Purple Community Blog

5 Oct 2017

Cheers to 26.2!

Wow. In just three short days I will be running (and maybe walking) my FIRST EVER marathon.

I am both anxious and excited for 3.5 months of training to culminate on Sunday when I cross the finish line at the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Marathon. Training has proved to be both mentally and physically challenging.

There were MANY days I did not want to roll out of bed on a Sunday morning to shuffle around Reeds Lake or along Lakeshore Drive in Holland. I owe a great debt to my friends and family who ran with me and poured into me words of affirmation on the days I didn’t think I could take even one more step.

This marathon has taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses — physically, mentally and even spiritually. I also learned how hard it is to carry a camera, talk and run at the same time. 🙂 As I have been training, all I could think about was my high school cross-country coach and one of my all-time favorite humans — Chuck Yonker aka Coach Y/Old Guy/Yonker. I remember on the first day of practice my junior year he told us, “there are competers and completers.” I think it is safe to say on Sunday I won’t be there to compete, but I will be a completer for an amazing cause.

Another one of his Yonker-isms was “head, heart and feet.” You have to be mentally strong, carry that into your heart and let your feet do the rest. This is most certainly going to be my mantra as I trot 26.2 miles in the windy city to honor and remember those who have been impacted by cancer, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

As much as I have enjoyed this journey, I think I am a “one and done” marathon runner. HOWEVER, Team Hope will need YOUR help next year! If you are interested in learning more about joining Team Hope email us at purplecommunity@vai.org and we will happily pass along information!

In the meantime, if you would like to send an encouraging note or donate, it’s not too late! You can do both by visiting my fundraising page, crowdrise.com/hannah-purplecommunityteamhope.

Cheers to 26.2!