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Sky Race Montgenevre

I’ve been looking forward to my upcoming race, the 37K Sky Montgenevre in the French Alps for months now. My goal was simple: to finish the race with as little misery as possible. I had no expectations with placing and I anticipated a lot of walking. I’m not being modest, but rather realistic: this would be my longest race ever, at altitude, and with very limited mountain running experience. Plus my training was limited. Whereas I could reach the distance in training, my ability to train on the hills, let alone ones that would mimic race conditions, was not where it should had been.

But that was ok, as I viewed this race as my “initiation” towards approaching the world of Ultra’s and that I would just take it nice and easy. There would be future races where I could train more seriously; for now I couldn’t wait to be surrounded by the beauty of the Alps and to participate in a type of race I’ve dreamt about.

But I recently started to question whether my “relaxed” approach would work against me. Suddenly, my excitement became overshadowed by panic. A “I’m so screwed” kinda feeling. Part of my freak-out coincided with my decision to look more closely at the course profile:

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My race profile

 

A steep climb for the first 8k? Followed by an even more steep downhill? Then 2 more rounds of steep up and steep down? What the F%#k? Where are the flat sections?

I started to have man doubts about the race and wondered if I would be miserable for most of its duration. Would I be struggling so much that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings? Will I want to give up? Will I be walking for most of the climbs? Am I going to hurt for the entire 37K? Will I get injured? Why hadn’t I trained more?

Wow…wait a second….pause…breathe…relax!

Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to get freaked out, yet so hard to believe in yourself? Why is the tendency to focus on what you are not doing, instead of what you are doing?

Fortunately, my state of panic was temporary, as I reminded myself of the following: You can do what your heart and mind sets out to do (within reason of course)…as long as you keep believing. I was reminded of this simple principle with my recent book launch with my co-author Carol Ann Weis.

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Carol Ann (left) and I at our book launch

It took us a long time to write this book…7-8 years in fact! I certainly had my doubts about finishing it, and there were many times when I thought of giving up. I started this book with very little writing experience, and no real clue with what I was getting into. Yet what motivated me was my passion to learn more about the topic and to share this information Fitness Moms Cover 2-2with others, and to promote a healthy lifestyle. And the cliché “slow and steady wins the race” applied here. After many years of doubts, frustrations, hard work—but more importantly, absolute enjoyment, we finally published our book.

Our book launch was overwhelmingly well received – the room was packed with so many people and you could just feel everyone’s support. I felt giddy like a bride on her wedding day. We sold 100 books that night and we are now in the process of having the book reviewed by several magazines! How cool is that?!

What I’m most proud of though is the fact that I stuck it through; I didn’t give up, even when I had my serious doubts and would get freaked out. I let my passion carry me thru day after day. It took a while, but we did it!

Suddenly, these mountains in the French Alps didn’t seem as unsurpassable.

It will be hard and there will be moments of frustration. My training has not been perfect. There will be a series of ups and downs (pun intended). But I am fit. I am healthy. And I have the passion-lots of it. And it is these last points this will help me to not lose sight of my goal: to finish the race with a smile on my face.

 

 

 

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