Thankful Wednesday: Running

I’ve been wanting to write about the NYC Marathon since I got home from the race, but I keep getting intimidated by it. To express how I felt that day seems almost impossible. And, thanks to our digital world, I’ve already shared a lot of pictures, my race time, and other details about the race online in several formats (so sorry for the overkill!).

But, during this week of thanks, I have to express how thankful I am for running and especially for the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon. I finished the race in 3 hoursĀ  57 minutes and 3 seconds – exceeding my goal of 4 hours and 15 minutes by so much more than I expected.

Throughout the race my legs hurt, my left arm went numb and my feet ached, but the energy of the crowds and the excitement of running through the burroughs of New York kept me going. Also, a little prayer for special people in my life at the start of the hardest miles helped immensely.

When I hit mile 22, I knew I had a chance of finishing under four hours. And it was then that I started to really break down mentally and physically. But, lucky for me, that’s also when I hit Central Park.

Marathon

Literally thousands of people lined the streets with motivational signs and whistles, clapping, and loud cheers. On my left side, buildings reached up to the perfectly blue sky. And on my right, the golden leaves of hundreds of trees in Central Park sparkled.

When I saw the ‘1/2 Mile To Go!’ sign, I was passed by the 4-hour pacer and I became panic-stricken that I was going to miss my newly formed sub-4 goal. So, I kicked it into another gear … and pain shot through my knee.

At that moment, I realized I was literally giving every last piece of myself to get across the finish line. I put the pacer out of my head, confident in my timing, and gave all that I had to cross the finish. And, once I crossed, I cried.

Never in my life have I tried as hard as I did that day. Which, truth be told, may not be a good thing. But, it was certainly life changing. To know what could be accomplished and to understand what it feels like to fully give my all made me realize that I can do just about anything. If I try that hard in other aspects of life, there’s no telling what could happen.

Today I am thankful for running the best marathon and best race of my life. Running gives me peace, relieves stress, and keeps me sane. I’m thankful to have found a passion that compliments the rest of my life so well. Thanks for listening to me talk about the race one more time … I’ll stop now. :)

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Happy Thankful Wednesday! What are you thankful for today?

The NYC Marathon – JGSF Donation

I mentioned last week that I am fortunate enough to run in the ING NYC Marathon this fall. This is a huge bucket list item … I’m scared, excited, nervous, thrilled, and my legs are already feeling the burn from training runs.

We have just about fifteen weeks to go and it’s time to start getting the word out about the wonderful organization that has made this happen.

In order to secure guaranteed entry to the race, my sister (she’s running, too!) and I have committed to fundraising for the Jackson Gabriel Silver Foundation (JGSF).

JGSF exists to eradicate EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) which is a devastating disease affecting children from birth. For a child with EB, even the slightest touch or friction can cause their skin to tear or blister. For more information, please visit their website.

It absolutely breaks my heart (and I am sure it is breaking yours) and although its an extremely rare disease, it deserves a lot of funding and needs help gaining awareness, which is where you come in.

To save the children who affected by this disease, we need to share their stories, inspire action, and provide resources to the families who are facing the challenging battle of caring for a little one with EB.

Over the last three years, JGSF has raised over $1.5 million in funding for research and aid for families who need financial assistance to pay for the bandages and necessary treatments for their children. You can read about the progress they’re making here and see images of the little guy who inspired the foundation, Jackson. His family, the Silvers, are responsible for starting this amazing non-profit and it’s easy to see in his sweet little face how he’s been an inspiration to so many over the last few years.

I don’t want to upset you with sad or frightening images or scare you with terrifying and dismal survival statistics, but I do want to help find a cure and stop this disease from hurting precious little ones.

Please consider donating to my charity page on Crowdwise. By donating and sharing the mission of JGSF with others, you’ll help spread awareness and support the work of the Silver family to find a cure and end EB.

Thank you for your help! I can’t wait to share this journey with you! xoxo