Race Recap: Payson Pay-It-Forward 5k

A couple months ago my awesome roommate Suzy sat down and listed off a bunch of races she had signed up for this season. At the time I was running, had some goals, had some races in mind, but hadn’t signed up for any yet (or maybe signed but but hadn’t told anyone yet, as I do. Ha!) Long story short, Suzy is awesome, I decided to make some solid running commitments for the season, and I decided to do Suzy’s first race of the season with her: the Payson Pay-It-Forward 5k.

Pros: Cost only $1! The race was created to encourage people to get out and run, and not let a race entry fee deter people from signing up. The race included a 1 mile run and a 5k, all sharing that first mile together. That first mile surrounded by families and more kids than I’ve ever seen at a race ever? So dang cute. This was a very family friendly event, and very accessible to anyone. They also had a nice folk band playing at the Start/Finish line. All the volunteers were super nice. It was just a happy place to be!

Cons: NO SHADE. MOSTLY HILLS. Especially the last two miles. Ha! We did not expect that. I took this run as more of a training run for another upcoming 5k, and I did hit my goal times for each of my mile splits. But dang. It was tough.

But, I think that made the ending even better—the park at the finish line is fully shaded, they provided water and fruit, and there was that nice folk band playing and plenty of seating.

And look at all we accomplished before 9:30am!

I definitely recommend this race if you want to get your family involved, if you want a quality race for a very low cost, or if you want a good hill training run.

I Can Do Hard Things! (Re-post, from June 2014)

It was the last mile and I pushed through it, and that is probably one of the most significant decisions I have ever made. My hips ached and I could feel blisters forming on my feet. I paused for just a moment and hunched over, then got right back up and kept going. The blue arch at the finish appeared to be closer but good heavens, it still seemed so far away.
Then the crowds appeared, and to my left I heard Kenzie and Marina’s voices shrieking my name with the most impressive early-morning energy they could have possibly mustered (it was incredible). And then I crossed the finish line and, as evidenced by the above photo, I was deliriously happy about it.

I ran further than I ever had at a quicker pace than I had ever maintained.
Yesterday, in the defeat of basically a week of various anxieties, I determined that if I could wake up on time (which probably accounted for half of my nervousness on that particular day) and finish this 10K, I could do anything.
Lo and behold, I can now do anything. 
I remember my mission president and his wife telling the missionaries repeatedly, “You can do hard things!” I’m pretty sure they even gave us little cards with that phrase to hang in our apartments as reminders. Out of everything, it was what they wanted us to remember the most. But there’s a difference in hearing such a phrase and living it. Three years ago, I was probably somewhere in between hearing it and living it. Over the past couple years—and predominantly over the past year specifically—this idea has become a living, growing, vital part of me.
I can do hard things!
I can love fully, be let down, and be okay. I can fail time and time again, and keep enduring. I can be hurt, and I can get over it. I can push my body harder than I thought I could, and I can keep going strong.
I can do hard things, and I’m already dreaming up what’s next!

A Night Run

It had been weeks since I last ran. It’s surprising how quickly my mind went from “I love running! I can do this!” to, “Can I do this still?” I went from depression to inversion (bad Utah air between snow/rain storms in the winter) to snow and ice on the ground (I know, I have Yak-Trax, but I’d just rather not, you know?). I chose instead to exercise lightly in the comfort and warmth of my home, and to teach yoga.

But last night? Last night was the night. I had felt this vast unknown before me all day, the kind that weighs you down body and soul. It was 43 degrees and had just rained, so I knew there was less ice on the ground than there had been. I put on my fleece jacket, ear warmers, and gloves and off I went.

I ran in the dark streets of my neighborhood. I ran with my feet pounding on the wet streets, dodging lingering piles of snow and ice. I ran where I wanted to run, weaving up and down the streets. I ran with a prayer, and then with the tune of “To Make You Feel My Love” on repeat in my head (the Ane Brun version). I ran to let go.

And when I got home, two miles later, stretched and settled— only then did I realize that I didn’t notice the cold at all when I ran. I noticed everything else.

I can still do this after all.