Tuesday, August 31, 2021

I'm Running a Marathon!

I'm running a marathon!! 

After many years of waiting, I can't believe I finally get to say that I am doing it! And not just any marathon, but the 50th New York City Marathon. I get to run through the streets of the city I call home, that I love more than anything else, and I get to do it with friends and family on the sidelines. It is truly going to be so special. I'm so excited it is finally happening, I think I could shout it from the rooftops! 

If you know me well, or if you've been following along here on Faith & Fancy for a while, then you know that this has been a huge bucket list item for me for many years now. I ran my first 13.1 back in 2014, and many more half marathons were run in the years that followed. Although I can't pinpoint exactly when I decided I wanted to go for the full 26.2, it was at some-point between the years of 2014 and 2016. On June 2, 2016 I published this post - 101 in 1001 - a list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish in 1001 days. Running a marathon was on the top of the list. 

At some point in time I also decided that I wasn't going to run just any marathon, but I was going to run the New York City Marathon. If you're not familiar with the process for running the NYC Marathon, there are a few different routes that runners can take to gain guaranteed entry - qualify based on a time in a previous marathon or half marathon, participate in the NYRR 9+1 program, run for charity, or enter the lottery and gain guaranteed entry that way. I decided to take my chances with the lottery - I figured I would leave it in the hands of the universe & I would eventually get picked. 

That was five years ago and needless to say the marathon didn't happen. In 2020, after unsuccessfully trying the lottery route for the past few years, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was fed up with waiting to maybe get selected in the lottery and growing very impatient. I wanted to run the marathon, so I was going to run the marathon! In February of 2020 I signed up to run the marathon with a charity partner, which gave me guaranteed entry to run in November & also gave me the opportunity to do some good in the process. I also have to mention that the 2020 marathon was set for November 1st - my 27th birthday. I felt like the stars had aligned and I was finally going to run that marathon, in my favorite city, while celebrating my 27th trip around the sun. 

I don't need to go into much detail about what happened next, as we all lived through the months that followed, and we all lived through our own unique sets of challenges and heartbreaks last year. Not being able to run the marathon on November 1, 2020 was my biggest heartbreak.

Flash forward a year later, the marathon is happening (!!) and God willing I will be running it on Sunday, November 7, 2021!

When it came down to choosing a charity partner to run with, selecting Team for Kids was a no brainer for me. There are so many amazing charity organizations to run with and all are equally deserving of the support, but running for Team for Kids felt like the best fit for me. Team for Kids fundraises to support New York Road Runners youth and community programs, including Rising New York Road Runners. These funds allow thousands of children, both in New York & nationwide, to have access to free running and fitness programs. I cannot even begin to explain how vital I think it is for all children to have exposure to sports and physical fitness growing up. 

As many of you know I spent my childhood and teen years as a very competitive gymnast. I may not have known it at the time, but in the years that followed me leaving the sport, I came to realize the immense impact gymnastics had on shaping me into the person I am today. I learned the importance of hard work, dedication, resiliency, and I learned the value of goal setting, teamwork, and health & fitness. I firmly believe that the sport of gymnastics & the coaches that led the way were some of the most important influences on me growing up - only secondary to the most important influences, my amazing parents!

I can say with certainty, that I would not be who I am today or where I am today if I had not had the opportunity to be involved in the sport of gymnastics. I can also tell you I would not be running a full marathon in two months if it had not been for all the values the sport instilled in me.

Because of the experience I had with gymnastics, I am a big believer that all children should have the opportunity to be involved in and have exposure to any kind of physical activity. I truly believe it could be life changing for some of these kids, and at the very least it will provide a solid foundation, life skills, friendships, and hopefully a bit of fun. 

Team for Kids is doing amazing things to provide these opportunities to thousands of children nationwide. If you would like to learn more about this amazing organization I encourage you to check out their website. It is an honor to be involved in an event that allows me to support such an important cause. 

By donating to Team for Kids, you are not just supporting me in my journey to 26.2, but you are supporting thousands of others. Who knows, maybe you are supporting a future olympian or college athlete, or maybe you are just helping to spark a lifelong love of fitness. 

If you have made it all the way here in this rather lengthy post, I want to thank you for taking the time to learn more about both my journey in getting to the start line and also about Team for Kids. I appreciate it more than you know. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love and support!! I cannot wait for November 7th - hope to see you there!! 

Click Here to Donate

A million times, thank you!! 

xo. G

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