Monday, September 04, 2006

My Latest Hobby

Fall is my very favorite time of year. I love feeling the temperature cool down, anticipating the holiday season, and anticipating the fresh start of a new school year beginning. This year I am eagerly anticipating that cooler weather in the morning! Since April I have embarked on a brand new type of activity that took on monumental porportions quickly! I signed up to run the Disney Marathon on January 7th, 2007 as a way to raise funds for The Arthritis Foundation. I'm running in honor of my grandmother who has arthritis in her shoulder. The part that makes it pretty crazy is that I hadn't run more than a mile since, oh, college about 13 years ago. I am following the Jeff Galloway program and running 2 minutes, walking a minute which is a fabulous way to run distance in my opinion. Over the last five months I've worked up to running eleven miles, as of this last Saturday! The biggest challenge is temperatures at 6 AM being close to 80 degrees and humidity in the 90's. This last week I also have had to deal with Red Tide (which causes respiratory discomfort - exactly what you don't want when you are running).
Two weekends ago I ran in a local 5K to benefit a 4-year-old with a rare brain cancer. I finished in 32:06 minutes, not too bad for my first race ever. In two weeks I'll run 13 miles and then on October 8th I'll do my very first half marathon (13.1 miles) at the Latin Classic, a local race.
My biggest problem with running in the past has been experiencing a lot of shortness of breath. A feeling that my legs could keep going but my lungs were done! I've discovered that I have Exercise Induced Asthma and with 2-3 allergy medications I can actually manage it. The other issue is that I often injure myself when I begin a new athletic endeavor. I've been very careful this last year to learn proper technique and take things slow and so far any little aches and pains that have popped up have resolved with little intervention. Prayer is always helpful!
So far I am on track with fundraising. A HUGE thank-you and hug for everyone who has generously donated so far. Your donations and notes of encouragement have given me the little boosts in confidence I need just when I need them most. I've raised $1145 of the required $2000 so far. December 15th is the deadline for the full amount.
My running friends and I have organized several fundraisers, the biggest of which is a HUGE garage sale scheduled for September 23rd. We're taking donations and raiding our own homes and attics to find saleable items. Please join me in praying for God's provision of funds, faith, and perseverance.
When I am searching for motivation to take another step or go another minute when I am running I often think of those I know who are experiencing their own life "marathons" of either arthritis, cancer, or heartache. I think, "If they can persevere through their tough experience right now, I can surely find the energy to finish this run (or race) that has a known end point". I've found so much inspiration from observing those around me who persevere with joy through really tough circumstances.
So, there you go, a little peak at a huge part of my life right now. I never knew that running could be so rewarding on so many different levels or that I would ever like it! I'm so glad I took the leap of faith to try it.