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Showing posts from 2015

Moab Trail Marathon

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In the bright sunlight and crisp air of Moab, Utah, my calf starts to cramp up. I yelp in surprise, and pause for a second during my unrelenting climb. I’ve been hiking up the “Scorched Earth Wall” for about forty minutes now, and the steep ascent up the cliff isn’t ending anytime soon. My muscles are tired and I’ve already run 14 miles by this point. Somehow, I’ve still got a big grin on my face, especially when I turn to look around. The La Sal Mountains are capped with snow, and below them is an endless stretch of brilliant red rock, cliffs, and plateaus sprinkled with bright yellow aspen trees. I take a deep breath. God, I’m so lucky to be up here.
This weekend I raced the Moab Trail Marathon to close out a year of racing for Epic Experience. I use the word “race” loosely, because that really wasn’t the point of this final training milestone. Since becoming a triathlete, I’ve focused heavily on the aspects of becoming as fast and as strong as I could be. This time around, I was l…

The Grand Canyon and Training for Moab Trail Marathon

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It's amazing how posting regularly to a blog can get away from you, especially when you're new at it! It's been more than 4 months since I've posted, and A LOT has happened. I wanted to write a (hopefully) brief update of some of the Senz Family Adventures and my own personal experiences this fall.

First and foremost, my mom, dad, sister and I took two weeks to raft the entire Grand Canyon. I have to say, if you have the money, do it!! This experience is so life changing, and I probably should have devoted a whole blog post to it, but I want to keep it brief. If you ever want to know more, come find me and ask about my epic run down Lava, a scary swim in Walthenberg Rapid when my ducky flipped, the coldest baths of my life, and about sand in just about every place imaginable.

Here's the take home message from our two week expedition. We spent the entire time together, bonding as a family, and sharing more laughs than we had in years. Without the distraction of ph…

Colfax Half and Colorado Sprint

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Summer is officially upon us! I'd like to start this post with an official and very heartfelt thank you to the people who have helped me to reach my fundraising goal! Brian Reed, Jenna Monaster, Linda Gruzinski, Hope Bruggink, Stephanie Bruggink, and Aunt Sue, your generous donations will go toward sending a cancer survivor to Epic Experience for a life changing week. Let me emphasize the "life changing" part. So many of these campers enter feeling lost, hopeless, and afraid, and leave feeling supported, positive about life, and determined to do anything they set their mind to. My mom can attest to the change in attitude made after a week with Epic. It's an amazing cause and I firmly believe that more than half the battle with something as life changing as cancer is attitude.

I'm so thankful for the donations and support I've received from friends and family, but I want to state that my goal was modest. It costs about $2,500 to send one camper to the mountain…

USAT Collegiate Nationals 2015

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April 25, 2015. It was a date that had been etched in my mind for an entire semester. I had planned my schoolwork to avoid having any tests or final projects during that week, as I would be traveling for four days to Clemson, South Carolina for USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. This race was my “A” race, a culmination of eight hard months of training. Endless hours spent in a hot, damp garage for trainer rides, going to morning swim practices at 6:15 a.m., and running speed intervals on a chilly track were about to pay off for me and the rest of the CSU Triathlon Team. Coach had us working hard until the last moment; our bodies were begging for a break from hill repeats and race pace bricks, and the taper was much deserved. I was finally beginning to feel relaxed and ready for my last big collegiate race. Certainly there were some pitfalls along the way, being in grad school makes skipping practice and unwanted stress weight almost inevitable. Despite this, I felt stro…

Spring Break Active Style!!

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This past week was spring break, and it was a busy time indeed! School has been extremely hectic, so after finishing a test and receiving a take home exam, I rushed home to Golden for a few festivities! I had plans to meet three of my friends from Texas A&M, Melissa, Sean, and Amanda for a couple of days of skiing in Copper. My mom and sister decided to join me, which made me extremely happy. I always love skiing with my mom because we both love spending a whole day on the moguls and in the natural alpine environment. It was a blast to ski with my Texan friends, and even though it was at times challenging for them and I had to recruit the help of my mom (the master of teaching skiers), by the end of the second day everyone was comfortably skiing blues and smiling the whole way down! I was so grateful to see the friends I cherish so deeply and hardly get to see. I can't wait to see all of my TAMU Triathlete friends at Nationals in Clemson in April!

After the second day of skii…

Colfax Racing!

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The weather has been absolutely splendid here in Colorado! For February, we've had a lot of days in the 60's, and I've been taking full advantage of the sunlight and warmth. Right now is a period of high training volume; my team is ramping up the bike mileage for Lake Havasu Triathlon in March and Nationals in April. Hopefully by the time those races roll around, we'll all be able to cycle in our sleep!

Sometimes, it gets really tough to keep up the volume and motivation while grad school picks up speed at the same time. I was happily getting through my daily workouts with plenty of rest this semester until recently, when I had to slam on the brakes a little bit. Suddenly everything was due: midterms, homework, projects, presentations, you name it. I often forget that I'm at CSU to get a degree, not to bike and run around all day! In the next week or so, I'll have to prioritize my workouts so that I still get something done while completing all of my assignmen…

Racing for Epic Experience - The Reason for the Blog!

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In March of 2014, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It completely shook her world. For the first few months, life became a difficult journey of rearranging and re-envisioning her goals, her new reality, and her expectations of what the future held. For my mom, who is a healthy, non-smoking marathon runner, uttering the words “I have cancer” to her loved ones seemed impossible. These words were so foreign to her, but as time passed on, they also seemed to become more defining.
In all honesty, life for the first few months after her diagnosis was sucky to say the least. But that summer, she was given the opportunity to attend a free, week-long camp called Epic Experience, and she decided to take the risk and do it. This camp is for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer, and is based upon outdoor adventures such as stand up paddle boarding and white water kayaking.  Leading up to camp, she worried about leaving the comfort of home and family to be with complete …

First Post!

How do I begin? I've never been one to consider putting up a blog about myself, but I suppose this past year has been one with a lot of changes. The main purpose of this blog is to give a home to my stories this year, both racing and moments I share with my family. Additionally I have decided to race for an amazing organization called Epic Experience (more to come on that later), and my hope is that this website keeps family and friends updated on my endeavors and experiences. So here goes, welcome to my blog!

If you don't know me, my name is Ali, and I'm currently a graduate student at Colorado State University. Growing up in Colorado, I always enjoyed sports and being outdoors, but it was in my undergraduate career at Texas A&M University that I developed a passion for racing triathlons. To me, its more of a lifestyle than a sport, and I've been hooked for four years now. I've raced a lot and have learned a lot, but by no means am I an "elite" athle…