The Running Bug – Or, How Crossing Off Something From One List Leads to an Entirely New List

It’s no secret I am a list maker. I love lists. In fact, that’s the whole basis of this blog.

But sometimes my lists can lead to sub-lists. (For example, lists of states I’ve visited, lists of movies I’ve seen, and lists of books I’ve read.) And now that I’ve finished my first half marathon, it’s probably not too much of a shocker that I have already begun a list of future races I want to run.

For now, my list is pretty small – only including races I think I have a pretty realistic shot at running this year. At some point I’ll sit down and write out all the races I hope to run some day. But, still, my current list of races is enough to keep me busy for the next several months.

Here it is:

I’m sure this list will continue to grow, but right now I will focus on the races I can afford, the ones I really want to do (Disney was the original Life’s List half), and the ones that are conveniently located. 
Stay tuned for updates.

I’m Running 13.1 Miles…And I’m Not Even Being Chased.

Call me crazy. No, really. It’s okay. Call me crazy, because I think that’s what I am.

I am willingly signing up to run a half marathon. Yup. 13.1 miles. Just for “fun”. Okay, well, not just for fun. It also happens to be for a good cause – literacy.

Let me back up a bit.

As you know, there are all kinds of opportunities to run absurd distances in support of one charity or another. People, apparently, do it all the time. And in fact, I’ve come to know more and more people who have run these marathons and half marathons for various causes. And yes, I think these people are crazy. But I also find them to be an inspiration to me.

So much of an inspiration, in fact, that one day I found myself thinking “maybe I want to run a half marathon some day”, which, as you know, is the criteria for adding something to my List.

First I started by adding the Disney World Half Marathon to the list, because if I’m going to do something insane like run 13.1 miles, I at least want to get a picture with Mickey along the way. But then I decided that running any half marathon should also be a goal, because it might be a good idea to try and not die in my own city before paying a fortune to die at Disney World.

So, that got me thinking about the Chicago Half Marathon. Maybe I’d try that one of these days. Not any time soon, of course.

Fast forward a few months. An amazing nonprofit I’ve been volunteering for, Open Books, offers me an opportunity to be a part of their Associate Board. I love Open Books, their fabulous used book store, and all the wonderful literacy programs the bookstore proceeds fund. (I could go on and on about how awesome Open Books is and how much I love literacy-related stuff, but I won’t. Not right now, anyway.) So, I jump at the chance and join the Board.

Fast forward a few more weeks to one of our Board meetings. We’re getting ready to start organizing Team Bookin’ It, Open Books’ second-annual Half Marathon team. Uh oh. Do you see where this is going?

Would you have guessed that I’m the first to volunteer not only to help out with organizing the team, but also to Co-Chair the event? So here I am, Co-Chairing a Half Marathon team, while “run a half marathon” is sitting on my Life’s List, begging to be paid attention to.

And so finally it hits me. How in the world can I recruit and encourage runners to run a half marathon and not actually do it with them? I need to sign up. It all just makes sense.

But actually, it’s not that simple. Running, for runners, is easy. And for non-runners it’s ludicrous. I should probably explain that I, myself, fall into the non-runner category.

I was 26 the first time I ever ran a full mile. Somehow I made it through four years of mandatory P.E. class “sprint/walking” my timed mile. I signed up for my first 5K because it was a “Run/Walk” and only started running because I realized I’d get run over if I didn’t.

Eventually I worked my way up to running my first full 5K, and then several more. But still to this day, I have never run more than about 5.5 miles.

But here I am. Almost fully committed. (I say “almost” because although I’ve registered for the team, I haven’t submitted my registration payment yet. Stay tuned.)

I am going attempt to recruit and motivate a team of runners, complete a 12-week training program, raise at least $1000 for literacy, and run in the Chicago Half Marathon on September 11th of this year.

Ready to call me crazy yet?

Anyway, here’s where I begin my plea for help.

If you are insane like me and want to run in support of literacy (there’s a 5K option, too!), click here: (

If you want to learn more about Open Books and their awesome programs, click here: (

If you want to get more information about the race, email me at

And finally, if you’d like to make a financial contribution toward my fundraising goals, go here:

learn more

Or, visit my fundraising page and training blog (yes, another blog to follow), here. (

So, I may have gone crazy, but at least it’s for a good cause.