April 19, 2016
BENEFITING: Light of Life Ministries
ORGANIZER: Light of Life Ministries
EVENT: Pittsburgh Marathon 2016
EVENT DATE: May 01, 2016
This past summer, I committed to making time for myself again. After carrying, birthing, nursing and caring for two sweet baby boys over the past seven years, I forgot about myself just a tad. I mean, I really care until it hurts sometimes, but really it was not so bad at all - I am just very wrapped up in the needs of these little cherubs, and I love every minute of that. BUT, it was time to make sure I was taking good care of myself again like I always liked to do. I began to eat right and work out every single day. Of course, because I am human- it has not been perfect. I have hit snags. I have traded a few late evening runs for snuggles. Some nights I needed those runs, some nights I needed those snuggles. So, have I skipped work outs? Sure!
Somehow, one day I came across the date of the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon, and I noticed it was on my father's birthday, May 1. Gears started to turn. What if I participated in the marathon in his memory? I initially set out to do the full marathon, but I hit a tiny health snag, and so I am doing the half. I guess 13.1 is not too shabby for where I am in this health journey. I am not giving up on the idea of conquering the full marathon in the Burgh someday, as sixteen years ago, I made it to mile 21 of the Pittsburgh Marathon, and then I became severely dehydrated. Blah, blah, blah - I wanted to roll on, but before I knew it I was wrapped in the big foil blanket and on my way to the finish line... in the sweep shuttle. Not at all the exciting finish I wanted, especially since I am SO not a quitter.
I sort of redeemed myself when I completed the full Honolulu Marathon -26.2 miles-in 2004, but it still wasn't Pittsburgh (but, hey - I am not complaining one bit about using my own two feet to explore Oahu island that day - I mean, that was pretty glorious!) When my oldest son was younger, I completed the Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon and I have done the relay a couple of times since then too, but again, I have still not overcome that Pittsburgh full! So, that is okay. This is not my year either, but I am excited to participate in the half marathon on my dad's birthday!
I am running for The Light of Life Mission, simply because I believe in the cause of helping those who are less fortunate. My son and I served Christmas Eve breakfast there this year. He even mopped the floor afterwards -I mean mop and bucket style-proud moment for me to see his young, caring heart in action. That day, I found out they had a charity running team - and the marathon was going to happen on my dad's birthday, and all the stars aligned.
So, the big question--am I ready for this half marathon? It depends on your definition of ready. By my definition of ready - I say FOR SURE! Do I look like a half marathon runner? No, but I never worry about fitting a mold - I would rather break a mold than fit into a stereotypical anything about anything. Hey, this big boned gal has some endurance let me tell you. These legs can move! Am I going to win? No. Am I going to finish? Yes. Am I going to raise funds for a great cause? Yes. Am I going to come in last place? Hopefully not. Am I going to push myself and be positive and know that I can do anything I put my mind to Yes. Could I wait until I am "more ready?" Yes. BUT, this half marathon might not fall on my dad's birthday for six or seven more years! We don't know what tomorrow brings, andI am going on a simple lesson that I teach my students when solving a hard math word problem, "Start with what you know!" Well, today, I know I can jog 7 miles at a time. It isn't fast. It might not be super pretty, but today I know I can cross that finish line on his birthday - this year. I just have to do that 7 mile training run twice on that day. Seriously, it's all mental! Jog 7 - walk a few, catch my wits, and do it again! That is my plan! Make the most of this moment. When are we ever really ready for anything anyway?
I met my initial goal of raising $500 for the Light of Life Mission in ONE day thanks to close family and friends! So, I say - let's go for $1,000! Did I mention Fundraisers of Steel (those who raise $1,000 or more) get a free massage after the marathon - please and thank you! ha!) If you cannot donate to this great cause, just say a silent prayer or send me positive vibes (send it to all those who run that day please).
I know I will make it across that line no matter what it takes. I know my dad will be watching over me, as I do this race in his memory. For all the hours, days, weeks that he suffered with illness, I know I can handle a measly couple of hours of "suffering." Actually, anyone who knows me knows that it's pretty sick how much I actually love to run / jog. I mean, exercise is the most underused anti-depressant, and I LOVE me some happy endorphines! So, I will be okay, and I know I will love it being out on that course!
For my dad and all others who are not able to wake up and run a race, this one is for you! And this one is for The Light of Life Rescue Mission. And this one is for me.