I made a commitment (that I hope you agree I have mostly stuck to) a few months ago when I resumed writing here that the focus of this blog would remain, as was it's original intention, to provide updates on Keegan's medical condition. However, it also is a documentation of our life as a family and our dedication to causes dear to our hearts, mainly organ donation and congenital heart defects. I suppose and suspect that autoimmune disorders will be joining those ranks this year, but clarity on that issue is still in the works. (What, you thought when the lab promised we would have results before the end of the month, they meant it? Ha ha ha. Ahem.)
The last purpose of this blog was to be a place to process emotions and provide support. Today's little post falls into the latter category, as it were. Back in April, I wrote a post about my somewhat inglorious return to running. Despite being set back by gallbladder removal surgery, I managed to have a good return to my sport over the summer and early fall, even maintaining it throughout Keegan's inpatient stays and a nagging pain in my foot. The nagging pain turned into a torn Achilles and severe inflammation in my peroneal tendon that put me in a cast, on crutches, and kept me from completing the Dallas half-marathon last month. I made a promise then that I would run another half as soon as possible in order to complete my commitment to Team Beads of Courage and all of you who donated to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children on Keegan's behalf.
On Christmas Day, I had been in the cast for the full 2 weeks post-crutches. I went straight to the gym that morning when Gray got to the hospital for my first run in 3 weeks. Only to end up with continued pain and a seriously broken heart. The pain wasn't debilitating, but it was nagging, which was more than what I was expecting at that point. I took one more week off of running, partly because of my ankle and partly because of a sinus infection straight from hell. Seriously kids, it was nasty. Ironically, the steroid shot in my booty for the sinus infection may have had the added benefit of helping my foot over the healing hump!
But now I am ready to head into 2013 fresh and healthy. My top priority of the year is to dive back into training smart and injury-free. Running is a sport I truly love, and racing has taken on a new appeal to me now that I am not playing competitive team sports anymore. (It doesn't hurt that I'm now in an age group where I can win. Score one for aging! Maybe in 10 more years, I can qualify for Boston.) I've found a chiropractor and physical therapist that are working with me on this front, and I've learned more about how to strengthen, stretch, and prevent the same injury. It's actually my right hip that causes my left foot/knee issues, but that's another story for another time.
Another thing I love about racing is the ability to bring awareness for our causes and fundraising for organizations dear to our hearts. To that effect, I have committed to the 13 in 2013 Challenge! Now this should be interesting!
The goal of this challenge is to run 13 races in 2013. (Oh, and I kinda said I would complete a full marathon this year. Just for fun, ya know!) Luckily, Jill and Jen will be hosting a few virtual races to make it easier because race entry fees aren't exactly cheap these days. I'm hoping Keegan will stay stable and healthy through the rest of January so I can join Gray in the Herothon half marathon on January 27. That will be a way to meet knock out a January race and make up for the missed Dallas half. How I feel the next three weeks will make a big difference, but right now, I think I will slow down to run with Gray in order to pace him and take it easy. I'm so proud of him for sticking to his training plan, and it will be nice to spend the time together. I will have time to race at my typical pace and set some speed goals later in the year. Then, I'm going to run the Hot Chocolate 15K on February 9. The Cowtown marathon is on my birthday this year, but our budget will probably keep me from that one.
I promised this post would come full circle. Here's how this applies to Keeg and this blog:
I will be picking several races throughout the year where we can have a K's for Keegan team presence, that benefit organizations important to Keegan (such as Children's, Scottish Rite, Make A Wish, etc), and for one or two, we will fundraise. Obviously, I will always have my K's for Keegan tshirt on that encourages others to register as organ donors, and for bigger races, I will continue to carry beads for Team Beads of Courage. I haven't planned out a full racing calendar yet, but the first K's for Keegan race will be the Firefly Run 5K in Plano on March 23, 2013. This is a night race that benefits Children's Medical Center and is super fun. I will post more details as I figure it all out.
Well, this was a super long entry that was slightly off topic. I will return to regular posts after this and won't bother any readers here with too much running talk the rest of the year. If we organize a team or choose to fundraise, you'll hear about it. If not, I will keep it to myself. And just to wrap it up with some Keegan news, he is still home and doing better with just a few more days of IV antibiotics. His annual transplant cardiac work-up is scheduled for January 8. Once again, we thank you for every prayer and bit of support you provide us on a daily basis. You keep us running! ;)