Fundraising Tips! How I Fundraised $10,581 for Multiple Sclerosis

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to share with you some tips for how I ended up surpassing my fundraising goal for MS Run The US. I think it's so important to share with others regarding fundraising because when I first began my journey, I had NO idea how I could possibly raise this much money! I still am a bit shocked that I reached over $10,000 in my fundraising. I mean that is A LOT of MONEY! I'm on day 2 of my relay and hope to check in on Thursday or Friday with a post about how's it going so far!! I'm optimistic that I'll have a bunch of energy and freetime after running each day to write to you ; ) haha.. I guess we'll see! 

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OK so here are my TOPS TIPS for fundraising DO'S: 

  • DO make a list of 100 people and businesses you know. I did this right at the very beginning and while not everyone donated (and some people on the list were silly to write down...like my mom!), it helped me keep track of who I reached out to and if I had received a donation from them or not. 
  • DO reach out to your local grocery stores to do some tabling. This one really blew me away with how easy and effective it was! I think I raised almost a $1,000 just by sitting at a table outside our local grocery store for 3 hours on a few Saturdays!
  • DO reach out to local personal trainers/ fitness studios. This was where 2 of my fundraisers came from and while they weren't the best $ makers, I think both donation classes still ended up fundraising me over $500!
  • DO reach out to businesses more than once..twice...or three times! I think I *may* have received one donation from a business on the first attempt at asking, but most others it took me 3 or 4 TIMES of asking before I received a donation! I found that a lot of people just needed the reminder and wanted to donate, but forget to. I hated pestering them, but it really worked to my benefit. 
  • DO tell people your story. My biggest donation came from a donor who just happened to be at my work and I told him of my relay that I'm participating in and why. 
  • DO reach out to your local papers (AND hometown papers). My other biggest donations came from reaching out to my local (and hometown) papers. I actually had to reach out to my local paper FIVE TIMES before hearing back from someone. It was worth it. 
  • DO one fundraising event per month. Whether it was tabling, fitness donation classes, organizing a local 5k, giving Tuesday in November, these events helped me reach my goal and keep me on track. 
  • DO keep a monthly fundraiser goal tracker. Each month, I had my A, B, and C fundraising goals and worked my butt off with contacting/ reaching out to potential donors and keeping my friends/family informed with how my fundraising was going.
  • DO start a Facebook Fundraiser page and keep it up to date. $25 doesn't seem like a lot from one person, BUT I would update and post several times a week in my Facebook Fundraiser and that helped both current and future donors keep track of my progress. I would post training updates/ fundraising updates/ positives or negatives about a run I just did/ monthly mileage etc. It REALLY added up. I think I ended up getting over $2,000 just in Facebook donations!
  • DO update your supporters on social media channels regularly. This was a big one for people to keep track of my progress and have potential donors have a place to go to follow my journey! 
  • DO a garage sale. I had myself and my family put things on eBay that they wanted to get ride of and we made A KILLING! I think I received over $1,000 just by selling things that we didn't want anymore! Super easy and you get to clean out your junk as well : )

THINGS NOT TO DO:

  • DO NOT have a one and done mentality. I got over the fact that I was "bothering people" very early on because I realized that I wasn't really bothering them and that if they didn't want to donate, then they would let me know or just politely say 'thanks and we'll think about it' (then I'd follow up with them MULTIPLE times). 
  • DO NOT feel sorry for sharing your story. I had some people who gave me a fundraising tip of "sharing my story", which honestly seemed really vague to me. I've never been a big sharer of my life to strangers, but that's a big part of what fundraising is! SHARE your story and hone it in. 

How's your Tuesday going?!?

Any fundraising tips of your own?!?

MS Run The US-Week 20 Training Rundown

Happy Humpday! 2 days away from the weekend- I honestly cannot believe how quickly May is FLYING BY! It does not even seem real that the relay segment that I've been working so hard towards will be here in 12 DAYS! I gained almost 3,500' last week and ran 61 miles (including 43 miles over 36 hours!). I'm feeling strong, but also tired and looking forward to next week where I have a huge cut-back before my relay segment! I've also had a few aches and pains, but I think that's to be expected and I'm just focusing on getting enough nutrition (and correct type of nutrients) and foam rolling 2x a day with icing in there as well. KT tape has been a serious favorite lately- just providing an additional amount of support in the places where I really need it! 

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Monday: Rest Day- 20 minutes of strength work at home!

Tuesday: 5 miles easy over lunch! 87' elevation gain

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Wednesday: 6 miles over lunch on the treadmill with 1 mile warm-up; 4 miles alternating incline/ decline; 1 mile cool-down. 20 minutes of strength work

Thursday: Complete Rest Day!

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Friday: 7 miles easy early in the morning gained 1, 029' & 60 minute Pilates JumpBoard Reformer class over lunch

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Saturday: 23 miles easy 2, 202' elevation gain. 20 miles solo; last 3 miles with Alex and Stella; followed it up with 5 minute ice bath (that's all I lasted for)!

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Sunday: 20 miles easy on the treadmill; first 10 miles @ 1-2% incline (varied); last 10 miles @ -1 --> -3% decline and fast-finish @ 8:00 pace. Watched 2 movies to keep me entertained --> Moana & Pocahontas! 

Positive Splits:

  • fit in 3 strength training sessions
  • got in all of my mileage
  • foam rolling was on-par

Negative Splits:

  • Would like to stretch more after each run (and before too!)
  • nutrition could still be improved!

How's your training going?! Did anyone race last weekend? --> How'd it go?!?

MS Run The US- Week 19 Training Rundown

We made it to Humpday! Congratulations! I know these next few weeks leading up to my relay would fly by, but they are going SO fast! Anyone else feel like this happens when you're anxiously waiting for something? I'm getting nervously excited for my relay and slightly questioning whether I can actually conquer this crazy distance. I know things will work out and I'll make it, but it's amazing how daunting it can feel! Last week I did a bunch of easy runs and mixed them in with walking breaks to keep my heart rate low and focus on recovery from my marathon. I also fit in 1 strength training session and one pilates class and a few short sessions of yoga (at home). Foam rolling is my best friend right now and I try to do it twice a day (along with icing my "achy areas" - knee/ achilles). I've got two more weeks of harder workouts, then one week of tapering left to go!

Monday: Rest Day! My birthday! 20 minutes of yoga at home and some foam rolling

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Tuesday: 5 miles on the trail. Alternating every 1/2 mile with walking/ slow running with Stella. 20 minutes of yoga at home & foam rolling to follow

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Wednesday: Rest Day! Pilates class at lunch and foam rolling before bed

Thursday: 10.26 miles. 2 hours total (time was the goal). alternated every 1 mile of running with 5 minutes of walking. Foam rolled & epsom salt bath afterwards

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Friday: 6 trail miles. Alternated first half with 1/2 mile walking with 1/2 mile running, then hit some snow and had a bit of a time crunch, so finished with slow running for last 3 miles. 

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Saturday: 20 trail miles. 1, 312' elevation gain. Took it easy and did most of this running, but kinda died towards the last 6 miles (it was HOT! for me anyways... 75* out and sunny). Trying to focus less on pace, more on lower heart rate and covering mileage to get to my relay healthy & strong! 

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Sunday: 15 miles on the treadmill. Kept it easy on the treadmill since I had already gained a significant amount of elevation this past week and didn't want to set myself up for injuries (i.e. may have if I ran more elevation/hills)

Positive Splits:

  • Fit in 2 strength training sessions
  • Fit in my mileage
  • Focused on easy recovery paces!
  • Slept in almost every morning & made breakfast at home...that NEVER happens!

Negative Splits:

  • Nothing! Trying to keep things light and easy and not be too harsh on myself in regards to paces. 

 

28

Happy Monday! I hope you had a GREAT weekend! I'll have a full race recap and breakdown of the weekend coming up this week, but I finished my 6th marathon on Saturday and got a new PR of 3:52. I felt absolutely fantastic the entire race and was still smiling (and passing A LOT of runners) at mile 25! I didn't quite negative split, but this was by-far my best feeling marathon ever. I finished 9th in my age group and 31st female overall. This was a pretty hilly course and I felt great the day after. Barely sore and actually fit in a slow recovery run of 5 miles (~11 min pace) and 5 mile walk too! 

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Today is my birthday! I can hardly believe that I'm 28. I honestly wished to be in my 'late twenties' ever since I hit 21 and it's gone by so quickly. It's funny how for so long you always think that a certain age is considered 'old' and then as you age, that number just keeps increasing as you do ;) I'm such a type-A planner and it's crazy to think how my younger self depicted my life would be like when I was 28. I envisioned a completely different life (married, in a great career that I loved, living in a house that I own, potentially thinking about starting a family, living somewhere in New England, etc.) for myself and now, I honestly wouldn't change a thing. 

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Sure, I've grown up a bunch, but it's amazing to me how I continue to grow and continue to not 'sweat the small stuff'. I still struggle at times, but comparing where I am to where others my age are is much less important to me now. I remember when my first friend got engaged, married, amazing career opportunity, bought a house, etc. and how jealous and put-down I felt (no one was putting me down, expect I was doing that to myself). I'm not sure if its because these big life moments just seem ordinary or I'm in a different place now (maybe a bit of both), but I'm getting better with just 'brushing them off' and focusing on me.

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So, enough rambling. Here's 28 things I've learned thus far in my life:

  1. I really love cookingI love to bake/ create new recipes/ meal-plan and have a delicious meal that I made from scratch. 
  2. My perfect Saturday night is staying home, cudding with Alex, Stella, and our kittens, with a meal that we cooked together and watching a movie (or catching up on House of Cards... we're on Season 4!!) I could care less about going out to dinner/ going to a bar/ eating take out. Not for me. 
  3. I really love Pilates and Barre. I love how strong I feel after a hard class and the positive environment that they are!
  4. I love spending time outdoors. Whether it's having a window open when it's only 50* out, walking the dog, or just sitting outside on the deck I just can never get enough fresh air. 
  5. I have little patience for fake personalities. I'm such a positive polly and LOVE to be happy and positive all the time, but this is just something I have zero patience for. Authenticity all the way!
  6. I am uber patient. Not sure what career is great for super patient people, but I'd probably be really great at it. Give me a skating class of whiny 3 year olds and I can rock it. 
  7. I'm getting better at voicing my opinion. If I disagree, I'm more apt to be more vocal about it. Thanks to Alex for helping me find my inner voice (that's definitely something I've always admired about him- he stands up for what he believes in)
  8. I LOVE our kittens to death. I haven't had a kitten in a long time and forgot how much pure JOY they bring you. I feel like my heart is going to explode every time they're snuggled up against me. 
  9. I love to run and set goals and train really hard for something. My favorite thing about training hard and keeping a running log is looking back over all those hard workouts and difficult runs that you accomplished (one reason why I started blogging in the first place)!
  10. Gilmore Girls is life. Always has been, always will be. It's my go-to when I'm ready to nap/ wanting to zone out/ cleaning/ running on the treadmill. It NEVER gets old.
  11. I relate most to Monica from Friends mixed with Pam from the Office. I'm not exactly super OCD about everything (Monica..), but I am as nerdy as Pam is. 
  12. I really love visiting our National Parks. Whether it's driving there/ hiking at the park/ camping. I love the history and the pure beauty that they bring. 
  13. I no longer want to shove my feet into uncomfortable (but cute) shoes. Zero space in my life for things like that! Why can't they just make comfortably cute shoes?!?
  14. I don't put on make-up everyday and I'm cool with it. Gone is the day where I need to look 100% put together. Life is too short. I still like getting dressed up and doing my make-up/ hair, but it rarely happens (at least all together)...
  15. I've become much more adventurous. If you would've asked me to go sky-diving or hike up a 14,000' mountain ten years ago, I would've said hell no. But now- I'm up for so many things and truly want to experience it all. Life is much too short. 
  16. If I want ice cream or some skittles, I'm going to. Gone are the days where I say no to sweets or never get dessert. I absolutely still watch what I eat and keep everything in moderation, but it's kinda crazy to go to Italy and not get a cannoli. Live it up!
  17. Pizza and pasta are life. Not sure if this will ever change as I get older?
  18. Kayaking is no longer evil and is actually pretty fun. Who would've thought that what I once feared-for-my-life is actually not scary at all? 
  19. Mixed drinks just aren't for me. I had my fair-share in college and I think I'm good. I'll still enjoy a nice glass of wine or beer once in a while (i.e. ~3-4 times A YEAR), but it's not really something I'm "into"
  20. Transferring your car lease to a loan is really time-intensive, but you feel super adult about it afterwards. 
  21. Student loans suck. They are what they are. Maybe someday I'll know what it feels like to not have them anymore? 
  22. Goods friends are really hard to find. If you find them, hang on to them for dear life.
  23. OK or flaky friends are just not worth my time or energy. 
  24. Less jewelry= better. Gone are the days where I would completely accessorize an outfit. Just a few solid, nice pieces are all I really need. 
  25. Nice furniture is expensive, but worth it. That Casper mattress is worth every penny. 
  26. Sunscreen is SO important. Not sure why I thought it was *cool* to bathe in the sun without it when I was 14, but I was very very wrong. 
  27. Milestones are worth celebrating. Cat birthdays, Stella's half-birthday, the first time we moved in together, the day where I drove across the country to live in CO- all are important and remind us how far we've come. 
  28. My people are my world. Supportive family/friends/animals are worth a lot and their advice/encouragement/ words of wisdom really are worth taking. 
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 Dessert last night...so good..no regrets!

Dessert last night...so good..no regrets!

 Loving life.

Loving life.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Favorite birthday? --> I had a Wild Thornberries party at the ice rink one year and that was amazing. My love of adventures & the ice blended...

I'll be celebrating the day with a cupcake/ yoga on the porch/ watching gilmore girls/ planting some marigolds! Alex is out of town and today's a rest day from running so doing the little things that I enjoy!