One of the coolest things I did in 2012 was run my first half marathon. I started the year having not really done anything aerobic in months, carrying a LOT of extra baby weight, and I couldn’t puff my way through one mile. I remember running outside on the road for the first time and being proud of myself for walking the “hills,” those little blips I would barely call speed bumps now. And, over the summer, I managed to turn myself into an endurance runner and knocked out 13.1 actual miles. And have since knocked out more than that on my way to being a marathoner.
But, a big part of the “cool” that came with running that half marathon was that I raised over $450 for Mercy Project, as the only remote member of Team Mercy Project (a group of runners who pledged to raise money for Mercy Project as their entry fee into the BCS Marathon.) Since my goal was only $350, and the morning of the race, I hadn’t hit that goal yet, and somehow passed it in a flurry of activity on Facebook the day of the race, it was just the cherry on top of the awesomesauce on top of the ice cream sundae that was that race.
I’ve “liked” the BCS Marathon on Facebook for almost a year, because the race director is also the founder of Mercy Project, and it’s been fun to keep up with the goings-on. Chris is fantastic about revving people up for the race, and based on all of the feedback I’ve seen, on Facebook, on Marathon Guide, and elsewhere about the BCS Marathon, it is an amazing race that is well put together. So, Bill and I discussed and we decided we’d be on the REAL Team Mercy Project in 2013.
The minimum fundraising goal for the full marathon is $500, so that’s where I’m headed. Bill, at this point, is only committed to the half, with a fundraising goal of $350. However, I have challenged him, and he has
tentatively accepted been suspiciously mum on the topic when I bring it up, that if we manage to raise enough for him to enter the full marathon, he’ll do the whole 26.2 with me.
Hey, I’m all about inspiring people. I inspired him to start running in the first place. He did his first 5K on Thanksgiving, with me, in 20 mph winds. And sometimes I just have to strong-arm him into being inspired to do stuff that he previously claimed he would never do.
Like running marathons.
Or, a marathon. Singular. Because I doubt I’ll be able to talk him into doing more than one. Particularly because I haven’t officially talked him into one yet.
But that’s beside the point.
The kids – Taylor especially – wanted to be involved this year. She had such a good time doing acts of kindness for Advent last year, and I like to think that I inspired her to set a goal and complete it. A few weeks ago, I was reading a magazine article about a program that has kids run 100 miles in a school year.
So I thought to myself, Self, your kids can do that.
But, as with my half marathon, it’s way more fun to do things when there’s an element of helping others involved. So, not only will the kids be running 100 miles, collectively, over the year (with the final mile being at the BCS Kids Marathon), but they’re going to be raising money to contribute to our Team Mercy Project fundraising along the way. And hopefully they’ll inspire someone else. Because if a 7 year old and a 4 year old can run 100 miles throughout the year, anyone can.
Bill and I agreed to give them each $1 for every mile they run. Taylor, ever the saleswoman, has started hitting up family members for pledges. Our family fundraising page is set up, and I even made the kids their own Facebook page, so people who don’t read my blog will be able to keep track of their progress.
It was freezing cold and pouring down rain on New Year’s Day, so no matter how much Taylor wanted to go out and run her first mile, it just wasn’t going to happen. So, yesterday, we were ready to head out as soon as Bill got home from work, bundled up for the 39 degree weather. He changed, we loaded into the car, and headed down to a local part with a quarter mile track. It will likely be the place that we run many of our one-mile jaunts, mostly because that track is pretty convenient, and there’s a playground adjacent that the kids love.
I did the first lap with the older kids while Bill pushed the baby in the stroller. We tagged out for lap number two (er, after 1/3 of mile, roughly), and then I walked entirely too fast with the baby, so Bill ended up with laps 2 AND 3. Whoops. I waited for him and the kids and took the last lap with Taylor. Blake wasn’t up for running the entire last lap, so he walked a little bit with Bill and ran a little bit with me, and we crossed the “finish line” together.
I couldn’t run just 3/4 of a mile, so while Bill loaded the kids in the car, I busted out the last 1/4 mile, just to be able to put a round number on Daily Mile.
I realize that where some of you live, 39 degrees isn’t cold, but to us, it was FREEZING. We were very happy to get back into the toasty van and come home to eat some toasty chili.
So, mile 1 down. 99 to go!
I’d be stupid if I didn’t add, if you are so inclined, please feel free to donate to Mercy Project via our fundraising page, or make a pledge on Facebook (if you don’t think they’ll make it 100 miles, then you’re only on the hook for whatever you pledged times however many miles they complete.) All donations are tax-deductible, as Mercy Project is a 501(c)3 non profit, and you’ll get a receipt emailed to you for tax purposes.