This past weekend was actually a few firsts for me- first 1/2 as part of a group, first out-of-state race, first race in Georgia…but I had a big realization as I was running, and I want to honor that as the title of this blog.
I surprised myself this weekend. My previous fastest half time was 2:09:57. Pretty fast, and that was my first half marathon. My last two have been significantly slower than that, so I didn’t expect anything impressive yesterday morning. But I felt good as I ran, so I paced myself with my music and sped up a few times. The end result? 2:05:10. WHOA.
But I also let myself drop back a few times to look at my surroundings. I love race signs. I love reading them, and seeing what people have to say to their friends and families. Some of my favorites:
- “Smile If You Pooped Your Pants!”
- “Something Inspirational”
- “Go, Complete Stranger, Go!”
- “Staying Up All Night Making This Sign Was Hard Too!”
- (for the full marathoners) “26.2 miles- because 26.3 would be CRAZY!”
I also really love reading the backs of the shirts of fellow runners, and seeing what they’re running for. Some do it for fitness, and that’s awesome. I know I got started to keep myself from gaining weight in grad school, and it turned into something that I love more than I ever thought I would. But so many also do it for other things- for faith, for charities, for those who they’ve lost or can’t run. And I got to thinking about why I run. I want to run for more. I want to run for something bigger than myself.
When I thought about everything I could run for, I landed on this irreversible fact: I am a preemie, as is my sister, and want to run to help those like my sister and I. Both born at 28 weeks, we were in a lot of danger for the first six weeks of our lives and spent that time in incubators. And while my sister has asthma that is likely a result of that, I suffered no ill effects. I’m incredibly lucky. I want to do something to help other parents see their premature children grow up to do things that amaze them.
So here’s my challenge. My goal for 2011 was to run 400 miles. For every mile that I run past that goal, I’m donating a dollar to March of Dimes. But I want to do one better. If you run (or even if you don’t, even better!), let me know how far you run in December. I’ll donate a dollar for each of your miles too 🙂
I can do something with all the miles I put on the road. And I’m committing to this now because it’s something I believe in, that I understand the power of, and that I want to support. Will you help me?