These women runners are ready to conquer a mountain. Just take a look at the smiles and feel the determination within each of these strong women. This is is what every woman should possess.
Lately I have been simply in awe of the amazing women athletes in my life and who I have met at races. I was educated at an all girls school for K-12 where I was always taught that women can achieve whatever goals they set their minds to. Inspirational women were in front of our classes as our teachers and were brought in to share stories of how they built their dreams through hard work and determination. These powerful life lessons have stuck with me into my own adulthood and also now raising a daughter as well as being a female athlete. I want to surround myself with this positive energy.
The mountain at Winter Wild at Mt. Sunapee greets us with a steep climb to the top. When you are running up a mountain you can hear the sound of your heart beating. The energy of the racers on the mountain is palpable. It is silent except for the sound of breathing and effort and the crunching of snow beneath each determined step. You push yourself to move at a pace right on the edge of total discomfort. At Sunapee, my health had returned to 100% and my fire is burning to challenge the women runners on the mountain.
You can become whatever you dream. Believe in yourself and set your “soul on fire (Foch).” See the spirit and the power in others and let it motivate you!
The race starts just as the sun has cast an early morning glow over the mountain and the energy of the racers is raw and electric. Underneath the smiles exchanged at the start I know that the other women runners will attach the mountain with the same grit as me. I want to challenge myself on the mountain today. I want to go fast with no regrets of holding anything back. Too often in life (as is mirrored in a race setting) we convince ourselves that ok is good enough when really we could be going for more. This is something I have always struggled with. It is easy to talk yourself out of your dreams and getting what you want thinking someone ahead of you is smarter or stronger. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to get to where I want to be because my effort physically and mentally has been everything.
The women runners are tough as we climb. A strong pack. I work hard to pass women runners who had passed me at other races and use the adrenaline from passing them to help carry me. I focus on my training partner Bridget up ahead and use her energy to help pull me. I want to find the same strength that she possesses when she heads out on the race course. Even though Amy who I had passed earlier on the trail catches me again as we come to the last push to the top I continue in my own hard push to the crest.
When I reach the top (really cool photo HERE) I take a deep breath and prepare for the fast and descent back to the finish. The downhill is the fun part. Racing down you just have to let it all go and trust that your body won’t get ahead of your legs or vice versa. On the way down the energy of the racers changes and the sounds of grunts from hard effort turn to almost childlike yells of glee. How can you not enjoy that! When I am going down I let my body take over and enjoy the ride. The effort pays of with a 40:30 finish for 4 miles up and down Mt. Sunapee–Good enough for a 3rd place in my age group and closing the gap on the powerhouse women runners ahead of me.
This kind of energy is contagious . . . get out there and conquer your own mountain!
If you want to join in the Winter Wild fun and the experience the awesome Women of Winter Wild challenging the mountain, there are two races left for the season. This weekend the race is at Whaleback Mountain and you can even bring your dog! Or you can join me and the other awesome Winter Wilders (women runners let’s do this!) at Bretton Woods for the Championship on March 16. I’ll be the one running up the mountain in my green Skirt Sports Skirt in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day.