I’ve always wanted to run a marathon.
As both a touring rock drummer and health and fitness fanatic, I've had a keen interest in superior health and peak performance for a number of years now. As a result, I've been lifting weights for quite awhile and, along the way, incorperating other types of training into my regimen, as well. These have included various styles of martial arts, cycling and yes, even running.
However, I'm afraid I've always had somewhat of a rocky relationship with running, so I've been very on-again/off-again about it. I would usually never run for more than 3 or 4 miles at a shot, and seldom for more than 3 or 4 months at a time (with LONG stretches of time between cycles!). Until recently, in fact, I haven’t been running regularly since early 2007.
On the one hand, I've always loved the meditative aspects of running, the middle-of-the-night jaunts through quiet neighborhoods, and the exhilaration of the infamous "runner's high" endorphin buzz. On the other hand, I’ve simply never had an affinity for doing any real mileage as a runner. And because it's never come easy for me, I would usually "plateau" in my training, feel discouraged, then presume that my weight training - and the 40-plus pounds of additional body mass that I've accumulated along the way - would always prevent me from running significant distances, let alone the crazy-high miles needed to train for a marathon. Still, in the back of my mind, through the years…
I've always wanted to run a marathon.
But what would ever compel me to attempt to break through these mental/physical barriers and actually go through with it?
Well… cut to a year ago. After a heartbreaking evening in a local veterinary emergency room with my BFF Minoo, trying to save a cat who had been hit by a car, we were once again reminded of how important rescue organizations are to rescuers. My favorite LA-based group – Kitten Rescue – was able to step up and take care of the $1000-plus tab that our beloved little “Holly” accrued there as she fought through the night to try and survive her extensive injuries. Ultimately, it wasn’t in the cards for her to stick around this plane, and she passed the next morning. But the point is, if it was in the cards for her to recover, Kitten Rescue ensured that she had the best shot possible. And at the very least, instead of dying alone in agonizing pain on the side of the road, she was able to peacefully slip away in a reasonably comfortable environment with a few folks who cared about her.
This whole incident would influence Minoo to take on the LA Marathon this past March and raise donations for a special fund that Kitten Rescue has for these particular cases. She exceeded her goal of $5000, reaching $5300. Meanwhile, I sat on my ass and insisted that “I’m not cut out for that kind of training.” So when Minoo decided to expand on the idea for the next one, make Kitten Rescue an official charity of the LA Marathon 2012, and get a lot of her friends and colleagues involved with the effort, how could I refuse? Here was a chance to raise some money and quantifiably help so many of my cat and dog friends, while keeping me committed to a process that I know will challenge every part of my being.
So, just for the record, I will be running the LA Marathon 2012 for the following reasons:
1. To raise funds for LA's finest, Kitten Rescue (who, by the way, actually helps cats, kittens, dogs and puppies). They are the real deal, people. I’ve seen them in action a number of times over these past four or five years and they operate with the highest degree of efficacy and integrity. All the money goes directly to help the animals. So if you want to rest assured that your donations are actually going to affect the lives of cats and dogs, look no further.
2. As a living research project: Conventional wisdom in the weightlifting/bodybuilding community says that it’s “nearly impossible” to maintain much of your hard-earned strength and muscle mass while engaging in marathon training, and “all but impossible” to do so on a strict vegan diet. I’m gonna have to disagree. I’ve been veggie since ’91 and vegan since ’93, and I’m betting that I will not only maintain my strength and musculature (less the expected 10 or so pounds of weight loss inherent to any rigorous cardio regimen), but that I will actually thrive through the training on a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet. Follow my blog as I document this entire process: http://bobbyrock.wordpress.com/category/marathon I’m definitely stepping into unknown waters here, but it should be a hell of a ride.
3. Because I’ve always wanted to run a marathon!
So thanks for stopping by and know that I truly appreciate any and all donations, no matter the size.
A bit more about Kitten Rescue:
What is Kitten Rescue? Kitten Rescue is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that was founded in 1997, and that has now grown into one of the most respected animal welfare groups in Los Angeles. Each year, our volunteers place over 1,000 cats and dogs into new homes. Since our inception, we have placed over 10,000 animals into loving homes! [To see where the cats we save come from, please click here.]
Who are our volunteers? Kitten Rescue is comprised of dedicated volunteers who devote much of their time to helping homeless animals, while juggling their own families, jobs, and lives as best as they can! At any given time you may find them bottle feeding orphaned kittens, nursing sick dogs and cats to health, visiting high-kill shelter to save whoever possible, running back and forth to veterinary clinics, trapping feral cats for spay/neuter, feeding feral cats, taming feral kittens, rehabilitating animals with behavioral issues, taking foster animals to adoption events, or delivering animals to their forever homes.
Why sponsor Team Kitten Rescue? Because you will be helping save the lives of cats and dogs who would otherwise not have a chance. Kitten Rescue relies on donations from the public to save the animals and pay for their veterinary care. The more money we raise, the more lives we can save! So please sponsor Team Kitten Rescue today. If you know one of our team members, you can donate directly on his/her individual crowdrise page, and the amount will reflect on this page as well. Since we are a 501c3, donations made to Kitten Rescue are tax-deductible.
Why join Team Kitten Rescue? Because the animals need you! If you walk or run the marathon for Team Kitten Rescue, you will be able to raise money to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs. And if this will be your first marathon, we assure you that it will be an incredibly rewarding and transformational experience. So it's a win-win for you and the animals. And no experience is necessary! So whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a couch potato who has never exercised, we would love to have you on our team. And for added fun, we'll have PRIZES for all team members!
For more information, please go to the KR website at www.kittenrescue.org/LAMarathon or e-mail them directly at TeamKittenRescue@yahoo.com