The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

Virtual Half Goofy Challenge

10k one day, 21k the next. For Charity? Count me in.

Cori was on a team raising money for Team In Training, supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a charity with whom I have run two marathons.  Its is a good cause and I was happy to support her efforts through a donation.  The fact that is was also a run with a medal at the end was a bonus.  She had training schedules on her website for people to refer to and I mapped out my training to complete the challenge by the Christmas holiday.  When that didn’t happen due to a gazillion other things that came due during the fall, I set out to find a weekend where it would work before the January deadline.

I told running friends of my task, knowing that if other people knew I had this goal, they would keep me honest.  A few offered to run part of the mileage with me, which was appreciated, though I ended up going it alone.

Friday was the day I had set for the 10k, as I would have time for the run between my part-time job and picking up the kids from school.  Saturday morning would be the 21k.  I planned for a week, visualizing how I would get this done.

Friday’s 10k ended up being inside on the treadmill, as it had been snowing like a banshee.  I headed to the Y.  I knew that one of the runs would need to be inside due to weather, and that I could handle 10k on the treadmill but 21k was unconscionable.  Many things went through my head during the run.  First, there is a 30 minute time limit on the cardio equipment.  I chose a treadmill in the corner, hoping that no one would notice me running there for about an hour.  Then, I had to finish within an hour, as some of the treadmills cut you off cold after 60 minutes.  While my mind wandered to the usual making up stories about those working out around me, I tried to keep my concentration on one of two things.  First, I scanned the number of treadmills that were open/available to be sure no one was waiting and ready to kick me off of mine, and second, there a chip of paint on the wall.  When I started to get stir crazy on the ‘mill, I returned to the paint chip.

Finished the 10K!

Finished the 10K!

Saturday morning came and it was time for the 21k.  There was still quite a bit of snow around, but the sun was shining and I had a plan.  Since I didn’t train real well for this run (or at all, really, don’t try this at home), I decided to break it up into three more manageable runs. I ran my usual 8k loop around the neighborhood, briefly stopped at home for water and bite to eat and ran it again.  The first 8k lap was great.  I was leaping over snow piles in the street and enjoying the crisp cool air into my lungs.  While it was a little chilly, I welcomed the opportunity to be outside for a long run.  Half way through my second 8k loop, the sun went away and my leaps over snow piles because a little less leap-y.  Nevertheless, I was happy to round the corner to my house for another snack and water break still feeling pretty loose and energetic.  After the break, I did a 5k loop that I have done so many times I could do it with eyes closed.  Only this time the walks were not cleared and I was shin deep in snow and I had to walk for about half the last 5k.  This would not have been a problem except that I was sweaty and the wind was picking up.  Walking made me cold.  I ran whenever I came on to a cleared section of the path or could run in the street. Thankful for quiet streets, I finished up the run and entered my house to the smell of JB’s blueberry pancakes.

It was pretty or fast, but I got it done!

It wasn’t pretty or fast, but I got it done!

During the run I thought about all those running over the weekend at Walt Disney World with Team In Training.  Many running buddies from Wisconsin were there and many that I had trained with last spring had also made the trip.  Mostly, I thought of Cori, who had brought me to this run.  I am thankful to her and to all those making lives better as a result of their fundraising with Team In Training.  I am hopeful that their efforts will continue to search for a cure.  I am grateful for an organization that improves the lives of so many fighting cancer.  I am mindful of all those that are fighting this beast and pray for their healing.

Thank you, Cori, for this virtual race.  It brought me to a happy place and kicked off my year of running.

Let the 2013 running season begin!


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4 thoughts on “Virtual Half Goofy Challenge

  1. What an awesome recap, Erika! Thank you so much for participating in the challenge! Thanks in large part to this fundraiser, I came to the event around $1500 above my fundraising minimum!

    I will figure out a way to get your medal and prize to you in person 🙂 I don’t know if I’ll be running very much for the next week or so, but we will definitely need to share a run soon! (And a coffee after that run!)

  2. Nice job, Erika! The “real” Goofy Challenge was amazing – the sea of purple was a beautiful site! TNT was out on the course in full force. Like San Diego, you saw coaches and fans and heard “Go Team” around every corner. 🙂

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