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October 23, 2014
AHHHHH! Freak out time has commenced! I am now 10 days away from running my very first marathon! NYC is so close and it’s really all I can think about now. All the months of training are in the bank and my taper is in full swing. I know most of you won’t believe me, but it has been VERY difficult to handle the decrease in my mileage this week. I’ve become so accustomed to putting in 6-8 miles most mornings and over 16+ miles on my long runs, that to simply run 4-5 miles at a time leaves me with a tremendous amount of energy that I don’t really know what to do with. Of course, that’s what the taper is supposed to do – I am resting my legs and allowing them to recover in order to push through the 26.2 miles I’ll run through all 5 boroughs of NYC on Nov. 2!
I have also finally received my bib number – 16545! I’ll be running in WAVE 1 which starts at 9:40am. You can track me during the race either through the TCS New York City Marathon app or at http://liveresults.nyrr.org/.
Now that the end is in sight, I can only hope that I have been able to raise even the slightest amount of awareness for Parkinson’s disease. I want to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation – 100% of those donations go towards research for the treatment and cure of Parkinson’s disease. With all of your help, we can hopefully see a future without PD!
I’ll see you all in New York!!
October 2, 2014
One month to go!
Race day is exactly one month from today! I really cannot believe that this time next month, I’ll be running through all five boroughs of New York City. It has been a tremendous couple of months of training and fundraising and I can finally see that the end is in sight.
My training has increased tremendously. My morning runs are now averaging between 5 and 8 miles each day while my long runs on the weekend have been gradually increasing from 16 to 19 miles. I have one last giant run this coming weekend (the plan is to hit a full 20 miles!) and then I’ll begin to cut back on my mileage in order to be fully rested for the marathon on November 2nd.
I’ve had some people ask me how it is even possible to run upwards of 20 miles in a single morning, and I have to say, sometimes I wonder that myself! My best answer is that you have plenty of time to think. And think some more. And then think some more after that. In fact, besides listening to my IPod on those runs, I try to focus on the reason I decided to embark on this journey way back in April. Running a marathon has been on my bucket list of things to do for some time now, but I always envisioned running my first marathon in order to raise money and awareness for a cause very close to my heart. My grandfather, Dr. Robert Bernhard, lived with Parkinson’s disease for over 20 years. I witnessed as the symptoms of the disease progressed until everyday tasks that many of us take for granted were slowly ripped away from him. While I train, I realize how fortunate I am that my body listens to what I tell it to do. I can “speed up here” or “turn here” or “avoid the crazy DC driver turning into me here” and not think twice about it. Those with PD would find those tasks extremely difficult if not impossible. So on those long runs, when my legs start to hurt, or the thirst seems unbearable, I simply remind myself that my grandfather went through SO much more than I could ever imagine. And with that thought, all of a sudden 20 miles does not seem so bad anymore.
My goal is to raise awareness for those among us that have lost the ability to control their motor skills due to Parkinson’s disease. I hope that by keeping this blog, and reaching out to all of my family and friends, we can help end the suffering those afflicted with PD face every single day of their lives. Please help me pass the word and if you are able to, please consider making a donation here on my page to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Every single cent counts and will make a difference! In addition, 100% of all donations go directly to research for the treatment and cure of Parkinson’s disease.
Thank you so much!
August 25, 2014
Training is in full swing!
Wow! I can’t believe that it is already the end of August and that summer is almost over! While I’m sure going to miss the warm days, the coming fall only means one thing – we’re getting closer to race day! Thanks to some important rest at the beginning of the summer and a quick appointment with a knee specialist, I was given the ‘A-Okay’ to really ramp up my training. My morning runs are becoming more comfortable and my long weekend runs have been inching closer and closer to my goal of hitting at lease 20 miles in one run before race day. (I’m up to 15.5 as of last weekend!) It doesn’t hurt that I have the amazing backdrop of Washington D.C. to explore on those longs days and I have to admit that running past the national monuments never seems to get old.
I’d like to shed some more light on why I am running with TEAMFOX and what you can do to help me in my goal to support such an incredible organization. TEAMFOX is the grassroots fundraising arm of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The funds raised by TEAMFOX support research for ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s. I am running with TEAMFOX in remembrance of my grandfather, Dr. Robert Bernhard, who lived with disease for the duration of the time I was lucky enough to know him. By contributing to such a great cause, we can surly work our way towards a cure!
If you are able, I ask that you please help me raise awareness for TEAMFOX by contributing to my fundraising page here. I’m off to a great start but have a long way to go! Every dollar counts!
Thank you to everyone for their support and keep checking back here for updates on my fundraising and training progress! Race day is only 68 days away!
June 5, 2014
Officially Registered! (And a minor setback)
To say that the past month has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. The end of April and May was filled with papers, exams, and group projects as my time at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) came to an end. It has been an amazing two years at SAIS and I can't believe that it is already over. Graduation has come and gone and I am still on the hunt for that ever elusive job!
I finally received my invitation to register for the NYC Marathon and can now say that I am officially registered! The realities of the race are starting to sink in as I now have to start making decisions regarding what type of transportation I want to use in order to get to the starting line on race day (Staten Island Ferry or Greyhound bus?!). As the race accommodates over 50,000 runners, the logistics of the race are truly incredible. However, due to so many people trying to make it to Staten Island at the same time, a VERY early morning is in store for me. (We’re talking about being up and ready to board the ferry or bus at around 5:15am!)
Unfortunately my training hit a setback soon after I told all of you that I would be running in NYC. I tweaked my right knee and have had to stop all running while it heals. I have a doctor’s appointment set up in 2 weeks and hopefully by then I’ll be all set to kick my training into high gear! In the meantime I’ve been able to cross train at the gym while I wait to hit the streets of DC to prepare for November.
While the excitement of running my first marathon continues to increase by the day, it is very humbling for me to remember the reasons I decided to join TeamFox in the first place. Parkinson’s Disease is a debilitating ailment affecting millions of people every day. I was reminded of the difficulties facing those with PD back in April when I met a wonderful family with an 18 year old son with early onset PD. While the majority of PD patients show symptoms later in life, this young man was already struggling with the debilitating effects of the disease. It is my hope that by running in November I can contribute to finding a cure for everyone affected by PD.
My fundraising efforts are off to a great start and I want to thank everyone who has donated to help the fight against Parkinson’s Disease! I can’t thank everyone enough for their support!
April 23, 2014
Dear Friends and Family:
I am very proud and excited to tell you that in order to raise awareness and support for Parkinson's Disease (PD), I will be running the TCS New York City Marathon on November 2, 2014! As many of you know, my grandfather, Dr. Robert Bernhard, lived with PD for over 20 years - most of my life in fact - before passing in 2011. Training for my first marathon is an exhilarating yet nerve-racking experience. I am so excited to begin this journey towards New York this fall and I can't wait to hit the course for those 26.2 miles.
Over five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's Disease - a chronic degenerative neurological disorder whose symptoms typically progress from mild tremors to complete physical incapacitation. In the United States, 60,000 new cases of PD will be diagnosed this year alone. While the average age of onset is 60, an estimated five to 10 percent of people with PD experience onset at age 40 or younger. I know that as hard as training for a marathon can be, it pales in comparison to the devastating disease my grandfather lived with.
I will be running in November with TEAMFOX, an amazing organization that raises awareness and funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. There is no known cure for PD, and currently available treatments only temporarily mask symptoms while the disease continues to progress. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.
As my training begins, I have set a personal goal of raising $3,000 for TEAMFOX. Can you help me reach my goal? Every donation, no matter how small or large, helps us towards finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
I want to thank every single one of you for your support, kind words, encouragement, and donation. None of this would be possible without all of you.
Check back here over the coming months for updates on my training, fundraising progress, and other updates!
About Team Fox
Team Fox is The Michael J. Fox Foundation's (MJFF) grassroots community fundraising program. It is made up of thousands of people worldwide who raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's disease research. All funds raised through Team Fox go directly to MJFF to further its mission to accelerate the delivery of life-changing treatments, and ultimately a cure, to people with Parkinson's disease.
Help us speed a cure for Parkinson's!