Cancer, Favorite Posts, On My Mind, Race Recaps, Running

upsides.

If any of you follow Nate or me on social media you’ve probably noticed our last month has been a lot busier than usual.  And good gracious, it’s been a fun busy.

Here’s the short list:

-I turned a quarter of a century & Nate decided to spoil me rotten
-Road tripped to San Fran with my sister, Heidi, to party with my sister J.Fresh & run a 5k PR (17:45)!
-Celebrated Easters which included General Conference. Great combo.
-Went to the lush & beautiful ATL after being away for 3 years! Went down memory lane and saw my Atlanta family & it was a great reunion.
-Left ATL & traveled straight to Boston!
-Crammed into the city of Boston with 60,000 others and experienced the beautiful mayhem of the Boston Marathon.
-Won the ProForm Boston Marathon Expo Treadmill Mile (5:24) & got some sweet swag.
-Ran the rainy, windy, & freezing Boston Marathon (3:07!)

first thing we did fresh off the plane.  how I missed southern BBQ.
walking the trail of our old apartment complex. It was 149031x more fun with Ames.
seriously his favorite part of the trip. the umbrella.
The top deck above my head was our apartment’s.  I am not a super sentimental person, but that apartment holds a dear spot in my heart.
let’s talk about how it was a tiny weird to be a Mom in ATL.  When we lived there motherhood was the furthest thing from my mind.
Atlanta Temple. beautiful.

where Nate worked & studied. toooo many hours spent there!
giving my girl, K.Show, some lovin’
walking through downtown to get to the campus buildings mingled throughout.
after a long day of going down memory lane, we came back to the hotel and Ames and I ate the entire container of blueberries. just pounded them. let’s not talk about his poop the next morning.
because weren’t hotel rooms the best as a kid?
at Kennesaw Mountain – visiting Civil War Monuments.

unedited pictures don’t do it justice. The trees were glowing. I miss it already.
my ATL family (minus a few). Miss you guys already!
on the flight from Atlanta to Boston! We flew direct every time, which included a 5 hour flight back to Utah.  Ames did SO good. we were so relieved. 

a highlight of Ames’ – riding the “choo choo” in Boston!

our sleeping arrangements haha. VRBO claimed it slept 6 people…it didn’t mention 2 of them needed to be children that didn’t mind sleeping on springs. 
finish line the day before the race.
one of the best parts of the whole trip: after I got back from the race Ames just wanted to snuggle with me! he NEVER does that. I was in heaven.

the only ones who took naps after the race were the ones who didn’t actually run…

he proceeded to snuggle and then fall asleep on me the next day! I loved all the lovin’ he gave me that trip.

 The long list:

This past month truly has been so great.  It has been such a nice break for both Nate & me.  And while this past month has honestly just been plain fun, it’s also been much more than that.

As you are probably overly aware, I’ve been running and racing a lot lately.  And although it pains me to write yet another post dealing with running, it has, once again, lead me to some realizations.

Realizations of the “upsides”

Last year in the midst of my postpartum depression battle I wrote a blog post and said this:

“As I was thinking about my trial and the possible blessings that could come from it I thought about how I always wanted to have super strong ‘mind powers’….meaning I’ve always wanted to be able to have complete control of my body via my mind…mind over body, right?!  I’ve always wanted to have such a strong mind that when I’m running I can push myself beyond my limits.  I’ve wanted to be able to stay relaxed and happy amiss disasters…I want to be super resilient and I believe that comes from having a strong, positive mind.  So who knows, even though I’m not very good right now and I definitely let things get to me…maybe down the road I’ll be able to push my body so hard while staying so relaxed and calm that I can win the Olympic Marathon! yep, that it. That’s why I’m going through this trial right now.  😉

#riohereicome”
Another thing that has happened in this past month is that I have PRd (other than in the Treadmill mile…but it was the fastest mile I have run since high school!) in every race I have ran.  Nate was asking me the other day what was different; how come I have been able to consistently race well?  First, I have worked hard and trained, and Nate is a great coach.  But I honestly don’t think I am in better shape than when I was competing in college.  The only thing that is different is my mind.
I, of course, have been analyzing why I am running better & I remembered the above quote I wrote last year.  When I went back and read it, it made me feel pretty good.
My trial DID, in fact, bring about blessings.  And I guessed one blessing pretty spot on.  I truly think that I have been able to run so much better because my “mind powers” are so much stronger.  Going through postpartum crap & having to go through cancer crap with Nate this past year has been terrible. Something I never would wish upon even the worst individuals. Yet, there have been upsides.
And while I haven’t won the Olympic Marathon (or even come close) I have been blessed.  I have gained life-long assets by going through these trials.  
upsides.
My longest training run leading up to Boston was 18 miles.  Once I hit 18 miles, it was unknown territory.  I started running kinda hesitantly.  But as I kept going I realized something – it really wasn’t so bad.  I realized I COULD handle it.  Yes, my body was getting achy. My stomach had that long grinding, distance pain feel, and yes, it was pouring rain, with a head wind.  But I kept on going.  One foot after another I was running with pain, but I wasn’t slowing down.  In fact, I negative split every 5k in the race.  I had a similar moment in my 5k PR earlier this month.  There was a time in the race where my opponents made a move and started to pick it up.  For a second I panicked.  The moment had finally come where I was going to seize up, slow down, & have a less than par race – it had happened so many times.  But just as quickly as I panicked, I realized that I could handle it.  And so I relaxed, went with the move, and ran 20 seconds faster than I had ever ran in a 5k. 

I’m not writing this to brag.  I am not some all-mighty trying to boast. Rather, I just want others to realize that blessings DO follow trials.  There are valuable lessons that can be learned in every hard thing we do.  Going through trails, no matter how big or small, is hard and, frankly, sucks. But if we go through our trials trying to learn what God wants us to learn, there will be upsides.  So far, my upside has been stronger “mind powers” (for lack of better words).  Being able to control my mind, even when I am pained – either physically or emotionally – has lead me to run well.  And heaven knows that running well always puts me in a good mood.
So no matter what you are struggling with.  No matter how impossible it seems.  Hold on to the FACT that blessing WILL follow.  You are being tried, tested, & stretched.  And if you just keep putting “one foot after another” and learn to “run” with the pain, you’ll soon find yourself staring at your own PR in whatever ‘race’ it might be.
Life is full of ‘downsides’.  But no matter how far down you feel you go, there will always be
upsides.
  

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