Wow, my first blog post. A little scary, but also exciting! Here’s a little info about what prompted me to start a blog and why I’m running for a reason:
I started running about a year ago (August 2012) and have run several races at various distances. After almost a year of running, I finally felt ready to sign up for my first half marathon. And just recently, I decided to sign up for my second half marathon which will take place just three weeks after my first half. I haven’t decided if this makes me crazy or just ambitious – maybe a little of both. 😛
But, I had a good reason for committing to the second half marathon. This race is part of a program called Team Challenge. Team Challenge is an endurance sports training program that provides its participants with training, support, lodging, and airfare to the race in exchange for us raising funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). CCFA is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
So, you might be wondering: What are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) that affect about 1.4 million Americans. Both diseases have similar symptoms like abdominal pain, discomfort, and other gastrointestinal issues (I won’t get into the specifics), but they affect different areas of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the entire GI tract and ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon (the large intestine). The causes of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis aren’t clear, but they are thought to be autoimmune diseases meaning the body is attacking itself causing the inflammation. Symptoms can often be managed by medication, dietary changes, and sometimes surgery, but there is no cure.
The next question you might have is: Why do you want to raise money for CCFA?
Well, I have ulcerative colitis. I was diagnosed about 8 years ago. I consider myself very lucky in that my disease has been managed very well with medication for a long time, but others with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis aren’t as fortunate. Raising money for CCFA will help fund research for better treatments (and hopefully a cure) as well as special programs and support offered by CCFA for people living with Crohn’s and colitis.
The half marathon that I’m training for with Team Challenge is the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon! As I mentioned, one part of the program is training for the race, but the other half is fundraising. I’ve committed to raising $3,700 for CCFA by Nov. 6, so I have my work cut out for me, but I’m up to the challenge! So, take a gamble, roll the dice, bet on me! (I couldn’t help it. The race is in Vegas! 🙂 )
On this blog, I’ll keep you updated on my training, fundraising, running in general, and other fun happenings in my life. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey and more of my personal story with you along the way!