runfreeforever

Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

Amen, Kara!

Kara Goucher is one of my biggest inspirations…and it makes me feel a teeny bit better about myself that while I couldn’t even keep up with her for 100 meters, at least she still considers me a runner!!

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4x400m inspiration

I love the 4x4m relay. It is definitely one of my favorites both to watch and to run. At track meets, it’s always the last event, so everyone on every team always crowds the track, cheering. It’s one of the most intense, competitive, high energy races of the night. And a few days ago as I was watching the olympic 4×4 from this summer, I was so inspired. Just look at those girls’ abs. I want that! They’re so strong, so fit, so fast. And I know I’m not fat or out of shape or anything like that, but I certainly don’t look like they do and I most certainly can’t run like they do!

I’m running the 4×8 and the 4×4 at my meet today. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull out any crazy 46-second splits for my 400, but even under a 66 will make me happy! And my 4×8 team is currently ranked 19th in the state, and we need to be in the top 16 to qualify for the statewide meet next week. I want it so badly! Today and thursday are my team’s last chances. We need to drop at least 10 seconds from our time to qualify. That’s gonna be tough. But we’re tough. We can do it if we really push ourselves. If only we could be like those Olympic athletes who make it look so effortless!

I’ll keep you posted (pun intended 🙂 ) on how tonight’s meet turns out!! 🙂

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Inspiration from Dr. Seuss

Feeling down? Need some inspiration? It’s surprising how much advice Dr. Seuss can give!!

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Run With No Regrets (attempt #3)

I have no idea what is wrong with wordpress, but this is the third time that I have written a blog along these lines. The previous two posted as blank posts with nothing but some tags and a title. And then since I still haven’t been able to say what I wanted to say, I’ve gotta rewrite it YET AGAIN. UGHH!!! I am so frustrated with wordpress! If wordpress had a face, I’d like to punch it. If it was a small animal I’d have it get eaten by a shark. Or a starving lion. Does anyone else have this problem???? This is ridiculous!!!!!!

Sorry. Anyways.

This past week we finally had our first and second outdoor track meets on Thursday and Saturday! And I set new PR’s at both of them!! 🙂 Getting a PR is the best part of running in my mind. I mean it’s always nice to place well, but I am always the most satisfied and excited about my races when I get a PR and beat my old times!

On Thursday I ran the 4x800m relay and the 800m stretch of the distance medley (two 200m legs, a 400, and an 800). I ran the first leg of the 4×800 in 2:32, so I got a PR by three seconds from our indoor meet. There were only two races between the 800 and the distance medley, so I had very little time to recover. I let myself think negatively rather than positively, and I let myself lose sight of my goals. I ended up running the second 800 in an awful time of 2:40-something, and I was very unhappy with it. I know that I didn’t try my hardest and I could’ve and should’ve been able to run it so much faster.

On Saturday, I ran the 4×8 again. I ran it in 2:35, which was slower than I had hoped for but not unbearable. It was really windy coming down the front straightaway which made it especially hard when I was trying to finish strong. My second event was the 800m run, over two hours later. I love having plenty of time to relax and recover so I’m not rushed between events. If only that happened every time!! I kept my thoughts positive and I stayed motivated between events. I was mentally prepared to give it everything in that second 800. I started in one of the outside lanes, which is good so I didn’t get boxed in at the start. I felt good and strong throughout the entire race. Even in the middle to end, when I usually start thinking that I want to give up, all I could think was “No regrets. Have no regrets. Stay tall. I am strong. I can do this. No regrets. No regrets. No regrets.” I finished in 8th place, and without even knowing my time I could tell that I had given it my all and that I’d had an amazing race. I ran a 2:30! I got a new PR by two more seconds!! I only hope that I can keep up this progress and keep getting more PR’s!! 🙂

I just gotta stay positive. I can’t start doubting myself. I can’t give up before I’ve even started. I can’t let myself settle for less than what I’m really capable of. I need to stay strong, tall, relaxed, and fast. I can do it. I know that I can. I need to run without regrets!

run with no regrets

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Run With No Regrets

Sorry guys! I tried posting this last night and then when I tried to publish it, it completely deleted. I have no idea why. I had saved it and everything, and then it all disappeared without warning. I am not very happy with WordPress right now!!

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Just Drew It

I just wanted to share a huge inspiration in my life, Drew Wall, a sophomore at my school who passed away a few weeks ago on November 26 after a five-year battle with cancer. He went to my school and I didn’t really know him personally, but I had heard a lot about him. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 at the age of eleven. He went through chemo, a leg amputation, and much more with more optimism and positivity than I think I ever could have. Before I wrote this blog, I decided I should check out his caringbridge website and other articles on this amazing young man. I bawled. I cried my eyes out until I was shaking and had no more tears left to cry. I wasn’t necessarily just crying over his loss of life, but more because of how much life he did live while he had the chance. It was convicting. I’ve learned so much from Drew. He has inspired me to appreciate life more, to enjoy it, make the most of it, and to appreciate the lives of the people I know and love. Drew didn’t let anything stop him from doing everything he wanted to do. He was on the golf team, he was a brown belt in taekwando, and he made sure to not only keep up with his schoolwork but to get extraordinary grades, even when he was missing a lot of school because of his health.

I want to live like that. I want my passion for life to show through the way I treat my family and friends, the way I do my homework, the way I give my all in every run, the energy I have in show choir, and everything else I do. I want to make the most of my life. You know the saying YOLO – You Only Live Once. It’s so overused and cliché, but so true. I don’t think it  gives me any excuses to try crazy or dangerous things, like the way some people use the acronym. On the contrast, I do believe it takes away any and every lame excuse I have to not give 110% in everything I do or to not keep a positive outlook on life no matter what. If Drew could make the most of every situation life threw at him, why can’t we all? If we all could only have half the faith, hope, and passion for life that Drew had, the world would be such a better place.

It’s amazing how comforting it is to know that with Christ, I will always overcome every obstacle somehow or someway. I don’t know what that way is, but I know it will be the best because it’s part of God’s perfect plan.
~ Living Strong by Joshua 1:9, Drew Wall

Drew, you inspired so many through your life and your optimism. Thank you.

#justdrewit

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Appreciating what the holiday season is truly about

I know Thanksgiving is over, and we’ve all traded our gratitude with visions of sugar plums, Christmas presents, hot deals, and Santa Claus. Ads and commercials bombard us with the latest things we should buy, the great new phone we can’t live without, and that great new car that wouldn’t be a bad addition as well. Besides, you won’t have to pay anything until 2013, and by then the world will have ended anyway!

I was just watching The Grinch, one of my favorite Christmas movies. The Grinch thought that Christmas was all about the presents and he thought that he could take away the spirit of the season by stealing the Christmas presents. To his surprise, the townspeople were just as happy, thankful, and cheerful even though they were missing what he thought made Christmas Christmas. But look around at our society today. Why aren’t stores advertising thankfulness for what we do have? Why aren’t they advertising the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of the baby Jesus? Why aren’t they advertising spending quality time with family and loved ones? Why aren’t they advertising giving from the heart – giving heartfelt gifts that will be truly appreciated by those who receive them? It disappoints me. Even if you don’t believe in celebrating Jesus’ birthday, wouldn’t you agree that the holiday season is to celebrate and appreciate family, love, and every other blessing we already have? Would we still be positive and cheerful this holiday season even if the Grinch stole our Christmas presents? Or if we had a stressful day at school or work? Or even if our turkey is too dry and the mashed potatoes a bit too cold? Honestly, I doubt that I would. All too often I forget to thank God for the blessings I have, for my family, for my friends, for my school, for my warm house, for never having to worry where I’ll get my next meal. Why am I so entranced by the ads in the newspapers, advertising all the things I don’t have but supposedly need?

My church is participating in a project called Advent Conspiracy. It’s a movement to give more of your time rather than worthless presents, to worship and celebrate Jesus, and to donate the money you would have spent on one of those presents to building wells for clean drinking water in areas of the world where such necessities of life aren’t yet accessible. Just think about it. While you’re (either out loud or mentally) complaining about your sub-par pumpkin pie, there are millions in the world who don’t even have clean, safe water to drink. It’s hard to wrap your mind around, isn’t it? We see the pictures on TV of the starving and the hungry, but then we go about our days and forget about it. We don’t realize how real their need is. We don’t realize how much we take for granted. Just think about how thirsty you get on those long, hot runs, or how thirsty you are at the end of a race. What if you didn’t have clean drinking water freely accessible? I never think twice about the water I drink from bottles, drinking fountains, from my own sink. We don’t realize how much we truly have when so many others have so little.

Here’s the Advent Conspiracy video. I challenge you to at least think about it. Spend a minute thinking of how thankful you are for family, friends, food, Christmas, and water, and try to make the most of this Christmas season, remembering the real reason behind why we celebrate.

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