My BIG news has to do with the BIG APPLE!
I WILL be running in the ING NYC marathon this year!! Holy cow it makes me crazy excited just to type that!!
I mentioned back on April 27 that I was "not in", meaning I had not gotten into the ING NYC Marathon via the lottery drawing. I knew the chances were slim, but man oh man I was hoping. :)
When neither Josh or I got in through the lottery I figured that was the end of it for this year, but then through Facebook and a couple of emails, I ended up invited to run on Meb Keflezighi's Team MEB!! You know Meb right? He is the winner of the ING NYC Marathon in 2009 (first American winner since 1982!), Olympic Silver Medalist for the U.S., and a man with many, many other impressive achievements and successes in running, and an incredibly inspiring life story.
I read Meb's book, "Run to Overcome", last winter and was drawn to him right away. He is from Eastern Africa (Eritrea), which is the neighboring country to Ethiopia. (I have four kids from Ethiopia and have spent many weeks there). As I read about Meb's childhood, the names of his family members, foods he and his family ate, conditions they lived in, etc. were all very familiar after my trips to Ethiopia. Meb has 10 brothers and sisters and family is a huge priority to him. I loved reading about how close his family is and reading about such a happy and successful large family. Whether you have anything in common with him or not, it is impossible to read his book and not be inspired by his faith, hope, determination, success, and story of living the "American Dream".
Meb started a foundation called the MEB Foundation, which helps ensure youth and their families engage in healthy, active lifestyles and is a leader and collaborator in health, education and fitness. The focus of Meb's foundation stems from his belief in the importance of 'Maintaining Excellent Balance.' The MEB Foundation is one of the charity teams for the ING NYC Marathon. They will have a team of 30 runners and like all of the charity teams require runners to fundraise for the foundation they are running for. Did you know that last year the ING NYC Marathon had over 190 official charities and raised over $30 million dollars for good causes???
I could have gone with one of the bigger charity teams, but this is an athlete, a foundation and a cause that I felt a personal connection to and a team I am honored to be a part of and associated with.
Josh had been really wanting me to plan a getaway just for us (we haven't gone anywhere for more than a couple of hours without Noah since we adopted him in September 2009 and we very very rarely leave our other kids too). We were considering going to Vegas again in early December and running the Vegas Rock n Roll race again but were still considering options when I heard about this opportunity to run NYC.
I am super sensitive and overly cautious about being selfish when it comes to my running. When my mother still lived at home when I was young (she later moved out, my parents were divorced and she is not involved in my life or my sister or brother's lives) she was extremely selfish about her time, and her job/hobby (she was a musician). Her priorities were way out of order, and it had a very negative effect on our family. It is the main reason I give up sleep to get my runs in before Josh and our kids are even awake, and why keeping my priorities in order and life in balance is so important to me. So I wanted to be sure that planning a trip to NY around the NYC marathon would be something that Josh would enjoy as much as I would and wouldn't be a selfish thing.
Josh was on board right away. He was very encouraging to me to run for Team MEB and very excited about a trip to NY for just the two of us. We lived in NY (married) for four years and he misses it more than I do. I called my parents to see if they were ok with it and they were (as always) super supportive and encouraging. We can stay with my parents, and it will be great to have time with them and is much cheaper than going somewhere else and staying in a hotel, and we have lots of family and friends in NY. AND, we'll leave on Josh's birthday. So it is a win, win, win situation. :)
Have I mentioned how excited I am?? Running the ING NYC Marathon is SUCH a huge dream come true.
Yay for New York!!! (And to the reader who asked how I was born and raised a New Yorker and ended up living in Wyoming, I will share that story soon).