Day 27… A Day of Firsts
|Andy sinking a putt|
This has truly been a day of many firsts for me. I played in my first disc golf tournament, won my first disc golf tournament. Went for my first four hour run, ran my first half marathon distance. Ran for the first time without music and for the first time in the woods in the dark. Truly a day of many firsts.
I’ll begin at the beginning of the day. I had signed up for this disc golf tournament because it was at my home course, Base Camp Outfitters, and thought it would be something fun to do. I played in the women’s intermediate group. After the first round (18 holes) I found myself in first place by one stroke. As soon as the woman that was in second say she was not winning she came up and started to talk to me about all the tournaments she had been in and the mind games started. She was nice, but I could tell she was trying to assert herself as the more experienced player.
|My new trophy, Very Vermont!|
Well, it worked for the first few holes. She got more excited about her play and all the places she had been. I stayed quiet and tried to refocus back into the moment. This is a lesson I learned from volunteering at the Death Race. It worked as the last couple of holes approached her game deteriorated and mine went up. As I hit putt after putt I could feel and taste the victory and my competitive side grew stronger. It was my first tournament and 36 holes later and about 4-5 miles of walking and over a hundred discs thrown, I brought home a trophy!
As soon as I got home (5:30pm) I rushed to get ready to go for my run. The days are clicking away before the Spartan Beast and World’s Toughest Mudder. My training plan had 14 miles planned for today. It was almost 6:00pm by the time I got out of the house. I can’t say exactly how far I went today as my cell phone died about two and a half hours in. However, I can say I went for 4:01. My longest time on my feet to date. At the time when my GPS died I was at around a 16:00/mile pace. Which puts me at around 14.5 miles for the run. So I’ll call it that!
|An amazing evening to be on the mountain!|
Distance ~14.5 miles
Weight: about 18% of Body Weight in Pack
I started off the run full of life and excitement, positive self-talk was in abundance in my head. I was thinking about how excited I was to be outside running and how I could conquer anything. It also helped it was a beautiful evening. I had all these enlightening thoughts and couldn’t wait to get back and blog about all the profound new ideas I had. I can tell you now I am going to spare you! I passed one guy who was camping out on the Long Trail who said I looked too happy just running easily through the woods. These positive thoughts kept going until I hit about mile 9 or so. At this point the sun was setting and I needed to turn my headlamp on in the wooded sections. I had already hit about 4-5 of the peaks on the mountain as well. At some point, all the noise in my brain just stopped and it became about one foot in front of the other. I found at this point my pace actually picked up! I was just moving and propelling my body forward. Their was no thought of what had happened or how much further I needed to go it was the task at hand and that was it!
This all changed when it got really dark on the trails. It was the first time I dealt with being in the woods, alone, in complete darkness. With a dead phone as well. It was unnerving at first, and extremely uncomfortable not knowing what was more than a few feet in front of me. Each little noise I heard I swore was a bear or some other large animal coming to get me. I really had to dig deep to not let my mind get the best of me on this one. I came back to a quote from a sports psychologist who said, “Get comfortable, being uncomfortable.” He argued that the only way we truly progress and get better is to constantly be outside out comfort zone. Now, that I am home showered and extremely comfortable, I feel that this time in the woods tonight was crucial to my development personally. I feel like I overcame a mental obstacle.
Overall, it has been a powerful day for me as I have learned more about how much drive I have and that I can push through the self doubts and mind games we play with ourselves. I just hope my legs aren’t too sore tomorrow!