Sunday, June 3, 2012

14 Weeks to the Finish Line

Fourteen weeks from today, on September 9, I will take on my first-ever running endurance event—the Chicago Half Marathon. My training officially starts tomorrow. I am using HalHigdon’s 12-week half marathon training program, and I extended it to 14 weeks. (I simply decided to repeat weeks 1 and 2 twice). Truth be told, I am both excited and nervous about this journey ahead. I’ve never done anything like this, and my endurance for running is still pretty limited.

But the time has come for me to face this new challenge head on and work my way through the training schedule one day at a time. My goal is not to win the half marathon. My goals are to complete it successfully, to raise money for the AdultCongenital Heart Association, and to increase awareness of congenital heart disease. The challenges that I will face over these next 14 weeks pale in comparison to the daily challenges faced by so many CHD patients, both young and old.

Having taken part in a number of cycling endurance events over the years and having successfully overcome my own recent heart health challenges, I decided to sign up for this race to overcome a new challenge. I am running for those who cannot run, and I am running to ensure that ACHA’s much-needed resources and services for adults living with congenital heart disease can continue. ACHA was there for me when I felt most vulnerable, and the organization’s staff provided the support and information that I needed to navigate the confusing and sometimes-scary world of adult congenital heart care. This race is just one way that I hope to give back to an agency that has become so close to my heart in a very short amount of time.

I invite you to stay tuned here—as well as to my Facebook page and Twitter feed—as I embark on this new journey over the summer. While you’re at it, I also encourage you to support this great cause by making adonation on my behalf. I look forward to seeing you at the finish line (with water and snacks, please)!

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