MCM and other Marathon things!

“Congratulations. The MCM Lottery has been conducted and you have reason to celebrate as one of the officially registered participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon to be held on Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Arlington, VA. ”

It’s been almost two weeks since I recieved that e-mail, and I still don’t think I can believe it. I may not be able to believe it until October. Though, I suppose I better start if I actually want to have the money to travel there.

So why pick a marathon outside of Michigan? And why Marine Corps? Those are two very good questions.

One of my original thoughts for a goal for this year for Declare It Day was to run a destination race.  But some how that wasn’t scary enough. Well, it is now. The MCM will be one of my four this year. I have wanted to do a destination race, or one outside of my home state. I am rather excited to get to travel and run.

I chose the MCM because it would be one that would be easy enough to travel to, but also because it is a race that has meaning for me. My grandfathers both served. And others in my family before them. Grandpa Fox, the grandfather that I was fortunate enough to know in my life time signed himself up for the army during WWII as soon as he turned 18. I truly believe he was an American hero. I was lucky enough to get to hear some of his stories before his death almost three years ago now. I will run for him. I also have an uncle who was a marine during Vietnam. I will run for him. And two cousins who are in different branches of the military (one an active marine, and one in the reserve). And I will run for them.

And while I may not believe in war or (often) the reasons behind it, I still believe that the men and women of this country who put their lives on the line deserve our support. So I will run for them.

I have also decided, for the first time, to run this race as a fund raiser. Starting today, I will be raising funds for TAPS – a wonderful survivor-oriented charity. Here’s what they have to say about what it is they provide: “The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a heartfelt national non-profit veteran’s organization that reaches out to the families and loved ones who have been impacted by a death of a loved one in the U.S. Armed Forces. The heart of TAPS is its national military survivor peer support network and its focus to help and support families, friends, and military personnel as they cope and recover. In addition to the peer support network, TAPS also provides these services:

  • Military Survivor Seminars, Workshops, and Children’s Good Grief Camps
  • Crisis Intervention, Grief Counseling Referral, and Caseworker Assistance
  • Toll Free, Fully Activated, TAPS Helpline …24 Hours / 7 Days a Week
  • Online Community Website, Chat Room, Message Boards, and Forums
  • TAPS Quarterly Magazine and Other Educational Publications”

I think this is truly a charity worthy of our dollars, and I am asking you to help me in my fundraising goals. You can find my fundraising page here: http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1102084&supId=404390267&extSiteType=1
Please, please, please consider supporting me. Any dollar amount helps! I will be posting this again and again as the time draws nearer.

In other marathon news, I believe I finally have all four of my marathons picked! It wasn’t an easy decision, and it’s hard to find runs that are spaced far enough apart that it isn’t going to kill me!  I was already signed up for Bayshore in May, and now for MCM in October. I think I will also be adding Charlevoix (June), and Marquette (August). That’s a lot of running, folks!

In just two months I will run my first since October, and we’ll go from there. We’re getting close. Here’s to hoping I make it to the end of the year.

The Skinny Battle

Before I started running, I weighed 194 pounds. That’s right, I’ll admit it…now. It may not sound like much, but on my 5’2 frame, that’s a lot of weight. I felt terrible all of the time, and I hated the way I looked. This is the reason I started running. It’s the reason why I tell people “if I can do it, anyone can.”

So on Saturday, at work, when someone said to me, “but you’re not that skinny,” I instantly took offence. My reply was something lame. “Well, I like food,” or something of that sort. We had been talking about running (or jogging, as he kept saying), and how when he used to jog, he was stick-thin. I brushed his comment off and kept chattering, but all the while it was eating away at the back of my mind. “Not that skinny! I worked hard to get where I am! Not skinny! Pah!”  These thoughts wiggled and wormed their way through my head, and the more I thought about it, the more upset I got. I wanted to yell at him, I wanted to smack him. I know he didn’t mean it as an insult, and I know he wasn’t really calling me fat.

Eventually I was sent away from him, to work in a different area. Throughout the day I continued to think about his comment (I have a lot of time to myself at my job). And I began to realize, perhaps, what he meant. He didn’t believe me to look like a “typical runner.” You know the type: long, muscular legs, rail-thin, no chest, butt, or hips to speak of, graceful and agile on her feet. I am short, and curvy. I do have a chest and a butt.  I am far from stick-thin. I have nothing against those who look like this. I know a few of them, and they are lovely, wonderful people. I will never be one of them. I will never look like someone who would be typified as a runner. And I am okay with this.  His comment made me realize, a little more than I already did, that every body is different. If I could go back, I would tell him that, no, I do not look like a “typical runner,” but I am a runner, and I am comfortable with my body. Running has given me that. I may never be  classified as “skinny,” but I am, first and foremost healthy. Running has given me that. I am proud of how far I have come. I am proud of my health, and my continued steps toward a healthy life.

Mememe

Left: May 2011
Middle: September 2012
Right: September 2013

The Winter That Won’t Quit and Frosty Faces

Hibernate

We have finally reached March, but you wouldn’t know it from the looks of the outside world. I’ve been absent from this blog for a couple of weeks, which is bad of me. I will try to be better about updating. Mostly, I don’t feel that anything terribly exciting has happened in the last few weeks. Well, one thing, actually, but that’s tied to something else completely and will be a much later post on this blog (vague, I know, I’m sorry, but you’ll see!).

It’s still winter in Michigan, as evidenced by the fact that it is, indeed, still snowing and freezing cold. I think that if I never hear the words “Polar Vortex” again it will be too soon. I’ve been doing a lot of training for upcoming events lately, and that’s about the only thing that has been happening aside from work. In Michigan at this time of year, it’s either run on a dreadmill, or suck it up and hit the snow covered streets. This morning was one of those “suck it up and deal” types of mornings. Eleven miles on the slick, snow covered roads was not ideal. It was one of those sliding with every step, snow building up on the bottoms of your shoes, dodging snow plows types of runs. But, it’s another one in the books, and I am glad to have gotten the miles in.

I am lucky enough to be a part of a magnificent group of people who train through a local running store. I am one of a few team leaders for this group. I help to keep the attendees motivated to run and to guide them through runs, but they also help to keep me motivated to show up and get it done. So far it’s been a fun season, and yes, it’s been very much full of snow, and I have been very much in need of motivation. I don’t think I’d do half of what I’m doing without them.

I think that’s it for now. I will leave you with some friendly, frosty faces. A frequent product of the difficult, bitter winter we have been experiencing. These are members of the group I am a part of who were willing to let me photograph them post-run. Enjoy!

Frosty1 Frosty2 Frosty3Frosty4