Monday, July 2, 2007


Phoenix Summit Challenge 2006 - Camelback Mt.

As an ambitious individual, I find it much easier to find training motivation if I have something that I am working towards. During my one year complete hiatus from working out (freshman year in college), I was struggling with self identity and the complete lack of structure in the college life style and therefore just stopped working out. I went from being a dedicated trackster to an college preppie who worried more about "where are we partying tonight" than to things like good mental and physical health. Towards the end of the year, I had a sudden and blazing realization about my self's worth due to a severe hangover and the internal hate that usually accompanies it. I was becoming one of the lost generation, the hoards and masses of people who treat life as if its their American born right without regard for money, education, suffering of others, and anything not associated with their happiness. From my soapbox vantage point, I realize that college is a great time in ones life, for the exact reasons above, however, in the formulative time known as your early 20s, let this time not be the path that defines the rest of your life. I had spend my entire pre-college years involved in organized sports, and suddenly when I was on my own for the first time in my life, I was failing miserably in this arena.

I was determined to join some sort of activity, and after searching the activities available at my school, I discovered rugby. I dragged my roommate to a match in the rain that was going on that weekend and fell in love. Here was a sport with running, endurance, ball to hand coordination, and physical contact that was etched with toughness and heart in every aspect of the game. I fell in love. That day I decided I was going to play rugby when the next season began and I found my new motivation. It drove my workouts all summer and suddenly, I was able to transform that softness into someone who was willing to throw myself in front of a moving human object who may be (and usually was) larger and stronger than me. Rugby gave me back my ambition and some of my best college memories. And none of them have anything to do with partying (okay some of them do) or other typical college vices.

So where is this going? Well in the past year, I am leaning more and more to hanging up the rugby cleats (a serious knee injury will do that to you). Which leaves me with some motivation holes to fill. This is exciting, I get to try new things. So here is the mental list of things that I have been secretly wasting time researching online.

1. Adventure racing has been fascinating to me for some time and I have spend a lot of time looking at different races and reading accounts of races, and generally just fantasizing about doing one. Well I finally just signed up for one, here it is: the Extreme Heat Race #1 on July 14th sponsored by Sierra Adventure Sports. The best part is that I talked my lovely fiance into being my partner "as long as I don't yell at him". So we get to spend time together while fulfilling one of my dreams. Its a short race with only 2 main events: trekking and adventure tubing. I can't wait.

2. Why sign up for only one AR when you can sign up for two? I plan on doing the next race in this series, the Extreme Heat Race #2 on August 8th which consists of trail running and mountain biking. This is great because it will be officially my first biking race of any kind. Which is good, since it leads me to...

3. Some sort of biking race. I am falling into the cycling trap that I read about on others blogs, where biking just seems so much more fun than most other events. Like running. I want to do some easy race (do these exist?) so that next year I can kill myself doing something way above my level, like a 100 mile race or a 24 hr race or some sort of crazy event like that.

4. The Phoenix 7 Summit Challenge on November 10th. Seven mountains, 22.5 miles, 6k feet elevation, 10 hrs all in 90 degree weather. I did this last year, it was awesome and I can't wait to do it again. And to drag along some new unsuspecting people to... Challenge your heart. Challenge your mind. Challenge your self. Challenge Phoenix.

5. Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon on January 13, 2008. I have never run a marathon and it just seems like something I should do. I actually have no endurance (I was a sprinter in track) and usually want to run into oncoming traffic after 4 miles so this may be the biggest challenge of this list. I want to do the whole marathon, but even if I have gained 10 pounds eating cookies over Christmas and haven't ran for a month, I will sign up for the 1/2 just to punish myself.

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