Cheers to 13.1

You don’t need to reread my title, yes I am toasting to the fact that I will be running 13.1 miles.  Oh wait, it gets better, not only am I running in a half marathon, but I am doing it next weekend.  I signed up months ago with my sister. What sounds better than the Rock N Roll half marathon downtown Chicago?  Pretty much anything else sounds better right now.


Here’s what; I often hear the phrase, “You have a million reasons not to do something…”  This is so right. I am sitting on my couch right now thinking of all the reasons I should not run next weekend. My biggest reason being I haven’t really trained.  I mean, I have been consistently exercising since Christmas. I am not talking some crazy P90X circuit training type of workout, but I have been going to the gym at least once a week, and I have been going for either power walks, or jogs 3 times a week.  I know, this is no Pumping Iron type of stuff. That is a major reason I am more than slightly terrified of next weekend.


In March I ran in the Naperville St. Paddy’s Day 5K.  I ran the entire time, which was great, but that was only 3 miles, and the next day my knees were screaming at me like, “Um, bitch you are 35 and we are supporting more weight than normal.  Why would you do that to us?!?” Since then, to get back at me they have been cracking loudly at very inopportune times. Nothing is sexier than trying to seduce your husband by attempting to walk seductively up the stairs in your new clearance Target silky teddy only to have your knees loudly cracking with each new step.  Cracking knees equal grandma, not boner town.


So, there are reasons, lots of reasons I want to run, no wait walk at a brisk pace for the hills on this one.  But I am not going to listen to those reasons, I am going to focus on the two reasons why I NEED to do this.


First, and most important, I am running for St. Judes.  This is such an amazing charity, and they help so many families and so many children each year.  Whenever I dream about having money, like serious money, my first thought goes to what charity I would put some serious money down on.  I always think of St. Jude. If you have every been on a pediatric intensive care unit floor, you can’t help but tear up looking at this small little babies.  You want to rip the heart out of your chest to give to one of them in need.


I had my small window of time on the Peds ICU floor with Ricky when he was just about to turn 4.  He was diagnosed with Kawasaki’s Disease, and I got to experience first hand terror like I have never known for 4 nights and 5 days.  This is truly a drop in the bucket compared to what other mothers on that same floor at that same time were going through, but I still remember the dread and fear and hopelessness like it was yesterday.  I am so lucky I get to come home to a boy that is almost 11, and is the picture of health. No damage from his experience, and we most recently received our final pardon of any residual damage from this disease at his last pediatric cardiology appointment.


I know other families are not that lucky.  St. Judes is doing ground breaking research, but more importantly they are helping real families every day.  Families that are at St. Judes do not receive bills for their care. For Ricky’s small stay at the hospital, our bill was well over 6 figures.  We are lucky enough to have insurance, so we didn’t drown in bills, but other families aren’t as lucky. St. Judes will pay for a families travel and meals as well.  This is exactly what I think of when I sing, “I want to be a billionaire so freakin bad”. I would give millions to St. Judes if I had it, but I don’t. I will give my Saturday morning, my knees, and hopefully my goal of $3,000.


Now, as if I need a bigger reason than that, my next reason is that I am doing this with my sister.  She is my best friend and my person. We are in the same boat that life has snuck up on us, and we have been too busy to train the way we wanted to.  BUT she is so excited for next weekend, and ready to take on the challenge. She motivates me to want to be as fearless as she is! Honestly, even if we walked every one of those 13 miles, that will be time spent with my sister.  That will be hours (I am assuming it would be several hours if we walked the whole thing) on a Saturday that we usually don’t see each other, which we will spend laughing, being totally inappropriate, and most likely hugging and crying in the end that we crossed the finish line together.


So, even though I have so many thoughts going through my head of why I should not do a half marathon next weekend; I am going to do it.  I am going to do everything but work the corner this week to raise my goal of $3,000 for St Judes, and I am going to have a sweaty good time with my sister.  There are always a million reasons why not to do something, but they are the two reasons why I must!


Hopefully I have just motivated you to take on your own challenge you have been talking yourself out of, and I really want you to do that, but before you do, could you please donate to my St. Jude fundraising page?


Thank you!  Now, go do you!


Colleen Lieberstein

Colleen Lieberstein, Executive Administrative Assistant, is the heartbeat at two award winning and fastest growing companies in the Chicagoland area. She lives in New Lenox with her two energetic kids, and her supportive husband. Colleen loves to read, play with her children, and go on adventures with her family. Exploring new places and eating new foods is the best.