We’re already several weeks into 2016, and most people are beginning to reevaluate the goals that they set for themselves for this year. I’m no exception. I have spent the last few weeks debating whether or not my goals were too crazy, and if I should share them all with my followers.
Ultimately, I’m a big fan of transparency, so I decided that yes, I am willing to share them. I realize that some people will think they are crazy, but that’s ok. They are my goals, and I have put hours of thought and planning into them. I have also structured them so they build upon each other, and one goal will help me accomplish the next. Since each goal gets progressively bigger, it’s reassuring to know that I have the experience of the previous goals to help me succeed.
My 3 Big Scary Goals for 2016
1) Run sub 3:30 at the Boston Marathon
This will be my first Boston Marathon, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be making the trip to the start line in Hopkinton. When I qualified at Erie Marathon at Presque Isle back in September, I set my current PR of 3:34:44. I’m hoping to knock at least 5 minutes off my PR at Boston, and so far my training indicates that it is an achievable goal.
While a 5 minute improvement may not seem like much, it is actually pretty significant. I’m also having a hard time wrapping my mind around the pace per mile. If I want to run a marathon in under 3:30 it requires holding an average pace of 7:59 per mile or faster. Seeing a 7 instead of an 8 as the first number in my pace per mile is scary, but I keep reminding myself that my training supports this, and it is only 12 seconds per mile faster than I ran at Erie. I’ll keep working on my mindset between now and race day. I promise.
2) Run my first 100 miler at Burning River Endurance Runs
Gulp. Did I just say 100 miler? Yep, I sure did.
I’ve been considering running a 100 miler ever since I ran my first 50k in December 2013. I’m crazy like that. I’ve decided that Burning River would be the perfect stepping stone to goal number 3, so it looks like 2016 is the year for me to finally take the plunge.
After Boston I will have already built my speed, and will have a decent mileage base, so I will move on to pure endurance training. I will be gradually upping my miles, and scheduling back to back long runs so I can get used to running when I’m already fatigued. I will have just under 4 months between Boston and Burning River, so I feel confident that I can be adequately prepared for the challenge. Well, at least as confident as you can possibly be when talking about running 100 miles at once. My goal is just to finish, and the race has a 30 hour time limit, so I feel reasonably sure that I can complete it.
3) Run 7 marathons, in 7 states, on 7 consecutive days as a fundraiser for WorldVision
Yes friends, this is the mother of all goals. The big behemoth that has me simultaneously excited and terrified every time I talk about it. I will be running the Appalacian Series hosted by Mainly Marathons from October 9-15, 2016. The states included in the series are West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. If you follow me on social media, you have probably already seen the announcement I made there when my goal was included in an article published by the Associated Press and distributed nationwide. It was a pretty insane experience!
WorldVision’s marathon fundraising program supports clean water initiatives in Africa. I have been passionate about clean water ever since I went on a mission trip to Jamaica in 2000. Our team was working just 20 minutes outside of Montego Bay, which is a popular resort area. When we went up into the hills just outside Montego Bay it was like stepping into another world. The one thing that stood out the most in my mind after this trip was the fact that the only water source for the entire village was a single water spigot similar to a camping hookup. The lack of readily available clean water stood in such a stark contrast to the luxury of the resorts in Montego Bay.
My goal with the fundraiser is to raise at least $25,000 for clean water. WorldVision is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water across the globe, reaching one new person with clean water every 30 seconds. The cost to provide one person with clean water is only $50.
There are several ways that you can support me in this endeavor:
Donate to my fundraiser and share it with others
Yes, obviously, if I am going to raise $25,000 I need people to donate. Click here to view my fundraising page and make a donation. If you also feel comfortable sharing it with your friends and family please do! I can’t do this without people partnering with me, and helping spread the word.
Pray for my training
This is an enormous undertaking, and I don’t take it lightly. I’m confident that I can finish the series, but I need to reach the start of Day 1 healthy. Pray that my training continues to go well, and that I am able to stay injury free.
Pray for the staff at WorldVision
The work that is being done to bring clean water to people in Africa is so crucial to the quality of life in those areas. Pray that the staff would be able to overcome any challenges that may arise as they continue to expand access to clean water.
I consider each of you to be my partners in this journey. Having people rally behind me, and believe in what I’m doing is such an encouragement when things seem overwhelming. Thank you all for choosing to follow along on this crazy adventure with me!
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