Well...about 13 hours before I start the 62nd running of the Pikes Peak Marathon.
My Goals for tomorrow?!?!?!?!
1. Have fun!
I am nervous due to battling injury for about 5 months, but excited to run a race that has been on my bucket list, since high school. My mom recently reminded me about the time we volunteered at the top, for the Ascent, because my high school coach would not let me run the race.
Now is my chance! I am going to take full advantage of this adventure. Sure my training and fitness is not what I would have hoped for when I added this race to my bucket list, but I am still excited for the challenge.
More importantly, I am excited to be out there with my fellow runners, pushing our bodies, and encouraging each other every step of the way! The running community in Colorado Springs supports everyone, whether or not they actually know them or not. I know this race has many out-of-towners but I know we will support each other. I have missed you all, especially in the last 5 weeks since the Summer Round-up. It is amazing the people you meet and the friendships you form.
I am still friends with former teammates and girls I raced against, in high school and college. I am friends with many of my former athletes. I am still friends with women I met on the Women's Fit Team, back in 2012. Even though I do not get to see these groups of friends very often, we stay connected and when we see each other it is like no time has passed!
Judy Fellhauer was on my coaches in college and was the Women's Fit Team Coach. Through the good times and the bad times, she has never given up on me! She has always encouraged me! Now, she is my neighbor!!!!
In 2013, I met a group of men that I started to run with every Sunday. They accepted me as the only female in the group and pushed me to train and stay healthy! Over the year, the faces in the group have changed. Over the years, I have had to take a hiatus or four due to injury and work changes. This group of men still support me and encourage me to focus on my cross-training. Thank you Chris Bittinger for introducing me to this group! Thank you Steve Rocks, Andy Rinne, and Dan Angeles, you three have been the most consistent long standing members of this group!
Thank you to all the people that I have crossed paths with during training runs on the trails and roads, and those that pushed me in races!
One of my last long runs, in early July. I met a great couple during my run. They were biking on Santa Fe Trail, through the Air Force Academy. I was staying with them, until they hit a downhill. A little while later, they were enjoying the scenery, when I passed them. As I passes, I waved and said my normal, "Good Morning". With much excitement, they cheered for me and the woman said, "YOU GO GIRL!!!"
The next time I saw them was in the parking lot as they were packing their bikes. We started talking. They were so kind. This lovely couple was Skip and Linda Hale. As it turns out their sons graduated from Air Academy about the time I was graduating from Rampart. They were soccer players. I asked them if either of their sons would be interested in coaching soccer at Palmer High School. I had recently lost my coach and the season was just about a month away. They took my phone number and soon after that, I was getting calls from people who were interested.
I will think of the strength and inspiration I have gained from all of these relationships, throughout the Pikes Peak Marathon tomorrow.
Now on to my final race preps...
Step 1: Hydrate! Watching a movie with my supportive family and drinking plenty of water!
Step 2: Help Mike Refuel! Robby tired him out today!
Step 3: Epsom Salt Bath! Doing everything I can today, to make sure I can finish tomorrow!
Step 4: Get gear ready! I am still not sure on the hat. I won't wear this one during the race. I have to EARN IT first! I may wear my go to black Nike hat!
Thank you to my husband (we just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary) and my kids, Emma an and Nicholas. I appreciate your support and I know you care!
Thank you to all of you that have supported me through my life. This one is for you and for ME!
I will let you know how it goes....