Why I’m Running The Chicago Marathon 2017 For Charity

Why I’m Running The Chicago Marathon 2017 For Charity

A marathon. A whole 26.2 miles Chicago Marathon. When I googled how to keep my battery alive for 26 miles, I got answers pertaining to car batteries and not my cell phone battery which has sadly died during a long run. 26.2 miles is long. It doesn’t seem as far because I run back and forth on the Chicago Lake Front or on the 606 Trail. But, it’s long.

And I knew committing to running the Chicago Marathon 2017 wasn’t something I could do when I signed up. I had to train for it. I had to mentally prepare for it. I had to eat differently for it. And let me just say, it’s less than 2 weeks until race day, and I still feel like I did when I signed up to run a marathon – I can’t believe I’m doing the impossible.

People do things every day and they don’t know why they do them. Sometimes, I think a lot of times it’s out of habit.

This year, I wanted to break some of my habits. My New Year’s Resolution was to be more committed to the activities and people in my life. I’m the girl that goes to a lot of events and dabbles in everything.

I like projects and new things. But, I also love results and making a difference. And those two things happen when I stay focused and I’m committed. So, when I went to church one February morning and wanted to become more involved, I didn’t think I would be signing up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that day. But I did. I signed up for six months of training, and also I signed up to raise money and awareness for Team World Vision, an organization that helps people in Africa have access to clean water.

Why am I running the Chicago Marathon: To Change Myself?

With your help, I’m running with Team World Vision to do a lot of things I’ve never done before.

Two very big challenges come to mind.

The first is training and running a whole marathon – 26.2 miles. See when you run a marathon – you actually have to run it. You are given 15 minutes per mile and after those 15 minutes are up, the road is re-opened. So, it wasn’t only distance. It was speed.

This is something that has challenged me both mentally and physically. My training started in April and ends October 8, 2017, when we run the Chicago Marathon. I have ran in thunderstorms. I have ran at midnight. I have ran at 6 am. I have started running to only run back to my apartment to go to the bathroom and then finish up the 12 mile run. It took me three whole hours to run those 12 miles, which in running world is bad since I had ran 10 miles in 2 hours a few weeks earlier.

I have ran in 60 degrees, and I have ran in 95 degrees. I have stayed home on a Saturday and not gone out on a Friday night just so I could run. I stopped going out to lunch every day at work and instead went to the gym to do Nike Training Club workouts or 5K runs.

I have tried running to podcasts. My favorites are The Robcast, Socially Authentic, The Political Gabfest, and Marketing Over Coffee.

I have tried running to Apple Music playlists. If you have any good workout music to share that isn’t house music I would love to discover new music.

Lastly, I’ve tried Audible and running to audiobooks. Thank you, Kevin Heart for recording an 18-hour audiobook, “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons” that was actually funny and interesting.

Mentally Preparing to Race with Just Do It:

When I saw the miles go up on my training schedule I got afraid and you know what I thought of? Nike. I thought of “Just Do It”. I can either sit here and tell myself I’m too tired or it’s too late or it’s going to be a bad run, or I can just put on my shoes and go for the run. I never knew three words would take me on over 250 miles of running this summer. That’s a lot. And let me tell you I still have a long way to go in terms of fitness, agility, speed, focus, determination.

So, this was my first reason – I wanted to become a better person. I wanted to learn how to be dedicated to something and to transform my community by helping transform other communities. I needed to not give up just because it was hard or challenging or I wasn’t feeling okay.ย ย 

I was running for something more.

Why am I running the Chicago Marathon: To Change Lives

The second and most important reason why I’m running the Chicago Marathon is to put time and money into a cause that I can’t relate to, but that so many people have to live with on a daily basis. And, that cause is access to clean water. For me, I challenge myself to drink enough water that is purified and delivered to me, whereas a lot of people don’t have access to even begin to drink clean water.

I’m running to help raise awareness and funds for communities in Africa to have clean drinking water. The needs are real, but we believe that we can end the clean water crisis in our lifetime.

$50 = clean water for 1 person

Transform one person’s life by donating here.ย 

For the cost of ย Starbucks for two weeks, we can transform someone’s daily life. This is huge! And I’m running because I think you can help me and we can do something bigger together.

Will you invest in the future and provide clean water for 1, 2, 3, or even more people in Africa? We can help change lives, together.

In 2016, 85% of World Vision’s total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need. So the money raised is going to help this great need of helping communities have clean water.

I hope to be transformed through this experience – by giving my Saturdays and evenings to training my mind and body to this big goal of running the Chicago Marathon.

Most importantly, I hope to transform people’s daily lives through clean water. A lot of times we know that things are happening in the world and we don’t know how to help or we don’t see the struggles or the situation up close, ย so we can’t see the true need.

Help Support Team World Vision:

There’s so much need in the world. There is. And sometimes I feel like I can’t make a difference. But we all can. We can take steps to live a better life and help other’s live a better life, too.

I hope to see you on race day, October 8, 2017. I’ll be posting about the places to grab lunch with your friends and family after the Chicago Marathon. Know that I wouldn’t be able to run without your encouragement and help. I’ve met about three people that have really helped me as I run this race. They’ve helped me with tips and training and we’ve helped each other grow in the process. We all need community and we all need help from each other. Whether that’s hugs, that’s a nice text message, a running buddy, or donating. I’m really grateful for your support.

I encourage you, to learn more about World Vision and start transforming lives today by donating here.ย 

I have to run! And get a few more miles logged. But I hope this encourages you to do something you never thought you could do and to realize that reaching out to people makes you stronger and also helps you accomplish your goals!

Thanks to Sponsors and Running Buddies who have supported the Chicago Marathon Training and Team World Vision:

Special shout out to bloggers: Katie from Personally Paleo, my first running buddy, and Sany from Chicago Food, Fitness, and Lifestyle Instagram Influencer, Sany.Delights, my last running buddy.

Thanks to Andrea Miller from Miller Chicago Real Estate for donating and for Maddy Osman from the SEO content site, The Blogsmith for donating. And special thanks to my Aunt Aimรฉe Scarpetti who has always encouraged me and for my first anonymous donor.

And lastly, thanks to World Vision for organizing group runs every Saturday morning and putting together the first official 20-mile practice race on Saturday, September 16, 2017, where over 500 people signed up!

I didn't say it would be easy – I just said it would be worth it. We're running a whole marathon which took 6 months of training. I still don't feel ready but when there's a big goal there's also bigger obstacles. That's how I feel about solving as big of an issue as bringing clean water to kids in Africa. It seems huge. It seems impossible. But it's not. Every $50 donated brings clean water to one child. Please help my team by donating to these kids – because everyone deserves clean water. Tap the #linkinthebio to donate as little as $5, which will probably be less than your bar tab this weekend. Thanks in advance for being the change in the world ๐Ÿ’‹#justdoit #marathontraining #teamworldvision #chicagogrammers #windycitycosmo

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Amanda Whitfield
Amanda Whitfield

Amanda Whitfield is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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