Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I can't stop thinking about it...

Ok, where do I begin....? This weekend I introduced myself {for the second time} to the world of twitter and tweeting.  I followed 12 ladies {phenomenal runners and bloggers} who had sent in their applications and were selected to be a part of team AfterNuun DeLight for the 30th Anniversary of Hood-To-Coast. These ladies were my kind of girls....social media addicts...so I developed an instant connection with them. For 26 hours, my phone was "tweeting" non-stop {except during a chunk of time when they had no reception} with tweets about decorating vans, using the honey bucket at 3am, not being able to find a honey bucket so using nature, running at 3am with an arm full of glowstick bracelets, getting in an hour nap before their next leg, consuming excessive amounts of NUUN {which I will be trying on my 20 mile run this saturday}, and developing lifelong friendships in a 26 hour time frame with 11 {what started out to be} strangers...what could possibly be better???

Hollie, my partner in crime for the marathon, was lucky enough to run on a Hood-To-Coast team this year, so this morning while we were doing our speed work at the track, we rested a little bit too much in between so she could share her experience with me! I kept wanting MORE; it sounded amazing!

Over the last two days I have been reading the blog posts of AfterNuun Delight highlighting their Hood-To-Coast experience, reading the ins and outs of Hood-To-Coast and the application process, thinking of team names, envisioning our vans all decorated and possible outfits we could wear, sending texts and making calls to recruit possible teammates {right now I have people from Oregon, Idaho, and Missouri}, researching condos in Seaside for the after-party, making a mental note of "must-haves" for my Hood-To-Coast experience, and watching the trailer for the Hood-To-Coast documentary {which I will be ordering}.

Going back to my "glory days" on the swim team, there is something extra magical, and unique about a relay team.  Some of my greatest memories as a swimmer, and some of the closest bonds/friendships created, are from relays. My relay team {which consisted of Ashley Johnson, Megan Clark, Jennifer Adams, and myself} was the a force to be reckoned with, and we had a bond that was unbreakable.  The adrenaline of gathering before the race, cheering each other on before and after each leg, standing on the block preparing to go, and celebrating at the end as a TEAM, is an experience and dynamic that can only be created in a relay situation.

This is not "the" relay, but still a great one! 

I am beyond excited for the possibility of participating in Hood-to-Coast 2012 {its a lottery}....2 vans, 12 of my favorite people, 200 miles, 15,000 runners, more porta-potties than you can count, cowbells, clipboards & stopwatches, coordinated outfits, running with headlights and glowsticks, laughing, creating memories & tweeting for 30 hours.  On October 12th, I will be hand delivering my application to the post office in hopes of getting the opportunity to create the bond and memories that I have from the swim team days, with 12 of my favorite people as we do what we love best...RUN!!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I officially became a runner when...

1) I started planning trips around {and bought plane tickets for} races
2) I never left home without my running shoes
3) I started setting my alarm for 5:15am on a Saturday morning to get in 15 miles before I "started" my day

                  On June 23rd I sat in Dr. Galt's office anxiously awaiting the "okay" to start running again following my surgery; but that is not exactly what I got.  I didn't spend much time with Dr. Galt, but quickly grew to like him and enjoyed giving him a hard time and giving it my all to get a smile out of him.  After 2 short visits, he had me pegged {he knew if he gave me an inch I would take a mile}.  So, at my 2 week follow-up, he said I needed to take it easy for another 5 weeks...and by easy he meant no impact or weight bearing exercises; basically I could sit on a stationary bike for hours and hours.  His eyes became the size of golf balls when I {jokingly} asked about going to Crossfit and waterskiing :c) I knew that healing properly was key longterm, and I also knew that I WAS NOT going to allow this accident to prevent me from doing another event {my marathon in October}.  So I followed Dr.'s orders...for 4 weeks...and then gave in and did some trail running {that's low impact, right??}.  The day of my 7 week post-op appointment I ran 8 miles, but didn't tell him until he reviewed my x-rays, and everything looked good; at that point I was given the "okay" to run.

                  At this point I'm several miles behind where I need  to be in my training, and the only way to catch up is to just pick-up the plan and go for it.  So 3 weeks ago I told my friend/motivator/encourager/running partner that I was ready to start following the mileage on the plan and see what happens.  She looked at me like I was crazy, but also knew that nothing was going to slow me down.  That Saturday as we set out on a 14-mile run I warned Hollie that I may need to walk, etc. but I was going to finish it! We RAN 14 miles, stopped twice to fill up out water bottles, and it felt AMAZING!!!

                I am a firm believer in the power of the mind, especially when it comes to running. Recently 2 stories have encouraged me {in all areas of life, not just running}, and have given me strength and perseverance when things get "tough" {I put it in quotes because it is all relative}.  I have been following, and immensely touched, by the stories of 2 local kids {Faith and Ethan} who have been battling cancer {one has recently gone to be with the Lord} . These two children have fought relentlessly to the end, never complaining or giving up faith & hope.  As I ran up Terwilliger in Portland I drew strength to make it to the top {home to Doernbecher's Children's hospital, where the 2 families had been for several weeks}  from these 2 unbelievable kids {angles}, who I knew never  complained or gave up,  and would "run the race with perseverance."  The day following Ethan's service I went on a 15 mile run,  and I can't tell you how many times I thought of him and his legacy, and drew strength from it.  Their stories have touched me on several levels {especially since my brother is a cancer survivor}, but two main things have really stuck with me (1) Our days are numbered here on earth, and we don't know how long we have with our loved ones.  So don't hold grudges, let the people you love know it daily, & make that phone call you have been meaning to make but keep putting off because "life" gets in the way.  (2) Change your mindset and attitude from "I Can't" to "I WILL."  Seeing these kids FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES really puts it into perspective; I have NOTHING to complain about.

My next LEAP OF FAITH will be participating in a run that raises funds to find a cure for childhood cancer {I'm sure a plane ticket will be involved :c)} and then I will look into starting an event here locally.