How running changed my perspective on life.

Recently I was asked the question what is your worst race experience? And how did it make you better?

Well over the last 10 years that I’ve been running and racing I have had a few race experiences that were pretty bad! This question was very hard for me to answer as I couldn’t decide.

Should I tell you the story of my last DNF? Where I dry heaved and vomited for six hours at Blackspur before pulling the plug. Do I tell you of my first hundred mile attempt at sinister where it was so wet that at least 60% of the course was a mud puddle and painful blistering on the bottom of my feet became too much for me and I had to pull out 2/3 of the way through the race.

Or do I tell if my first DNF which you would think stung the most. Missing the time cut off during my first ultra beast 46 km in with only six to go still felt great but not allowed to continue due to the setting sun. Or when I raced injured and had never wanted to quit a 10k so much but NO I’ll tell you the story of my very first 5K.

It was the ‘little big run’ a 5k starting from City Hall and winding through downtown to the legislature grounds and back.

A little back story I had done no training for this race. I did cardio kickboxing but I was not a runner.

The night before the race I attended a moms gone wild night with free margaritas and then took a cab to my 10 year high school reunion. I drank and danced the night away. Arriving at my moms house (where I crashed for the night) around 3:30am and couldn’t even get the keys in the door. I collapsed in the spare room and my alarm clock went off a mere 3.5hrs later. I scrapped my hair back into an elastic band from moms junk drawer, splashed some water on my face and off I went to run my first 5k race.

At the start line I find my friend who’d convinced me to sign up. She was injured and needed me to lead the crew out. As the race began I took off from the start line. The whole first half of the race I thought I would throw up I have never been so hung over, AND now I’m running IN A RACE! As we ran through the streets it began to rain and I had a bit of a chill. I remember at that moment deciding to try to focus on what was going on around me instead of how I was feeling inside. I chose to focus on the positive around me instead of the negative voice inside. I cheered others on and in turn was fueled by the energy of the other runners. Nothing went right that morning but something changed in me.

Here I am a decade later still running and I’ve even added a little distance since then. Running has made me a more patient and happy person. Through this ‘bad’ first experience I have learned to persevere through tough and uncomfortable times, to appreciate being in nature, being healthy, finding my passion and of course I’m nicer to my people now that I run.


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