Most of you know that I am a runner. I ran my first "race" when I was probably 8 years old or so. My Dad was a big runner and he got me into it at an early age. I enjoy running because it's a physical, emotional, and mental release for me. It also keeps me in relatively good shape and allows me to set goals for myself.
At the Runner's World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, PA
In 2013 I set a goal for myself: run a marathon. In November, my older brother (slash trusty running partner) and I completed the Richmond Marathon. It was one of the best runs of my life!
Richmond Marathon, November 2013
After that, running sort of got placed on the back burner because grad school and "life" became a first priority for me. However, I have learned a lesson the hard way that my health and fitness cannot be put on the back burner. I know that I deserved a little break after the marathon - especially because I hate running in the cold/snow, which is what we got that following winter - but I should have jumped right back into half marathons.
This all leads me to my new goal in 2015: run my second marathon.
Even though I will be starting my first big girl full-time teaching job this fall, I have told myself that that is no excuse for not setting health and fitness goals for myself. I need to learn how to balance my work life and my personal life. I might as well start now.
When I got to thinking about what marathon I wanted to run, two came to mind. The Richmond Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. I loved running Richmond and told myself that I would love to do it again and try and improve my time on the course. The MCM is appealing for two reasons. The first being that it is the only marathon my Dad ever ran. I have always wanted to run it because he has run it. The second reason is that I love running in northern Virginia. I have run a couple of races in various cities and have loved them all. It's so gorgeous!
In the end, I chose to run the Marine Corps Marathon. However, there's more.
In case you aren't familiar, the MCM holds a lottery because it's extremely popular. I entered the lottery earlier in March and later found out that I was not selected. I was bummed and thought maybe that was a sign I shouldn't run it this year.
Next, I got on the MCM Facebook page and saw a mention of one of the charity partners, Fisher House, recruiting people who hadn't received a lottery spot. I went to their website and read about their mission. Fisher House has a network of housing locations across the nation where they offer free lodging for military families in order for them to be close to a loved one who is receiving treatment. They also have a program called Hotels for Heroes, which is made possible by donated hotel points and provides free hotel lodging for military families, and Hero Miles, made possible by donated frequent flier miles and provides free airline tickets for military families traveling to be closer to their service member who is receiving treatment in another part of the country.
Long story short, I felt drawn to this cause and I wanted to help. Yes, I was excited to learn that they still had spots available for their MCM team, but even more so I was excited about the opportunity to be able to run for more than myself and my own personal goals. I will be fundraising and training for Team Fisher House and will make a difference for service members and their families. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity and to combine my love of running with the chance to help others!
I would appreciate your support in helping me fundraise for Team Fisher House.