A while ago I was browsing through the 14 in 2014 posts and saw a lot of people doing virtual runs, which made me kinda want to do another one. I was looking for one that supported a good cause and didn’t care so much about the medal – until I discovered the Piedmont Mended Little Hearts program. It is a program of Mended Hearts, Inc., a support group for families of children with congenital heart defects. They are hosting a “Tinman Club” 5K to support the Winston-Salem, NC area chapter. CHDs occur in 1 out of every 110 births and 25% of those babies will require surgery to survive.

I can’t say no to helping babies, not to mention their worried families.

So I donated my $25 and did my 5K on the treadmill. I’m supposed to be staying off my ankle, and I really have no good excuse as to why I did the run so soon after being told to stay off it other than that when I’m told not to do something I REALLY want to do it. Like I said, I’m a dumbass.

I was also hit with a bout of anxiety Tuesday night and just weight-lifting wasn’t going to cut it. I went to the gym with the express intention of just working my arms and abs, but couldn’t resist the cardio room.

ImageI had worn my Hopkins mesh jersey to the gym (I’m a grad student there). Even though I’m not there for the med school, it seemed appropriate to be supporting families dealing with CHD in Hopkins gear. I’m pretty proud to be a student at an institution that has healed so many.

Like any decent Wizard of Oz superfan, I couldn’t resist the little Tinman medal. I didn’t open my little package til after I did my run. I took it at a very easy pace, and actually during my time on the treadmill my ankle didn’t hurt at all, kind of like during Rock ‘n’ Roll USA. I took a picture of my workout results to post to the Event page for proof of time, and went home to unwrap my little Tinman medal.

He’s a darling little guy, no bigger than a half-dollar, and it’s a sweet little medal. I definitely encourage anyone looking for some motivation to get 3 miles in some time during their training season to dedicate it to Mended Little Hearts: Tinman Club of Winston-Salem with a donation that will help them support local families and spread CHD awareness.

Take care of your blessedly healthy heart and keep it healthy with some cardio! Even if you’re not a runner, virtual “races” are great because they offer no time limit and you can walk the whole thing.

Happy running and love to the Little Hearts. ❤