Something came in the mail for me, but it’s really for Namine.

I recently participated in a virtual run from February 7-14. Its purpose was to raise money and awareness for CHD awareness — congenital heart defects. As a virtual event, it could be participated anywhere, throughout the entire week.

I started running a bit during the summer last year, but I stopped as the weather became colder. Since the beginning of this year, though, I picked it up again after getting some warmer running gear.

When I heard about the Roar ‘N Run through the Mended Little Hearts Facebook page, I jumped at the chance. Something you enjoy doing? Check. Supports something you’re passionate about? Check. I was totally there.

I signed up for the half marathon, figuring if I did at least two miles a night (which is about my average anyway), I’d end up at about 14 miles.

I started out doing far better than I expected; for the first couple nights, I did four miles each. But then I came down with some kind of bug, and I only ran a couple miles a night. I had to take a couple nights off, too, because it became too difficult to breathe while running.

I ended up finishing the week at 13.3 miles. It wasn’t as good as I had planned at the beginning of the week, but I still met the original goal of 13.1 miles.

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Picture taken by Namine <3

So my medal for having participated in the Roar ‘N Run came in the mail yesterday. Namine had all sorts of questions about it, like why there was a lion on it, and why it was shaped like a heart.

Namine understands that she was born with a defective heart, but it fascinated her that there might be other kids like her: kids who have also been born with hearts that need fixing, kids who also have a scar on their chest like she does.

In warmer weather, Namine comes on walks and runs with me. She and I did the Al’s Run 5K together back in September, although matching her speed then was more of a brisk walk for me than a run. But as her arms increase in strength, she can go faster in her wheelchair.

It’s still too cold out for Namine to come with me, so I run by myself. (Although lately in this -30 windchill, it’s been too cold for even me to go out.) But until the warm comes again, I go out alone, putting one foot in front of the other. Braving the cold, always thinking of my little love. My Namine.

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