First….thank YOU for taking the time to visit my page and read my story. It’s not one that I’ve shared with many people. As close friend and family, you’ve probably realized that I’m an avid cyclist and have recently developed a new passion for long distance running. I’ve made accomplishments in the last year that I would have never thought possible, with much help from my running group friends (shameless plug….Team Running Lab in Brighton, MI). Since Fall 2017 I have completed 10 half marathons all over the US (Montana, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, California, Louisiana, and Michigan), with Ohio, Arizona, and now New York booked for early 2019 (plus return trips to California and Montana). With races and multiple weekly training runs, I just passed the 575 mile mark for 2018. Being able to enter a major running event like the New York City Half Marathon would be an amazing experience….starting in Brooklyn, crossing the Manhattan Bridge, passing through Times Square, and finishing in Central Park.
I’ve chosen to submit my registration for this race by fundraising for a charity supporting the Lupus Research Alliance and running for the Life Without Lupus running team. I was personally diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2009, brought about by stress from a major life change event. I didn’t at first understand the rapid change my body was going through. It was like being hit by a truck. I was able to adapt through doctor’s help, medication, and two surgeries to relieve nerve pressure caused by joint inflammation. Once I felt I had stabilized, I made the choice to stop taking prescription medication and devote more time to living an active lifestyle. Mountain biking quickly became my main form of exercise, logging over 5,500 trail miles and 430 hours of indoor spin cycling classes since diagnosis. Yes, the engineer in me tracks those sorts of things :). Now I’m running as many miles as biking for better multi-sport cross-training. By starting early, I feel like I’ve been able to overcome most symptoms through regular strenuous exercise. I still feel like I have long range endurance issues holding me back from completing a full marathon, but I’m not ruling that out just yet. But there are hundreds of thousands of other people each year that could benefit from research into a disease that not a lot is known about. That is the purpose for this fundraising effort.
Please know that all donations through my page are greatly appreciated. All donations are tax deductible and go directly to the Lupus Research Alliance. If you work for a company with a charity matching program, again it would be great to explore that option to double your donation. Even though the race is March 17, my page will remain open and accept contributions up to May 1, 2019. Of course photos and updates will be posted to my Facebook page, so keep an eye out. If you are local to me and would like to go for a run sometime, send me a message….I’m always up for it!