Tag Archive for Running for Charity

My Top Reasons to Run the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

The Chicago Marathon was an amazing experience overall. I love the city and the spectators certainly came out for the party. This race would have been a fantastic experience all on it’s own but running for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (Team RMHC) added so much meaning to the event.

I decided to run with Team RMHC in honor of my niece and her family. You can read more about my choice to run with the charity here and also on my donation page.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

I signed up to run with Team RMHC early on and my commitment was to raise $1,000. I’ve ran with Team in Training 3 other times and I didn’t want to just ask my friends and family for money this time around. They are so generous but I felt like I needed to work a little harder for the donations. Sure, I posted my donation page on Facebook a few times and received some money that way but the bulk of my donations came from two events that I hosted.

First was a Pampered Chef party. My consultant offers her commission in exchange for the free items that I would have earned. I had a great turn out for the party and ended up raising $440! We also co-hosted a Beer & Bologna party with my brother-in-law to raise funds for both Team RMHC and Team in Training. Both of us were able to surpass our fundraising goals with this party. Not only was it fun but we had some excellent smoked meat (not just bologna, although that is fantastic!) and delicious home brew for the event.

As we got closer to race day the Team RMHC Facebook group was very active. A lot of people posted photos of long runs, asked questions about training and what to expect in Chicago and supported each other through months of training. Because this was my first time running Chicago, the group helped me feel confident and knowledgeable on race day.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

Team RMHC!

 

This team together raised 1.1 MILLION dollars! We had 811 runners and a record breaking fundraising team.

Team RMHC had a table at the expo. I had my photo taken with Ronald himself. I tried to talk my kids into posing with me but they were just a little frightened of the clown!

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

The night before the marathon we went to the Team RMHC pasta party at the Chicago Union Station. What a beautiful venue! The photos are dark and don’t do the space justice at all but trust me, it was beautiful!

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

I’m not sure who the entertainer was while we waiting for dinner but he was an amazing singer.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

The food was delicious and plentiful. They had veggies to make a huge salad. Chicken, salmon, pasta with cream sauce and red sauce (with meatballs!), pizza, and so much more. I also forgot to mention the bar and dessert tables as well. No one was going to go hungry by any means!

Then the speeches started. We listened to Renee, the woman in charge of Team RMHC, and Coach Brendan. We also listened to a fellow Team RMHC runner tell her story of utilizing a Ronald McDonald House. The number one fundraiser (she raised $55,000!!) also spoke and shared how her family has benefited from the Ronald McDonald House. My favorite speaker of all though was Carey Pinkowski, the Chicago Marathon race director. He was very motivating and inspiring. It’s amazing to hear just a little bit about what goes in to pulling off a huge marathon like the Chicago Marathon.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

 

Now I can jump ahead to the next morning. Race day morning! Everything that I’ve mentioned above about the team makes me happy I joined but on race day I found out how smart it was to join Team RMHC. The following are some of the serious perks that runners on Team RMHC were able to enjoy.

  • heated charity tent at the start line
  • mylar blankets to take to the start line
  • port-a-potties with hardly any line at all
  • chairs to sit on before the race
  • pre-race food and water
  • private bag check
  • extra tickets for family and friends to enter the charity tent
  • post race buffet
  • post race massage table
  • post race DJ

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

Best. Hamburger. Ever. [Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago]

 

I could go on and list more, I’m sure, but these are the few that stuck out to me as I sat down to write this. Seriously, if I ever run the Chicago Marathon again (which I would LOVE to do at some point) it will be through the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Did I mention there was a red carpet? Yes, we were welcomed by Ronald McDonald and a line of people cheering us as we returned to the tent.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

He liked my red shoes! [Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago]

 

One of the highlights of my day was seeing my family again after 26.2 miles. They supported me throughout my training and cheered me on through the miles of the marathon. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I did without them.

 

Team RMHC | amotherspace.net

[Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago]

 

So, have I convinced you to run the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC yet? If you are even thinking about it I highly encourage it. This wasn’t my first marathon but there were a lot of first time marathoners on the team. It’s nice to belong to a community that grows together as the training progresses. Many people were from all over the country but came together on race day.

Finally, I want to mention that my fundraising page is still open until the end of the year. I exceeded my fundraising goal and even donated to it myself. The families that the Ronald McDonald House helps all over the country depend on people like you and I to help them in their time of need. So, even though my goal is met, this is an important and worthwhile charity. If you are wanting to donate head on over to my page and find out more information!

 

 

Did you miss my Chicago Marathon race recap? Read it ——> here.

_________________

I’m running I ran the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC!

To find out more read my post about Running for Charity or head over to my fundraising page to make a donation.

——————————-

Find A Mother’s Pace on…

Twitter @amotherspace3

Facebook amotherspace3

Instagram amotherspace

Pinterest amotherspace

Bloglovin’ A Mother’s Pace

RSS amotherspace

 

2014 Chicago Marathon Race Recap

Wow, how do I put into words the entire experience of the Chicago Marathon? It was an amazing day and a dream come true.

The day started out with my sister and I waking up in a hotel room less than a mile away from the start line. She was fantastic and went out to get a bagel, peanut butter and coffee for me to fuel my 26.2+ miles for the day. She also surprised me by wearing a shirt they had made for me. My entire cheer crew wore these!

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

 

Once we were ready we headed out and walked to the Ronald McDonald Charity tent. I’m going to write an entire post about running for this charity so I’m skipping over this part right now. In short, if you’ve ever considered running the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC…do it! It was AMAZING!

I made my way to Corral G. It was the perfect running weather. Low 50′s and no wind. Just beautiful. Corral G wasn’t crowded at all and everything went very smoothly until the start of the race. Once the second wave started we just started walking until we arrived at the start line. It took almost 10 minutes.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

 

I spent this time just enjoying the crowd and trying to be in the moment. I was not nervous at all about the race at this point. In fact, I was never nervous about the race at all. I was excited and ready to run. I completely think that my mental preparation for the race helped tremendously with the nerves.

And then we were off. It was crowded at the beginning but I just conserved energy and avoided swerving in between people. Once we came out from the first tunnel the crowds were ROCKING and they didn’t stop the entire course. I didn’t wear headphones during this marathon because I wanted to soak in the crowds and they did not disappoint! I kept looking at the people and the huge buildings and I almost got emotional. Almost, though, I had to stay focused and not fall apart in the first mile! One of my favorite signs that I noticed early on was ‘Slow down! I’m trying to count everyone!’

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago

 

 

My family was waiting for me in the 5th mile and just knowing they were going to be there was a huge lift for me. When I saw them I stopped for high 5′s and some kisses and then was off again with extra energy. I had written my plan for seeing my family on my arm along with when I wanted to take in fuel so that I wouldn’t have to think about anything. This ended up working out so well. I’ve never written down my fuel like that and it helped me stay on track.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

L: left | F: fuel | R: right

 

BELIEVE | BE GRATEFUL | BE BOLD

My mantra for Chicago. You can train extensively for a race and still when it comes down to race day you have to BELIEVE that your goal is achievable. My number one goal was to enjoy myself and finish strong. I believed that I could do this and that helped push me to the finish line. I’m incredibly GRATEFUL that I have the ability to run. So many of the children that are involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities are not able to do the activities that they want to do because of illness. I ran for those children and with thoughts of my niece and how grateful I am that she is doing well now. The last few miles I wanted to BE BOLD. I didn’t train for months not to have a strong finish and having this thought in my head helped to keep me centered.

At some point after this I saw some spectators with several little trampolines just jumping away and cheering everyone as they ran by. So. Much. Fun. Really, Chicago was just one big party that morning. I hope to go back and spectate the race one day. I had my name on the front of my shirt so people would say, ‘Looking strong, Angie’ or one lady, as I ran by, said, ‘Angie!’ When I turned around to look at her she pointed to me and said, ‘I see you!’ and I just pointed right back at her and said, ‘I see you too!’

As I was running along in mile 7 I came across some people creating a barrier in the middle of the road. I wasn’t sure what was going on until I saw someone performing CPR on a man. It was very hard to see that and I looked away immediately. I just said a prayer for him and thoughts of him stuck with me throughout the race. We looked after the race was finished and found out that he ended up being o.k. I’m so thankful that he is alright!

Before mile 9 I was on the right side of the street because I knew my family was coming up soon. Anytime I was on the side of the road running I would give high 5′s to kids that had their hand out. I had a time goal for this race but my main goal was to have FUN. So at the end of mile 8 I was over on the right and ran by a child with an outstretched hand. After I high 5′d him about 8 hands shot up after him (all adults) to high 5 so I just kept going on down the line.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago

 

Mile 9 family stop. More high fives and kisses.

And have you noticed that every time I saw my family my arms went straight up in the air??? I couldn’t control it. It just happened. I was so excited to see them and they gave me such a boost!

As much as I wanted to remember every little detail it all tends to blur together a little bit. The most memorable songs that I heard on the course were Eye of the Tiger, I Will Wait, Roar, and Shake It Off. The live music along the way was fantastic as well. Elvis was one of my favorites.

The water stops were so close to each other and very well organized. Some were only a mile apart. They were organized the same way at each stop as well and covered two blocks. First was the First Aid station, next the toilets, third was Gatorade and last was water. I wasn’t carrying any hydration so I had told myself ahead of time that I needed to get water at every stop. The only walking I did at all during the race was when I briefly had a water cup in my hands and when I slowed down to give high 5′s and kisses to my family. I actually ended up drinking water at all but the last two stops and I also had Gatorade at one of the later stops as well.  Many of the stops were actually very sticky from the Gatorade even though I ran right down the middle.

Another little fact: this was the first year that the marathon had a blue dotted line painted throughout the entire 26.2 miles.

I crossed mile 13.1 in 2 hours and 8 minutes feeling great. It blows me away that this is so much faster than my 1st and second half marathons and yet I was only half way finished with the race. It just goes to show how much a person can improve if they have their mind set to it.

At mile 15 I was supposed to see my family again so I was on the right side of the road. They didn’t end up making that checkpoint but I did run into another runner that I knew. Which is pretty amazing considering that I only knew 5 other people running out of the 40,000+ runners out there! We ran together for a little bit but her ankle was hurting and I had to keep my pace if I was going to finish like I had trained.

I started to slow down a bit at mile 18. My watch average pace still read a sub 10 minutes until the end but for most of the race it was around 9:30. Mentally I didn’t focus on my sore legs or my aching right foot but I know that these things still slowed me down. My right foot has a callous by the big toe and it was really rubbing wrong during this race. After the race the outside of my foot, my heel and my entire right side hurt and I’m sure this was because the callous made my stride change.

I saw my family one last time somewhere around mile 21. It was just the boost I needed to help me cross the finish line. Definitely the best cheering squad out there!

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago

 

I had read about turning onto Michigan Ave. and seeing all the buildings in the distance. For some it’s hard because you see how far you still need to run to finish but for others it’s easier because the end is in sight. I choose to think positively! I had read an article from Coach Jenny at Runner’s World that encouraged me to go fishing on this last long stretch and that’s exactly what I did. I picked out a runner ahead and started reeling them in. I passed a lot of people doing this and it helped me to continue to feel strong.

Just before this I had realized how much I was slowing down. I hadn’t trained so hard for 18 weeks to give up in the last few miles. I kicked it in gear and finished STRONG. Sure I was hurting but the faster I ran the faster I would cross that finish line.

I ran up the incline to the bridge, turned onto Columbus and saw the finish line. Seeing that finish line was a powerful thing but somehow I kept it together and crossed with my arms up in the air.

4:22:54

I finished almost 8 minutes faster than my goal at the beginning of training. Not to mention that this is a 42 minute PR for me. I was (and still am) super happy with my finish time.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago

 

Official Time: 4:22:54

Garmin Time: 4:23:00

Official Distance: 26.2 miles

Garmin Distance: 26.54 miles

Official Average Pace: 10:02

Garmin Average Pace: 9:54

Overall Place: 18967

Gender Place: 6399

Age Group Place: 1075

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

 

I can’t write this post without a heartfelt thank you to so many people in my life. First and foremost I want to say thank you to my husband. He was there for me all throughout training. He got the kids up almost every morning and started getting them ready for the day. He was also with them while I was out running crazy long distances for hours every Saturday morning. He’s my rock and I couldn’t have done this race without him by my side.

My kids deserve a huge thank you as well. They were champs the entire busy weekend in Chicago and survived the long two day car ride to get there. It makes me so excited to hear them play ‘finish line’ games and to see their interest in running.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

Photo Credit: Photogenic Chicago

 

Also, a thank you to my sister and brother-in-law. They hosted us this weekend and went way out of their way to make our family of five comfortable in their home. My BIL, a photographer in Chicago, took fabulous photos of the marathon and throughout the weekend.

I need to thank everyone back home that was cheering me on from afar. My mom, my dad and my in-laws were all watching on various devices and cheering so loud I could almost hear them from Kansas and Iowa. So many people sent well wishes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and this blog. I’m feel extremely blessed to have so much support from those I know and my virtual friends as well.

Lastly, I want to thank those that donated to my cause. As I mentioned above I am writing a separate post about my experience with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. But I would like to say that I was able to exceed my fundraising goal and help our TeamRMHC raise over 1 million dollars!

I think that wraps it up. Thanks for hanging in there and reading this extremely long recap!

 

Chicago Marathon 2014 | amotherspace.net

 

 

_________________

I’m running I ran the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC!

To find out more read my post about Running for Charity or head over to my fundraising page to make a donation.

——————————-

Find A Mother’s Pace on…

Twitter @amotherspace3

Facebook amotherspace3

Instagram amotherspace

Pinterest amotherspace

Bloglovin’ A Mother’s Pace

RSS amotherspace

 

All Smiles: Shy, Brave and Goofy

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a ‘Life Lately’ post so I thought that Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud series would be the perfect fit this week.

The big news around our house is the start of a new school year. Little A started her first ever day of preschool on Tuesday with a lot of very big smiles. My shy little girl was so ready and excited for preschool and it made me a very proud mommy. She ended up having a wonderful experience and talked about it for the rest of the day!

 

First Day of School | amotherspace.net

 

Little O started his second year of preschool on Wednesday. He loved school last year and couldn’t wait to go back this fall. The teachers are being great about his broken collarbone and have put out a sand table to occupy him during recess. He’s been so brave about his broken bone. (He fell out of bed in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago.) He hardly complains at all even when he misses out on some of his favorite activities like riding bikes, swimming and playing at recess or at the park.

 

First Day of School | amotherspace.net

 

My youngest turned 18 months old this week. She has such a fun personality right now. She loves to do everything all by herself and she wants to do everything that big brother and big sister are doing. She makes us laugh every day, loves to dance, sing and color. An ice cream party seemed like the perfect way to celebrate 18 months with this goofy girl!

 

18 Months | amotherspace.net

 

Labor Day weekend was pretty hectic as prepared for a huge fundraiser at my house. My brother-in-law and I are raising money for upcoming endurance events (Chicago for me and a Century Ride for him.) I’m raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and he is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training.

 

Running for Charity | amotherspace.net

 

The party ended up being a huge success. We smoked about 100 pounds of brisket, pork and bologna and had some delicious home brew available as well. We’re pretty lucky because it was a slightly hot but nice evening and most of the people were able to hang out in the backyard under a few canopies. We had about 100 people attend and I’m happy to say that this party pushed me past my fundraising goal! Now if we could just get rid of all of these flies that are still hanging around!!

 

Saucony Ride 7's | amotherspace.net

 

One thing about marathon training is that you run A LOT of miles. I ran my highest mileage ever in August (165+ miles!!!) and so on September 1st I started wearing my second pair of Saucony Ride 7′s. (affiliate link) Now I have them in blue and in red! The Ride’s are my favorite running shoe and always offer me great support while I’m out on a run. I’m planning on wearing my red 7′s on marathon day (they match my red Ronald McDonald House jersey) and so I’ll run low mileage in those for now and save the higher mileage days for the blue’s.

And finally, in case you missed it, on Monday I had the honor of being featured on Another Mother Runner’s ‘Follow That Mother’ series. You can read more about it —–> here.

 

Thinking Out Loud | A Mother's Pace

_________________

I’m running the Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC!

To find out more read my post about Running for Charity or head over to my fundraising page to make a donation.

——————————-

Find A Mother’s Pace on…

Twitter @amotherspace3

Facebook amotherspace3

Instagram amotherspace

Pinterest amotherspace

Bloglovin’ A Mother’s Pace

RSS amotherspace