Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Funk. Big Funk

For a few months now I've been in a funk. A BIG funk to be honest. It's affecting my everyday life, it's affecting my running, it's affecting me mentally in all means.

It's times like these when the littlest bit of inspiration helps you go on. It helps push you. It helps lift your spirits. It help put a smile on your face even if it is for a split second.

This article I have attached is one I read in Runner's World this past month. It was inspriting, motivational and made me think that life is not THAT bad. Just like the tattoo I have "La Dolce Vita"...the good life.

Life is good....I am blessed I am alive and breathing. But as much as looking at my tattoo puts me in persceptive, I'm a human and funks happen.

For everyone else out there who is in a bit of a mess, I really hope this article makes you happy like it did for me, even if it is for the 5 minutes you took to read it.

(special thanks for my cousin Jackie who listens to my complaining on a daily basis....I love you.)

Fast Friends (article link and citing: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297--14007-1-1-2,00.html)
Two high schoolers stick together—even on runs. By Steve Howe Image by Tom Bear From the August 2011 issue of Runner's World
It's a warm March day, and the Copper Hills High School track team is holding practice on its athletic field, surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake Valley. Seniors Mack Bawden and Cameron Judd, both 18, line up with about 30 teammates for a mile run, and crank Eminem on a pair of iPod speakers. The gun cracks and the pack takes off. "Music's not legal," coach Garth Rushforth yells after the pair, laughing. He lets it slide because wheelchairs aren't legal, either.

Cameron was born with cerebral palsy (or CP), a neurological disorder that affects muscle control in nearly 800,000 Americans. His case is severe; he can't walk, talk, or use his hands for complex tasks. His mind, though, is unaffected, and he has a 3.6 grade point average. Most people with CP can only imagine what it's like to run a race, surrounded by a pack of burning legs and heaving lungs, but thanks to Mack, Cameron experiences something close to the real thing. For over a year, Mack has pushed Cameron in his wheelchair during their track and cross-country meets. "This way the training and races are more fun for both of us," says Mack.

The best friends met when they were 4, when Mack's family moved to the Judds' neighborhood in West Jordan, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. "Mack was nice to me, and really funny," types Cameron, communicating with a computer controlled by his eye movement.

"We laugh at the same things," says Mack, "but we're also different. Cam's into following sports, while I'm more nerdy and into good grades. He's fun to be around, so we find things we can do together." Lately, that's included running races.

Before their junior year, Cameron had never been to a track meet. But Mack, who knew his friend was often bored after school, thought he'd enjoy trying something new. "I really wanted Cam to have the experience," says the 18:20 5-K cross-country runner. Not long after approaching his coach with the idea to race with Cameron, Mack saw a video at his church that sealed the deal. "It was about Team Hoyt, where the father, Dick, pushes his son Rick, who has CP, in races," says Mack. But doing so meant that Mack—one of his school's top 10 runners—wouldn't be able to earn points at meets. "I just felt like it needed to be done," he says, "so I did it."
For their first two races in March 2010, they used a standard wheelchair; for their third they got a racing chair. Mack was sprinting to the finish when the chair popped a wheelie and he went down, bloodying his hand. A few yards later the front tire fell off and Mack flew over the chair, crashing on his shoulder. He got up, unharnessed Cameron, and carried him across the finish. "It was crazy," says Rushforth. "There were students and parents cheering and bawling their eyes out."

After that, Cameron became a fixture on the team. In the 4 x 400-meter relay, he held the baton while Mack and others passed his chair off at each exchange. During cross-country, teammates helped Mack push Cameron across the hilly courses. "Every meet I have parents come up and say, 'This is how high school athletics should be,'" says Rushforth.

While their track days are ending, the friends will keep running after graduation this June; they've entered October's St. George Marathon, and will run the Snow Canyon Half-Marathon the following month. They'll go to college nearby, Mack at Utah Valley University, and Cameron at Salt Lake Community College.

Right now, though, on this spring day, everyone at Copper Hills is focused on the present. Runners drop by Cameron's wheelchair for some high fives and weekend planning. The prom is tomorrow. Cameron and Mack both have dates. It's all a revelation in how accepted a physically challenged person can be, even in the harsh environment of high school. No matter what changes may await the two friends down the road, Cameron is sure his future will involve sports. "I want to be a coach," he types. "I know I can do anything, like I don't have CP."


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soccer fever

Today at work I was juggling work and watching the U.S. women's national soccer team play against France in the World Cup semi-final. It was a great victory and I'm so excited to see the ladies advance to the final (which at the current moments seems as though they will be playing Japan.)

Watching the World Cup has made me think about how fit I use to be when I was playing soccer and how I wish I still had the endurance from my good old college days, or even high school days. But as we all know, there is no turning back in time, only moving forward and to get there again.

I am currently playing in a co-ed adult soccer league and it's nice to do "disguised fitness" as we use to call it in college rather than just running down Sumneytown Pike and back. When you're playing soccer you're so focused on the ball you don't think about the fact that you are running non-stop for 90 minutes. (Granted I was NOT running for 90 minutes because I was a goalkeeper, but my fitness level was sure much better than what it is now as an old, washed up, has been.)

Studies show that a competitive midfielder in a soccer match averages 6 to 7 miles per game. That length of distance is something not many average people can do. One of my best friends from college, Lea Day, was an outside midfielder for our soccer team in college and she is the quickest person I have ever met in my life. I would put money down and say that she ran more than that per game....jog, sprint, jog, sprint. Go to a neighborhood and jog to one mailbox and sprint to the next for 90 minutes straight. You will then know how Lea Day felt for 4 years.

I've decided that when I play in my adult league this week (which I'm a field player, not a goalkeeper) I am going to put on my pedometer and see how far I run. In college we use to wear heartrate monitors to indiciate how hard, or lack-there-of, each player was working at practice. Because we were wearing them, it was hard to slack off. I hope wearing my pedometer will make me realize if I am or am not working as hard as I possible can. If I find out I'm not getting many miles in...I'm going to boost up my effort and push myself a little farther.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The time has arrived

Well everyone...the time has finally arrived. Tomorrow is the start of my 26-week training schedule for my marathon on January 8, 2012 in Walt Disney World.

I am using the New York ING Marathon training schedule my friend Kristian Johnson used when she ran it last year. She was very successful so I figured why not give it a try.

I feel as though I am pretty prepared to do this after talking with Kristian and my friend Bryan who is a crazy runner. I've been given tips and advice over the months.

While I feel like I'm ready, I think this journey is going to be something I've never experienced in my life:  physically, mentally and emotionally I am going to be pushed to my limits.  I believe I'm ready and deep down I KNOW I'm ready.

To all my family members and friends- I'm thanking you now in advance for supporting me and encouraging me on this journey. I am asking you that as I forgo these next 5 1/2 months, please push me and encourage me to get out there and ran. I can't afford to slack off. I will need every single one of you to help me get through this. Xox

Jackie, I am so excited to share this experience with you. You carry me, I carry you. <3

See you on the road