Sunday, October 31, 2010

13.1

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."

One year ago my family buried my little brother Trevor on a beautiful fall afternoon on October 31st 2009. Trevor is buried in my grandparents and Mothers hometown Eureka. It is the most beautiful and peaceful place I can think of. That day, week, and month was definetely the hardest time of my life. When I reflect on the day of Trevor's funeral I am overwhelmed by the amount of support my family had. I have such an amazing extended family that came from long distances in the drop of a hat to support and comfort my family. I feel so blessed to have such a strong and united family that would do anything for me.

Exactly one year after my brother was buried I accomplished a huge goal, I ran my first half marathon. I had wanted to run a half marathon for awhile however I truly never thought I could actually do it. I lacked the courage and the confidence to follow through with my dreams. I have learned a lot in the last year and gained so much strength and confidence in myself, however the most important lesson that Trevor's death taught me is that WHEN THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY. Life is so fragile and too short to sit around thinking about what you wish you would have done or what you want to aspire to become. It is the action that counts. I so strongly believe that with enough will, enough faith and enough courage anyone can accomplish anything they set their mind too.

(Julia totally caught big bird before the finish.)

So I DID IT!!! I ran a half marathon. It was challenging and it pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I was forced to dig deep within myself and rely on my emotions to carry me through to the end. My adrenaline carried my through the first 6 miles, and after the adrenaline high wore off I thought about Trevor. I reflected on the beautiful scenic Provo canyon and cool fall breeze and thought about how happy and proud of me my little brother must have been. Thinking of Trevor pushed me to do better than I ever thought I was physically or mentally capable of. As I approached the last mile a song came on my I-pod that reminds me of Trevor. Running into the crowd of people at the end tears came flowing from my eyes. I was overwhelmed with emotion and so proud of myself for sticking to my goals and pushing myself to the finish. My goal was to finish the half marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes and I finished in 1 hour 36 minutes and 20 seconds. I averaged a 7 minute 21 second mile pace. I am still in awe of how well I ran this race and know that my brother must have helped carry me to the finish.

My friend Julia ran the race with me as well of course. I am so glad I have her to run with because otherwise I know I would not have gone this far this quick with my running. Julia's goal was to finish the race in 2 hours 30 minutes and she finished in 2 hours 10 minutes. I cannot believe how well she did and I am so proud of her for pushing herself so hard and smoking her goal time.
Every single person that finished the half marathon accomplished a personal goal. Running really isn't about winning it is about pushing yourself and having the courage to pursue a dream.

Me and Julia after the race. WE DID IT!!! Since this was a halloween half marathon most people dressed up in costumes which made it a lot of fun. I would find myself making mental notes in my head to catch the cowboy or the cowgirl in front of me. This was such a fun first half marathon.


YEAH BABY!!! Seriously still in awe that we did so well. I am seriously so proud of both of us. It feels so rewarding to push yourself harder than you ever thought possible. Working hard in life is so worth it.

Me and my littlest fan James. I was so excited that my family and Brian were there to support me at the race. It means so much to me to see people supporting my dreams.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meet Jeffrey

JEFFREY was runner #6 on team DAAYNG and had one of the hardest legs of the entire 12 person group. He ran a total of 18.1 miles and averaged 7 minute 30 second miles the entire race. Not only did Jeffrey run his own 18.1 miles he also ran with his wife Diane on her night run to keep her company and help her with her pace. Yes......that is right Jeffrey ran a total of 23 miles over a 24 hour period. Jeffrey has ran multiple marathons and is way more experienced than myself and probably anyone on team DAAAYNG!
So why am I intrigued by JEFFREY? Jefferey has MS. Jeffrey cannot walk. But Jeffrey can run. Once he starts running he is a machine and he cannot stop. At the end of Jeffrey's legs we were always there to pick him up. You see when Jeffrey stops running he cannot stand. He either falls to the ground or keeps running. Jeffrey cannot walk up stairs, and he cannot walk well in general, but some how Jeffrey can run better than anyone I know. Everytime Jeffrey finished a leg I broke down in tears. He is truly inspiring to anyone who thinks they can't do something in life.
I did not get to know Jeffrey very well during our trip and I hope to hear his entire story someday. However in the short time I spent with Jeffrey he taught me an important life lesson. Jeffrey taught me that no matter what life deals us we must pick up the peices and keep going. Jeffrey taught himself to run against all odds, he truly is amazing. Now whenever I hit a wall with my running I think of Jeffrey and somehow I am able to keep going.
"The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do."


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Trevor


"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

This picture was taken in July, the summer before Trevor passed away. In September the month before Trevor's death T and I started a weight loss competition. I mostly did this to motivate him. (Trevor gained a lot of weight in his last years on earth due to the anti-psychotic drugs he was prescribed.) And my weight had fluctuated from 71lbs (not healthy and not recommended) to 145lbs since my twenties, so I was looking to achieve a normal weight for once in my life. Anyway Trevor was winning the competition by a long shot at the time of his death. After he passed away I was determined to keep up my end of the deal. Trevor's death gave me the courage I needed to start running and to pursue a life long dream. I have lost 18 pounds since Trevor passed away and feel better than ever. Since Trevor's death I have ran five 5ks, two 10ks, and a 195 mile Ragnar relay.

This Saturday one year after Trevor's death I will run a half marathon in memory of my little brother.

Thank you Trevor for helping me find the strength within myself to pursue something that I love.

"Running is 90% mental and 10% physical."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to My Blog

I am starting this blog mostly for myself to write about my experiences and how they relate to loosing my little brother. I am hoping to inspire others to pursue there dreams and pick up a hobby they never thought they would be good at. My running is my sanity and I love it. I love learning from the experienced runners around me and hope to share useful tips and advice for all beginning runners and anyone interested in running.

My Running Story: Growing up I hated running (really I did). I was that girl in gym class that was huffing and puffing to finish the required 13 minutes mile. You can even ask my gym coach Mrs. Squire. I am so jealous of all of the runners I meet that have ran their entire lifes, they are truly inspiring. Anyway, my entire life I HATED to run. So what changed? On October 27th 2009 my life turned upside down. My best friend in the entire world, the only person I felt like I could truly relate to was killed in a tragic car accident. After Trevor passed away I needed an outlet, I needed something to do to keep my mind occupied. Trevor has now been gone for one year. This last year has been hard, and I have learned many important life lessons. I am dedicating this blog to my baby brother and hope that anyone following can gain some sort of inspiration. I have so many exciting stories to share and I am excited to get started.