My year of poor yet meaningful running is coming to a close, and I would love to leave on a high note. I vowed at the start of 2010 that I would make my running all about others instead of myself, making my sport, that is largely about the individual, into something about community.
I feel like I partially achieved my goal, particularly with the incredibly successful fundraising effort that was The Memorial 100. Raising over $10K for the Wounded Warrior Project back in May was by far the highlight of my running career for countless reasons. It was therapeutic, meaningful, and incredibly rewarding. My other two races, the Pittsburgh Marathon and the Laurel Ultra, didn't achieve much more than my personal frustration, but were by in large learning experiences. In my race report for the Laurel Ultra, I revealed my embarrassing practices of over-confidence and mediocre training. The last months of Summer didn't produce anything contrary to that, but the month of September began to show promise as I set a new tone for how I approach racing. The Columbus Marathon will be the first race that I will be coming into with borderline adequate training, and I am really excited to see what I can do as a result. Honestly I don't know if it will pay off... you never can tell. Every race is different, and there is no way to predict what will happen when you're in the moment of truth. Poor conditions, injury, illness, who knows what can happen? I do know that I have a damn good chance of running a personal best marathon time, but I'm not concerned really, and for a good reason.
When I went to the kick-off party for the Columbus Marathon a few months ago, I made a decision to run it for the Susan G. Komen team, in honor of my Mother, trading my fluorescent yellow Brooks singlet for a hot pink one. Fundraising has been a frustrating venture (as it always seems to be, no matter what the cause) but I've raised a couple hundred bucks in the fight against breast cancer, and I'm pretty stoked to show outward support for my Mom, who is suffering from Stage 4 cancer. If I crawl across the finish line with a 5-hour finish, I know that my Mom's going to be proud of me, and a tattooed dude wearing a pink singlet is going to know that he made someone aware of a great cause. That will make whatever happens on October 17th worth it.
Less than a month after Columbus, I will be heading back to Virginia to dance with the Masochist again. I spread myself thin with promoting great causes this year, so I honestly didn't have it in me to try and do double duty to raise money for anything. I instead will be running it on a personal level, being thankful for being able to do something I love, at the cost and support of many people. From my parents that adopted me and raised me as their own son, to the Marines that I served with, to the friends and co-workers that have been there for me, I will be running it in personal gratitude to everyone who has made me who I am.
This has been an interesting year in my life. So many things have happened that I never expected, and I have had the honor to be a part of many wonderful things, so here's to ending the year (at least the running part) with good form and a strong finish.