Sunday, December 15, 2013


Yesterday, after almost two years of not competing, I had the amazing opportunity to jump into a 5km road race in downtown Oklahoma City. It was an odd, yet a very exciting day. Yesterday, I witnessed, felt and understood that no matter what kind of fitness or what type or athlete you are, at the end of the day, the satisfaction of completing a race and crossing a finish line is the same for all.

It all started 4 months ago when while sharing my story with a group of kids from the High Valley Community Center in Del Norte Colorado  one of the kids came up to me after my talk and suggested me to visit Dr. Michelle Richardson from Creede. The young men assured me she made miracles and that her or her husband would help me figure out the root of my injury. I listed to the young men and proceeded to make an appointment to see Michelle. She made a few adjustments and gave me a few suggestions. Since then, I've been able to run consistently. I train at least 6 times a week for 7 to 8 miles a a day. Longest run to date has been 14 miles in 2 hours.

My goal has been to gradually regain my fitness and remain pain free. So far, so good.

I know its going to take me a while until I get back to prime shape, but I am willing to go through the slow process. I feel that if I keep the consistency and remain healthy, I have a shot of qualifying to the 2016 Olympic Trials. This set back has allowed me to look back and appreciate all  the accomplishments until the 2012 Olympic Trials. I look back and Im very proud of all the miles, workouts and the races done. I want to be able to experience that one more time. I want to know what it feels to run fast again.

Saturday, December 14th was a great day. It was the day, I stepped on a starting line since January 2012. It was a local 5km in Oklahoma City. Home of my younger sister Alicia and her husband Luke. It was so much fun to go through the process again. It was wonderful to have my brother in law racing and my sister waiting for us at the finish line.The night before the race I was anxious. I was afraid I would fall into a deep sleep and sleep in. That fear of missing an important date. The morning of the race was epic, 25F and 30mph winds and to make the race more exciting, I missed a turn a km to go. This event took me back to my junior college years, click here and you will understand what I am talking about. Well, after I found my way to the route, I found myself speeding my way out to the finish line.

See, this race was not about a place or time. It was about breathing, stridding, fighting, competing, enjoying and having a blast. It was about giving my body and myself a chance to experience  racing  again. That's exactly what I did, I raced and had fun. In the race I could recall every single kid I've cheered on during a mile fun run or a XC race. I had ITA members Oscar and Miguel in mind that last km as both were somewhere in San Antonio, Texas competing at the  XC Junior Olympics. Before we left town, we challenge each other. I was going to do my best to better their times. My official finish time was 19:55, so once I get back to Alamosa I am taking both to dinner. Miguel finished 17:54 and Oscar 19:22.

After the race, I decided to run the course backwards as a cooldown. To my surprise, I found several kids still in the course. The best part of the day came when I tagged along one girl and encouraged her to the finish. An hour later, her mother came up to me to thank me for helping Madeline. She told me that the first thing Madeline told her after she cross the finish line was "A nice young lady helped me and encouraged me to finish" Madeline and her friends were part of "Girls on the Run" This would be my 3rd participation helping Girls on the Run and in three different states. First, Colorado, next Texas and now Oklahoma.

Racing again was one of the best feeling ever.  I did exactly what I intended to do:  I had fun, I raced my heart out and gave it my all. This experience reassured me that running and racing  is something I  I love and it is and will always be part of who I am.

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