Pat’s Run: Recap

Well, I’m back from a whirlwind weekend in Tempe, Arizona! What a trip! I had soooo much fun! Tempe was awesome, the weather was awesome, the people were awesome, and the run was awesome. What more is there to ask for?

On Saturday morning (the morning of the run), my husband and I were up at around 5:00 AM for the 7:00 AM start time. We had our coffee and a protein bar and then we met our group (The Tillman Scholars) in the lobby of our hotel at 6:00 AM. We then all walked together to the ASU Stadium. (This is where Pat Tillman played college football.) Once we were there, lots of photos were taken and we just kind of stood around a lot and eventually made our way to our coral.

In the past, my husband ran this race really hard and came in at around 27 minutes. There was no way in hell I was going to run that fast unless there was a wildcat chasing me, so I gave him the option of running fast by himself, or running like a slow-poke with me. Since he couldn’t enjoy the rest of his day the last time he ran that fast, he decided to run with me at my pace.

Eventually the race started and we were off! I had a goal of 9 minute miles and I was determined to stick to that, so my husband let me wear his fancy schmancy watch that lets me know my distance and time. I was setting the pace. I went hard and steady on the hills (which were doozies!) and did lots of swerving to avoid folks who were falling out. Towards the end, the race route runs into the ASU football stadium where there are announcers, big screens, balloons, people in the stands cheering, and it’s just really freaking amazing. I definitely felt a surge of energy that carried me over the finish line and I finished strong with a smile on my face.

What was my time you ask? 35:58! So I actually ran under 9 minute miles (the race is 4.2 miles long). What was my husband’s time? 35:59! Ha! Beat him!

After the race we took some pictures in the stadium and then made our way to the VIP tent for some light snacks. The rest of the day was pretty exciting as well. That afternoon we attended a pool party at our hotel and we had dinner and drinks with friends that evening. It was such a fun weekend that totally exceeded my expectations. And the best part? We were all there to honor an amazing man who gave up everything because he felt compelled to do more and serve his country in a time of war. Pat Tillman, you will not be forgotten.

Pat's Run Finish

Pat’s Run: Training Update II

I’m almost there! Next weekend is Pat’s Run in Tempe, Arizona. I’m actually getting pretty excited about it! My training has gone really well. I just finished a 4 mile run in 36 minutes this morning. I’m not going to complain about a 9 minute pace considering I am just NOT a runner. I actually hate running and I’m reminded of that every time I do it. But let’s face it; Pat Tillman is one inspirational guy.

To be honest, I actually missed my run this past Wednesday due to really bad weather, but I didn’t let that effect me. I pushed through this morning to hit my goal of 4 miles.  I’m going to do one more run this upcoming Wednesday and skip my usual Friday leg day. I have a difficult time running a decent pace when my running day immediately follows a leg day. My legs are just too heavy on that day. I’ll be traveling to Arizona on Friday anyways.

Wondering why I hate running so much? Well, my body just isn’t built for it and it doesn’t really contribute to my goals of improving body composition. It actually does the opposite. Are you asking “What do you mean your ‘body isn’t built for it’?” Well, Mike Boyle described it in a controversial blog back in 2007 and I’m inclined to agree with him. It’s a short read, in case you’re interested: Why (Most) Women Shouldn’t Run – Mike Boyle. (I couldn’t find the original posting, but this link will do.)

Pat’s Run, here I come! I’ll be sure to give you guys a rundown of how it went when I return. I’m sure there will be pics too!

Photo via Pat Tillman Foundation

Photo via Pat Tillman Foundation

Pat’s Run: Training Update

Well, I thought I’d give ya’ll a little update on my training for Pat’s Run. I’m pretty much back up to speed now. It’s been…what? A couple weeks now? I’m now running 3 miles at about a 9-9.5 minute pace. Call me a ‘Slow Poke’ if you dare…but I am just not a runner. Every time I run I’m reminded of why I hate doing it, but then I tell myself that I’m doing this for a good cause! (And it’ll soon be over…)

As for strength training, I’m currently doing a month of high volume training and it kinda sorta sucks. I did 65 squats yesterday…. Yes…65 squats. I was sweating like a beast and it took me forever to complete. Next Tuesday I’ll be doing 70 squats… I am not looking forward to it, but I must admit, it’s quite a challenge. Obviously my load isn’t quite as heavy as I might normally lift, but that’s okay, I’ve got tension on my side.

Pat’s Run

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.

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.

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.