This weekend I accidentally ran my first 10k.
No, really, it was an accident. Recently I attended a wonderful trail running camp in the middle of Texas. It was the Team Red, White and Blue Trail Running/Leadership Camp. I still don't know what possessed me to apply to the camp, but I did. Yep, little ol' Miss I Hate Running attended a trail run camp. The experience was very enlighting. I was amazed at all the crazy runners out there. Who knew that the body could run 50k, 100k, or 100 miles for that matter. Have you ever heard of something called the Habanero 100? Google it!! I met folks who've not only run it, they've done it multiple times!! After leaving the camp I felt inspired. Inspired to run a 5k, inspired to push my body a little bit out of my comfort zone, and anxious to see if I could apply all the things that I learned at camp. Who knows, maybe my hate for running will subside. hahaha, yeah right, who are we kidding?
Ok, so I get back home, full of enthusiasm and I find that my local TeamRWB Chapter is having an official trail run event mid-November. Trail Racing over Texas (TROT) was stopping in the Franklin Mountains Instead of volunteering I decide to enter the race. I was going to enter for the 5K but I kept hearing my run coach from camp saying "you could run a 10K", so I clicked on the "10K' button before I turned chicken.
Panic sets in
The farthest I've ran in the past 10 years was four miles. If my math serves me correctly, a 10K is 6.21 miles. (Thanks Siri). I guess I better hit the trails hunh? Thankfully this my local chapter had a practice route for us to run. I figured I would go out and run the 5K route. Get a feel for the mountainous terrain, break my shoes in and make the final decision on whether I really wanted to race this month.
We take off running. The very first mile was an uphill climb. There was hardly any running involved, it was mostly hiking. "Man I should have brought my trek poles". Eventually the terrain leveled out. In my head I could hear Sarah Lavender Smith (what a pretty name) saying "find your pace, now turn it down a notch". Ok, ok, this isn't bad. I'm still with the pack. Keep running, keep running, whew, a little winded. "you have run 2 miles, your average pace is 14.25", dang it Nike only 2 miles!!! Shoot, ok, one more mile to go. We run about 3.1 miles, at this point the people who really know the route well are clearly out of sight. Now according to my memory, the turn off to head back to the parking lot should be just up ahead a little. Thankfully we are on a downhill. I let out a Yeti call "owwwwwwwwww, yeeeekkkyeeekkkyeeeekkkkk". This doesn't feel to bad. I'm actually starting to enjoy the run. Then I hear my friend MoMo from camp say "stop and take it all in, just think, your body got you here."
I stop and pause. Wow look at the scenery.
Break time over, let's go. Where is this parking lot? "You have run 4.3 miles, your pace is ..." ok Nike, got it! We have apparently run beyond the turn off point. "I think we are on the 10k course" Dang it! At some point my run partner and I catch up with two a few others, there is discussion on how we should get back. I barely pay attention. I just know that I'm tired and thirsty. Plus the elevation is killing my lungs. Good thing I gave up smoking a long time ago. Pfffttt.
...and we're off, running again, now in the direction that we think will get up back to the parking lot. "did that arrow just say 'most difficult' trail?" Yep, it did.
Stop, pause, I'm having a BlackHawk down moment. I thought I was coming to run a 5k. I left my water in my car. I didn't eat, nor do I have any food with me. Oh gosh, what have I done? I'm such a newbie! I'm sure we are about 5 miles in by now, (my cellphone is dead at this point), and I am super thirsty. Thankfully Javier was nice enough to share his water and gummies with me. Ok, I'm recharged now. (eh, a little bit). My legs however are done. It is now time for my mind to take over. So I pick up a little cadence "pick up your feet, pick up your feet, one foot in front of the other, pick up your feet, pick up your feet".
FINALLY, we make it to the parking lot. I could pass out right now. No, seriously, I am starving at this point and so zonked. We see some bikers about to head out. I just blurt out "do you have any tender vittles?" Two fig bars later, the black fog lifts and I say "Oh my gosh, I just accidently ran my first 10k."
Javier looks at his tracker with a grimace and says
"no, that was actually 7.5 miles"
a few pictures from the real 10K
There is something magical that happens when you go to the woods. This year I took a trip to the magical land of Camp Nerd Fitness. As the bus rounded the bend my anticipation grew. I could tell from the energy on the bus that I had an EPIC adventure awaiting (and tons of hugs)
Camp Nerd Fitness presented many opportunities to improve upon old skills and learn new ones. Steve Kamb and his slew of experts brought so many modalities of fitness to camp this year:
-Olympic lifting basics -Parkour
-Primal Movement -Slack lining
-Trail Runs -Inversion
-Bodyweight Training -Boot Camp
In addition to the physical activities there were several classes to help us on our journeys.
-Emotional Eating -Nutrition Basics
-Telling Your Story -Cooking classes
-Workout Programming -Sexification (A Rog Law special)
-Body Image -Habit Building
...the list goes on and on.
What would camp be without fun games and various activities? There were board games galore, Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity, Connect Four, and Risk just to name a few. Since it was a camp full of nerds, of course there were video games (cue my high pitched scream of exuberance)-Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Mario Kart, Dance Revolution and any Nintendo 64 game we could get our hands on.
oh wait, there were Rubik Cubes EVERYWHERE!! We had a Rubik Cube solving class! What!? What?! Yep, you read correctly, I freaking Rubik Cube class. I'm in Nerd Heaven. To top it off, each night ending with a themed party, A Costume Party, A Glow Party, and of course a Rubik Cube Party.
The activities were not what made camp an epic adventure. It was not the around the clock fitness, not the classes and not the games. It was the community.
My blog post does not do the experience justice. I can't write the spirit or aura that flowed through the campgrounds. The nirvana in every campers' heart, knowing they were in a safe of love, of support, of freedom to be themselves, their unapologetically nerdy selves. The cheers,the high fives, the encouragement, the hugs (ohhhh the hugs!!)
"These are my people"
That is where the memories lie, deep in the hearts of more than 300 people who were brave enough to support Steve and his vision and spend four days learning how to level up their lives.
My most memorable moments:
- Hiking to the waterfall with friends
- Screaming I'm a Hero at Amy Clover's Boot Camp
- Learning Crow Pose with Kate Marolt
- Speaking candidly with Jonathan Mead
- Meeting a man who enjoys hugs (almost) as much as me Rog Law is an absolute hoot.
If you would like a more in-depth look at the camp shenanigans check out the video from Camp Nerd Fitness 2014 and the below photos:
photos courtesy of @willbyington http://www.willbyington.com/