I did it! I officially completed the Chicago Marathon. All 26.2 miles. I decided to wait to write the official recap in hopes that the painful parts would fade away and leave only the happy feelings of finishing. Though I’m still not totally there, the pain is becoming a more distant memory and wanted to share with all of you the highlights of the day.
The biggest highlight is that because of the overwhelming support of friends and family, I raised over $3,000 for Team World Vision. That amount is enough to provide clean water for 60 people. I am absolutely floored by that. The night before the race we attended the team dinner which really brought to life the need and the benefit that this money will provide. I am so thankful that I was able to do this small thing, which because of you became a very big thing that will truly make a difference in people’s lives. For me, this was what it was about. Crossing the finish line was a high, but when I saw that a few additional donations had come in to total over $3,000, this is when tears came to my eyes.
Other highlights include (aside from still standing at the end):
- My mom and Trent cheering from the sidelines throughout the course even with her hurt foot!
- Erin, Drew and Benjamin Whipple (who was wearing a “Team Steph” orange shirt) managed to be at several points during the race just when I needed it!
- Seeing my lovely small group girls—Emily, Anna, Lauren, Carolyn thank you for cheering!!
- Beth and Evan Nielsen who were at three of the most difficult mile markers and the finish to celebrate!
- Kerri Lin who ran over a mile with us at difficult Mile 20
- Emily Brennan who not only finished the marathon at her personal best of under 4 hours but who also came back to run the last .2 miles with us so that World Vision Team Kellogg could finish together!
- Sachpreet Chandhoke who carried me on her back for all 26.2 miles with inspiration and encouragement. There were definitely low moments during the race but she totally kept me going when I wanted to quit.
- Countless friends and family who prayed, called, emailed, texted, sent facebook messages and well wishes to me for the big day.
- Total strangers who held up signs which made me laugh and just feel blessed by the support of people I don’t even know. World Vision had many fans that day as well, and I was so proud to wear the orange jersey in support of this cause.
This experience has reinforced to me three things: that you can truly do anything that you set your mind to, that I have incredibly generous friends and family, and that I am more fortunate that I ever dreamed to have free access to the life-changing resource of clean water.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this with me!
PS—Team World Vision accepts additional donations after the race! If you perhaps doubted that I would actually cross the finish line and would still like to contribute, you can do so here:
This post is a long time coming. I’ve been busy with a new job and of course, running, but did not want to miss the opportunity to reflect on what a humbling experience the last few weeks have been in terms of training and fundraising.
Maybe I had taken this goal, this event too lightly. I surely know (and have written about) the severity of the need. Amplified to the extreme by the famine in the Horn of Africa, there is no time when the vital resource of water is more precious to the people that are without access. I know this, and this is why I run.
Yet at the same time, I complain about running. I dread it. I write about dreading it.
But that was before, this is now. In the weeks since sending out my fundraising email announcing my efforts and how they will help to bring clean water to Africa, I have literally been brought to my knees by the response. As donations have come in, I have just been so grateful for the generosity of those that I care about and the impact that it can have on the lives of people that I also care about, but do not know. I have written brief notes of thanks, but these notes cannot describe how blessed, how thankful, how honored that I feel. I feel privileged to get to do this small thing, but while doing it, make such an impact.
Where I used to feel dread, I now feel a sense of purpose. I feel the support, prayers, thoughts of those who have so generously donated to my efforts propelling me on. In addition to this, I also feel a greater sense of the impact that this money will have in Africa. For each $50 that I raise, one person will have access to clean water for life. At a total of $1400.00 thus far, that means that 28 people will have access to the life-changing resource of clean water. I can hardly grasp what this means, but the video below gives me a sense of what it can mean for one person.
So thank you. Thank you for making what was a dreaded task into a joyful (though still sometimes painful) pursuit. Thank you for propelling me on, and more than that, thank you for changing lives like Rosemary’s through your generosity.
If you haven’t had a chance yet and would like to contribute to clean water in Africa, please do so here: http://bit.ly/iUlpAt
Though I gave a dramatic hint (ok– extreme exaggeration) of what has gone on over the past few months, the truth is that I’ve been busy!
First, I crossed item #11 off my 30 before 30 list and officially have my MBA!
Other notable “Before 30″ accomplishments include:
Dinner at Publican
I’ve started my job at PepsiCo as a Brand Manager in their Global Nutrition Group and have managed to successfully transition back into the work world, though am still missing my midday student-life naps.
In running news, things are going great:
1. I have nearly fully recovered from my IT band injury, thanks to months of physical therapy and Athletico’s wonderful electrode pain relief featured in the past post. I try to roll on my foam roller before and after every run but haven’t needed to ice after my recent long runs.
2. Speaking of long runs, we are in the DOUBLE DIGITS!!! This marks week 8 of marathon training which means that I will run 13 MILES this Saturday! Last Saturday, Sach and I successfully completed 12 miles in the rain. This means that we are officially “real” runners.
3. The other reason we know we are real runners is because we are the proud owners of hydration belts. We felt totally “in the know” sporting our belts in their inaugural run last Saturday. And believe me, people took notice. Several fellow runners said hello and gave us encouragement along our route. Worth the $27 from Amazon? I think so. Oh yea—and a total stranger asked to take a picture of us with our belts this morning! We have really made it.
4. In fundraising news, I have raised $620.00 for Team World Vision! Though I still have a long way to go, I am encouraged by the generous donations thus far from my friends and family. Want to support my efforts? I know you do:
All runners out there, how is your training coming along?
Here is a hint…
We all know that I don’t run because I enjoy it (yet). In fact, I actually am running because I DON’T enjoy it. Because it is not something I would ever do for fun. Because each step is hard for me. Because by doing something that is difficult, undesirable, probably the last thing I would consider a good time, I might be able to encourage others to do something that is difficult, undesirable, and not necessarily fun. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s one thing to cook healthy items when you can shop at the Whole Foods, but it’s an entirely different beast when you are shopping on a budget. If there are experts in this subject matter, they are the ladies of the “Souper Saturday” prep crew at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston where Kerri and I have been volunteering for the past few months. These ladies work with a small budget and donated items to create delicious and nutritious meals for over 100 homeless individuals every week. Read the rest of this entry »
First, the bad news: My knee pain has not gone away. I’m taking the next 7 days off of running, spinning, and pretty much all exercise in order to hopefully knock this problem out. I’m a little discouraged, as it is so early on in my training, but am trying to stay focused and hopeful that the break will pay off. Read the rest of this entry »