Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trials are in one week!

Matt will fly to Charlotte for the U.S. Paralympic Trials next Wednesday. He'll spend the day getting adjusted and testing out the track at Johnson C. Smith University.  He'll enjoy a quiet night in the hotel room before the kids and I arrive on Thursday afternoon - one week from today.  Then, on Thursday evening, he'll race the 5000 meters against other visually-impaired athletes, all vying for one of the coveted spots on the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team.  Two days later, he'll race in the 1500 meters, but this more for fun as his times are too far off of the standard.  Though we'll know if he hits the times immediately, the U.S. team won't be announced until Sunday.  NBC will be airing coverage of the  U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials that will be going on in Eugene, Oregon, so they will break to cover some of the Paralympic trials and the team announcement.    

Although I've joked with Matt ever since he said he wanted to make this journey that I want to be able to say I'm married to an Olympian, the truth is I'm already married to an aspiring Olympian and an inspiration to me and our three children.  We'll be there along with lots of family to cheer Matt on in Charlotte and help him celebrate this amazing journey.

His competition are kids 15-20 years his junior.  He has a full-time job and a family, and yet he's still found time to log more than 60 miles a week.  He hasn't actually ran 5000 meters consecutively at a 15:40 pace, but he's logged lots of time on the track at his target pace.  I can' t wait to be there to see him give it his all during those 12 and a half laps in the Carolina heat.

The article I shared in a previous blog post that was featured in the summer edition of Run Washington has been posted on the Run Washington website and featured in its blog and email.  If you haven't already, you should check it out here.

I promise to document the weekend with lots of updates and pictures.  And, since I haven't had a post in a bit, I wanted to share with you a few pictures from Matt's last race.  He placed second overall at the StarKid 5K on June 5.  (A high school runner beat him.)  Before the race was a 1k family fun run.  The kids and I ran that together.  Even little Zachary managed to run most of it, except for a block or so where I carried him.  Arendelle's Princess Anna was running the race, too, and helped cheer him to the finish.  Also at the race were Queen Elsa and Captain America, a bounce house, and lots of other fun kid events.  As fun as the race is every year, we love doing it because all of the money from the race goes towards the Inova Children's Heart Program.  Medical programs like this are so important, as we learned first hand when Marisa was born with a congenital lung condition and underwent surgery and extensive follow-up care with Children's National.  And now, several years later, she's running in her first race.  She said after that a 1k wasn't long enough.  She wants to do the 5k with Daddy next year. We'll see!

Beginning of the race.  The kid in red won.

Matt and his guide Chuck.

Matt heading to the finish.

Look who we ran into?

Zachary was very excited to meet this guy.
All three kids went up with Matt to claim his prize money.