Archive for April, 2013

Run for a Cause

Posted in Races, Training with tags , on April 24, 2013 by activerunner

Why do you run?  I run for me.  I run to improve my fitness and health.  I run to look good.  I run to relieve stress and boredom.   I run to feel accomplished.  I run so I can eat dessert.  I run for me.  Just me, and nobody else!   It’s time that changed.  Compare running to life, and you’ll find a lot of similarities.   Lately, charity has been a lot on my mind.  If your whole world revolves around yourself, you aren’t living, and I can guarantee you aren’t happy.  However, it seems when you do things for others you are actually doing a lot more for yourself.   Kind of Ironic that the best thing for you is doing for others.  “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

I’m not great at giving of myself.  There is a lot of room for improvement in this area.  I’m not good at speaking comforting words to strangers, or striking up friendly conversations with people I don’t know.  I’m not good at volunteering or putting myself in uncomfortable situations.  But don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can.  Running is something I can do.   I’m  good at putting in miles everyday.  But, simply being good isn’t useful to anyone. 

 “Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.”  ~Author Unknown

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I had never thought to use running as a tool to make a difference.  I now see I can use it to do just that.  There are a lot of charity runing/walking events out there, so sign up.  That way, you are running for a purpose, one that exceeds the perameters of self improvement.  There is also an App I have recently discovered called Charity Miles.  This App is awesome!  I’m excited to use it.   All you do is pick a charity listed on the app and go, donating all your miles to that specific charity.  Runners and walkers can earn 25 cents per mile, bikers earn 10 cents per mile.  The app will track the mileage for you.  You then share your run on facebook or twitter to help that charity receive donations.  They want you to do this for awareness purposes, and to inspire others to do the same. 

“Nobody walks for charity in secret. It’s something you do to make a statement and to raise awareness.  When you’re done, we hope you will share on Facebook and Twitter. That has a very valuable market value.”Charity Miles

You can do anything to make a difference, it doesn’t have to be running.  The key is to make a statement.  Find something you can do, something you are good at, and use it for good.  There is no point in keeping it all for yourself.    Running is something I do anyway, but now I run for a cause.  Why do you run?

One of Those Days

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 19, 2013 by activerunner

Having one of those days?  We all have them… In fact, I’m having one today!  These are the days when nothing seems to go your way.  Work drags on and on, meetings are pointless, traffic is ridiculous, people are stupid (lets put an emphasis on that point), the weather is freezing, there’s nothing to eat, and the dog barfed on the kitchen floor!  I blame these days on stress… and other people… and the dog!  But mostly stress!  Stress is like boiling water; it continues building and building until finally it boils over, spilling down the sides, making a big mess.  That boiling pot needs an outlet of some kind, something to let out the heat.

Running serves as that outlet for me.  Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam and relieve some pressure. There is no better way to do that than to run as far away as possible.  Step away from problems at work, people and their stupidity, the barf on the floor, and run for your life!  Running provides a way to channel all that stress and aggression into something beneficial.  It provides me with time to clear my head, get out of a hectic environment, express anger in a way that isn’t crazy, while at the same time accomplishing fitness benefits.  Stress can make for an excellent work out! I find when I’m stressed to tears, I run faster, longer, and harder.  Probably because I’m trying to put at much distance from all the comotion as possible!
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Running also floods the brain with Endorphins which are basically the  body’s  natural occuring opiates.  Hence the term “Runner’s High.”  They’re Mood changing hormones and are responsible for elevating one’s mood!   Causing you to come back from your work out with a much better outlook on life and hopefully the day, which is something I could defintely use at this moment.  But… how much better can barf  look… really?  It’s definitely time for a run.

Summer List

Posted in Camping/hiking, Off on a Tangent, Races, Shoes with tags , on April 14, 2013 by activerunner

Summer is almost here!  finally.  Did winter seem long or was that just me?  My motivation slowly dies in the winter, along with everything else.  I hate not seeing the sun and I hate the cold!  This Winter has been a hard one and I’m not just talking about the intense weather conditions.  So because the snow has finally melted, I can’t help but to look forward to the joys of summer.  And now that I have a career that does not require me to work during the summer months, while still getting paid, I can enjoy the season so much more fully.   Don’t be too jealous.  Summer vacation for teachers is much deserved, trust me.  But how am I going to get the most out of my now free, empty, workless months?

Well I have a few ideas.

I’m turning 26 this summer… and I really don’t have much to show for it.  Don’t get me wrong I have a great life, career, family, and friends, but I haven’t experienced life outside my little bubble.  I’ve been so stuck in routine my whole life.  This summer I want things to be different.  It’s time to ditch routine.  I want to go places I’ve never been, do things I’ve never done, and why not? I have the whole summer.  Sad thing is I haven’t gone anywhere.  I’ve lived in Utah my whole life and haven’t even seen what it has to offer.  That said, I plan to do just that, explore Utah.  I want to see the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national park.  I want to hike different trails and see the wonders they have to offer.

life is a race

I want to be involved in more races competitively.  I’m done with the “fun runs” and obstacle courses that aren’t timed. I want to race! 5k’s are my specialty and I would love to see where I fit in against some real competition.  I also plan to run a half marathon this summer, and I plan to place.  That is going to take some serious training, but I just bought the shoes for it, so I’m all set!

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I also plan on traveling outside of Utah, I think its about time.  There are so many places I haven’t been, so I’m not really sure where to start.  The plan is to start with Florida, visit the beach, run in the sand, and I’m really excited to go to Harry Potter World… does that make me a nerd?  There are many other places I’d like to travel, however, I am not made of money.  but Hey, I have every summer from now to the end of my career!  Thats plenty of time to see new and exciting places.  okay, If I were you I’d a tab bit jealous…

I just don’t want this summer to be a waste, spent in days of boredom.  When I first started my career, I kind of thought everything else would just fall into place.   I see now that nothing falls into place, you’ve got to put it there.  It’s time I start putting the pieces together,  get a new routine.  My summer may be free and workless but it certainly isn’t going to be empty.

You Crossed the Line

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 8, 2013 by activerunner

Competition is your drive, it’s what gets you through the race or game.  “Yes, I am tired and hurting but if I stop, I’m going to lose.  I’m not stopping.  This is not just a game, it’s everything!”  Most coaches would love to see that kind of competitive drive in an athlete.  It sure beats the lethargic “whatever” attitude that many  athletes develop.  But at times does that competitive edge push passed the line of acceptable?

Competitive nature is learned.  I learned it from my parents.  Thanks mom and dad! They were the ones that constantly put me up against my siblings for a little harmless competition.  Those harmless competitive matches usually ended up with someone becoming emotionally if not physically injured.  We also came home with some pretty hard feelings toward the other sibling.  All in good fun.

When we were younger, us kids were seriously into the presidential fitness program in PE.  So my mom and dad had each of us kids run the mile against one another.  Nothing like competition to help improve our times.  Now, I am the oldest and being the oldest I felt it my divine right to be the winner.  After all, I was born first and therefore should finish first.  So there we are running the mile, my two brothers and I striding neck and neck.   I had started out in the lead, but exhausted myself a little too quickly.  My younger brother passes me.  “Thats okay, as long as I’m not last.”  Shortly after that thought, my other even younger brother started to leave me behind.  So, I reached out, grabbed the collar of his shirt, and yanked, causing him to the hit the ground hard. I took second place!

My dad used to take my brother and I to the church basektball gym and set up a scrimmage between us.  Both of us fighting for the approval of our father, as well as the “I’m More Talented than You” Title.  Our games were closely matched.  I won some games, He won others.  But then I figured him out.  My brother did not do well with trash talk.  We were supposed to call all our own fouls and every time he called one, I called him out.  “Can’t handle playing ball with a girl huh?”  “Wow! I barely touched you.  You are such a wimp.”  He’d get so angry.   Thats when I knew I had him.  I figured out how to push his buttons, and he let the frustration effect his play.  I won a lot of those games. We always went home with a deep sense of hatred toward one another.  Hey, if that is the price of winning, I’ll take it.

No coach, that I know of, wants this kind of attitude in their athletes.  I look back at these experiences and see how I held winning above everything.  Above the rules of the game, above honesty, above consideration, above my relationship with my brothers.  Not acceptable! I think it is required to want to win in a sport.  You should always want to beat the competition.  And the competition only gets better when that sport is a passion.  The game is the most fun when you play to win.  But win or lose, the game is going to end… and then what do you have? You may have a big trophy.  You may not.  But when that trophy is compromising respect for others as well as yourself it doesn’t mean anything.  I see athletes that put everything into a sport.  They spend hours upon hours working to improve their game.  They do whatever they have too to win, even if it means beocming an unsportsmanlike cheater.  They leave everything else in life behind.  After all this sport is everything!

Sports can only take you so far especaily if you aren’t honest.  I mean just look at Lance Armstrong.  Sports can teach you valuable lessons.  They can teach you skills, improvement, hardwork, team work, importance of winning and losing, and how to do so with respect.  There is no respect in cheating.  I’d like to apologize sincerely to my brothers, I didn’t realize that when I was 8… okay I was 12.   Although I do realize that neither one of my brothers can beat me in a long distance race anymore! Winning is obviously everyone’s goal, but when you place it above everything you are going to get in trouble.  I Know I did.  Your sport isn’t everything, but it can teach you how to acheive anything well within the line of whats acceptable.