Colfax Half and Colorado Sprint

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 mountains, and I hope to get as close to that amount as possible by the end of the year. So to all of my other friends, please consider donating! Any amount helps, and I'm serious about that. The 6 dollars you may spend on Froyo or a Chipotle burrito would be greatly appreciated! No amount is too small. Thank you everyone for supporting me in my races and for being so kind. Without further ado, here's a brief race recap of the Colfax Half Marathon and Colorado Sprint Triathlon.

May 17th was the day of the Colfax Half Marathon, and Epic Experience had a big team running the 5k, Half Marathon, and Marathon for them. My mom ran the half with her good friends Nan, Mary, and Dodie. She loses her breath sometimes, but she's a champ and ran the entire 13.1 miles! How many lung cancer patients can say that?! Every day I'm proud and inspired by her actions, but today, she really kept me going through my own race. As for me, I ran with my best friend from the CSU Triathlon Team, Stephanie. We were shooting for a personal record in the half marathon distance, and I knew Steph would drag me to a fast time regardless. (She has a tendency to drag me past my comfort zone :) ). I kept up with her until mile 9, where she decided to pick up the pace, and I let her go, since my legs were dying to slow down a bit. Stephanie ran a great race, and even with losing her at mile 9, I was less than a minute off my previous PR and was very happy with my results! Everyone had a great race, and we raised a ton of awareness for Epic.

I let my legs rest a bit, and picked up triathlon training for a race on May 31. The Colorado Sprint Triathlon was having its first inaugural race in Boulder and I was excited to get a sprint under my belt for the year. Racing with me were my friends David Ruybal, who also raises money for Epic, Brian Oliver from the CSU  Tri Team, and Nicolas Rodriguez, who raced with me on the Texas A&M Tri Team. For the first time ever, my whole family was there to cheer me on, along with my friends Steph, Amanda Rodriguez, and David's mom, Beth Esterl, who has been at all of my mom's doctor appointments as a supportive friend. I was beyond excited to have so much support, and I wanted to do well. Coming out of the swim, I knew I was up towards the front of the women in my age group, and I wanted to hold onto it for
as long as I could. I killed it on the bike (thanks to an amazing tailwind on the backside of the course), and held my spot as second girl in my age group until the start of the run, where a Navy girl passed me. I knew I had a shot at the podium (which almost never happens), so I kept pushing to hold my spot. I was hurting, and I wanted to walk for just a moment after pushing so hard on the swim and bike, but I kept running (slowly) because I knew I was racing for Epic, and I wasn't about to take my opportunity to race as hard as I could for granted. This race had a slip and slide at the end of the finish line, but I was so tired that I just slowly shuffled past it and fell into the pool at the end to cool off. Upon finishing, I was greeted by my parents and sister, telling me I had gotten 3rd in my age group. Yay!! I was glowing with excitement. In addition, Brian had placed first in his age group and
Nicolas placed second in his age group! I was so happy for all of my friends. We all enjoyed the post race pancakes and beer and collected our awards.

The next month hopefully includes one or two more races, but I want to emphasize again how thankful I am for the support everyone has given me! I'm trying my best to raise awareness and funds for this amazing cause by racing hard and not taking my life for granted. It means so much that so many of you have followed my blog and have donated generously. Thanks for reading, and happy racing!

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