Animals, Running, and a Favor From You.

Edited to add: There is a TL;DR at the bottom of this post.

I love animals. Everyone who knows me personally is aware of this. Those of you who have been reading this site for a while are also probably aware of it. And when it comes to donating money, I usually pick animal organizations. That’s not because I don’t love humans; I donate to human groups as well. It’s just that animals are terrible fundraisers.

I also love running. Running has changed my life in ways I can’t even begin to explain. The physical payoffs are obvious; I don’t need to remind everyone how important exercise is for the body. And it’s been instrumental in my weight-loss. But that’s not why I run. I run because it eases my anxiety, which is often quite high. It puts my personal problems into perspective; they don’t matter nearly as much during or after a run. It is, for lack of a better word, my antidepressant. It is physically impossible to feel badly about oneself after a run.

Anyway, I run a lot. And sometimes I try and run with something or someone in mind. Usually, I pull inspiration from my life and that makes those difficult miles—where I’m just not sure I can go on—a little easier to endure. I finished the NYC Half thanks to a newborn baby who was fighting for his life in the NICU. I thought about him at least a dozen times along the way and he gave me the power I needed to continue. I thought: if that little guy can fight so hard to stay alive (and survive, btw!) I could finish 13.1 miles for him. And I did.

Running the distance is often easier and more rewarding when you have someone or something bigger than yourself in mind.

So, when I received the email from NYRR stating that this year they paired up with CrowdRise making it possible for every single runner to raise money for an organization of his or her choice, I hit the ground running—literally!

I went out for a 6-miler and thought about which group I would like to choose. I knew I wanted it to be a local organization, and I knew I wanted it to be about animals.

It was so difficult to choose just one! There are dozens of organizations I support in some way or another. I wanted to pick them all. But in the end I chose City Critters (and Kitty Loft). City Critters cares for homeless animals, rescues animals from the city (kill) shelter system, and takes in animals abandoned by the public. Kitty Loft works tirelessly at TNR. (Trap, Neuter, Release.) Both are all-volunteer, non-profit organizations. Both have animal welfare in mind first.

So, here is where I ask you for 10 bucks. I could have probably just said as much from the get-go, but I tend to be a wordy one! If you’ve got it to spare, awesome. If you don’t, that’s awesome too. I have my goal set at $1,026.00 (actually, I had it set to 1,026.02, but they stripped my cents!) so every little bit counts.

Thanks for reading, friends! I can’t believe I am actually going to try and run a marathon. The idea of running 26.2 miles scares the shit out of me (hopefully not while running!).

P.S. You don’t have to give money to crowdrise. They have this automatic add-on at the end. If you don’t wish to give them a percent of your donation, just click the orange link next to that “processing fee” and hit zero. I am not sure why their default is to add money.

TL;DR: Wanna support me for the marathon and donate 10 bucks to City Critters? Click here.