It's become my new routine, every day, I run. In Central Park, home on the tree-lined streets of New Jersey, and, if I'm on assignment, on the beaches of the Bahamas. When Lance Armstrong says run, you do.
When I first met Lance and he invited me to be part of his Live Strong NYC Marathon 2008 team to raise money for cancer research and awareness, I never knew just how difficult, how challenging and how much of a commitment it would be. But since Lance and his incredible team of trainers at Carmichael Training Systems in Colorado Springs have taken an interest in my training and in turn, taken me under their well muscled wings, I don't think about it, I do it.
Under Lance's orders, I started my training about a month ago. Every day, I'd run for about an hour. What started as a huffing and puffing three mile run has now increased to a fairly smooth 4 to 5 miles as my body has grown stronger and grown accustomed to its daily workout.
But, just as I was easing into a rhythm, it was off to Colorado Springs where Lance's trainer, Chris Carmichael and his team put me through a grueling day of long intense workouts and testing sessions. After a series of killer bike workouts where I was attached to a breathing tube to measure my capability, I was pricked, prodded and had my blood taken to see how my body handled the workout. But sweating on the bike till my entire body ached wasn't enough for these guys. Once my bike workout was analyzed, I hit the ground running with a trainer who's gearing up for a 100 mile run. (100 miles, seriously!) If the exhaustion from the bike wasn't enough, my lungs got quite the workout dealing with the Colorado Springs altitude. To say it was difficult is an understatement.
To be honest, the entire experience was exhilarating, yet humbling. Being in the company of these incredible world class athletes was an experience I'll never forget. Being told my athletic aptitude was comparable to a female soft ball player was one I'd like to forget. I left Colorado with a strong commitment to continuing my training as well as an even stronger commitment to graduate from female softball to something a little bit more to my liking. Dare to dream, right.
This weekend my training continues. I'll be flying down to Florida to spend Father's Day with my dad. But, in between all of the Father's day festivities, I'll be sure to fit in my hour long runs. The runs are getting faster and longer every day, but I know I have a long way to go before I can even think about keeping up with Lance in November. I know it's going to be difficult, and that sometimes it may even seem impossible. But as Lance has proved to the world time and time again, anything is possible with focus and commitment....not to mention the GPS system the guys in Colorado Springs gave me so they can make sure I'm hitting the pavement and not the bar.
Oh yeah, Big Brother may be watching - but this time, it's for a really good cause.