This was a big week for Team Merrie Miles.
When I was managing Cheerios at General Mills, I remember saying to my boss that we had a big week coming up. He replied, “Every week is a big week on Cheerios.” It was true for Cheerios, and it’s also true for Merrie Miles.
First of all, I kicked off our fundraising efforts with a letter sent out mid-week. I was feeling a little self-conscious, since I’d told you when I raised funds for Team Fox in 2011 that Chicago would be my one and only marathon. However, the best laid plans…I had to run London with Watt in Mom’s memory.
At this point, I shouldn’t be surprised by your generosity, but it still manages to blow me away. In just 5 days, 22 people donated $2,900 to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It’s hard to articulate how much seeing each of these donations come through means to me. With every notification, I am simultaneously touched, humbled and inspired. You are now all a part of Team Merrie Miles, and I hope you’ll stick with me to hear the blow-by-blow on getting ready for and running London.
Second, I had a big run on deck: 17 miles. I hadn’t run that much since Chicago in 2011, and I was intimidated. This fear was exacerbated by the training week I’d had leaning up to it. My trainer at Steele, Luis, had intentionally planned a tough week so that I’d go into the 17 miles with tired legs. While it was going to make this run harder, it should theoretically make the actual race much easer.
Fortunately, I had some much more manageable weather for this run–close to 40 degrees with a windchill in the 20s. it may not sound like much, but it felt practically tropical when the wind was quiet and the sun was shining on me. I went into the run mentally prepared and ready to look for motivation wherever I could find it. Happily, I found some unexpected beauty along the way. Cottontail on the Trail is a massive bronze sculpture along the Minnehaha Trail and served as a welcome landmark at the 7 and 10 mile marks. Running under the Nicollet Avenue Bridge is one of the most evocative and interesting points on the run. Finally, I happened across the Middlemoon Creekwalk, an annual installation of ice luminaries and sculpture by Wintercraft. This is something I never would have seen if I hadn’t been out running, and it felt like a gift.
I hope that all of you will have an exceptional week. Thank you for your support–you are the fuel that keeps me going.