Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge - Make a Wish

My lovely mother nominated me to dump a bucket of ice water on my head or donate to ALS research. Fortunately, I do not know anyone directly suffering with ALS. I do however, know two amazing young girls full of life who are affected by Cerebral Palsy. These two little ladies are my cousins who embrace the challenges they're handed with ferocious positivity.

In the beginning of the year my cousins were given the opportunity to visit Disney World, something my aunt and uncle thought they were never going to be able to do. After seeing the photos and hearing about the trip I knew I needed to be a part of giving to a family in need. The ice bucket challenge has reminded me of this thought. So today, on behalf of Eliza and Gwen Gort, I am donating to Make-A-Wish Michigan. They gave my cousins the chance to experience a family vacation unlike any other, I am very grateful of this organization.

For more information, visit michigan.wish.org.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Couch to 5K

Nine weeks ago I decided to try the impossible and start running.  Well ... walking and something like running ... OK more walking than running, really.

Nonetheless, after a week of trotting around the neighborhood, Andy decided to join me and my courageous want of being a runner.  I am not ready for a race, but I do feel great and can see improvement every time my sneakers hit the pavement.  This hobby truly has allowed me to surprise myself by accomplishing things that I honestly thought were impossible.

Running isn't hard.  The idea of moving in a fast motion placing each leg in front of the other for a long period of time is quite simple actually.  The part that is hard is getting into shape.  I thought I was in shape.  I participated in a bootcamp and hiked often when living in Santa Fe.  I continued my yoga practice and subscribed to Daily Burn when I moved to Wisconsin.  I truly thought I was in "good enough" shape to start running.  I was sadly mistaken.

The key is to start slow.  I downloaded an app that's guided me through the beginning stages of running.  It breaks nine weeks down into intervals, three days a week.  I have repeated multiple weeks knowing my body wasn't ready to progress.  I have turned a nine week program into twelve, but I am ok with that.  I am happy to announce that I can run a total of ten minutes without stopping!

The first couple weeks were the hardest.  First, I had the worst shin splints in the world and my calves felt like they were on fire.  I had to stop in between intervals and stand on the edge of street curbs while balancing on Andy's arms to stretch out those muscles.  Second, I woke myself up one night with the awfully dreaded runner's knee.  A pain I thought would never go away.  I started building more exercises to my warm ups before each time I ran and it began to slowly decrease.  Lastly, just last week, I was told by the running shoe store associate I was the worst runner she's ever seen due to massive supination.  I am apparently one of few people who runs and walks on the very outside edges of their feet.  She was amazed that I've been trucking through this new adventure, put me in new running shoes, and wished me luck.

My goal is to run a 5K.  The last time I ran I reach 1.84 miles in 23 minutes.  I have a long road ahead of me (no pun intended), but am excited and ready to see what more I can do!