Half-way through my senior year of high school I decided to run a marathon with Team In Training
. TNT is a part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which works to find a cure for blood-related cancers. Shortly thereafter, my friend Chris was diagnosed with Leukemia; I was honored to be "racing for the cure" at such a crucial time.
Although this was not originally meant to be the sole focus of my post, I thought that such a neat kid deserved some face time on my blog. Chris was a vibrant 16-year-old who loved Star Wars, Frank Sinatra, Disneyland and cream soda, to name a few. He was a great singer and quite a comedian! Though he put up a fantastic fight, after a bone marrow transplant and more than 6 consecutive months in the hospital, Chris went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What an inspiration he was to us and how joyful he must be in heaven RIGHT NOW! Praise the Lord!
The reason I began talking about that marathon is because somewhere along the line of training, my name found it's way onto a list for the National Runners and Walkers Health Study. (In no way did this mean that I was an accomplished runner, I promise.) It was/is just a study on the health of runners and walkers and I don't even know why I'm on it, but I am! Every year or two I receive something in the mail from them, either updating me on a few things or asking for me to update my exercise information. Lucky for me, every time I've had to fill something out I've been on a fairly regular exercise schedule - saving myself the tiniest bit of embarrassment.
Most recently I received a postcard informing me of a new website that the researchers had created to promote healthy activity. Initially I thought it was silly, but that was only before I had taken a closer look. This site, geared toward runners, walkers and cyclists, has a number of interactive tools you can use to get yourself off the couch and onto the pavement. Or the treadmill. Or the stationary bike. ANYWAY, you can record your mileage, choose an anonymous partner to "run" with, create teams of people to "compete", and sign up for email reminders to remind you of your workout schedule. Of course, this is all done by entering your mileage into the computer and competing virtually
. But my favorite part is this:
You can track your mileage as a virtual trip across the United States!
How cool is that??? You go online, enter your miles, and then a picture pops up of where you "are" on your virtual trip. I love it! There are pictures for every quarter mile of the course and each day you can make a little progress. The course runs from Yorktown, Virginia to Florence, Oregon. So far I'm on mile 12, which is apparently 1.08 miles from Williamsburg. See for yourself:
You can't see me, but I'm there. Probably resting up for the night in a hotel. Haha. But seriously, I think it's a cool thing. And here is the answer to the question you've been asking yourself - no, I don't care that it's going to take me years to get across the United States. It'll be a nice journey! Plus, I'm pretty much for
anything that gently encourages people (namely me) to be more active. As an added bonus, the study has no commercial interest in the site and has created it solely to help people in their quest for health. No ads, just fun.
So click here
and start your own journey across our great nation! There's no minimum requirement of miles per day or anything, so there's nothing to be afraid of. And don't forget to show me your pictures along the way!
Labels: health, marathon, runners