So I can't believe the Canyonlands Half Marathon will be FINISHED in less than 48 hours! It's been such an adventure running in strange new places, running backwards in the freezing wind, doing speed workouts in the graveyard ... best of all, it's helped me reconnect with some wonderful people and meet some new ones through my wonderful and very dedicated TNT team!
So to keep me running during the race, I'm dedicating each mile to a hero of mine -- someone who has inspired me personally or supported me during this training season. It's also a trick I use to keep my butt moving, I wouldn't want to let any of you down by dropping out during your mile!
Mile 1 - To Jennifer Gessner, someone I haven't seen in person since high school who made the very first donation in honor of her friend Marti, who has been kicking lymphoma's ass for many years.
Mile 2 - To my aunt Patty Ryan Miller, who chased down donations from practically everyone she knew!
Mile 3 - To Kelly Kotary and Phil Haynes who donated generously to the cause even in the midst of starting their own businesses, remodeling a house and other financial craziness.
Mile 4 - To Valerie Keller, my patient, positive and encouraging roommate who has never complained that our house has been filled with stinky running clothes for four months straight.
Mile 5 - To the Hulses (Rob, Holly, Austin, Jason and Chelsea) who were hands down my biggest donors this season. They are an awesome family I met while working in Shanghai.
Mile 6 - Jen Nauck, my friend who will be accompanying me to Canyonlands on her birthday! Just having her watch is making the whole experience so much more gratifying.
Mile 7 - Kim Herzog, my friend in Cleveland whose grandma has lymphoma.
Mile 8 - My only Fort Collins teammate at Canyonlands, Donna McGovern. It's her first half marathon, and when she started training, she had just finished chemo for Hodgkin's Disease. She also just found out she's the biggest fundraiser in Colorado TNT this season.
Mile 9 - The people of Japan and Libya who are dealing courageously with respective disasters.
Mile 10 - To my TNT Fort Collins teammates, and especially to coach Jen, mentor Mary and team captains Johanna and Kristina who put so much time in for all of us.
Mile 11 - To our team heroes Kim and Annabel. Kim is a leukemia survivor who was diagnosed while pregnant with her daughter. They're both doing great!
Mile 12 - To my Dad, Greg Maurer, who is now walking on the treadmill at rehab doing his own brand of training. It probably feels like he's running a half-marathon some days.
Mile 13 - To my Mom, Kathie Maurer, who is a 10 year survivor of lymphoma in 2011 and inspires me every day. I was thinking of you on all those long, freezing, unbearable runs, mom! You just never quit, so I couldn't either.
I wish I had more miles to give away, because I could go on and on! So many people contributed and altogether we've raised about $2,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and donations are still coming in. Thanks to everyone who contributed. You'll all be with me out there running in the desert!
By the way, for all those who want to send their good vibes, the race starts at 10:00 a.m. US mountain standard time on Saturday, March 19. If you want to send extra vibes during your mile, I'm going at about at 10:15 - 10:30 pace.
Okay, I'm off to tattoo all your names on my arm (in Sharpie marker) so I can remember who's when!