Have you ever asked yourself: "Self, what should I do with the space blanket I got when I crossed the finish line of the _____ (insert race name here) Marathon?"
I have NOT had that discussion with myself, but only because the marathon I ran somehow ran out of the blankets before I hauled myself across that all-important, life changing line (that's incentive for me to pick up the speed, right?). I am the proud owner of the finishing medal, though, which really is more important - as is the photo of the finish, in which my husband and I crossed together and the mitten my grandmother knit me is shown laying on the ground mere inches behind the line. I didn't realize the fate of that mitten until the race photos were available - can you believe I ran with mittens in my vest pocket for at least 10 miles and didn't lose one darn thing until the VERY end? I LOVE that it made it into the photo, as it just adds to my memorable experience. And it leaves people scratching their heads, "You ran in MITTENS?" Sure! Why not?
Anyway *ahem*. . . back to the question at hand. Race blankets are great for immediate recovery after the race, but don't make for the classiest window treatments, cozy chair throws or cushioning picnic blankets once you return to life. I know a good number of runners who achieve their dream of completing a marathon and are then left wondering . . . "Now what?" I HAVE had THAT discussion with myself . . . and my husband . . . and anyone willing to stand still long enough to listen to me brainstorm aloud (not too many people fall into that category).
Carol Goodrow, the author/illustrator, educator, runner, and hostess with the mostest of Kidsrunning.com has answers to those looming questions! Not only does she live and breathe the philosophy of "pay it forward" but she encourages others to do the same - and, here's the best part, provides you with IDEAS for how to do it. So, take a second (or longer!) to explore her site and see how you, strong runner, can pass along the passion of running to our youth. It might be just the nudge you need to get that sweaty space blanket off your kitchen table (get a cloth one - they withstand washers and dryers better!) and onto the wall of a school whose kids could use some fuel for their own dreams. It may even fill that hole in your psyche that's nagging at you with the "Now What?" questions . . . which, is probably a lot easier and less time consuming that my answer: "I'll write a book about running." Though, if you opt to use my answer, let me know and I'll happily cheer you along your course.
Seriously, folks, check out the great list of ideas Carol shares on her site. You might not be running Boston, but I know you have your eyes on another goal! Share the running love!