When I did my first half, I raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with Team in Training. I found it helpful during longer (or the I-just-don't-want-to) runs to get through a workout by thinking of those people I was working for.
I've dedicated runs to my Grammy, way back when I started running, because I thought about how her arthritis would keep her off her feet for the rest of her life. I dedicated some swim workouts since the fall to a couple of people: a buddy who was doing his first half Ironman at the same time, and last Thursday, to a friend who was having surgery on his hip the next day.
Today is my first long Saturday run (it's six miles -- don't judge me, big dog runners -- I'm just getting back into it) since I had to stop completely this fall, and I'm bringing along my friend John. John is a teacher in Cabot, Arkansas, and he's doing a 20 miler today. I told him he could count on me for six of those miles.
John dedicates all of his runs. He writes the beautiful blog Running with Amanda, where
We run to Reveal the dangers of teen substance abuse, Reach people for Jesus, Raise money for charity, and Remember Amanda Marie Allison.Right before her seventeenth birthday, John's beautiful daughter Amanda was killed by a young man who was drunk and using drugs. John has used that terrible loss to fuel an organization that uses endurance running to fund the work of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Arkansas Children's Hospital, and Soaring Wings Christian Home and Ranch. You can check out the Running with Amanda site and see the amazing work they do, and the amazing faith that John has.
Today would have been Amanda's 20th birthday, and John is running a mile for every year. My weak legs are going to carry me just six of those miles, but I know he'll be on my mind all day.