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It’s Time to Try Defying Gravity

February 16, 2011
by

When I get to the top, I will feel like a rockstar. And that's the truth.

Mount Taylor Quad. T: 3 days and counting.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous for a race. I am confident I can get up and down the mountain, but how long it’ll take me is up for debate. How much hurt it’ll inflict on me is an even bigger enigma. I sweat just thinking about it.

I have an 8.5-hour drive from Denver to Grants, New Mexico, on Friday. In other words, I have a whole freakin’ day for all my neurosis to marinate and psyche me out and make me want to turn the old Odyssey north and bail. So this morning, I came up with this (not totally original) race plan.

I am devoting each of the race’s 8 segments to somebody, thereby taking the pressure off of me.

Piece one: a 13-mile bike uphill.
Well, actually, this one goes to me. Here, I am going to catch my breath, not worry about everybody flying by me. This is where I reassure myself it’s going to be a long day and that I’m strong enough to handle every step.

Piece two: a 5-mile run uphill.
This one is for the writer of this post. I have been in touch with her regularly, and am thrilled to report not only did she sign up for her first marathon, but her words were sent far and wide, and she has reached out to other victims who are considering running for healing. This is where I remember how powerful sweat is for the spirit.

Piece three: a 2-mile cross-country ski uphill.
This part has me freaked out the most–it’s 1,200 feet of climbing, which I’ve never done on skis. So this is for Lookout Mountain, Deer Creek Canyon, the Holly Hills, the hill repeats under the chairlift, the Gauntlet at the gym, the incline button on the treadmill and all the other hills I’ve climbed in preparation for this race. This is where I’m not allowed to doubt myself.

Piece four: a 1-mile snowshoe uphill.
This has to be for my Grantie;  he has been my own mountain/rock through this training. He’s easily toasted 200 waffles for the kids’ breakfasts while I was running or biking. More importantly, he has cheered me on even when I don’t deserve it. This is when I forget when he asked, “Do you think you’ll finish before dark?,” and instead, just remember his love and support.

Piece five: a 1-mile snowshoe downhill.
This is for all of you, our awesome RLAM tribe. I’m going to open up my stride, and let it rip. This is where I remember that I–and we–simultaneously chose to challenge ourselves and to enjoy the ride.

Piece six: a 2-mile ski downhill.
This is for my mom, who enrolled me in ski school at age 4. This is where I am thankful I can do a killer pizza wedge.

Piece seven: a 5-mile run downhill.
This is for my dad, with whom I had a complicated relationship and who died in 1999 from, among other things, Lou Gehrig’s disease. For some reason, he has been on my mind quite a bit during long workout sessions lately, so he gets to run with me. This is where I am grateful for my legs, my muscles, my body, my life.

Piece eight: a 13-mile bike downhill.
This for my kiddos, who would love the ride down as much as I think I will. This is where I coast and smile.

So I should be set, right? Pretty much, but if any of you happen to be climbing a hill on Saturday between the hours of 9 and 3 MST–please don’t let me be climbing for more than six hours–I’ll happily channel your vibes that help me defy gravity.

60 Comments leave one →
  1. Nan permalink
    February 16, 2011 4:06 am

    Thanks for your post, you really inspired me! I signed up for a hilly half in April, and I am sooo scared of those hills. I am bookmarkimg this post for inspiration!

  2. Erica Richards permalink
    February 16, 2011 5:22 am

    Wow! That’s going to be one heck of a victory lap!! Have fun and bike, run, ski, and snow shoe for me since I am somewhat out due to injury. I’ll be thinking of you while on the treadmill doing my 20 minutes of walk/run intervals. When I ran my first marathon, I said the names of the children (over and over) who have Nephrotic Syndrome, like my daughter, and it really boosted my spirits and gave me some “fresh” legs. Say the names of your devotees out loud…who cares what anyone thinks. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear all about it!!!

  3. KarenM permalink
    February 16, 2011 5:29 am

    Just think of how proud you’ll be when you finish! I like to think of this line: “Feel the fear, and do it anyway!”

  4. Kathy permalink
    February 16, 2011 5:29 am

    Dimity, I am in awe of all you have done in preparation for this race! Believe in yourself, in your brain, in your spirit, in your legs, in your training and in your tribe of supporters.! Just BELIEVE!

  5. February 16, 2011 5:50 am

    You are so amazing!
    Know that there will be many, many RLAMers ‘with’ you, thinking of you Saturday and inspired by this awesome endeavor.

  6. Jenny permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:03 am

    Wow, that sounds like quite a race! I like the idea of dedicating your efforts to other people. I often do that when I run and I feel like I cannot go on… it takes the focus off of my feelings and helps me think outside myself. I have a 13 mile run this Saturday. It will be my longest run to date and half of the distance I am training to complete on May 1st. I will dedicate a portion of my run to you. You (and SBS) have inspired me to run and embrace my inner athlete, which was always a huge part of my identity until I became a mother, then she went into hiding. But she is back and I have no intention on letting her slip away again. I do not have a regular running buddy but I have truly enjoyed becoming a member of the RLAM community.

    GOOD LUCK DIMITY! You will ROCK the Mount Taylor Quad!

  7. Alison permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:09 am

    Dimity, that sounds like an amazing challenge. Just keep thinking of how awesome you’re going to feel when you cross the finish line! You are one badass mother runner/biker/skiier/snow-shoe-er!!! I’ll definitely send you some good vibes on Saturday.

  8. February 16, 2011 6:11 am

    I just got done reading Rachel Toor’s book, “Personal Record” and she talked about a make runner she marveled over because he won everything he competed in and when she asked him what he tells himself to get through he said, “I can take more pain than anyone else.” Just tell yourself this and you’ll get through! Good luck – can’t wait to read the blog after you have completed this. I can’t wait until I am at that caliper.

  9. February 16, 2011 6:18 am

    That looks like an incredibly tough race!! You will be so proud of yourself when you’re done! GO FOR IT!

  10. February 16, 2011 6:28 am

    Holy smokes, Dimity! I didn’t realize what this race entailed. You’ll rock it, though.

  11. Amanda permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:51 am

    You’re going to kill it. Enjoy it. That’s a huge accomplishment.

  12. February 16, 2011 7:04 am

    It’s good to know that even someone as seasoned as you still gets nervous about new challenges.

  13. Anitra permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:27 am

    You will certainly be thought of and have lots of good vibes sent your way.

    What a great idea to devote a piece to someone who has helped you along your training journey.
    Piece 7 I can totally relate to. I also had a complicated relationship with my father who died of A.L.S. I often think about him while running it really does make me grateful for what my body can do.

  14. February 16, 2011 7:40 am

    Good luck Dimity!! Sounds like an amazing race and I can’t wait to read about it!

  15. Leslie permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:54 am

    I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. I can’t wait to hear all aobut it – own it!!!!! Climb like a mother!!

  16. February 16, 2011 8:21 am

    You are going to rock this race! You are so strong. Cheering for you.

    Looking forward to a race report.

  17. Robin permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:37 am

    I’ll be swimming mom this weekend at my son’s state championships, but I’ll be thinking of you at this amazing race, being an amazing RLAMer Dimity!

  18. Elizabeth permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:47 am

    Good Luck Dimity!
    Have you heard the song “Defying Gravity”? Idina Menzel sings it and it might be an inspiration for you!

  19. Jackie permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:01 am

    Rock on Girlfriend! You are going to be amazing!!!

  20. Shelly R permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:21 am

    What a race!! You will be fabulous because you did the work, you trained and as I’ve seen you write, TRUST YOUR TRAINING. Hill be damned, you can do it!
    I lost my father to ALS as well and reflecting on how his health declined does make me feel grateful for my legs, my muscles that carry me forward every day. I often dedicate my runs to him and can feel him with me.
    I’m happy to see the update on the post from last summer. I ran a marathon about 2 months after reading that and thought of her during part of the stretch. There is so much RLAM power out there for you to channel, Dimity! Let us help carry you!

  21. Muti permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:26 am

    you’ve got the whole universe behind you – when in doubt, ask what the right thing to do is and follow that voice – not the outer voices trying to get in….I’ll be with you in spirit every step, slide, pedal, pizza wedge of the way – xox

  22. February 16, 2011 10:28 am

    Dimity, GOOD LUCK! I will be doing a 10-mile race that a.m. and will think of you and all those climbs on any hills I might encounter. You are badass!!

  23. Holly S. permalink
    February 16, 2011 11:17 am

    Have a blast, Dimity! Don’t worry about the time, just finishing this is a fantastic accomplishment. I envy you, here in flat Chicago, for having such cool races and terrain for training out there.

  24. February 16, 2011 11:23 am

    You got this, Dimity. Mount Taylor = this is where you shine. Have a blast!

  25. john pierson permalink
    February 16, 2011 12:52 pm

    You’ve got tons of people pulling for you Dim, go get ’em.

  26. Rebecca permalink
    February 16, 2011 1:18 pm

    What great inspiration you’ll have! While it’s good to dig deep inside for motivation, it also helps to look outward for inspiration and I think you have quite a crew in your corner! Last year during my marathon I dedicated chunks of my marathon to certain people-family, friends who have played a role in my life or at the time needed me to lift them up. I spent those miles dedicated to them, thinking about them, carrying out conversations with them, imagining what they would be saying to me if they were at my side pacing me. Time flew, seriously for me when the focus was on someone else. A friend was struggling with fertility and I reflected on our talks we’d have when we ran together, pictured her in my mind’s eye and I tried to put myself in her shoes for those miles. It made my miles for her seem easy compared to their struggle to have a family. It worked wonders for me and I hope it does the same for you. Good luck!

  27. ice cream addict permalink
    February 16, 2011 1:51 pm

    Good luck! Looking forward to reading the awesome race report detailing all your success!

  28. Christina permalink
    February 16, 2011 2:17 pm

    what a great and wonderful idea- having intentions for the race. good luck and enjoy your day!

  29. February 16, 2011 2:52 pm

    I just found your blog. I love it! Very inspiring. Good luck with this race! It sounds incredible!!!

  30. Ann permalink
    February 16, 2011 2:59 pm

    WOW! Thanks for sharing. What a great approach. I’m training for my first 1/2 on May 2nd. I’m going to take your approach and devote each mile to someone special in my life. What a great way to take the focus off of yourself…something I have a tough time with. I tend to get really introverted when running gets tough. Thank you.

  31. February 16, 2011 3:04 pm

    Amazing race, Dim. You will do great. Celebrate and enjoy!

  32. Kristen S. permalink
    February 16, 2011 4:00 pm

    May your mind be clear, your breath be even and bountiful, your legs be strong and let att the RLAM good gugu be with you!

  33. February 16, 2011 4:09 pm

    That.was.awesome. Good luck…you’ll rock it!

  34. Leslie permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:12 pm

    Go get ’em, Dimity. I’ll be sending you strong thoughts Saturday.

  35. Lisa permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:19 pm

    Wow, you are my hero! You haven’t even done it yet, but I KNOW you will. Just training for that is impressive, never mind actually doing it. We will all be with you in spirit!

  36. Nicki permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:20 pm

    I’ll be thinking about you on Saturday as I am running that first marathon. When it gets tough, I will think of what you are doing. GO get that GOAL!!!

  37. February 16, 2011 6:27 pm

    For crying out loud, I’m crying!! shoot. what a great post. You can do it, Dimity! We will all be cheering you on! You are one badass mother runner…and biker…and skier, and snow shoer! Kill it!

  38. February 16, 2011 6:53 pm

    Make sure you hit your Mary Catherine Gallagher “superstar” pose when you reach the top. Rock it mother runner!

  39. Iliana Zuniga permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:54 pm

    Hi Dim!
    Good luck on the race. You’ll rock it for sure.
    this about it like this… a hill is nothing but a pile of dirt piled up together. That has nothing on you. You have created life and carried it for 9 months in 2 times. AND you have delivered those children… A little pile of dirt is nothing you cannot conquer.

    Just think of it as you are going up hilll. it is just a pile of dirt…it is just a pile of dirt…it is just a pile of dirt…it is just a pile of dirt…it is just a pile of dirt…it is just a pile of dirt…

    or you can always recurr to the very popular “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….” that seems to work too!

    Have a bast and thanks for sharing!

  40. Dee Dee permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:57 pm

    You’ve so got this, Dimity! You know the tribe will be cheering for you all over the nation. Can’t wait to hear about your success!!!

  41. Michelle permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:18 pm

    As your posts nearly always do, this one brings tears to my eyes. I’m so excited for you and your race. You’ve worked hard, so the race is your celebration. Deep breaths, enjoy:)

  42. Karen B permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:37 pm

    How exciting! You will do AWESOME! So proud of you and inspired by you! Chew that hill up during the first half and then spit it out going down! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Good luck!

  43. Annaliese permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:40 pm

    I love love love the way you are approaching the race. I ran a half last year and dedicated sections of it to each of kids, my hubby, my mom and a friend who really encouraged my running. I’d say their names and think of my most favorite memories. They were with me, right by my side. We’re with you, Dimity!!

  44. Sue permalink
    February 16, 2011 7:47 pm

    Dimity, you are a badass indeed. Rock it like a mother–we will ALL be there in spirit!

  45. Martha permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:00 pm

    You are inspirational! I’ll be thinking of you on Saturday while I do my long run. You rock and go conquer those hills.

  46. February 16, 2011 8:28 pm

    Beautifully inspiring!

  47. Carla O. permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:30 pm

    You are a total rockstar…and you will do an awesome job at the race! Rock on – you know we are all with you in spirit as you go!

  48. Mary permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:33 pm

    Wow! And, I thought my little 5 mile run this morning was tough!!! I’ll think of your hard work & determination when I am huffing up a teeny hill! Way to go & I look forward to your post-race post.

  49. Megan permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:50 pm

    Love this one Dimity and even more the massive amount of training you completed to do this crazy adventure of a race!! Breaking it into sections and letting loved ones ‘carry’ a little of the load is brilliant and that’s just how you’ll feel when you are done WAY BEFORE DARK!! Kick butt Dimity!!

  50. Linda W. permalink
    February 16, 2011 11:24 pm

    Dimity I’m in awe of you! You will do great!!! Conquer those hills like a BADASS MOTHER RUNNER! Yea!

  51. Erin permalink
    February 17, 2011 12:35 am

    You will rock it! I can’t wait to see the pic at finish line!

  52. Kellsey permalink
    February 17, 2011 7:26 am

    With tears in my eyes, and joy in my heart, you WILL DO AWESOME!!

  53. Kristen F permalink
    February 17, 2011 8:32 am

    You are going to rock it like a BAMR! you know we are all cheering you on!
    Go! Go! Go!

  54. Louise Rothwell permalink
    February 17, 2011 9:01 am

    You will be great! Enjoy it and enjoy knowing we are all with you.
    I am wearing my BAMR shirt today, may wash it and wear it on Sat just for you!!

  55. February 17, 2011 9:57 am

    I am impressed and inspired by the idea of dedicating portions of your race. Thank you for sharing that. The last time ‘Defying Gravity’ (Glee version, naturally) popped up on my shuffle when I was running I got choked up!

  56. Shannon permalink
    February 17, 2011 11:52 am

    Your posts always get me! Must stop reading these at work! You are an inspiring woman with a cheering section that spans the country. Kill the hill!

  57. February 17, 2011 4:22 pm

    What a fantastic strategy!! You’re going to do great!! I can’t wait to read the recap!!

  58. Angie permalink
    February 17, 2011 7:41 pm

    Go Dimity, Go!! What a huge feeling of accomplishment you’ll have!! I can’t wait to read the recap.
    And thanks for sharing the update on the runner from the summer’s post. Yeah for her, too and for all of us who take on challenges! Go get ’em!

  59. February 18, 2011 10:49 am

    Loved the way you broke this down, Dimity! 🙂 You’re going to rock it — you sound so ready, mentally and physically. Good luck and HAVE FUN! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    – Heather

  60. Kirsten permalink
    February 21, 2011 6:23 pm

    Hi! That’s my old stomping grounds! I have done the Mt. Taylor Quad as the runner in a team. It’ll be awesome.

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