I know that I am physically ready to tackle these 26.2 miles in 7 days. I have trained well, despite a few setbacks, and I’m both physiologically and mentally ready for April 17. I always thought the training would be hard, but easier than the fundraising aspect.
And I was right. Fundraising was slow in the beginning. I got a few donations between finding out I made the team in September and the end of 2016, when folks wanted to get in those donations for tax write-offs. Fundraising really ramped up for me in February and continued through mid-March, and then dropped off suddenly. Maybe you got sick of my 3 posts a week on various social media channels. Maybe you didn’t, but you don’t think I can/will run all 26.2 miles. Maybe you already donated to other runners or other charities, and Dana-Farber and I didn’t make the cut. Whatever it is, I understand.
I’ve never been financially well off. But I’ve always made conscious, thoughtful decisions about where to donate my money. Remember: you are not donating to me. I am not making one cent off of this. And neither is any third party app or website or funds collector. Dana-Farber donates 100% of every single dollar donated to DFMC runners back to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. I don’t know of any other charity or event that can say that – there’s almost always overhead cost. And when I say I’m not making any money off of this, I mean it. Quite the opposite, actually.
I paid Dana-Farber $75 to be part of the team. I paid the Boston Athletic Association $605 to register as a charity runner. I paid $140 for the privilege of owning a DFMC team jacket (possibly the best jacket I will ever own). I paid $100 for myself and 3 guests to attend the DFMC Pasta Party the night before the Marathon, and now it looks like only 1 of those guests can go.
I have probably spent close to $1,000 on training gear – running shoes, socks, pants, tech shirts, one cold weather running jacket, shin sleeves, KT tape/Rock tape, base layers, ear warmers, headbands, hair elastics, Glide, a new muscle stick, the R8 Roll Recovery System, Gu energy gels, protein bars, a FlipBelt, salt tablets, a heart rate monitor, a reflective vest for winter runs in the dark, umpteen bags of frozen peas/corn for aches and pains, plus four physical therapy appointments (paid out of pocket without insurance), four deep tissue/sports massages and one session in the Normatec Recovery Boots.
And I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. As the DFMC program director reminded us at our very first meeting, this is not the opportunity to run a marathon with a requirement to fundraise. This is an opportunity to fundraise for Dana-Farber with the bonus of getting to run a marathon. The marathon.
I’ve met the minimum $5,000 required for all charity runners. Anyone who raises that much is officially “off the hook” and won’t have their credit card charged. But they also probably won’t be invited back on the team next year. For me, this has always been a one & done, bucket list thing, so I’m not worried about being invited back, but I am hoping to fulfill a commitment I made. Looking back, I wish I had chosen to do this next year. I wish I was able to more fully dedicate myself to the training and I wish I was able to be with Rags more in what I had no idea were his final months. But hindsight is 20/20, and the training and fundraising these past 4 weeks have taken my mind off the grief of losing my best friend.
But I don’t want to just meet the minimum. I set a goal of $10,000 and I intend to achieve it. I’ve been hesitant to tell you guys that I actually had until May 17 to meet the $5,000 minimum, and I have until August 31 to continue fundraising. But after the marathon, I want to first celebrate my accomplishment and then go back to life that doesn’t revolve around training and carb-loading and waking up early for runs in the pitch black freezing cold dark. I want to take a social media hiatus, and when I come back, I never want to post again asking for donations toward my marathon run (which will feel weird because it’ll be over anyway). So I am determined to get to my $10,000 on or shortly after April 17.
I have one mini fundraiser planned at my work happy hour on Thursday that I don’t think is going to bring in a ton of donations, but hopefully it’ll get me closer to the $8,000 mark so I can get that Pacesetter patch when I get to the DFMC Pasta Party on Sunday afternoon.
With that said, please consider making a donation of ANY AMOUNT ($5 is the minimum you can donate online) at www.rundfmc.org/2017/kellyp. I promise to run in honor of or in memory of anyone you care about – just be sure to include their name(s) in the final step of the online donation process. I promise that once I hit that $10,000 goal, I will stop asking once and for all.