Anatomy of a Team Drea Challenger
I had been thinking about doing a half marathon for quite some time. It seemed like such a big, daunting goal. I never came up with a solid plan to do it until signing up for the Team Drea Challenge in January. I was incredibly fortunate to have the honor of training with Andrea starting in March. We triked/ran several times together, each time a longer distance. It was so motivating having Andrea in front of me "pulling" me a long. Whenever I got tired, I just looked ahead and there she was triking along, and I didn't want to be left behind! Fortunately, we always went out to eat after each run so I would think about what I was going to eat afterwards while on the long runs.
When I invited Andrea to come to my race, she said she was going to participate in her on race that same morning! I told her, "why is this no surprise?!" Most people who have disabilities similar to Andrea would never dream of being as active as she is. I am simply amazed by how well Andrea is able to trike around, despite having ALS, and that she continues doing races. After several weeks of training, I felt ready to complete the half marathon on May 3.
[Editor's note: I only realized a half marathon was a possibility thanks to triking with Carissa!]
On the morning of the race, my husband took this picture:
I have labeled all the swag that makes up the anatomy of a Team Drea member. Some of the swag includes the 179 green T-shirt, the temporary Team Drea tattoo, the Team Drea bracelet and the most special part, the water belt. Andrea graciously gave this to me during my training. It's the same water belt she used during her training, and I greatly appreciate her gift.
With all my swag and gear ready to go, I was on my way to completing the longest run of my life. I ran the Potomac Half Marathon course, which is on the trail of the C & O Canal. It was a very flat, beautiful course and I really enjoyed the run. While I was pretty anxious the first couple of miles, I quickly fell into a good pace and completed the race in 2 hours 24 minutes, which was under my goal of two and a half hours. Thank you Andrea for inspiring me to do this race! It has meant so much getting to train with you and complete a major goal.