Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Ground

As many of you know, I’m running this marathon to raise money for Camfed, an amazing organization that helps girls in Africa pay for their education. So far I’ve raised a $2,271.00. My goal is to raise $3,300. That means I have less than two months to bring in about $1,000. Please consider making a small donation.

The last time we checked in, I had a bad attitude. Marathon training had become a real drag. One of my friends read my post and then sent me a note. She wrote, “I can’t help wondering…why are you training for this marathon? You sound kind of miserable.”

Her question was a good one. Why am I running this marathon?

1. I like complaining, and complaining feels especially delicious when you have a good excuse.

2. I like suffering. Things that come easy don’t feel like much of an accomplishment.

But those are trivial reasons. I can do better.

3. Running is good for my health — both physical and mental. It gets me out of the house (and out of my pajamas). Running doesn’t always feel great, but I love the afterglow.

4. To raise money for Camfed!! Donations welcome!

5. Hal Higdon, my trainer, has some hokey line about “running to see the world.” I like to make fun of Hal, but he’s kind of right. I have seen some really cool things running that I never would have spotted otherwise. For example . . .

Astoria, Oregon – 3 miles

This bridge goes to Cape Disappointment. Seriously.

Mountain View, California – 12 miles

This was the terrible 12-miler I wrote about before. On the upside, the Steven’s Creek Trail took me past NASA’s Ames Research Center, a golf course, and these huge salt evaporation ponds. I even saw a pod of pelicans.

Cedaredge, Colorado – 3 miles

A mule deer and the open road.

New York, New York – 15 miles

I was desperately in need of new scenery, so I decided to forgo my regular running route. Instead, I ran across the Brooklyn Bridge, back to the East River, down around Battery Park, and up the path that runs along the Hudson River. I ran and I ran and I ran for — quite literally — hours.

That’s the Brooklyn Bridge in the upper lefthand picture, and the USS Intrepid down below. The tall building on the right is the new World Trade Center (you can also see it in the Brooklyn bridge picture). It’s still under construction, but it already dominates the skyline.

I ran until I reached 153rd Street. And then I bought a hot dog, collapsed on the grass, and devoured it.

Victory has never tasted so delicious. Let’s hope the 16 miles I’m running next weekend will taste even better.