This weekend’s training made up for last week. I ran a marathon pace 8 miles on Saturday and a 16 miler Sunday morning with some of the crew- especially Alex, who ran the first 12 with me and kept us at a steady pace (something I am not very good at!). I felt awesome for the entire run, and it made me feel even better about the big race (and maybe even still being able to qualify…did I say that?!). It’s two months away now!!
We walked on Saturday with the Brongo family to support them and raise awareness for ALS. I know one day, they will find the cure. It was a gorgeous day to be out for a reason. Everyone there reminded me of how amazing our community can be.
I have been a “runner” now for 12 years. It began in 2002 when Bri and I would run one mile every night- sometimes it would be at 11pm because we were pure badass. For the longest time, I refused to go any more than that, despite Brian’s requests. Eventually, we worked our way up to four miles together before we went off to college. It was a way to lose weight (for me, he’s a bean) and spend time with each other and I really looked forward to it.
I really got into mid-distance in college, when my friend Emily and I trained for and ran our first half marathon together in 2006 (which actually benefited the ARC). It was then that running became a way for me to escape the stresses of life for a little while. It became a necessity in my days.
But I really began to fall in love with running in 2009 when I signed up to run a marathon and raise money for Team in Training. Running changed for me then. It was then that I saw the comradery and support that encompasses the running community. I realized that running was way more than a way to keep weight off. It was a way to challenge myself and be healthy, but I could help make a small difference. I met the friends and the group I still run with today, my little Mendonites.
I ran my first marathon in honor of my friend Kailie’s mom and in memory of my friend Ashley’s Grandpa. Everyone has an organization that they hold close to their heart. Whether themselves, family, friends, or just something we’re passionate about. Running/walking events are one of the best ways to honor and support these causes because we not only help raise money for them, but it brings us together for a common cause. It might be that we take on running a race for someone who can’t, raising money and awareness, and/or to help find a cure.
Dave and I at my first marathon- he (and Margaret’s cheering) are truly the only reasons I finished with a smile…or at all.
If you ever need motivation to get moving, look for a charity that calls out to you. There is almost always a walk or a run to support it. Sign up and train for it. Get friends and family to join you. What better way to be healthy and support a good cause?
I have a few organizations that I personally hold close to my heart, as they affect either my family or close friends in some way. I have run and donated for each of them, and will continue to do so as long I can. I encourage you to find one for you and get out there for it.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society