  I wonder sometimes if I shouldn’t do personal training, group training, online coaching, bootcamps, yoga classes, kid yoga and fitness, corporate fitness offerings.  I wonder if I am just shooting myself in the foot.  But I do not think that at all when it really comes down to it, because so much of it feeds into the whole cycle of who I am and what I do.  I have learned the balance of going hard in some workouts and training sessions is balanced by some days realizing we all need a bit of just laughter and games in our workouts, and sometimes we need to have a goal of a race, and sometimes it is a season of focusing on CORE and injury prevention.  As I say so often- you should never be bored in fitness.  An interesting thing is how much teaching kids classes (kids yoga specifically) is a reminder to me of some of the things I Need to add into adult classes.  And, if you are doing bootcamps, don’t think you aren’t doing yoga…. And if you’re doing yoga, don’t think you aren’t also getting stronger😊

 

6.       I don’t work for myself, I work for “my people.”  I truly feel this way, which is one reason I hold myself to high standards.  I value the fact that you trust me to guide your fitness.  You trust me to spend not just your money, but your TIME with me and the workout/ workout group/ the plan I give you etc.  I try to really see and get a feel for what it is that you are needing as an individual- even when it is in a group setting.  I try to see in both run and tri coaching- what it is that needs to be added in or TAKEN OUT of your schedule, in personal training- I am lucky to purposefully BUILD your body’s strength.  There is always a day when I SEE the change!  Here it is!  The next level that we’ve been working towards!

 

7.       People are WHOLE.  This comes from the above (#6)---- I realize when you are coming to workout, you have a backstory.  We are not just a body needing a workout.  We are coming from maybe a frustrating morning with schedules not aligning, kids having needs that are weighing on you, other life STUFF that you bring.  We are whole people- and our whole story affects us.  If I see maybe you are overwhelmed- even if it is a run training session, maybe we do some forward folds/ upside down calming for the nervous system stretches.  If you come to a workout and you are feeling the weight of your whole situation on your shoulders, maybe it isn’t the day to do the hardest intervals that push you harder than you ever have.  We make it work.  Fitness is part of a WHOLE life. 

 

8.       I also am WHOLE.  This is our story of being human.  I am always working to remind myself to give even myself some grace.  I have a hard time, as we all do, with integrating all aspects of myself.  When the kids were younger, rough mornings made it such a challenge to go begin a day of work feeling fresh. (and who am I kidding- even with older kids now, some mornings still are disastrous and hard to recover from!)  But it is okay, I am a whole person, no different than anyone else.

 

9.       Don’t take things personally.  I will ALWAYS be a work in progress with this.  I find this one hard, because my tendency is to take everything personally.  I am still learning, getting better at it maybe, but yes, still learning.  When people discontinue classes, I wonder why “they didn’t like the class” and I KNOW that is just a story I’m telling myself and that I need to not take it personal.  *It’s not all about me😊!!  I have no problem not taking it personally when I get eye rolls with certain exercises or hard workouts, but I have to remind myself to intentionally not take every other thing not personally. 

 

10.   “Have fun today”!  I love that if I am going to some training sessions and I say goodbye to my kids, they tell me to “have fun”! While I work!  Can you imagine how lucky I am that my job is this thing to go to where yes… I do get to also have fun.  Yea, I kinda created that!!  I looked to what I wanted in life as a goal and then made it happen.  And I remind myself that this is a day by day thing- I keep having fun because I make it a priority to keep it fun for all!  We are in it together. 

 

11.   Trust.  15 years ago, I was so scared to go off full time on my own.  Things happened along the way, of course there were disappointments, but I have always tried to settle myself by reminding myself to trust the process.  I realize you cannot trust without doing the hard work, but if you are doing the full work that you are proud of, it will all be okay in the end. 

 

12.   Best business “motto” or mantra: “Sure, I can do that!” and “Consider it done.”  Sure, I can do that:  I learned this from one of my yoga trainers--- and it spoke to me- not that I’m going to say I can do something clearly out of line with my abilities!  But, if it is just something I have not YET DONE—SURE, I can do that (and then I will MAKE IT HAPPEN).  “Consider it done.”  Ahhhhh, these words are golden- they were spoken by one of the best women owned small business owners locally about something random- but just the ASSUREDNESS that these words provide is so settling that I make it a priority to pay it forward and when something is ON ME—to let others know that they are done- they don’t need to question my commitment and will to get it done. Consider it done.

 

13.   What do you want?  Now make it happen.  Set goals- check out my last blog post on this (risingsunfitblog.blogspot.com) If you really want something to happen, it can.  I still cannot believe I did an Ironman in 2003.  The only reason is because I laid out my dreams and set a plan.  I sometimes cannot believe I really get to do fitness full time, and the only reason is because year by year, I set goals and make them happen.  This goes for 5 years down the line, 1 year down the line and 1 month.  It plays into what you do on a daily basis.  Everything is working towards a direction.

 

14.   “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” — Jim Carrey
 Since the beginning, my “reason” for being passionate about fitness is the mental health benefits, the available to provide an outlet for “easy connection.”  And I still stand firm in the importance of this.  Every workout, I want to leave someone feeling better: more energetic, more hopeful, happier, having had laughed a little.  It’s such a blessing to get out of our heads and into our bodies, into the present moment of what we are doing.  I try so hard to each workout, each session, each weeks plan to have a positive effect, a safe place, and a place that leave everyone feeling better overall.

 

15.   Every day, “I GET TO.”  This is one of my little mental health hacks that I try to share with others.  Many of you have heard me say this, but:  every morning, I ask myself “What do you GET TO DO TODAY?”  And it is a reminder that even the silliest, smallest things are GIFTS.  It is a GIFT to take my dogs out to pee during the day and pet them!  It is a GIFT to get to teach these classes that I believe in!  It is a GIFT to get to make a salad and sit and eat lunch for 15 minutes even while I read the newspaper and give myself downtime!  I GET TO GO RUN!  It isn’t something that “I have to do”!  I GET TO!  Reframing these daily gifts is so helpful to me!