Thursday, June 21, 2012
Chapter 5 in The Spark discusses giving back. It forces you to look at your role models and how to impact other peoples lives. Giving back is one of the reasons I took up running a few years ago.
When I ran my first race it was a fundraiser for my church. I didn't see the impact of that at the time. I focused on finishing the race. The next race benefited retired military personnel and my goal was to run the entire 5K without stopping. The third race...you see where this is going? At some point my focus turned and instead of running for my benefit I started running for the benefit of others. Instead of choosing races that were convenient to me or my schedule, I focused on the charity sponsoring the race. Let's face it, after running a 5K (or any race) you are getting a few benefits out of it.
So, my 50 races to 50 was born. My goal was to complete 50 races before I turn 50 on August 19, 2013. I gave myself a little over 3 years to do it. Too challenging? I didn't think so at the time. My only thought was if I gave myself more time I wouldn't reach my goal.
On April 4, 2011 I lost my Dad to cancer. It was a quick battle that was gracefully lost. At that point in time my Dad was one of my biggest supporters of my goal. I had completed 15 of the 50 races. Instead of feeling defeated, I raised the bar and added a new challenge. I focused on running in events that benefited organizations that supported Cancer research and support. On October 2, 2011 the Live Strong organization sponsored a race in memory of my Dad - that was race #24. Almost 1/2 way there!
On March 17, 2012 I ran race #30 and almost didn't cross the finish line. I had been ignoring the pain in my foot since the Fall when I trained for my first 1/2 Marathon. I was told to take a break from running to allow my foot to heal. I had plantar fasciitis and a very inflamed achilles tendon. I was not happy. Twenty races to go and only 17 months to do it in. I had to regroup. I followed the doctors orders and wore the air cast (boot), did not run or do strenuous activity and I did the physical therapy.
On June 19, 2012 (2 days ago) a follow-up appointment at the doctor confirmed my suspicion that my foot isn't getting better and I am not any closer to running. So what do you do when you are close to reaching a goal and can't? You regroup. Again.
This chapter has shown me that I can still give back and participate in races. Now, my focus for the remaining races will be to volunteer to work the races and choose the races based on the charity they support. My focus is the American Cancer Society and they have several races left this year.
Race #31 was already scheduled before I was told I couldn't run for awhile. I will be walking in The Peachtree Road Race (10K) on July 4, 2012. After that I will be volunteering to help at future races. Just because a plan goes off track doesn't mean it has to stop - it only means that it needs a little adjustment to get it going again. That's all I needed was a little adjustment to get me going again. I hope each one of you reading this makes whatever adjustments you need to make to keep going.