Chronic Illness, Running, Type 1 Diabetes

Will Run Chicago

After my last half marathon in October, I was finished with races until 2020. While I was happy with the effort I had put in all year long, I was ready for a break from training, and I was beginning to think about the upcoming year. I remember mentally planning out all of my races for 2019, and being so excited to run my first marathon. This year, planning out my races for 2020 has gone a bit differently. I knew I wanted to run another marathon, but I was unsure if the Fargo Marathon was the one I wanted to run again. Don’t get me wrong, running the Fargo Marathon in 2019 was amazing! The crowds were awesome despite cold, windy, and rainy conditions, but training for a marathon during a Fargo winter was HARD. It takes a lot of mental preparation, and even some bribery, to get myself outside in the cold and snow, or on a treadmill to get my miles in. That’s when I decided that I needed a change this year, and that I was going to put my name in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon.

I never thought I’d apply for such a large race like the Chicago Marathon. I always thought that if I ever ran it, it would be because I got in with a time standard. Lotteries are a risk. It is a not a guaranteed entry into the race, but thinking about the possibility of running the Chicago Marathon helped me get through a bit of a running burn out towards the end of 2019. When the day came to enter into the lottery, I got my name in within minutes of the lottery opening. I then had to wait a little over a month to see if I was one of the lucky runners who’d get their name picked to run. I was reading statistics about the odds of getting into the Chicago Marathon, and one stat said that in 2015, 53% of the 54,800 lottery applicants were accepted. That is compared to the New York Marathon lottery that same year where they only accepted 18% of lottery applicants. I thought my chances were pretty good.

Then the day came that all the lottery applicants were anxious about: selection day. I waited anxiously all morning, checking my email at least four times an hour. Then I got the email:

Thank you for entering the Bank of America Chicago Marathon non-guaranteed entry drawing. We regret to inform you that your name was not selected.

I was disappointed to say the least. I had been using the Chicago Marathon as way to keep myself out of a running burn out, and I had pictured crossing the finish line during my training runs for awhile. I told my mom that I didn’t get in and then I went about my day; starting to map out a training plan for the Fargo Marathon. When I got to the gym later that day, I was relieved to hear that other runners had also gotten the same disappointing email. With a sense of relief that I wasn’t the only runner disappointed in their lottery result, I grabbed my phone and running shoes, and went to run out some frustration on the treadmill. That’s when I got the Facebook notification from my mom about running the Chicago Marathon for a charity. I was suddenly excited about the chance of possibly still running Chicago. I chewed it over throughout the night, thinking about if it was possible to raise anywhere from $1,500-$2,000 for a charity of my choice. My friends and family assured me it was possible, and without skipping a beat, I contacted JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) the next morning about a charity bib for their organization.

If you’ve been following my blog or my Instagram for awhile, you’d know that Type 1 Diabetes affects me directly. I am a person living with Type 1 Diabetes, and this disease was the reason I started this blog and my Instagram in the first place. It was an absolute no brainer that I would choose to run for an organization like JDRF. I am honored to be able to run for an organization that is doing all that they can to change the lives of people living with Type 1 Diabetes and help find a cure. Running for Team JDRF will help me on my mission to show others that you can do anything you set your mind to as a Type 1 Diabetic. It’ll help me get the conversation started about what Type 1 Diabetes even is, and just how it impacts those of us living with it. It’ll help me start other important conversations that come along with the severity of this disease like the rising price of insulin in the United States, insulin rationing, and why those things are so problematic. I’m excited to run in the Chicago Marathon in October, but I am even more excited about this opportunity I have been given to educate and inform others.

Since December 16, 2019, I have raised $675 of my $2,000 fundraising goal for the Chicago Marathon with Team JDRF. I haven’t even been fundraising a month and I’m 33% of the way toward my goal. I am blessed to have such supportive friends, family, colleagues, and local businesses in my life. Living with Type 1 Diabetes is not easy, and running with Type 1 Diabetes isn’t easy either, but I’m so glad I have the ability to do it. If you’re looking for a cause to donate to this year, I ask that you consider donating to JDRF, whether that be through my fundraising page or directly through them. Any little bit helps, your donation is tax deductible, and you’ll help improve the lives of diabetics, and hopefully help us find a cure.

Click here to follow a direct link to my Team JDRF 2020 Chicago Marathon fundraising page

Edit:

As of April 1, 2020, I have met my $2,000 fundraising goal! In fact, I surpassed my goal by raising $2,075! I still have six months to go until the Chicago Marathon so if you’re interested in donating, the link above is still live!

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