It’s official! My husband and I will be participating in Pat’s Run this year in Phoenix, Arizona on April 20th! I’m so stoked about it! (Yeah, I just said that…) My husband has done this run in the past because he’s a Tillman Military Scholar. I’ve personally done Pat’s Run shadow runs in previous years, but this year I get to participate in the real-deal run at Sun Devil Stadium at Arizona State University. It’ll also be my first time in Arizona.
Me, my husband, and a couple of our friends doing an “unofficial” Pat’s shadow run in London in 2011.
If you aren’t familiar with who Pat Tillman is, let me just give you the lowdown on one of the coolest dudes that ever lived. Pat Tillman was a football player for the Arizona Cardinals who eventually turned down a $3.6 million contract offer to enlist in the U.S. Army in May, 2002. After completing the Ranger Indoctrination Program, he was assigned to 2nd Ranger Battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington. He participated in the initial invasion in Iraq in 2003 and later redeployed to Afghanistan. On April 2004, he was reportedly killed by enemy combatants, but it wasn’t until after his burial that investigations were launched and his death was eventually ruled fratricide. This brief synopsis of this man does not nearly do him justice. His amazing zest for life was absolutely inspirational.
Corporal Patrick Tillman. The physical ideal of an American soldier.
After his death, his family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation. This foundation is a “national leader in providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members, and their spouses.” (Learn more here: Who We Are; Pat Tillman Foundation). Several years ago, my husband was awarded one of their scholarships, which in addition to the G.I. Bill, helped him complete college and even do a semester abroad in Egypt. Because of the Pat Tillman Foundation, my husband was given the opportunity to get the most out of his education and have an even richer college experience, which we are very grateful for. We believe we owe it to them to support their cause and help spread their message.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I haven’t done standard cardio in MONTHS! Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I ran. But if there is anyone who is going to motivate me to run, it’s definitely Pat Tillman. I think I’m actually going to have to train for this though! I normally just jump into a run and do fine, but this time around I’m going to actually work on my cardio beforehand. It’s a 4.2 miler (Tillman’s football number was 42), so I’ve got some work to do. I’ll be doing weight training 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and then adding in some runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with a complete rest day on Sunday. If I find I’m not progressing fast enough (which I doubt), then I’ll add in another run on one of my weight training days. Cardiovascular endurance is kind of easy come easy go, so I’m not concerned. I get my heart rate up regularly with intense weight training, it’s just going to be lung capacity that’s going to whoop my ass. Haha! So wish me luck! I’m going to be huffin’ and puffin’ this first week of training!
If you’d like to learn more about Pat Tillman and his story there is a great movie called “The Tillman Story” that you should check out. Just the trailer makes me teary-eyed and gives me chills.