A New “Why”

Remember how I mentioned that I’m setting some big new goals for myself this year? Well, I’m officially going half crazy, because this year I’m taking my triathlon game to a new level…

I’m racing a HALF IRONMAN!!!

That’s 1.2 miles of swimming

56 miles of biking

And 13.1 miles of running

Phew!

For months I have been on the fence about doing a half- the challenge of doing something so big really speaks to me, but I’m also extremely injury prone and am already dealing with some knee issues. Also, let’s face it- a long-distance triathlon sounds a bit like torture.

But the reason to finally commit came last month when I was selected as a 31Heroes Project Ambassador. 31Heroes Project is a nonprofit fundraising organization founded after America lost 30 military service members, many of whom were members of the Navy SEAL community—and one military K9– when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was downed in Afghanistan. Extortion 17 remains the greatest loss of US Military lives in a single incident during the war on terror. In response, a group of crossfit athletes came together to host a fundraising workout, raising $300,000 over a period of 4 weeks for the families of those lost, thus founding the 31Heroes Project. Today 31Heroes Project continues to support the families of those killed and honors their legacy by raising funds for programs that support veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

I’ve seen more than one friend lose his military career to TBI- it’s an incredibly frustrating and cruel experience for them and their families. As a 31Heroes Project Ambassador I have committed to raising awareness and $10,000 for the organization- and what better way to do that than to race the SUPERFROG Ironman 70.3, which traverses the same ground where young men come to be forged into NAVY SEALs. It’s one of the tougher 70.3 races, with a two loop open-ocean swim and 6 miles of running on sand, but I really can’t complain. Racing for a cause like this, carrying the thoughts of those 30 men and one pup with me as I train and compete, makes me feel extraordinarily grateful. I am blessed to have air in my lungs and two solid legs underneath me. I am blessed to have a supportive family and friends. I have no excuses, and I have a new reason for why I tri. So let’s do this.

I hope you’ll join me on my training journey, and if you’re moved at all by the story, contribute to my goal of raising $10,000 for 31Heroes Project. You can find my personal page at classy.org/anniemac. I’m sending special shout outs through my Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@annieappy) to those who donate.

Thanks for continuing on this ride with me- I love getting to share this awesome sport and the world it opens with all of you.

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