Ellane Here!Hello, all. Hope you are well. Let’s talk about week 12 of training. I started the week on a high note as I had PR’d in my long run at the end of last week. I was feeling confident in all the training I had done and that I was on the right track.
To give my body the best chance it could possibly have, I went to bed extra early. Generally, I am an insomniac, but I wanted to try and rest as much as I could.
I woke up early, ate, started putting on my layers, bandaged and taped my feet, and finally put on more layers. As a person that does not normally run outside until the temperature in above my age, I knew I was in for an extreme challenge. I knew I wouldn’t be alone, though—Sarah would be with me.
I went to pick up Sarah so we could head to 1 Main and catch our ride to the start—school bus style. Sarah and I were already cold. The wind and temperature was cold...everything about the day was cold.
As we waited for the start of the race we were trying to keep as warm as possible— shielding ourselves from the wind. We talked about other races we have done, laughing about how we definitely would not have to worry about being attacked by bugs.
The race was about to begin. Getting in the corral we thought the middle would be warmer—at least until we started. I asked Sarah if she knew the course as I was not able to get the map to load. Unfortunately, she had no idea either.
They counted us down and then we were off! As we ran we were trying to pace and regulate our breathing. This became increasingly difficult for us as the cold is affected us more than we anticipated. Sarah came up with a plan of action, which seemed to be work for us. That was until the moment we we were back at the starting line and super confused on how we got there. The volunteers/coordinator ensured us we were going the correct way. We continued to run through some neighborhoods and then hit the dirt bike path. We thought we were doing pretty well; keeping fairly good time.
Mother Nature was definitely not our friend! We felt the pain from cold, pain while breathing—our bodies just hated on us. Still, we were determined to finish. It seemed as though things were just stacking up against us. Some pain turned into hurt that could not be ignored. When that happened our pace took a hit. The underlining urge to give up was there, but we continued on and finished. We were very happy to cross what was left of the finish line and receive our well earned metals.
What I am taking from this experience is this: without a strong will to finish and proper training there is no way I would have made it to the end. There were so many factors that made this race difficult but it never defeated us. If you are one that struggled and had to succumb to all the challenges of this race, don’t give up. Keep going with your training and follow through with the goals you set—you have this!
KimberHello, it’s Kimber! I haven't blogged in a long time. I have a bit of stuff to share for this week for you guys:
Training has been a challenge with consistency these past few weeks. I got sent to Afghanistan on a short mission and the preparation and travel really affected my ability to train. Once I got on the ground here I was able to pick up where I had left off. The altitude here at Bagram Airfield is 4900 feet. The air quality is terrible with the amount of dust in the air as well as the amount of things burning. The first couple of times I ran I was merely trying to survive the thin air. I felt like I had lost so much conditioning until I realized the altitude. Running at sea level is not overrated by any means and I'm hoping that training at this altitude will improve my performance when I get back to the States.
My resources here are limited. I have to wear the Army Physical Fitness Uniform, which isn't as runner-friendly as my personal running gear. Blisters are back, my skin is chaffing, and everything is extremely dry because the water here is so hard. We cannot drink the water, but there is bottled water everywhere. There were two days that no one could exercise because the weather had turned very cold and the winds were upwards of 40 mph. This, in turn, created more air quality issues, and the haze was so bad we couldn't see the mountains. This morning the weather cleared but it was still very cold, which I'm used to on the East Coast. The MP's close down one of the main roads every morning between 5:30 and 7:00 for PT and it's usually packed full of Soldiers out running. This morning it wasn't very crowded and I noticed someone walking to the dining facility with an air mask on with filters. That was a bit unsettling considering I was running in it and struggling to catch my breath in the thin air.
I will say that after two days of not running, my lungs were no longer accustomed to the thin air and I had to take walking breaks. I don't know how people live here, but I will say that the region is beautiful. There is a mountain range that surrounds the area and we are in a "bowl". It looks similar to Colorado or Utah, but with terrible air.
I have one more week left here and then it's back to the hills of West Virginia. I bet I will be able to run those hills with ease after this trip!
Until next time #familyfun