At this moment, according to poconomarathon.org, there is only 1 day and 7 hours left until the marathon start. Although this is my first marathon and really have no clue how I will do, I have to say that I am not nervous. I am just really excited. I don't think I trained the best I could, but I do feel like I've trained enough to run the marathon.
If you back track my blog, you'll realize that I was originally planning on running the NJ Marathon on May 2 in Long Branch, NJ. Somewhere down the line I changed my mind and decided to run the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon. I can't really explain why...many things contributed to the change of plans, but I have to say that I am super glad that I did. The day of the NJ Marathon we had 90+ degree humid weather (typical NJ summer weather) and that would have totally not been a fun first marathon - because of the weather conditions.
I have been "stalking" the weather for the marathon for the last 10 days and it looks like we are going to have great weather. The days high will be a sunny and dry 75 degrees. I believe the weather at the start will be about 55-60 degrees which is great weather to run in. I am beyond glad that God granted me such a great day to run my first marathon.
The weather was a bit of a concern for me because I really want my family and friends to be there. I would ask them to stand for hours in the rain while i run for 4+ hours, so needless to say, I am super grateful that the weather will be great, not only for me, but for my cheering spectators.
Crossing the finish line at a marathon, I can imagine brings such a sense of accomplishment and pride. But many times I think people may underestimate the accomplishment and pride that training for a marathon should bring someone. All those miles and time that we put in for one day...to cross a line and receive a medal...and of course the pride of saying "I am a marathoner". It's really such a selfish sport. One that's about me and my accomplishment; it's about "what I was able to do."
I have to admit that I love the selfishness about running a marathon. For the last 3+ years it's been about my husband and my daughters, but this is about me... and I'm not ashamed to say it. We all need our "me" time.
However, I naturally am not a selfish person and although I love the pride that will come with saying I've run a marathon, I also wanted to do something for others. That's why I decided to take this great challenge and use my efforts to raise money for a non-profit organization called Root of Hope. Root of Hope is an organization led by my parents and members of our local community. It's main focus, at this time, is to create a brighter future for children in Mozambique, Africa. Many third world countries remain that way because of a lack of education. The citizens of those countries do not have the knowledge to fight against the corruption that destroys their country and in the end brings much poverty to their land. Providing children with an education allows them to grow up and obtain the knowledge and power necessary to fight corruption and bring hope to their impoverished countries. My parents have been going to Mozambique at least once a year for the last 9 years and live there for 2 of those 9 years. They have seen adolescents grow to be bright men and women with a great future ahead of them because of their education and faith in God. That is why I decided to raise money for Root of Hope. Because I know that the money that is raised goes solely towards their mission and not administrative costs. It's one thing to donate to feed a child, but I know that the children that Root of Hope helps does so with lots of love, passion, and commitment.
So this raise is about me and my accomplishment, but completely dedicated to those boys and girls in Africa that have been helped by Root of Hope. It's dedicated to those kids who see my mom and dad as their mom and dad. Running the marathon is one challenge that I am going to overcome, but many of those children overcome challenges on a daily basis. They should be proud of themselves and consider themselves champions for overcoming the obstacles life has dealt them.
So again, with my poland springs bottle in my hand, I would like to make a toast, to God who is my passion and the reason for all I do, to my husband who motivates me to follow my dreams, to my girls who give me the strength to keep going, to my parents who support me and love me unconditionally, and to the children in xai xai Mozambique whose simplicity and love can melt any heart...this run is for you! As I run the 26.2 miles I will think about you all every step of the way. When I get to the finish line and receive my finisher's metal, it's for you. Because without you, I would have never been able to get to the finish. I love you. (Ching)