As a busy mother of three little girls, one having significant special needs and medical issues, training for a race can seem like a daunting task. Finding the time to train, work on my stamina and really commit to running is not easy. However, I have found running to be a healthy outlet for me and a great way to include my children in a healthy goal. My favorite little running partner is my daughter with special needs, Brookie. I push her in her adaptive stroller and she loves it. Together, we “run.” While I get in a good, meaningful workout, Brookie gets to enjoy the outdoors and experience the feeling of wind on her face. Hearing her happy laugh always gets me to that next mile!
It is always a fun experience to run in 5K races. When the run specifically benefits our beloved Phoenix Children’s Hospital, well, it is easy to get excited about training for it. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5K means so much to my family and me, as it directly benefits children like Brookie. As I take each step or finish each mile, all of the boys and girls fighting for a chance to live a full and happy life, despite their medical challenges, are on my mind. Before we had our Brookie, I did not fully understand the impact these races had. Thankfully, I now personally see the purpose and meaning behind the race. It is an amazing feeling to run in a special event that directly impacts Arizona children. I cannot wait to participate this year!
Training as a Parent
Training when you are a busy parent and living in Arizona summer’s heat can be tricky. I am by no means a stellar runner or athlete so I run at a slow pace. My goal is not to make a specific time, but to get healthy and relieve stress. Right now I am doing interval training, going back and forth between running and walking. I usually run at night on my treadmill or around my neighborhood. When it’s not too hot at night, I push my daughter in her adaptive stroller to build my strength. She loves it just as much as I do! Look for us – she has a red adaptive stroller and is usually in pink!
“The Couch Potato to 5K” plan is wonderful and you can find it online. It really works, and the average person like me can get themselves to 5K-ready in a few months. I really love this program and have used it many times before when preparing for races and walks. Along with my run/walk intervals, I am drinking a lot of water and watching my diet. It’s amazing to see how much better and longer my energy lasts when I am eating healthier and being active.
Why Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5K?
You may be asking yourself “Why this race?” Phoenix Children’s Hospital is such a blessing to our family and is literally the reason why our daughter is here today. Brookie has faced many medical challenges, and the doctors at the Hospital have been there for us time and time again throughout our journey. I have become involved in the Family Advisory Council at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and it is wonderful to work together with doctors, nurses and staff members to improve patient and family care at the Hospital. Seeing the good works come to fruition and the passion and love these people have for every child who comes in is humbling. Being a small part of this amazing organization has become such a fulfilling part of my life.
I am very grateful for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Not only does it deliver incomparable pediatric medical care for Arizona children, but this Hospital has become a safe haven for my family. We have had countless happy experiences because of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. They care about the families they serve. If participating in this 5K is a small way I can show gratitude, well, I am fully committed! The Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5K is now a tradition for me.
Why You Should Register
I would encourage anyone who has a 5K on their bucket list to choose to run for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Not only will it directly impact families in our state, but you will feel such gratitude to be a part of something so big and great. Come join Brookie and me at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5K this October!