Its a strange week in my Ironman Training...Im having to take it easy. On Sunday, I am going to make a second attempt at completing the Disney Marathon.
Last year, I entered the Goofy Challenge. This Challenge consists of doing the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Full Marathon in the same weekend...a little over 39 miles of running. Several days before the race, I came down with the stomach flu but started to feel better on Friday night. I got up Saturday morning and ran the half marathon with a bit of difficulty but I finished the race. By Sunday, my body was feeling pretty horrible. The dehydration from being ill and from the temperature on race day was just too much and I ended up in the medical tent with an IV in my arm.
That will not happen this year!
I am running my marathon with my good friend, business partner and new Ironman, Rick Stafford. Rick and I own Operation Fitness Boot Camp together and he has helped me train for my first triathlon, my first half ironman and more. When we go to races, I usually tell him to go on and run his own race as he is dramatically faster than me. For this race, he will run at my pace and help me complete the 26.2 miles before the cutoff time of 7 hours.
We run these races for a very specific cause. For the Disney Marathon, I am a Mentor for Team in Training which raises money for research for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 3 years ago, I lost my 8 year old godson (Rick Stafford's son) to Leukemia and from that moment forward, it has been my life goal to help find a cure for cancer through my work with the Society. During the training that has lead up to the Disney Marathon, our team of about 100 runners and walkers lost another young brave soul to this disease. Parker was a young boy suffering from Leukemia. After over a year of fighting, he left this world in November. Our team was heartbroken but it also made us more focused on our purpose...we are running for a cause. Leukemia is a cowardly disease. It has a tendency to pick on little kids. My goal is to never see another family go through the pain of losing a child to cancer.
So on Sunday, when the miles of the marathon start to get painful, I will remember my godson, Christian Richard Stafford, who was so brave and strong in fighting his battle with Leukemia...and I will remember Parker, who's smiling face would never have let on that he was terminally ill. These kids are the strong ones...and I just wanna find a cure.