A Bumpy Ride

Something I have always wanted to do but honestly have been too scared/nervous to do is  to buy a mountain bike and actually pursue biking.  I’m a runner and have been for over 20 years which means that I like my feet on the ground and like to have total control. However, about a month ago, my husband and I decided we wanted to find a hobby that we can do and get better at together, so we both got new bikes. Biking scares the you know what out of me because I don’t know what I’m doing and there are so many other factors that play in to riding that are out of my control. So we have been building my confidence by riding the streets in our neighborhood and riding the Greenways near by.

Well, today we decided that it was time to take that huge leap outside of my comfort zone and hit the mountain biking trails. We headed out to a hidden gem in Raleigh, Harris Lake. Not going to lie, my heart was beating pretty fast as we entered the parking lot and started on the beginner trail.

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The beginner trail provided plenty of roots and rocks to practice getting comfortable riding over. There were several spots that were such a tight turn that if you move just an inch the wrong way, you were for sure either hitting the tree or falling off or maybe both. 🙂 Therefore, I took it nice and slow.

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After riding the beginner trail twice, I was feeling pretty comfortable and decided to try the intermediate trails. Another step outside of the comfort zone. Well let’s just say it was a bit more challenging and technical than the beginner trail. I learned how important it is to trust yourself and the bike you’re riding. There were times where I felt I should brake because there was a tree coming up or a root, but that’s when I learned that it was easier to pedal through that part and face it head on.

Kind of like life, sometimes there are obstacles that pop up and I am so quick to put my brakes on and analyze how I’m going to get through it and it takes FOREVER and sometimes I don’t even face it. When really all it takes, is belief and to keep pushing through head on as fast as you can no matter how hard or scary it is. Don’t get me wrong, there may have been a few curse words that flew out of my mouth and a doubt in my mind, but I pushed through and learned why it was so important to keep going.

There were some incredible views while we were on the trail, we made sure to take the time and enjoy those views.

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So grateful for my patient husband who was an awesome coach. We had a blast and I honestly wanted to keep riding, which I guess is a good sign.

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What are you going to do to get out of your comfort zone this weekend?!

 

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Day 7: Gratitude

We got to sleep in!! Wake up call was at 5am. I can honestly say that I am starting to enjoy this early morning waking up and exercising!! We’ll see how long it lasts when I’m done 😉

Today was by far the strongest my legs felt. My blisters had turned to calluses so I didn’t feel them at all and I didn’t make terrible noises every time I started running because there was hardly any pain!!

Today I dedicated to family. To my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. You all were there when I was diagnosed and have been a great support since. To my in- laws, I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of your amazing family. Thank you for loving me for who I am and supporting me in all I do. To all of YOU, your posts, texts, messages, emails, and just incredible support. I truly couldn’t have done any of this without you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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I was greeted at my start by all of these incredible people who were ready to run, walk, bike, rollerblade the day with me!! Luckily today we only had 19 miles to do!!

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A few miles in we were running near Amish country and a buggy passed by. My mom asked if I could get my picture with the man which then lead to getting a ride in the buggy.

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It was so awesome to have so many people out supporting me and getting a glimpse of what I ran the past 6 days. It got pretty toasty so I was glad we didn’t have as long to go today!!

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I spy orange. Must be a potty break in the cornfield

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After mile 4 a sheriff showed up to our stop because he said that this was unusual activity in the country and was curious as to what we were doing. After we explained what was going on, he gave us a police escort on the busier roads and checked in on us throughout the day.

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Today was definitley not a flat day. We pushed up some pretty brutal hills. Thank goodness for training in NC. My Aunts rode up the largest hill like this. It was pretty impressive!!

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It was awesome to have my mother and father in-law as well as my sister and brother in-law out there running and riding!! Love you guys so much.

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There were always lots of different games I played throughout the week such as ‘how many people can I get to wave’ or ‘how many different animals can I find.’ Today’s game was a version of I spy: I spy baby racoons on top of the tree and I spy orange up and down the road!! It was pretty awesome to see!!

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It was awesome to have my cousins and aunts and grandma here to cheer me on, run, ride, and provide lots of laughs!! Love you all.

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With the Kaminski girls, it doesn’t matter how far you’ve run, how late you were up, or what you have going on, there’s always a little time for some dancing and goofiness

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My sister Lauren and her boyfriend took care of our dog Sierra for the week, so they brought her up for the finish too!! I missed my little partner in crime.

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This was after mile 12. It was starting to get blazing hot and the roads were starting to get busier but these guys were right by my side!!

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I also got a police escort for 2 of the last 3 miles into Medina. I truly felt like a celebrity. Pretty unbelievable!!

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The last mile I ran/ walked all by myself. I cried the entire way. It was definitely some bittersweet tears. Tears of gratitude for all of the incredible people I have in my life. A few tears because I was sad it was over. Lots of tears because I was so ready to celebrate and take the next step in this chapter. Even more tears as I reflected on my week and thought about a close friend who is going through a tough situation. It just reminded me that life is so short to get caught up in the pettiness. We truly never know what tomorrow may bring, which is why I do everything in my power to enjoy each moment of each day.

I was greeted at the finish line by all of my family and a couple friends who were stopping traffic, cheering, crying, and laughing with me. It was such an incredible feeling to know I accomplished something many thought I was crazy for doing or questioned my sanity. What a feeling.

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There is no way I would have ever succeeded this week without these two incredible people. This is not an easy job and by no means is it for everyone. Thank you Kendra for becoming like a sister and Tim like a dad. I appreciate everything you did.

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I challenge you to take a few minutes every day to put your cell phone down, get off of social media and be present in the moment wherever you are. I never thought running through corn and soybean fields for 7 days could teach me so much, but what a lesson I have learned. Be in the moment.

Much love to you all and some day I may have words to describe how you all got me through this past week, but for now all I have to say is a simple Thank you!!

 

It’s all in the mindset

Phew…month one of training has been completed and oh boy what a month it was. This by far was one of the most challenging months that I have had physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So here are my top 10 take aways from my first month of training for my segment of MS Run the US.

10. Sierra, our dog, is a fabulous running partner who is always up for the challenge of a long run in the dark. She’s always ready to protect!!

9. Stretching and Strengthening is HUGE. Because of all of my running in the past and not taking the time to stretch, I have been in extreme pain in my piriformis (because of weak glute/ core muscles) for the past several months. This has made sitting, standing, sleeping, walking and running very painful. Therefore, I decided it was time to check myself in to physical therapy. After learning different stretches and strengtheners, I was able to graduate within 2 months!!! Thank you Select Physical Therapy for your guidance and knowledge.

8. The strength of my legs and arms is extremely important, but one lesson I have learned this month is the importance of the strength of my core muscles because they affect every movement I make. By incorporating core exercises after every run, I can feel my core getting stronger every day!! Along with my legs and arms.

7.  Stress Management is key to good health. As I have started running again, I figured out where I carry all of my stress and tension…in my neck and shoulders. I have also figured out that I need to find a way to manage my stress because I can’t always rely on running. I have incorporated weekly yoga and incorporating daily personal development to start which is helping.

6. Being a strong runner doesn’t happen over night like I want it to. The Olympics really helped set this straight in my mind. It takes a great amount of hard work, dedication, discipline, and determination to get where I want to go.

5.  I’m not weak, I’m putting strength back into my body.

4.  I truly love how running is a time of reflection and deep thinking for me. It is when I have some of my deepest thoughts and most amazing ideas. Now I just need to start running with a recorder :).

3.Nutrition is HUGE. It doesn’t matter what I do physically if I bomb it with my eating. Thank goodness for Herbalife!!

2. I have the most amazing, supportive, open minded husband who I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without. I am very grateful to have him as a teammate on this amazing journey.

1. Not only is running truly a mindset, but so is life. It can be so easy to let the negative thoughts race through my mind. But what’s even more amazing is when those negative thoughts are kicked out and completely reversed by encouraging, motivating, positive thoughts that will do nothing but make me a better runner and all around person.

I’m so excited to see where this amazing journey takes me, and I can already tell it’s going to be amazing.

Here are a few photos from month one.

photo 1As I was teaching shapes to my first graders, we came across this template. Of course I had them all complete it!!

photo 2Pre-run with my furry child, Sierra. She could hardly stand still for the picture. 🙂

photo 3A little post run pose from one of our late night runs.

photo (1)My reflection from month one to push me into the upcoming months.

Bring it on Month 2…