Saturday, April 2, 2011

Running for Cancer Research....

In an attempt to motivate myself to accomplish day 3 of my running program (well 80% walking and 20% running) for the week, I'm going to focus on the cause. My husband and I signed up for the Shore Run 10K taking place on June 12. The proceeds benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and more specifically, immunotherapy. Their researchers have earned worldwide recognition for developing successful treatments that harness the immune system to fight cancer, much as it naturally would for any other infection. Read more about their research here.

I had not personally experienced the devastation that is CANCER, until I signed up to volunteer for a 10-day adventure camp for kids (ages 10-18) that were going through it. It was one of the best experiences of my life getting to see each of them connect, grow, experience new things and conquer fears. The hardest part was learning that one of the campers passed away shortly afterwards. His zest for life was contagious and he was wise beyond his years. Everyone at camp was immediately drawn to him whether it was his smile, his witty comebacks or his knowledge; he touched everyone in a big way. He is one of the reasons I am going to run this race. At a talent show, he shared this poem with us and I would like to share it with you.

Through dying eyes, it's a new world I see.
The colors are so much brighter.
The little things grow bigger day by day
And burdens grow even lighter.

As times grow shorter, you'd think I'd grow sadder
But it makes me cherish everything more.
And with each passing day, it's easier to say
Live this one like never before.

And as sadness looms, I grow in faith.
As I trust in God for safety
this situation is out of my hands
And I know that he will guide me.

At a passing glance, there's nothing to me
but there's more than meets the eye.
I see the world in a much different view
Than the average person passing by

And I wish everyone could see the world
through the eye of a dying man
because maybe, just maybe
people would live and see the world like I can.

Dane has a much more personal experience with cancer. His Grandma Dorothy, Grandpa Henry and Grandpa Duane were all diagnosed and lost their battles with cancer. It is an aggressive disease that takes the lives of many no matter their race, sex, status, wealth, age or religion....cancer is blind and spontaneous. There is no rhyme or reason and for this, we are running to raise money to help fund the research for a cure.

Visit our personal web page to make your tax-deductible donation today!

When you sign up for a race and do not must train. I purchased an app for my I-pod called 'Couch to 10K' for beginner runners. It is a 13-week run/walk program that starts beginners out slowly and safely. Believe me, after being a slacker for a while, I need to start off slow. The first few weeks range from 50-60 minute workouts but only include 10-15 minutes of running. The length of the running steadily increases with each workout, until you are able to run 50-65 minutes straight. I have tried running on multiple occasions, but usually give up for one reason or another. The good thing about this program is that you only have to commit to three days of training per week, which is very reasonable.  Now I just need to make the commitment.

A typical concern for non-runners, me included, is usually the effects on their joints. According to Dr. James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, "Aerobic exercise improves most body functions--including joint health." When we exercise, the cartilage in our joints compresses and expands. This provides oxygen and flushes out waste products to keep our cartilage cells healthy. Without exercise, our cartilage cells get "weak and sick" in addition to other parts of our bodies. Whether you want to try running or prefer to dance in a Zumba class, get out there and shake your groove thang! Keep your body moving and nourish it with the healthy foods and plenty of fluids. We may not have control over every aspect of our health but getting exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a wholesome diet plays a large role in disease prevention. Make a commitment TODAY! You are worth it!

Positive vibes... I must go run!

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