I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Almost 5 months in and so far we are about on schedule. Raised so far: $3,695!
Sometimes intermediate goals need to take a backseat to the bigger picture, long-term goals.
I put the Napa Valley Marathon on my race calendar for 2013 very early on for a variety of reasons: We love Napa. I love running in Napa. There are few places in this world as beautiful as Napa in early March. And I am in my best overall cardiovascular conditioning after going through a marathon training cycle – keeping Ironman Lake Tahoe clearly in focus as the target for this year.
A couple of Sundays ago the Pasadena Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon served as my rust shaker race. All things considered, it went fairly well after I adjusted my expectations due to that whole work thing dominating my life unexpectedly (though I should have known better). Yet another case of keeping the long-term goal in mind: devoting that much effort to my career limits other short-term aspects in my personal life, but provides ample opportunities down the road for my career opportunities. I think it is a healthy thing to be consciously aware and accepting of these tradeoffs.
So, I had originally planned on crushing my 26.2 PR in Napa and qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon. As training was shelved due to work commitments I have tempered that expectation. I can sacrifice that goal for the benefits I gained for my career over the past few months. I could still try to accomplish this goal (I’m still fast and have a very deep base level of fitness)… but in doing so risk injury that would likely put Ironman 70.3 St George (only 2 months away!) and Ironman Lake Tahoe in jeopardy. Gotta keep the BIG goals in focus.
That is why I have to now view the Napa race on Sunday as nothing more than a very highly organized and expensive training run. I’ll get to run with 2,599 other people, have people hand me fuel and fluids so I don’t need to carry them with me, get a really cool t-shirt and duffel bag… if I finish, great. But I might not. I have nothing to prove. I know I can run a marathon. I know I can run one fast (I’ve already qualified for Boston before). Lauren will be hopscotching me down the course at about the 9 and 19 mile points in case I am ready to call it a day (due to injury concerns, primarily). But it would be nice to make it to the Oak Knoll for some sorbet (about mile 23 or 24 on the course). It would be super nice to make it to the end and get another medal.
But I don’t need to do any of that. And I am OK with that.
Two years ago I ran the Napa Valley Marathon and the story was different. I was injured – the day before the race I couldn’t even jog the length of one block without stopping and crying (it was a knee issue). Not running wasn’t an option. Not finishing wasn’t a consideration. Two years ago I did have something to prove (here is a summary version of what I had to prove). And in doing this we raised a good chunk of $$ for the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
In that spirit, I want to throw out a quick and dirty challenge for race weekend:
- Pledge that you will donate $1 for each mile I complete – let me know if you’re in by dropping me a note (e-mail, text message, on my Facebook page or the TFAC Facebook page, or smoke signals). Or just make a donation outright.
- I will match all pledges and donations made to my SFA Crowdrise page through Sunday noon (well, OK, up to $250 – I am not a rich man!).
- For every mile that I don’t finish, I’ll chip in an additional $10 beyond my contribution matching.
- When all is said and done, I’ll let you know the tally and donations can be made on the Sarcoma Foundation page on Crowdrise.
If all goes well, I’ll be donating $250 to the SFA based on Sunday’s results. If things don’t go well for me it could be more than that (bad for me, good for the SFA!)… but hopefully not less! Please help make that happen!