Running Without Regrets

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“You cannot do great things on this earth.  Only small things with great love.” 

-Mother Theresa

My “small thing” would seem pretty monumental if you were to ask my butt…or my knees…or perhaps my hamstrings.  They are all in significant discomfort these days as I train for my first marathon, the IMS Arizona Marathon, one day after my 33rd birthday on February 19.  I started out on this journey very nervous that I was committing to something I could not really accomplish, even though I’ve watched The Biggest Loser and knew that “anybody” can do it with the right discipline and desire.  After 12 weeks of training, I have run my two longest runs, 20 and 21 miles, and learned a lot about myself along the way.  There were may days when I was actually angry at myself for making such a big committment, not really thrilled with the time that it took up, the nausea  and “runner’s trots” I experiences after every long run once I hit 18 miles, nor the ravenous hunger that I experienced all day from the exponential amount of calories I was burning (It takes a lot to keep this belly fed on a normal day, but this was out of control!!).  However, thanks to a competitive Hood gene that somehow found its way into my DNA, I kept pushing forward motivated by the idea that I can’t quit.  I just can’t quit.

If pride was not enough to help me make it to the finish line, I also had an ulterior motive that helped to keep me motivated on a whole other level.

I am running both my first marathon in Arizona as well as the Austin 10/20 in April to raise awareness and financial support for Without Regrets Foundation.  I discovered this organization while searching for different running events last Fall.  I was so moved by their mission that I emailed the founders right away to ask how I could help.  They were just piloting a running program to raise money to support their work so I jumped on board.

Without Regrets is a nonprofit organization that assists families of young children who have a parent with a terminal illness.  Their role is to help the terminally ill parent fulfill a personal wish for their family before they pass away.  This may be anything from arranging formal family portraits to helping them take a long desired family trip.  One family in which the father was told he only had months to live was given the opportunity to fulfill the father’s dream to take his children on a fishing trip.  In the father’s last days, they were able to enjoy a fishing trip on South Padre Island, giving the children a priceless gift that will not only help them through the difficult days of grief, but will be a joyful, positive memory to last a lifetime.

     

Initially I committed to raise $3000 and run with the others in the program in the Salt Lake City Marathon in April.  However, it was too quick to get enough support to warrant going to Salt Lake, so we are now running in the Austin 10/20 together with a bigger event to follow in the fall.  My fundraising goal is no longer $3000, but I would still like to get as close as I can.

 I need your help!  Think of any friends or family you may know who have been in a similar situation, either as a child losing a parent, a friend who has lost their spouse, or perhaps they are the very ones who passed away leaving behind young children.  Often the expenses of medical costs and funerals place too much of a heavy burden on families so they cannot do anything special together during this time.  That is where Without Regrets steps in.  They can help the parent to leave knowing that they gave their children something wonderful to hold onto when he or she is gone.  If you have enjoyed reading about my adventures along the way, please consider donating to help a cause that is very important to me.  You can check out the website and read all about the organization.  Here is my personal fundraising page where you can make a direct donation.

My fundraising page:

 http://www.withoutregrets.org/run/sarah-hood/

Also, please check out my page on this blog dedicated to spreading the word about Without Regrets Foundation!! 

I am so glad you have joined me on my journey!  Thanks for all of your support and stay tuned for more updates!

-Sarah  😉

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About virginmarathoner

I'm 32, about to be 33, and realizing that I only have one life to live. This gradual but recent epiphany has inspired me make choices to face the things that I thought I could never do, but secretly desired to accomplish. The first of these was to train for my first half marathon, terrified that I would never be able to run past 7 miles (my longest run prior to beginning training). The first day I ran 8 miles, I cried the entire last mile...with a smile on my face. I'm sure it was a curious sight for any one of the hundreds of soccer moms and little toddlers crowding and blocking my path that morning at the park. Each time I ran a new distance, I felt empowered and proud of my determination and dedication. The day of the half marathon I knew I was addicted. Running gave me clarity, discipline and a renewed passion for living. Now I am about to embark on a new adventure, running my first marathon, and hope that others will be able to relate to my adventures, struggles and mishaps along the way. Afterall, we've only got one life to live, so we better get on it.

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