Before joining bootcamp, my one and only form of exercise was running. I began running when I turned 30. My sister, a runner, dared me to go run with her. I agreed and on that first run, I was only able to make it half a mile. I couldn’t believe that I could not run. I was always very thin, but had no conditioning. She encouraged me to keep going and so I did. It took me 3 months to be able to run a mile without stopping. That’s how I fell in love with it.
I have been running for over 10 years and as hard as it is for some to believe, I really do love it. About a year and a half ago, I started to transition from road running to trail running and discovered that I had the endurance in my legs to run long distances, but in trail running, you also have many obstacles that get in your way, such as, having to cross creeks, jump over rocks and climb steep hills. It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed more strength to make it up the hills. My husband and mother in law convinced me that bootcamp was the answer I was looking for. So, a little over a year ago, I decided to join the bootcamp family to help me reach my goal of completing my first ultra marathon trail run.
My plan was to continue my usual running routine and add bootcamp into the mix. I did this for about 10 months to prepare for Bandera 50Km. This race is known in the trail running community, as the toughest trail race in Texas. The day of the race came and the temperature at Bandera was below freezing and raining. I felt well prepared and wasn’t going to let something like a little freezing rain slow me down. I was feeling good and ready to rock it. Unfortunately, at about mile 16, I slipped in some mud and felt a pop in my hip followed by extreme pain. I was able to keep running for about another mile. Then it turned into a slow jog, followed by walking and lastly hopped my way into the aid station at mile 21.4. I had to drop out of the race, because I could not put one foot in front of the other. At first, I was disappointed that I didn’t finish, especially with how much work and preparation I had put into my training. But before we got back home from Bandera, I’d already signed up for another 50K.
Nueces 50Km, was my next attempt at the 50K goal, It was in February, at Camp Eagle in Rock Springs, TX. Of course, this race started before the sun came up and guess what, it was another freezing and icy morning. There were snow flurries at the start! The high for the day was 25 degrees. This time there were no injuries and I made it all the way to the finish line. My time: 8:36:01. In trail running, its not about keeping a certain pace or time, its more about completing the task.
Running is my time to reflect and enjoy the outdoors. I don’t listen to music. A lot of the time, you are on the trails solo and you come across folks only at aid stations. During a race, I love to birdwatch. I keep a count of how many species I can spot. I also like to pray the Rosary while out in the woods. It’s my time to pray for everyone I know and don’t know.
And this is where bootcamp comes in. Through bootcamp, I have been able to meet such a wonderful group of people that I can now call friends. So, my prayer list has gotten bigger. It keeps me busy on the trails. I want to thank those friends that nominated me for spotlight bootcamper. It is an honor that I can be considered a person that can encourage others.
I believe that my year as a bootcamper has definitely helped me reach my goal of becoming an ultra runner, not just the physical strength to endure the climbs, but also giving me the mental strength to not give up when things don’t go as planned.
As for my next goal, I am contemplating running my first 50 miler in 2016.
Happy Birthday Mariana!!!
Mariana, I am so proud of you and I am happy to honor you today as a fellow bootcamper. Your strength and endurance is a challenge for all to admire. Your strength of character and your relationship with our Lord inspires me and others. Keep sharing yourself with others. You are a special gift from God. Thank you for your encouraging words and actions. I can see why Carter loves you. That makes me happy. HUGS AND KISSES!!!!!
Priscilla B 7:14pm
Wow! Awesome story! You are an Amazing runner/women! Can't wait for your WOD!!! Keep on running sweet lady!! xoxo
Tammy F 9:06pm
Congrats to you! Love hearing all your running and bird watching stories! So looking forward to your wod tomorrow!!! My running shoes are ready😊
Tracy M 9:20pm
Yay !!!! Congrats. Luv you, luv your story. And love your dedication to healthy. You are an inspiration to others. Glad you got the spot light. Well deserved.