Over the next four weeks, you'll see regular updates from me, outlining my training and much more. I've experienced so many changes....not only in my physical conditioning, but also in my outlook on life...and will share some of these over the weeks to follow. Some of you will enjoy the notes on training, discovering how a former Phillips Academy and Cornell University rower who had fallen out of shape, never enjoyed running, and frankly, was terrible at it, could go from being winded after a quarter mile, to preparing for a marathon run. Some of you may enjoy reading a bit deeper into each blog post, as I share the snippets on life outlook that miles of running...with attendant thinking and reflection...have helped me to formulate. Perhaps some of these reflections will resonate with you, saving you the miles of running it took me to get there. Others may wonder how it took 32 years for me to reach some of these basic milestones. Either way, you'll get to know your meteorologist much better in the coming four weeks. I hope all of you will consider making a donation to the American Liver Foundation's Run for Research, the charity and reason I'm running the Marathon – specifically with the goal to help children afflicted by liver disease.
As I enter the final month of training, there are a few people who have been huge contributors to this journey, and play a major role in the difference we will make for people with liver disease. I began a 26-week (6-month) training program for the marathon in October, only three months after the birth of my son. This program included between three and four workouts per week, of varying time and intensity, though most could be completed in one to two hours. Thankfully, this didn't take much time away from my son – my greatest joy in life – but as anyone with a child knows, the first thanks I owe is to my wife, as even a few extra hours each week can be exhausting, and she gave even more of her energy and herself to afford me that training time, and I simply could not have done this without that time to train and her support. The seeds of inspiration were nurtured early, and cared for along the way, by my two of my very best friends and colleagues, Dan Skeldon at WMGM-TV in Atlantic City, NJ, and our very own Danielle Niles. I didn't tell many people I'd be running the marathon for months (the topic of a future blog post), but Dan and Danielle were the two who knew from the first day, and offered their unconditional support. “That's awesome – I'll be waiting at the finish line,” Dan offered, while Danielle said, “It'll be a lot of time, but I know if anyone can do it, you can – you'll do great, and I'll be there to cheer you on.” They have, in the months that followed, continued to be my loudest and most loyal cheerleaders.
As I near the end of this particular journey, my most important goal is at hand – take this experience, training, and support, and turn it into something tangible that can be used to make lives better. I hope my blog entries will do that for some of you. The most tangible difference we can make together, however, is to raise money for the American Liver Foundation and the Run for Research. So, if you can, join me in the fight to treat, cure and educate, especially for the children full of innocence, afflicted by an unforgiving disease. You can donate today at http://marathon.mattnoyes.net.