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Best Friend. Worst Enemy. A runner struggles with herself.

Written by Randi Hitchcock, www.upadowna.org

So 24 hours ago I was my own worst enemy.

I punished myself by NOT signing up for today's 2nd leg of the Triple Crown of Running, the Summer Trail Round-up 12k, because I had not been "training". Why sign up I thought? Why allow yourself the satisfaction of that medal around your neck and a cool finisher tee-shirt on?

See, I struggle with motivation. I've always been told what to do and how to do it my whole life regarding working out. Playing competitive volleyball for 11 years will do that to a person. I always had internal motivation to make my coaches happy but it's hard for me now to motivate myself to, well, make myself happy. I'm 31, the time is now. There's no more "waiting" around or "I'll start tomorrow" type thing. If I want to live a long and healthy life, I need to start yesterday.

19 hours ago, I became my best friend. I signed up. Which at the time, I thought was stupid. I've done this race before and know what to expect, but without running as much as I should be, I kept thinking that I would be too tired or cramped to even finish. I cursed myself and my worst enemy came back. Throughout the night I kept telling myself negative things about the race, "you're out of shape", "you haven't ran any hills", "you have to wake up early...".

Then 6am happened. I woke up charged and ready to take action. To leave my worst enemy behind, and hug my best friend. Sure, a few negative thoughts crept into my head during the first few miles but the one thing that got me through was "just stay happy". I knew if I ran hard up that hill, I wouldn't have energy for the next one so I just jogged it. I knew that if I sprinted down the hill, my knees would hurt for the next one. So, I monitored how my body felt and adjusted accordingly and kept my heart rate in check. If I had to walk, I walked and didn't care. I blocked out any negative comments that my worst enemy wanted me to hear.  I'm very competitive so not going at 110% is VERY hard for me. Sometimes, you just have to stay happy. Why kill yourself so that you don't want to do something again?

The first few miles are very tough. Running miles 1-3 through Bear Creek West then about a mile up High Drive. And it is up. That was where I almost became very negative again but I focused my thoughts on walking a minute then running a minute. It feels much better to be jogging or running because once you start walking, the cramping sets in...

At the turn around (which feels like its FOREVER up High Drive), I was focused and ready to finish. It was only about a 5k distance left, mostly downhill. YAY!

I finished strong (it's downhill so very fun and fast) and unconcerned with time, realized that I was only a few minutes off my best time at this course.

My (finally) positive attitude, some endurolytes , a honey stinger gel, lots of water, cheering on my (much) faster Colorado Running Co co-workers, talking to CRC customers and other runners along the way, plus my comfy Swiftwick socks and Saucony Peregrine trail shoes helped me have one of the best days of my life and I am proudly wearing the tee-shirt that I EARNED.

Moral of the story? Talk yourself INTO things. Not OUT of them. You never know where it might take you!

Special thanks to Staci Christensen for helping me make the decision to sign up and to my boss John O'Neill for his support that keeps me going!

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Comment by Vanessa Shawver on July 7, 2013 at 4:49pm

Nice job and congrats for the finish! I, too, strive to just "stay happy." Thanks for the reminder!

Comment by Melvin Watson on July 7, 2013 at 1:45pm

Good Job Randi!!! Well put too!

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