Tag Archives: training

The Beauty of Sports

The inch long scar on my left calf from a rough game of seaweed wars. The two off white circles on my left index finger from playing defense at a Cal lacrosse camp. The ones on my palms that can only be seen when it’s cold from falling on a run home. The three on my left forearm from that cigarette butt. The one in my belly button from my emergency appendectomy. The four straight lines on my thigh from falling through a rotten deck on the Oregon coast. The countless ones around my ankles from sloppy rushed shaving jobs. My fractured eardrum from diving into our California swimming pool, not noticing my sister and her surprisingly hard head in the way. The fifteen or so overlapping scars on my knees from turf burns, hiking, and falling purely out of clumsiness. The one on my left foot from a beer bottle the summer before my sophomore year of college. My two knotted bumps on my ankles that have been sprained for almost four years. And my meniscus that is now missing in my right knee; if I don’t crack it to move the bone every thirty minutes or so it locks up.

Our skeletal muscle is the largest single organ of the human body and accounts for nearly 50% of the body’s weight. We put this organ through some of the toughest challenges. We can feel our ATP pumping through our body, replenishing tired muscles. Muscles work through an anaerobic and aerobic cycle. When we are sprinting up and down, digging into the grass to ask for the ball, we switch into our anaerobic cycle. When this begins our oxygen flow to our muscles is cut off, causing us to heave, grip our thighs for that extra gulp, and eventually get those aching muscles that make even walking to the bathroom a challenge. We breathe in, and the oxygen is distributed through our blood into the capillaries and cells. Oxygen would be toxic to our body if we didn’t have specialized organelles to put it to use, instantly throwing other atoms on it to make oxygen in our body useful. What makes a body push through everything? How have we been trained to fight through pain, add stories to our injuries, and still be on the playing field fighting a war with our own joints?

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13.1 Miles Complete

Photo Cred: Rachel Bellamy

*Actual RACE PHOTOS to come!!

The past couple of years, half marathons have been events I sign up for months and months in advance, giving me time to train and prepare for the long haul. The Bellingham Bay Half Marathon couldn’t have been on a better day. It was a typical Northwest gloomy morning, the kind of morning you curl up in that old favorite sweatshirt, make a pot of coffee, and read a good book- or wake up and go for a (hellish long) run. Jessie and I met up near our old High Street house and marched down to the Bagelry for coffee and some good ol’ carbo-load, we watched as people in their trendy spandex and runners walked towards the starting line just a block away. “Uh-uh”, Jessie shook her head and rolled her eyes at me. “Never, ever wear your race shirt on race day, it’s like wearing your concert t shirt at a concert.” Three people ahead of us in line, and there she was: a woman sporting her freshly purchased shirt- yikes. Mental note everyone, wear an old marathon t shirt/half marathon- you look like a pro this way, even if it did cost you two bucks at Value Village.

So, the first 8 miles we were cookin’, hoping cones, singing songs aloud and passing people left and right. Mile 9- we passed the finish line on our way to complete the last 4 miles. The last 2 mile stretch was something I was not prepared for, it was mentally exhausting, my knees were about to cave, and I was seeing spots. But alas, the finish line came into sight and it was just about the most rewarding feeling to stop moving my feet and to see all of my lovely friends standing in the rain to cheer me on. It’s a harsh reality, when you find yourself using any free time you have to sleep or eat a meal. Working so much can be exhausting, but now I just have to kick myself in gear and quit hitting the snooze button. I can handle getting up an hour early and going for a jog, I just have to pull myself out of my down comforter coma and suck it up.

Mustaches were purchased, and margaritas were sipped on in celebration. Looking forward to the next half.

Thank you Jessie, Peter, Schu, Amy, Jamie, and Rachel!

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