28 February 2008

Which wolf wins?

Interesting story that can apply to all aspects of life.

One evening an old Cherokee told his granddaughter about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My child, the battle is between 2 wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy,sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The granddaughter thought about it for a minute and then asked her grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

26 February 2008

Walk in the Light of Your Fire

I was reading the Book of Mormon on Sunday morning and came across a passage in 2 Nephi that has been on my mind quite a bit the past couple of days. It's also found in Isaiah 50:11. The scripture reads, "Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled." I definitely have not wrapped my mind around this passage, but I would like to share some of my very disorganized thoughts.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was the idea of passion. It seems like maybe we have a responsibility to live our lives passionately. We also may have the responsibility (at least in my mind) to share our passion with others. In my mind, the first step is to discover my own fire and passion. Those of you who know me know that I LOVE to race. I would rather race than train any day, which is why my race schedule is always so packed.

The next step or thing that comes to mind is the idea that we should surround ourselves with sparks. I would like to think this means that I should surround myself with people who have similar passions or fire as I do. Part of the reason that I love racing is the excitement and energy that exists at the starting line. All of these athletes and competitors are together for this moment with the exact same purpose. We've all trained (or not) to get to this point and our goals are to cross the finish line. I draw so much energy from that moment and from all of the moments throughout the race when I see each athlete (or at least the ones I pass or that pass me) struggle through, pushing forward towards the finish line. Those events and experiences and people are sparks for me.

I also think that we have a responsibility to generate our own sparks. For me, that means constantly seeking new challenges for myself. Those of you who know me know that I am always looking for the next race to challenge me, whether its the Goofy Challenge which is so much fun or completing an Ironman triathlon. I'll share a new one with you...I think I want to do Ironman Lanzarote, which according to some is one of the hardest courses out there. Anyways, I challenge myself to generate sparks and those sparks keep me motivated and going, especially on days when its 11 degrees and I need to get a 10 mile run in.

The last phrase of the passage says, "walk in the light of your fire." This is the part that has stuck with me. We have a responsibility to share our passions with others. By generating and building our sparks, our fire becomes bigger and those who are around us notice it, and if we're lucky, want to join us. Sometimes they use our sparks to generate their fires. Since I've started running marathons, I've had the opportunity to influence many others to participate in endurance activities. Most of you know that I work with Team in Training as a mentor and I have the opportunity to help participants fund raise and complete endurance events. I get to share my passion with them weekly and maybe it helps them get closer to completing their goals. My mom has started running because I talked her into going to Disney World and completing the 1/2 marathon. Now she's completed the Goofy Challenge. My sister in law started running and also completed the 1/2 marathon at Disney World. My dad has started doing cycling endurance events and is going to complete his first century ride on June 14. I have several students who have completed and are training for endurance events because they were inspired by me. It amazes me to think of the people that I've influenced just because of my passion for racing. Who knew that racing would become a Hansen family affair?

All of this leaves me with the question: How can I do a better job of walking in the light of my fire and in the sparks that I have kindled? What can I do to build up my fire? How can I generate more sparks? What do I need to do to enjoy my passion more fully? These will definitely require more thought on my part, but I guess life is for thinking about and figuring this stuff out. I definitely have some new things to consider while I'm swimming, riding, or running.

25 February 2008

Peaceful Warrior

I finally got around to watching "Peaceful Warrior" which came highly recommended from a good friend of mine. It's a great inspirational film and there were several one liners that were pretty deep and thought provoking. I don't have a ton of time right now to comment on them, but I did want to mention a few of them.

- Knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Wisdom is doing it.
- Are you happy?
- You can live a lifetime without ever being awake.
- Stop gathering information outside of yourself and start gather information from inside yourself.
- You need to start asking better questions.
- People are not their thoughts.
- Take out the trash. Learn to throw out what you don't need up here.
- Devote 100% to the experience you're having.
- What do you do if you can't do what you were born for?
- Fear is the root of all evil.
- The people that are the hardest to love are the ones that need it most.
- There's never nothing going on.
- There are no ordinary moments.
- When you feel fear, use the sword.
- A warrior does not give up what he loves. He finds the love in what he does.
- There is no stopping or starting, only doing.
- The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.
- Nothing stays the same.
- Accept that you can't control...

19 February 2008

The Last Lecture

I don't have much time to write, but I wanted to throw this out there. I came across this and thought I would share. It's a segment from Oprah about a professor's last lecture. Definitely something to think about...

13 February 2008

Why I Run...

One of my colleagues approached me other day to make sure that I knew that he thought I was NUTS! Apparently, he had heard about my Goofy weekend and wanted me to know how he felt about that sort of apparently crazy endeavor. He said, "Why would you do something like that?" Of course, that got me thinking about why I run. So, here's my list...

-to clear my mind.
-to reenergize my body.
-to challenge myself mentally and physically.
-to get medals!
-to further the cause of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
-to engage my spirit.
-to make new friends.
-because its fun.
-to compete with myself and watch my improvements.
-to inspire and encourage others.
-because its a great way to travel and see the world.
-because running makes me feel so incredibly good.
-because I can.

06 February 2008

2008 Goofy Challenge Race Report

Alright, I think I have a good hour to work on some sort of RR, so here goes. My family and I arrived in Orlando on Wednesday and stayed in a gorgeous house 10 min from the parks. It had a pool, hot tub, grill, 2 master bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and was awesome. The group consisted of me, my parents, my brother, his wife, my nephew John, my niece Kate, my sister, my nephews Justin and Jacob . On Thursday, we all went to Animal Kingdom and it was a hit. My nephews loved the safari and all of the animals and stuff. My dad, SIL, brother and I went on the Everest roller coaster which was truly awesome! I'm definitely going to do that one again.

On Friday morning, I woke up at 5am and went with my mom back to Animal Kingdom for the 5K. My mom was just there to start waking up early. There were corrals for 7 and under, 7-9, 9-11, 11-13, 13-15 min mile pace. I got in the 9-11 at the front thinking I would be in the right place. I was planning on running under 30 minutes. If you haven't run at Disney, you need to know that people dress up for the races. I had my Minnie ears on, but next to me were 3 pink flamingos. Three guys had put flamingo hats, pink shirts, pink shorts, and giant pink tutus. It was hysterical! The race started and there were TONS of walkers up front. I was furious! I have absolutely no problem with walkers and I'm so glad that there are walker friendly races. I do, however, have a problem with walkers being in the 7-9 min mile pace corral. My first mile was 10:36 and it was because I spent so much time walking behind these packs of walkers in the front of the crowd. I finally got around them and mile 2 (which was actually in Animal Kingdom) was 9:3? and I was feeling good. Mile 3 was past Everest and then back out into the parking lot and was also 9:3?. I finished in 30:30, which was totally fine. The medal was cool. It's plastic, square, and has Mickey in safari clothes on it. It says something about the Family Safari 5K run. I will definitely do it again.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I woke up at 3:15am and left for Epcot to be at the start at 4am. My brother and dad volunteered at one of the water stops, so they left for Magic Kingdom at about the same time. We got to the start and checked in my gear bag and then started standing in line for the porta-johns. We then started the 1 mile walk to the start. The weather was gorgeous and I was looking forward to racing. We were in wave 3 and since I was running with my mom we were in Corral F which was almost to the back. For whatever reason (lack of confidence I think) she put an expected finishing time of 3 hours, so we were further back than we should have been. We crossed the start at around 6:30am and were off. You run around the roads for the first 3 miles and then between mile 4 and 5 you head into Magic Kingdom. We passed my dad and brother at their water stop and of course, my dad through water on me (he thinks he's funny). We ran through the castle which is always cool and then headed off to the roads again and then around mile 12 we were back in Epcot. The finish is at one of the Epcot parking lots. We finished in 2:37 and my mom's goal was under 2:45, so we beat that. The flamingos were running again and there was also several princesses, Mr. Incredible, lots of Goofys, Minnie and Mickey, Donald Duck, pirates, etc. The medal was a Donald Duck medal and looks like last year's except for the year had changed.

I forgot to mention that on Friday, my 2 nephews raced in the kids races and got some really cool medals with Mickey on them. The races were held at Wide World of Sports and my dad ran with Justin and my brother ran with John. I think they did the 100 yard dash. They also had a diaper dash, but Kate and Jacob didn't sign up.

On Sunday morning, my mom and I woke up at 3:15am again, along with my dad who volunteered at mile 16. My mom and I headed off to Epcot to be at the start by 4am and my dad drove to Magic Kingdom. We got to the start, checked in our gear bags and I ran into all of my Team in Training friends. I've been working with TNT for the past few years and was actually a mentor for this team, so it was cool to see all of them there. My mom and I stood in the porta-potty lines again and then walked off to the start, where we were in the very last corral. We crossed the start at about 6:10am and then headed off on the course. Corrals ABC go one way and DEFGH go a different way and at about mile 3 they meet up in Epcot. My mom and I stopped at the portapotty around mile 2 and had to wait in line for 10+ minutes for a really carppy porta potty, which was frustrating, because about 150 yds down the road was a whole row of porta potties. Anyways, we ran through Epcot in the dark and they had it all lit up and it was gorgeous. Then we headed off to Magic Kingdom. We ran through the castle between miles 10-11. Miles 12-16 were long because you're between parks, but there were alot of people out on the golf courses cheering us on, which was awesome! We also ran into my dad at mile 16. Miles 16-18 are through Animal Kingdom, which I had totally forgotten from last year. (Yes, I did the Goofy challenge last year.) I told my mom to draw on the energy because she was starting to struggle.

Miles 18-22 were really tough because the sun came out and I was dripping. I wore a running skirt and singlet and I was soaked clear through. I actually made a note to self to skip the running skirt on hot and humid days because it was so heavy with sweat that I had to find a safety pin to hold it up. I didn't want to lose my pants on the course. Miles 22-24 are through MGM which is fun. We saw lots of characters (Woody, Buzz Lightyear, BullsEye, etc) and the crowds were awesome. It's also nice to know that you're almost done. They did hand out candy bars at mile 23, but I didn't take one. The thought of trying to eat a Butterfinger while running didn't really work for me. Miles 24-25 are along the water and were awesome. My mom started to struggle at this point, but the crowds kept her going. Mile 25-26 are through Epcot and it was cool to see it during the day time. We finished at 6:02 and my mom was bummed because she was hoping to be under 6. If we wouldn't have stopped at the portapotties we would have been good, but oh well. We picked up our 15th anniversary Mickey marathon medal which was SWEET. It's huge and is a black Mickey head with some stuff on it (I think Mickey Mouse) and a black and gold XV hanging from the bottom of it. Then, we headed to the Goofy tent to pick up the Goofy medal which rocks! It's different than last years and is actually a gold Goofy head with the year hanging from the bottom of it. I took Gu every 4 miles which seemed to work for me. I had a couple of oranges around mile 21. I kept my sponge from mile 22 through the rest of the race which helped with heat. I learned to not wear a running skirt when its really humid because they're too heavy. (It was even tech fabric.) Oh, and I signed up to do all of this again next year! :)

Yep, you read that right. I'm headed back to Disney World for another Goofy challenge in January 09. I love the races. I love the courses. I love the parks. There are tons of characters along the course that you can stop and take your picture with. I saw -Mary Poppins and Bert -Rafiki (I forgot to mention that they bring animals out on the course at Animal Kingdom) -Timon -Woody, Jessie, BullsEye, Buzz Lightyear, the little green aliens -The Disney Villains -The princesses -Tarzan and Jane -Ariel and Prince Eric -Winnie the Pooh and Tigger -Alice, Tweedle Dee and Dum etc. So, if anyone would like to join me, I'll be there. I think my mom is just going to do the 1/2 marathon, but she did have a good time and Sunday was only her 2nd mary ever. I hope you all enjoyed reading this! AJ

Here are some links to check out the photos!

2008 Racing Schedule

Well, I've decided to start a blog with hopes that I may do a better job keeping in touch with people and letting them know what's going on with me. I figured I would start off with my 2008 Racing Schedule, so here goes...

January 11, 2008 - Walt Disney World 5K Family Safari
January 12, 2008 - Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon
January 13, 2008 - Walt Disney World Marathon
April 6, 2008 - St. Louis 1/2 Marathon
May 3, 2008 - Indy Mini Marathon
May 17, 2008 - Ogden 1/2 Marathon
May 31, 2008 - Shark Attack Sprint Triathlon
June 14, 2008 - Battle at Midway Olympic Triathlon
June 21, 2008 - Cache Valley Classic Triathlon
July 12, 2008 - Cache Valley Super Sprint
August 9, 2008 - Railsplitter Triathlon
August 23, 2008 - The Great Illini 1/2 IM
October 4, 2008 - St. George Marathon

I've already registered for the Goofy Challenge in 2009, so I'll throw those races on there as well.

January 9, 2009 - Walt Disney World 5K Family Safari
January 10, 2009 - Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon
January 11, 2009 - Walt Disney World Marathon
March 8, 2009 - Walt Disney World Princess 1/2 Marathon
April 4, 2009 - Lincoln's 1/2 Marathon
May 2, 2009 - Indy Mini Marathon