Today I’m doing a blog swap with Kristina from Blog About Running! I’m excited to have her share her goals and reasons for doing the Chicago Marathon this coming fall. This will be marathon #2 for her and she’s raising money for an awesome charity! You can read my post about why I adopted my cat from PAWS on her blog: Blog About Running.
I started running back in June of 2012 using the Couch to 5K plan and last October I finished my first full marathon!
Running didn’t come naturally to me. I struggled really hard through Couch to 5K and some weeks would only run/walk one day instead of the recommended three. It took me well over the standard 12 weeks to finally run my first 5K but once I did I was hooked!
I didn’t love the running part of racing, but I really liked the way I felt about myself when I crossed the finish line. I felt proud, accomplished and determined at the end of a race– like someone who could see something hard through to the end.
It didn’t take long for me to want to move up from the 5K to the half marathon distance, and after that I really wanted to toe the starting line at a marathon. In fact, I want(ed) to run ultra marathons, but baby steps, right?
Somewhere along the way I stopped loving racing just for the finish line and fell head-over-heels in love with the running part.
Last year I finished the Portland Marathon and was left with trashed quads and a STRONG desire to run another marathon! My only requirement for marathon #2? Make it a flat course!
Right after I ran Portland a couple of my friends ran the Chicago Marathon and it looked like an amazing time; better yet, they all described the course with those magical words “flat and fast.” That’s when my wheels started turning… should I run Chicago? How awesome would it be to run in one of the World Marathon Majors? What would it take to make it happen?
I knew that Chicago had a lottery system in place for their race registrations, but I also knew that you could get a guaranteed entry by running for charity.
I had been wanting to join Team ASPCA for the better part of six months, but none of their partner races were a good fit for me due to date, location or both. As I was casually browsing through Chicago’s partner charities I saw Team PAWS and began researching the PAWS organization.
I quickly realized I had found a perfect fit for myself. Not only would I be able to run the marathon I wanted to, but I could also fundraise for animals in need at the PAWS no-kill shelter. I got in touch with a Team PAWS rep and after my questions had been answered I signed up!
Even though I had no direct affiliation with PAWS it was an easy decision to want to fundraise for them.
When I adopted my cat, Cecil, back in 2007 he was a tiny little mess. Cecil was malnourished, infested with fleas and ear mites and had a whole host of other issues which cost me an arm and a leg…. to the tune of about $2,000. I was in college at the time and $2,000 really felt like an arm and a leg!
I now tell people Cecil is my best investment. I paid big money upfront in vet bills, but I receive a return-on-investment every time he curls up in my lap and purrs or does something super cute like play games on the iPad.
Organizations like PAWS help cats and kittens, like Cecil, get off the cold hard streets. They provide medical care and rehabilitation for the animals and then find them loving homes.
Truthfully, every time I see a stray cat or kitten my heart breaks. I hate it. I hate that people are so careless and refuse to spay/neuter their pets. It’s just so irresponsible! I can’t take in every stray cat I see, but that’s why organizations like PAWS exist. I’m happy to fundraise for PAWS so that they can continue doing important work in the mid-west.
When I signed up to fundraise for PAWS I truthfully planned to make the $1,200 donation out of pocket. I didn’t know if anyone would pledge to my fundraising page, but I feel so grateful that others have!
When the going gets tough in Chicago, as I’m sure it will at some point in the race, I’ll have plenty of inspiration to dig deep. After all I won’t be running this race for myself, but rather for the animals at PAWS and the people who so generously supported me and the PAWS organization.
This may be a bit of a ramble, but I’m linking up with Amanda for Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud!
Well, it’s been a week now since my workout and other life routines was thrown into a loop with my move. I’m still figuring out where stuff lives in our new kitchen, adjusting from a bathroom with a separate W/C that I shared with Mike to one fully shared bathroom. I’m staying up later than normal to organize my closet and other areas, at the expense of my sleep.
Heres the “before” of the bedroom where the closet is:
And where it is now:
I’m working on getting back into my normal routine, but one thing that I definitely need to plan some time for ASAP is some self-care. I’ll try to take a bubble bath this weekend (new bathtub!) and also enjoy some hang out time. Even if I don’t get in everything I need, I hope I’ll get enough “me time” in to help me feel more ready to conquer the week, and look forward to an upcoming event where I’ll get more self-care opportunities in!
I’m looking forward to a little pre-Valentines Day “me time” at the Rooted Center’s Be Your Own Valentine event on February 7th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at 2221 W. North Avenue, Chicago. Whether you have a Valentine or not, you deserve to be taken care of! Experience any or all of the following activities on YOUR day:
Mini Massage Sessions
Stretching & Self-care Techniques Class
Mini Acupuncture Sessions
Breath Techniques & Essential Oils Sessions
Visualization & Art Sessions
I’m no stranger to the benefits of massage, but I’m working on trying to incorporate breathing techniques into my regular stress management routines. I’m looking forward to learning more about some other things – like visualization and art therapy. All proceeds from this event go to benefit No Stigmas. NoStigmas is a Chicago not-for-profit whose mission is to erase the stigmas that are associated with mental illness and suicide while concurrently providing support to those that struggle with mental illness. NoStigmas boasts Chicago’s largest free mental health resource database and provides access to free virtual peer mentorship services.
I don’t know if I ever talked about it on this blog, but before Lauren Runs I had a blog called “Its about the journey, not the destination.” We are all on a quest to be more/better/different/awesome. Let’s remember how far we’ve already come.
Sorry I’ve been so distant. Right after ironman louisville I jumped back into grad school and boy, was this a shock! Writing papers every week…
This weekend I was reading about the concept of accountability in information technology, it made me think about this within our own lives. I am accountable for all of my decisions, and whether I have done everything to achieve my goals.
This is a turnaround for me. While it’s not rocket science, I am going to take more action to further key goals. Excellence in my athletic endeavors, in my relationships…