I’m just a day away from running my final long training run in preparation for my first 24 hour race (Adventure Trail) which will be my first race since August 2019. For that reason, it’s a bit of a monumental run but there are a few other reasons why this run will be of particular significance. For one, I’ll be running 41 miles to celebrate my 41st birthday. Additionally, I’m using this run as the official start of my charity campaign to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Running my age in miles to celebrate my birthday is something I’ve thought about doing, but never committed to until this year. It will be a bit different than my standard birthday celebrations with exuberant amounts of singing, dancing, and drinking with hundreds of my closest friends (yes, that was sarcasm; I don’t have a hundred friends). In the age of COVID, we just can’t do that anymore. So what’s the next best thing? A long solo run of course! Usually a training run longer than 50k just doesn’t make sense for the shorter distance ultra spring races I’ve registered for in the past. With this year’s first race being significantly longer, a 24 hour in which I hope to cover over 100 miles, an easy paced 40 mile training run seems much more sensible to me.
My training goal for this run is to complete the 41 miles at or slightly faster than my target pace (12:48 per mile) for the 24 hour race. I hope to do this comfortably and feel like my legs still have plenty of life left in them when I finish. If I can pull this off it will be a huge confidence boost in the final stages of race prep and will hopefully require minimal recovery time considering I’m not trying to push the pace.
My charity campaign goal is simple, just to raise some funds for a good cause while I selfishly run. Yes, running does seem selfish to a degree to me. At least long distance running does. I know it improves my mood and keeps me more mentally and emotionally healthy which makes me a better father and husband, but is it really necessary for me to disappear for 3 hour training runs on the weekends? Is it essential to my well being for me to be absent for entire weekends when I go away for a race? Ultimately, would I get the same benefits from running as I do now if I just ran 3, 5, or maybe 10 miles on a long day? At least part of me believes that to be true. But I’m starting to meander off on a tangent now. Maybe this topic deserves its own blog post; I just wanted to explain part of the reason why I have wanted to raise money for a cause as a result of my running, in part to feel less selfish.
I’m hoping to achieve these fundraising goals through a few avenues between now and the end of April:
- Run-A-Thon as a St. Jude Hero
- Charity Miles App
- Head Shaving and Hair Donation
I am asking donors to pledge whatever amount they want for each mile I run during the 24 hour race (Adventure Trail) on April 17. Decide how much you’d like to give per mile then make the donation after the official final mileage is posted. Pledges can be made using this Google form. You can donate directly at my St. Jude Heroes fundraising site or on my Facebook Fundraiser page.
Charity Navigator (call me a cynic if you want, but I feel better about researching a charity before donating).
Earning Additional Funds Using the Charity Miles App
Since I log all of my running miles anyway, I figured why not raise some additional funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital every time I run. It’s pretty simple to set up an account with the Charity Miles App and once it is connected to my Strava account it requires no additional effort on my part to earn funds for my chosen charity. With my Strava account synced to the Charity Miles App, for every mile I log, I help earn money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital from Charity Miles’ corporate sponsorship pool.
Hair Donation and Head Shaving
So this one isn’t really running related, but it provides the background story that motivated me most to do this whole fundraising endeavor. I started growing my hair out a little over 2 years ago in order to donate it to the nonprofit Children With Hair Loss. The main motivation for me to do this was after learning that a friend of mine from grade school did the same. His motivation was that his young child was being treated for leukemia. Thankfully, his child responded well to treatments and is now cancer free. After hearing his story and wondering why it happened to him and his only child while I have been lucky enough to be blessed with three healthy children, I figured the least I could do to help one of these kids out is to grow some hair to donate. #CutPassLove
Thank you for reading! Any support you can provide is very much appreciated!
March 12, 2021
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