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Things to say

Things to say:

1. LeBron: Bye.. I hope we win without you.

2. I want to run another marathon… which one should I run?

3. I am hungry.

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Is this beep a 2 for $20 at BBW or is it an interview?

As I have been getting up the past few mornings and making my way through the rain down Court Street, I was thinking… “Will my blackberry actually deliver me GOOD news today instead of the junk e-mail and coupons I recieve daily from places like Best Buy, Bath and Body and Express?” Not that I don’t enjoy those coupons or anything, they are great, but I have come to think of myself with my phone to be similiar to Pavlov’s Dog. Every time my phone beeps for an e-mail, I jump, get excited and frantically reach for my phone (if it’s not already in my hand). All I keep hoping for is an e-mail saying I have FINALLY landed an interview, someone wants to speak with me, anything at all besides a 2 for $20 3-wick candle at Bath and Body.

This morning as I was sitting in my psychology class, I saw my phone light up with a 614 number on it. At first, of course, I thought this is exciting maybe someone is calling me for an interview. Then it hit me, I called on about five different apartments last night and it was the realtors returning my call. Bummer. About five minutes later it lit up again, “Could it be? Eh… I’ll wait till class is over and find out.” Well much to my surprise, it was an employer who did want to speak with me, but for a part-time position, in a field that I love- obviously running. I guess this could mark another lap on the race to find a job. It is something and someone was actually interested in pursuing me AFTER reading this blog. =)

I believe that as the next few weeks pass and I go on the few interviews and info interviews I have set up, things will eventually make a turn-around and many positive opportunities will start falling into place (hey, I am being optimistic, its the only way to be).

Alright, the “living room” in Alden has been invaded by far too many people and it is time to make my way downstairs to print of 30 copies of my resume and new pieces for my portfolio. Adios.

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Running: a metaphor for life.

As I faithfully ran 96 laps (yes, 96) around Ping Center’s track last week… I realized that I must really have some commitment to running this marathon. 96 laps is just ridiculous! It was a 10 mile run, inside, on a 200-yard track. However, when it comes down to it- it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Sometimes I just have to take off running and keep going until I hit my goal. It may hurt along the way, I may lose sight of where I am actually heading or why I am putting myself through that, but when I cross that finishing point it all makes sense. I feel amazing. And I mean, I then have a significant amount of bragging rights towards my non-runner friends. 10-miles to them seems like a nightmare and I just completed it. I put a lot of work into training and I wanted my ending result to be worth it.

Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Running is the greatest metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put into it.”

She was right. I run hard. I play hard. I work hard. It all pays off. I think this can easily be compared to my job search too. If I try hard to find a job that I want, and not settle for just anything that is willing to give me a paycheck at the end of the week, then I will truly be happy and work hard to complete that job perfectly. This job search is starting to show plenty of similarities to my training too. When training for a marathon, it takes a lot out of me. A lot of effort and motivation that is sometimes hard to find on cold days, like today. But for every run that I complete, I feel a lot closer to running the race and a lot more confident to completing it in good condition. As I am constantly searching for a full-time job, I start to get that same euphoric feeling I do when completing a run. For every time I receive an e-mail, a phone call, an informational interview or a LinkedIn message back from a potential connection or employer I feel that I am one stride ahead in finding the right job. Sure, sometimes I start to feel discouraged about finding work that I will love going to every day, just like I get discouraged about finding time to train for this race. However, at the end of the day I know that with each step forward, I am closer to completing each goal.

Last Friday I went to an advertising conference put on by the Cincinnati Ad Club. I braved a snowstorm and long hours traveling to get there and back… but I feel it was very beneficial, and totally worth it. At this conference many professionals who work in the field of PR and Advertising spoke to the group of students about life in their jobs, how they got to where they are today and what exactly employers are looking for on resumes and cover letters. The most beneficial part of my day, that truly left me leaving in that euphoric state, was listening to the Keynote Speaker Matt Moore. Matt is a graduate of Xavier University and now works at one of the top ad agencies in the country, Wieden and Kennedy. He was very helpful in showing that I don’t have to be the absolute best person there is out there- but I should be committed to what I want and to chase after it because employers will notice that.

I got the chance to speak with Matt later in the conference and was lucky enough to have him offer me some advice. I am hoping this all pays off in the end by going to these events. I am making connections that hopefully will help to land me my dream job and that I will be able to give back to these wonderful people who have guided me along the way as well.

After reflecting on this past weekend, receiving some promising feedback via email and LinkedIn today and organizing my thoughts for some meetings later tonight… it is about time to psych myself up for this long run. I am going to go read some running advertisements now and hope they give me a little push to do about 120 laps today. Wish me luck…

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My Athens marathon, split to half

Today is the day. The last day to register for a reduced price for the Athens Marathon and Half-Marathon. I have decided to not kill my body and simply compete in the half-marathon this year. As much as I would love to compete in a greater distance, I am not sure how well my body will be able to handle it. It is great to push oneself, but should never be pushed over a limit that is going to do more harm than it will do good.

The greatest distance I have run so far in my training is 8 miles. I know I can compete in the half-marathon with little to no problems, however, this time last year I was completing my 20-mile run. For some reason this past season, I was not able to gain the motivation I had last year in my training. I would love to keep up the distance running and compete in a marathon later in the spring, however, I do not feel that being a spring quarter in Athens (you Athenians and students know what I am talking about, its awesome down here) that I will have the time or dedication to set aside for 16+ mile runs.

This summer I am sure I will be way more into running and training. I am going to be a “Head of Fitness” director at an overnight summer camp in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania. Last summer I had the unique opportunity to coach jogging at the camp and it was the greatest motivator of all. I trained 78 campers to compete in a 5K race at the end of the summer.

Things like that are sometimes the motivation one needs- its not always a movie or a quote that gets us going. It has to be something more. Hopefully I will be able to teach the running, coach and get kids motivated all while motivating myself as well to compete later on in Columbus in the fall.

Running is different for everyone and nothing ever sticks to plans. Things change, this race has changed for me.. As hard as it is to accept it, I know that the half is what needs to be done and that there is always next year to try again…

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Local runner offers advice and insight into running career

Lauren Miller, 21, is a Warren, Ohio native who has been running for about six years. I had the chance to meet with her over coffee one afternoon and discuss her running career, how it was started, how she feels about running in Athens, Ohio and if she has any advice for non-runners and runners alike out there on the streets.

Courtney: Lauren, I understand you are a runner.
Lauren: Yea, I have been running since I was about 15-years-old, I started back in high school when my friend got me involved with the cross-country team.
C: So you ran competitively?
L: Yes.
C: Do you still? Was cross-country the only competitive aspect of your running career?
L: I compete in 5K races here at school, in Athens, but I do not run cross-country or track for the teams here. I am not really a competitive runner anymore. I do it more for leisure now.
C: Yea…I think that is what happens to a lot of runners once they leave high school.
L: Um, yea…I mean, I was never one of those runners who only cared about the sport and had to perfect my form and times with every race. I was the girl who just kinda did it for the fitness aspect, and that’s what I still do.
C: That’s not always a bad thing, some people look at that as like “Why are you in this race if you don’t care how you do?” type thing and I think its great. Competitive running isn’t for everyone.
L: Exactly!
C: You said you run 5K races here in Athens, have you run or trained for anything greater than a 5K?
L: Back when I was a freshman, three years ago, I trained with my friend for a half-marathon and ended up getting sick a few days before the race. Since then I have realized I am not a long-distance runner. I like the 5K and that is it! (Laughs) My friend has trained for a marathon and she is crazy I think. I’m fairly certain I would die if I tried that. But then again, maybe if I put the right training in and felt good about it all, then it could be done.
C: Marathons are a challenge, I have run one and I think I blacked out in the middle of it. I do not remember miles 13-17. I do know that the last six miles are the hardest six I have ever run.
L: I bet they are! That is insane!
C: Yea, I am going to run in the Athens Half-Marathon this year- I was going to do the whole but have not been training properly for it.
L: Yea that probably wouldn’t be good…
C: Ha ha, yea, probably not. So when you go running around campus and through the town, where do you go?
L: Anywhere. There are some routes that I know back from my half-marathon training days that go around town more so than campus, I kinda like those because they are away from the hustle of pedestrians and campus traffic. It’s more of an alone run…I like that.
C: That would be nice. Have you ever run in any of the state parks?
L: I went out on a run with a friend once and she took me to Sells Park. It was fun- we got to explore new territory aside from a residential neighborhood.
C: Yea you need to switch it up every now and then…Do you think that Athens is a good place for people to start taking up the sport?
L: Absolutley. I think that anyone can become a runner. It takes something more to become competitive, but anyone can really go out there and jog for a little bit.
C: That is true. It doesn’t take much skill. Do you have any advice for Athens runners before I let you go?
L: Well…um…I would just say that, like you said, it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill. It requires commitment though and if you can’t give it that, then you will be at a loss. Running can be great though and act as such a stress reliever. During finals week especially, it would not be a bad idea to go out for a run to just clear your mind. I’ll tell you what, next time someone is stressed, tell them to go for a run, clear their head and go. I can almost guarantee they will be hooked from there on out.
C: You are absolutely right! Thank you Lauren for talking to me today.
L: Thank you for having me and I hope someone is able to take something from this, maybe get someone hooked and a new runner on the streets!

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Teaching others to run

Teaching others to run: This can pose a challenge, a fun one, but a challenge none the less. I have taken after my aunt in being a runner and having the stamina to keep going, however, my mom asked me this weekend to teach her to run. Now, for us runners, being asked to teach someone HOW to run seems a bit obscured… afterall, we have been doing it since we could walk, haven’t we? It seems to me that I never learned how to run, I just did it. I went for a run when I was in 7th grade after dinner and I haven’t stopped since. Now to teach my mom how to run, I knew this would be a funny task because there is no real method as to how to go about teaching it. Running is an instinct inside of us all. We all know how to run, all that can be taught is mechanics, form, pace, habits, etc. So that is what we did. Friday evening after I got home, my mom said for me to lace up my shoes so we could go for a jog, she wanted to learn how to run. I laughed at her and put my shoes on. As we went for a loop around the neighborhood I yelled at her to stop stopping to walk and to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth. She was out of breath from running four houses away. It seems to me that all that can be taught to her is how to be consistent. How to keep at it and to not stop when it starts to hurt. That is how we all got to where we are today… through hard work. Its not always about being coached by someone else, it is about what we can teach ourselves and having the guidance from someone else who knows what they are doing as well.

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Local runners test their strength training for half-marathon

     If you look around the streets of Athens, Ohio, you are bound to see more than one person running down the sidewalk. There are plenty of people who hold an interest in running but only a few are brave enough to take on the challenge of running a whole or half marathon. Senior management information systems and accounting major Rachel Musheff is one of these runners. She has been running since she was in the seventh grade when she participated on her school’s track team. In high school she started running cross country, where she would compete in a 5K, a 3.1 mile race, every weekend throughout the fall. When Musheff entered college, she stopped competing and started running for the pure enjoyment of the sport.
     A lot of people have trouble finding places to run, but Athens runners don’t seem to have that problem because they run the streets on a regular basis. “When it is cold outside I run at Ping on either the track or the treadmills but when it is nice out, I run either around the streets of Athens or on the bike path,” Musheff said.
     A senior Media Management student, Josh Bischoff started running five years ago as a freshman on campus. Bischoff never has trouble finding places to run.
     “You can run anywhere. It’s really cool because you can run flat, you can run hills, you can run almost any terrain you want. I take different routes all the time but it is usually just around campus. I run wherever the wind takes me, wherever my legs go. It’s not my choice, it’s theirs,” Bischoff said.
Since finding places to run is hardly a problem and running is an enjoying sport, Musheff decided in January to take on the challenge of the Athens Half-Marathon. “My friend ran the marathon last year and it was something I have always wanted to do, but I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to train for the whole marathon so I decided to run the half so I could eventually train for the whole one,” Musheff said.
     Senior Exercise Physiology major Kelley Phillips is also training for the Athens Half- Marathon. She started her training about two months ago in the beginning of January. “I have always had the idea to run a half-marathon but I have never been motivated until this year. The idea of getting back in shape and running a race again motivated me to do it,” Phillips said.
When training for a long race such as a marathon or half-marathon, runners usually have a set schedule they need to follow to ensure they are ready on race day. Musheff has been running an equal number of miles on Sundays that correspond to the week of the quarter it is. This way, during finals week she will complete an 11-mile run and that is the farthest she will go until race day on April 5th when she runs 13.1 miles. Phillips, who has been running for about nine years, has been doing her own type of training. She runs anywhere from 3 to 6 miles on a daily basis and is building a base and slowly trying to build up her endurance.
     Training for a long race is not for everyone though. Bischoff said he has never considered running a half-marathon and probably never will. He prefers to stick to 5K races offered through the university and shorter distance races.
If you have ever considered running a long race you need to make sure you are mentally prepared to do the training and physically able to complete the race. That is the challenge of it, you need to push yourself to limits you never thought possible. Local runners, including Musheff and Phillips will be testing their skills on April 5th, 2009 at the Athens-Half Marathon. The race starts at 9:00 a.m. at College Gate and will end on the track at Pruitt Field.

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