"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven...a time to break down and a time to build up,...a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together,...a time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away." -ECCLESIASTES 3:1-6
I want to share my story and hope it can help someone out there as well. These couple of months have been emotionally and physcially tough. Starting a Master's program, working three jobs, and ending a four year relationship. I couldn't sleep. I was sleeping three hours a night and I was not eating. I lost five pounds just in one week, and the toughest thing was pushing myself in these dark times. During this time my training didn't stop, my endless studying didn't stop, and my life responsibilities didn't stop. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept going. I kept going but I was not at my best. I was racing with a couple of hours of sleep, stressed, and not running my race. I knew I had to change so I recently been sleeping more 10-12 hours a night, I got closer to God, I started eating more, and I'm happy (content). With this experience: I learned with personal struggles that the mental aspect is so crucial especially in performance.
Now about my race this Weekend:
A week before Santa of the Sea half marathon, I couldn't stop thinking about the excruciating pain I will feel for this race. I knew if I did quit and I didn't run the race I train everyday for I would be disappointed in myself. "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If i quit, however, it lasts forever. -Lance Armstrong
Everyday I am killing myself with the crazy workouts my coach gives me (Andres De LA Cruz) with my training partner ( twin sister.).
Yeah she copies me! ;)
I knew deep down I was able to race fast if only I fight my own demons. I went into this race with a plan. The first four miles will be conservative and not too hard. Mile five and after will be a little faster. After the 10 mile mark I will be racing with heart. I kept saying this over and over to myself before the race and during the race. "When it starts to hurt and your breathing gets heavy, calm yourself and trust you can do some amazing things when you shut your brain off and run with your heart." -Marco Fregoso
Now during the race I stood behind (ran conservative) the first four miles, and ran with my good friends Valerie Sanchez and Juan Paredes, Sabrina Lopez, and other athletes who joined along the way. It was an amazing experience with all of us working together out there and cruising 5:50-5:55 pace. Working through each mile together felt amazing. I didn't feel pain. I just ran, and had fun. After the 11 mile we all seperated and I ended up running the last two miles solo. This was the toughest part for me, and I did not have no one in front of me during this time. Almost to the finish line, there was no one to direct me where to go. I ended up running more, and off the course. My twin sister followed me from behind so we both stopped and tried to figure out how to get back on the course. I saw the course from the distance and got right back on to the course and finished with a time of 1:18:40 and 1:18:46; taking second and third place. We both were disappointed because we race for time, and always racing against the clock. Running off the course added about 40 seconds to our time. We were also happy in the same time because we placed. Who doesn't like placing? Running off the course did not mess up our placing.
Learning Lesson from this race: Sometimes persistence means that you keep moving toward your goals irrespective of problems in the way. You may make mistakes or even fail but you grow and learn from this, only moving you forward. Mistakes and defeats aren't excuses.
True inner strength and growth only comes from life's struggles. Never give up and never give in. I believe that success is not measured but what you've accomplished by what you have encountered and had the courage to overcome.
Sabrina: 1:18:46, Belainesh Gebre: 1:16:10, Regina Lopez: 1:18:40
Pace from the race!
Up Next for us is a much needed break! Our text message from our coach =)
Thank you for reading <3