It has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. Mainly due to a pretty hectic schedule the last few weeks but also because I have been in a little post-race funk. The Ouachita Trail 50K was something that had been in the back of my mind since the first of the year and even with the Little Rock Marathon in March, I still had my eyes on the 50K. Since then, it has kinda left me in a bit of a funk. I still have the Tour de Cure bike ride in June to look forward to, my first Sprint Triathlon in July, and the Chicago Marathon in October. However for whatever reason I kinda feel like I did after I did when I completed Chicago last year as my first… just kinda in a funk.
I really think it is also has a lot to do with the fact that my running schedule seems to have been out of whack the past 2 weeks as well. The normal running group is in a little hiatus right now. Tim took a new job that takes him out of the early morning runs, Devra is recovering from a serious back issue and shin splints, David is taking a break from running because of Plantar Fasciitus, and Kendall and Dathan have switched to adventure race and Ironman training. So my reliable 5-6 running days a week schedule is at a hit or miss 3-4 days a week now. I know I just need to suck it up and get out a bed and run even if that means solo runs for a while.
All of this has me thinking though that I need more than just a race on the calendar or a goal to hit in terms of mileage. Over the past year I have found a great resource in the social media aspect of the running community and through that have met some great new running friends. David Murphy is one of those friends I have met and quite honestly has been a great inspiration for me in terms of running and more importantly – what you can do with running that is more than just the miles. Don’t get me wrong – David has some crazy talent in just the miles department as well - sub 24 hour 100 mile ultras and stuff like that! However one of the areas that David has really made a difference with running is his dedication to fighting cancer. David has raised I believe over $15,000 towards the fight against cancer just through his running activities. He has been able to use his passion of running to do more than just satisfy the internal drive for more miles. He has made a difference in the lives of those facing an unbelievable fight and hopefully gotten us all closer to a point where cancer can one day be a thing that you just read about in the history books. His last post that outlines his efforts can be read here.
So over the last two weeks I have really been wondering if I need more than just another race or mileage goal to go after. Those are still important and a very driving force for me. But I just wonder if I may be missing the point. I mean as a runner I think we can all take for granted our ability to lace up and go out and hit the road or trails. There are men, women, and children that as I write, are in the battle of their lives just to beat cancer and survive. Over the last month I have had a past employee pass away from cancer and a friend of ours 3 year old little girl diagnosed with Leukemia.
So maybe I am missing the point. Miles are miles – but I wonder if I can be doing something more than just logging the miles. My family has been extremely lucky in that we have not had to face cancer directly. When you hear of a 3 year old fighting it, it makes you hug your little ones a little tighter and a little longer. And … it makes me want to do more than just log miles.
Kids are a blessing to anyone and the most incredible gift I have ever received. As such I want to make sure I help in a way that particularly helps kids affected by cancer. St. Judes, as most people are aware, focuses on children fighting cancer and other life threatening diseases. They have been instrumental in cancer research over the past 50 years and have taken survival rates for children affected by cancer from 20% in the early 1960s to over 80% as of now. This is an organization I want to help!! I want to help stamp out cancer and particularly help children that are fighting it.
So thanks to David Murphy I have signed up to help St. Judes through the silly act of just running. I have no idea if I will be able to raise $10 or $10,000. However even if it is just $10 – it will mean that me logging miles has done more than just added a number to a chart that use to track my mileage each month. If this is something that hits home with you and you for some reason feel compelled to help – sign on with me. My goals are are simple – see if I can get a few people to commit $.10 per mile I run each month. My average mileage this year is anywhere from 130-150 miles per month with a goal of getting to 200 miles each month. So that would equate to $13-$20 each month. For what ever I get from you guys each month – we will also match up to $100. I would love to raise $1200 and match $1200 over the next year to equal $2400 over 12 months.
I have set up a Google Docs form for you to pledge through. At the end of each month I will email out my total mileage and a link for you to donate securely through my St. Judes fundraising page. If you can’t donate monthly – there is also a one time donation option or if you can’t donate on a particular month – just let me know. Any dollars raised – is going to a great cause and greatly appreciated!
My miles will be more important from here on out. No longer is it about filling in a spot on the chart for each month. No longer is is just about me and the number of miles I will complete. Each mile will hopefully mean that I am doing something for a child that can’t get up and lace up for a run. I still will keep races and goals on the calendar as that is just a part of what drives me. But hopefully this puts it all in a different perspective with a greater cause.