My First Real Sparring

Last year I wrote tips about how to keep thin on Thanksgiving each day of the week.  Don’t forget to go back and check them out!

Last week, I finally had my first real experience “fighting” in the ring. First let’s be clear.  A fight is when your in the ring to win a sanctioned match.  When you’re training it’s called sparring. Just a note 😉

Most of you know that I’ve been taking boxing training for almost a year.   I box almost everyday and I never get tired of it!  I’ve been toying with the idea of actually competing in the amateur tournament, Colorado Golden Gloves for most of that time.  A few things were holding me back: I hadn’t had enough experience in the ring to know if I had what it takes and……the hubby wasn’t hot about the idea.

After nearly 6 months of training I felt like I had good enough skills and wanted to open up the idea of fighting.  After Dan came to the gym a few times and watched me, he agreed that I could try fighting if I wanted to.  My trainer, Jameson Bostic, agreed that I should start sparring (unsanctioned fights at the gym) more so I could get more experience.  After a few successful spars at the gym, one of the other trainers approached me about sparring with his client.  We set the spar for the next day.

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Right away my trainer had no worries.  He knew that if I could just do what I know, I would be successful.  But that is a BIG if.  Up until now, I had never fought 100% against another person.  It’s rare to spar with someone of your ability and weight.  To make it safe and fair, we usually have rules when we spar.  Sometimes you can only use your left had, sometimes I’m told not to go 100%, sometimes you’re only on defense or offense, sometimes I don’t get hit at all.  While I had several sparring sessions under my belt, I had never gone 100% against another girl with both hands.

I was nervous ALL DAY.  It had been a long time since I had taken hits in the ring to the face or head.  My partner, Brandi, had experience and about 20 pounds (?) on me.  I knew she would hit and she would hit hard.  Would I freeze? Would I cry? What would happen? Jameson knew I was nervous and sent me messages throughout the day.  When I arrived at the gym, I was more excited than nervous.  Today was the day.  Today was the day I’d know if I wanted to get in the ring and compete.  And it was…………FREAKING AWESOME.

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Some people think boxing is just violence with rules. I used to not be able to watch boxing or MMA on TV because I thought it was violent and gross.  My first time sparring another girl the whole time I thought, “Why is she trying to hurt me?” But now I can see the sport that is in boxing.  When I’m in my corner, I’m not thinking about hurting the other person.  I’m thinking about beating them at their own game. I’m thinking about when they throw that punch I’m going to be right there throwing back. I’m thinking about their rhythm and dominant side and how I’m going to throw them off.  I’m not thinking about how much it’s going to hurt because it doesn’t.

During the round, my adrenaline is so high, I barely feel getting hit.  I’m more focused on the timing and her errors.  We fought three rounds.  My coach and I were hoping to go longer but her coach called it. Meaning…….I kicked her ass.  See below for a breakdown of the rounds.

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It felt INCREDIBLE.  To be clear, it’s not punching the other girl, making her bleed, or even injuring her that felt incredible.  Beating her at her own game felt incredible.  Being the faster, smarter and stronger fighter felt incredible.  Knowing that all the work I’d put in, all the sweat and tears felt incredible.  Seeing the look on my trainer’s face and knowing he was proud was incredible.  Over coming my own insecurities of not being good enough was like flying to the moon. I lived off the high of winning my first real spar for a few days.  There’s no feeling quite like proving yourself wrong or realizing you can do whatever you want to do.  You’d think that I’d gotten used to breaking the odds or overcoming new goals, but thankfully it just gets better and better.

Click here to view the whole fight via Google Drive

Round One: I spent WAY too much time trying to feel her out.  I was trying to find her rhythm and I was on the defense.  My trainer expected her to fight much differently so I spent some time trying to figure out their plan instead of destroying their plan.

Round Two: During round two I fought much better.  I spent less time worrying about what she was going to do and put my plan in motion.  There was even a moment in round 2 that she gave up and dropped her hands.  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do so I stopped too!  But I knew in round 2 I was going to ‘win’.  Her punches weren’t strong enough and I was able to anticipate her throws quite a few times. After two right hands from me her mouth started to bleed.

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Round Three: Brandi stopped about a minute into round three.  She had hurt her shoulder and her coach didn’t want to continue.

Overall I’m really happy with how I fought.  Watching back the video, I can see all sorts of things that I did wrong.  I missed opportunities and always go to the left.  But instead of beating myself up about the errors, I’m still holding my head high for getting in!



Rock and Roll Half Marathon

HOLY COW!?! It’s been a month since I posted?! Things have been soooooo super busy that everything has gotten away from me!

Things here have been going pretty well.  I’ve really gotten back into the swing of things with work and still finding time for fitness. The hubby and I signed up for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon way back in July.  Since then, we have been going on long runs every Sunday together.  Things were much much different this time around for my second half marathon.

The Training

For my last half marathon, I trained religiously.  I followed the Jeff Galloway plan (mostly…..) and tried to mix running with my regular boxing schedule.  I ran short runs once or twice a week and a long run on the weekend.  Of course I slowly ramped up my mileage until running 13.1 all by myself.  This time I did things much differently knowing I had the mental stamina and physical endurance to carry me across the finish line.


Dan ran short runs on his own during the week.  I skipped almost all of the short runs!  I found that I was training so hard and long at boxing that I didn’t need the extra running time.  Also, my body was happy not to be running so many miles.  I still ran long runs on the weekend, but this time I had Dan with me.  The runs went by a lot faster having someone with me.  We don’t really talk when we run but it’s different to have someone there with you.  I enjoyed the time together while still being able to have plenty of mental time to sort through my brain. I could always keep up on the long runs even with skipping the short runs.

As the marathon grew closer, we knew we would run out of weekends to practice the whole 13.1 miles.  I knew that if Dan could do 10 miles, he could do 13.1.  The first time he would go the whole distance was in the race!

The Morning Of

The morning of the race we were both pretty nervous.  The temperature was much colder than we were used to.  Also, we had to take a bus downtown to get to the race and we were feeling anxious about getting there on time.  I checked a backpack for the first time at a race as well.  I always avoided this because I thought it would be a pain, but it was actually pretty convenient.  The bus got us downtown in time…… stand in line for the bathroom.

While we were standing in line for the port-o-johns, we heard the first wave starting. I refuse to stop during the race unless absolutely necessary.  We were in wave 6 and were trying to keep a time of 2:10.  I really wanted to beat my previous time, even if just by a minute.  I knew that if I ran the same pace I’d run on our 10 miler, I would make it.

I’m usually really early for races and end up standing at the starting line for 20 minutes at least.  BUT, we waited for the bathroom for so long that we almost missed our starting time.  When we were walking up, our wave was starting.  So there was no time to stand and get pumped but no time to get nervous either.  So there’s no ‘before the race’ picture otherwise it would have been a selfie in the port-o-john. Gross.

The Race 

Dan and I had planned to run the race together and cross the finish line together.  Since he had never gone the full distance, I was worried about Dan over-pacing himself and not being able to finish strong.  Once we started, Dan made a rookie mistake and I was glad I was there to fix it.  Dan took off like a bat out of hell.  We are used to running 9:30-10:15 pace.  We ran the first mile in 8:30.  In a race, it’s so easy to get caught up with those around you.  It’s easy to run at their pace not considering how much farther you have to go.  (And let me tell you, most of the people in front of you in mile 3 are way behind you in mile 10 if you know how to pace yourself) When I finally caught him in mile two I said, “The point isn’t to beat everyone. I can’t keep running this pace and I can’t chase you for 13 miles. Are we running together or not? Let me pace you.” After that, things went much better.

The Rock and Roll is a very cool race.  They had lots of local bands along the route.  Also, the Denver route loops for the first few miles downtown so there are lots of spectators.  The sunrise was beautiful and the people of Denver cheered us along the way.  Some of the route was even our usual running route!  We passed our apartment four times, which got harder each time!

When we picked up our race packets, they had wristbands with paces of them.  We picked up the 2:10 wristband so all through the race I knew if we would finish on time.  Because Dan sprinted the first two miles 🙂 we made up extra time that we needed at the end of the race.  Each mile we were ahead but close to the pacer.  In mile 10 the 2:10 pacer runner passed us and I was devastated.  My heart sank and I thought we wouldn’t finish in time but I was also thinking that the pacer was a little too fast according to my calculations.

When we hit mile 12, I knew it was close.  The last mile of the course was fun!  My nike app clicked over to mile 13 and we could see the finish line around the corner.  I grabbed Dan’s hand before we crossed the finish line.


12079065_10102992279455089_4559804762725556327_nThe Times:

Official Colfax: 13. 2 miles, 2:21    Nike +: 13.1 miles, 2:18

Official R&R:  13.5 miles, 2:17     Nike+: 13.1 miles, 2:12

So according to my records, I broke my last time by 6 minutes.  What made me even prouder was setting almost all new personal recorders and FINALLY breaking half an hour on a 5K, so thanks to Dan for running to darn fast at the beginning!