It is an honor and privilege to be featured as a REGAIN's Friday athlete of the week.
My name is Carolina Ramirez, I’ve been running/hiking with Tortugas Run Club and hiking with Tortugas Hiking club for over a year now.
I completed my first 1/2 marathon, first marathon last year, and recently completed my first Ultra marathon at Frozen Gnome.
My passion for running has not always been there. As a young girl, I never thought I fit in and looked at sports as a way to try to build confidence and bond with other athletes. I tried everything from basketball, soccer, track, cross country, and didn’t think I was good at any of it. But I’m also someone that loves a challenge and try new things.
Most recently I become a mom to my beautiful son Noah and I suffer through postpartum depression. Not knowing I was going through postpartum depression, I found myself lost, depressed, and confused. Trying to figure out motherhood, being a working mom, and not feeling like myself anymore. I went into a depression state. Until I found Tortugas, as uncomfortable as it was at first, I kept showing up with no expectations but to try to keep up with everyone. And they never made me feel uncomfortable, if anything they empower me and helped me build my confidence through running.
Running made me feel free, forget everything, be in the moment, and love my body again.
After a couple weeks of going, I started making connections with other runners and they kept pushing me every single run. At the time, completing a marathon didn’t seem possible, I thought maybe in a couple of years I’ll do one. Then those couple years turned into less than 6 months before I tackled my first marathon.
As I continue to run and marathon training season started, my appreciation for athletes grew. The countless training hours, nutrition, proper gear, and recovery needed to prepare for a marathon sometimes goes unnoticed. Add being a mom on top of that, I found myself doubtful of even making it to that start line. I didn’t give up, I kept pushing, reminded myself to be kind to myself and continue to make sure my body was ready. Once I finished my first marathon, I couldn’t believe I had just ran 26 miles and felt amazing. It got me thinking, what more can I do….
While incorporating more recovery into my training, I fell in love with hiking with Tortugas Hiking Club. Slowly learning that movement was more important than the miles i was putting in, hiking became a big part of my recovery process. I was able to connect with others socially and enjoy nature along the way.
That’s where I got to connect more with hike G.O.A.T Chris King (left), the mastermind behind doing crazy things. He was talking of doing an Ultra and I got interested because it was close to my birthday. This seem like the perfect way to keep myself accountable and push past limits. Crystal Lake was his hometown and completing this race for him was special. So I decided to take on this ultra as a birthday gift for my 33rd birthday and in honor of my best friend Tanya, who is battling cancer.
This ultra was not easy and leading up to this race, I felt prepared but also knew there was going to be a lot of mental challenges along the way. And there was. I felt good for the first 3 loops and once I hit the 4th loop, it was a mental battle of wanting to stop and just quit. But when I felt like giving up, I dug deep into my purpose, everything I’ve been through and everything I want to accomplish. There was no stopping me! After seeing what I could do and pushing past those mental barriers, there’s nothing I feel I can’t do. I do this for those that can’t, make my son proud, and the love for what my body can do. I hope one day my son looks back and says, “Wow I have a badass mom!”
The running communities have became my safe space and the thing that reminds me of who I was before I became a mom, and because of this space, I’m able to be the best mom I can for my son.
These races always mean so much to me because I never thought I’d be doing things like this after becoming a mom. I appreciate my body and thankful for all the love and support from our running communities that make you believe you can do anything. I’ll continue to do this until my body can’t. Because you never know who you’re inspiring along the way.
Thank you for reading to my story and for my family and friends. Thank you, REGAIN Lifestyle Beverage, for featuring me as your female athlete of the week!