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Time for another shot at 100.00 at Target.
Prize: $100 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck
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Skirt Sports challenged their ambassador to share their “why” when it comes to running. Why is it we do what we do? Why do we run? It has been making me think a lot lately, because there are so many reasons why I run and those reasons have changed a lot in the past several years.
It is best summed up.
I run because the women who I was before I started running deserved to be much happier and for that matter better then she was allowing herself to be. She deserved to be healthy, she deserved to be happy, she deserved to feel strong and she deserved so much better then she allowed.
This whole thing really started as my attempt to lose weight. Honestly, I was going to lose the weight, that was the only goal. Then I decided that it might be a good side goal to run a 5K. My trainer agreed that it would be great motivation.
I hated it.
I felt slow, fat, out of shape and I felt like I did not belong. That was the worst I would say 45 minuets of my life.
And I said I would never do that again.
I needed help to realize how inside my head I was. All I saw was the weak and ugly parts of me at that point. I also was the queen of self sabotage when it came to making sure that’s all I would ever see and I tried to make people see that to. I was lucky enough to have a trainer in my life who saw things for what they had been for and put up with a whole ton of self sabotage from me to help me break through. I have said this before, I owe Zac George a lot because he saw things in me before I saw them and dove in head first to help me find them.
He convinced me to try it a second time and it was the race that changed my life.
I ended up doing the original Skirt Sports Skirt Chaser Race. (I warned you! I am an Original Skirt Sports girl) The race had a totally different atmosphere. It was more like a party then a race and I had a blast. My trainer and I had talked several times before that race and one of the things he had said to me was when those feelings of anxiety hit or when those “not enough” feelings hit I needed to just focus on one thing.
That one thing.
One step at a time.
It turned into a game of making the step in front of me better then the last. In the last mile of that race I ended up running right next to Nicole Deboom, the founder of Skirt Sports and we talked and she was very encouraging. She told me she was proud of me being out there and challenged me to take the last .10 of mile at a sprint.
I was ecstatic.
Slowly but steadily I built up the millage, I did a 10K a few months later then felt so accomplished I was going to do a half marathon. I only wanted to do one and done.
31 half marathons later at this point?
But it took a lot of work. I had a lot of baggage that I did not realize I was carrying around and I was unhappy. And the bigger problem I did not think I deserved to be happy. But running taught me to address things using that one step at a time approach and I even think now it is still a work in progress.
Running also taught me to take time for myself. Through my dads illness, my battle to finish school, the trials of being freelancer, still trying to address my baggage, and everything else running was the one thing that kept me on track. It kept me focused and motivated. I always seemed to be chasing the next medal. But that motivation spilled into my personal and professional life as well.
I had the honor of several ambassadorships and opportunities to volunteer for races and share my story. Those had been fun for a time but so much work and it took away from my motivation after awhile. It has gotten better.
In the last year or so my reasons have evolved.
I think the best way to say it is to share a story from last year when I was pacing at the Pacific NW Half Marathon. I was pacing the 3:00 half group (the party sweep snails as I like to say.) I passed a group of ladies at mile four and one of them peeled off to join me. She did not think she could stay 3:00 the whole time but wanted to try. Here is the rest of the story.
When we got to the last mile I realized I did have a couple mins I could burn off and still be close to I told Kari to walk a little more and save her energy for the last push at the end. She was a little worried about the 5K’ers coming in so fast around us, but I told her just focus on what we are working on and she will be fine. She was almost in tears at this point. She was hurting but wanted her daughter to see her finish strong. I think we made the right call in the long run because just at the last quarter mile she felt like she was ready so I told her to go and I was screaming for dear life. She finished in 2:59. We both cried a the finish line.
Being able to inspire someone like that helped me remember why I run. Its not for the medals, its to continue to light the flame, sort to speak. Its to be able to say “Hey if, I can do it you can.”
And it is about reminding myself about how far I have come.
I love and love hate being a pacer all in one breath. It is a challenge to get your timing down and sometimes it can be more stress then it is worth.
But then you get to meet and inspire people to push past you and beat their goals.
That… That is worth it.
My third year being a pacer for the Hot Chocolate 15K was defiantly the case of the ups and downs.
I had a late train so I made it to the expo with about 10 mins left on Friday night. I did not have much time to look around. I picked up my bib and then my legacy prizes as this was my third year (pin, medal, hat, special thing for my bib.) and I picked up my shirt. The shirts this year are a quarter zip and they are super small so be aware if you are ordering that they run super small. I actually love the purple of the shirt in general. I did not get a chance to explore the expo as it was already time to go.
Race morning for pacers starts at 6:55 with picking up our signs, shirts and getting final instructions before taking the corals. I also got to reunite with some of the Skirt Sports sisterhood which always leaves me feeling stronger and better off.
There was only one slight major change from last years course and that was the finish which I will run through later.
The art of pacing this course is knowing when to bank and when to stay steady. The first couple miles down back behind Pikes Place Market is an up and back on its way to Aurora Avenue.
I mentioned Aurora Avenue in the last two years recap; once you get past the Mercer Island Bridge it becomes tough. It is a pretty straight up climb to the top of the hill and that climb is almost a mile up. Last year I hit the hill later then I should so it ended up costing me a of mad dash running.
I hate that stinking hill. There is no good approach to that hill other then knowing that no matter what you do it is going basically kick your butt.
But this year I went into the hill with a 1 min. bank which is what I had set the goal for. This way I could pull back on the hill and save energy for the last few miles.
I had people with me through out the race. Most people set the goal to be in front of me which is ultimately awesome.
The course itself is scenic at points (especially Mercer Island Bridge) and getting to run the back end of Pikes Place is a trip. Hot Chocolate is also a very well supported event that has water stations properly spread out and staffed.
I came to mile 8 within 10 seconds where I should be. But I did not realize that mile 7 ended up short because they made up between 8-9 and 9 was .3 long and it knocked me off pace.
The finish line moved from the mid point of Seattle Center to right next to MOPOP (Museum of Pop Culture or Experience Music Project). You filtered through to get your medal and you could get some water before heading back to get your bag from bag check and then head to get your Hot Chocolate mug which has goodies you can dip in chocolate.
You also had the chance to get some post race photos, shop in the race shop, get goodies from sponsors ect.
I enjoy this race. But I enjoy pacing even more. A lot of people came to me thanking me for being out there and being willing to run. Right there, that is worth it. Being able to give back to a sport that I love so much and really feel like I am making an impact.
I will be back. And I think I can do even better next year.