MS Run the US- Round 2: 2016!

Here we go again!!!  Some people may be thinking: “Oh no…”, others “She’s still crazy…” and hopefully at least some of you will be fist pumping the air and saying “LET’S CURE MS!” like I am. 🙂

A new year means starting back at zero for fundraising and once again a lot of hard work and planning a variety of fundraisers to get to $10,000 or more over the next year.  But I have a full year and that is a lot of time!!  It is a little daunting to think of starting back at zero and working back up to $10,000.  But yet, it is exciting to think that a year from now I will have raised OVER $22,000 for MS in less than 2 years time!  WOW!  That right there is enough to bring me back for more.  In my lifetime, (due to 5 years of riding in the MS Bike ride and fundraising anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 each year for that) I am already over $20,000 for the cause.  So after the 2016 relay I will have raised over $40,000 for Multiple Sclerosis!  FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!  How motivating and awesome is that?!  This is why I want to run again.  Because you can’t beat this feeling!  The feeling of knowing that even though there are millions of people in this world, I can still do everything in my power to make a difference, even if it is small in the grand scheme of the world.

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I also know that running again means wondering if my body can physically handle the intense training and mileage again.  To be honest, that is the part that worries me more, due to my current nagging injures and aches and pains.  But once again… I have a lot of time.  I do not have to start official “ultra” training until sometime in March.  Lots of time to get healed up and as good as new.  I also tend to feel that the motivation and adrenaline of running with a greater purpose in mind, rather than just training for myself, somehow helps keep the injuries at bay and tolerable.  That’s probably my wishful thinking, but that’s how I felt this spring when I ran 60-95 mile weeks for several months in a row.  It was crazy to me that I was able to keep my injuries mostly in check from February til the end of May.  Much of that was due to regular massage and some physical therapy, but still, what a miracle!  There has to be a reason for it, and I think it was the fact that my motivation was through the roof.  You can do anything when you are running on pure adrenaline!!

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I am so thankful for all the people in my life that gave to my segment of the MS Run the US relay in 2015.  I hope you will consider helping me once again reach $10,000 in 2016.  I cannot do it without you.  With the help of my great friend and mentor, Dan Stefanich, I am working on coming up with some new fundraisers, new ways to reach out to new donators, and improve those fundraisers that were a big success last year.  I am excited about all our new ideas, as well as the improvements we want to make on some of the things we did last year that were very successful (such as Karma!  Get pumped for Karma round 2, Feb. 2016!!) 🙂

Why do I do this besides that I love to run?  And the obvious that it is a good cause?  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have realized over the years that I am so lucky to have the physical ability to move my body as I choose.  I choose to run and lead an active lifestyle.  Besides some nagging injuries, I have no real trouble doing this.  Not everyone is that lucky!  I realize this but I cannot imagine it.  I cannot imagine what diseases like MS does to a persons life.  I have never had to, and I hope I never do.  But we never know which of us will end up with something that changes our quality of life and makes it so we do not get to live life the way we choose.  It is not fair, and in a way, life is a gamble for all of us.  At any moment things can change.  So I run and am a part of this relay to do my part to let those with MS know I am thankful for my health and I will do everything in my power to help cure MS!  If that means raise $10,000+ a year and run thousands of miles, I will do it.

I think it is our duty as healthy individuals to help and raise awareness for those who are not so lucky AND HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS!  Whether that be running 160 miles in 6 days, or giving a donation if you do not want to be the person to run the miles.  That’s what people like me are here for. 😉  We run and give our time, money and motivation to hopefully get people to WANT to donate to a great cause.  That’s what it means to be a relay runner.  You think we are crazy, which maybe we are, but it gets your attention hopefully, GIVE!  We teach each other that it feels good to give to those less fortunate.  That is what I have learned over the past year since I started putting my energy into MS Run the US.

Life can be filled with negativity, hurt, heartache, depression, and other hardships.  But it can also be positive, because we can be thankful for everything we have.  A little thing like giving to a non-profit like MS Run the US can be enough to make your day better because you are making a difference.  This is what the relay has done for me.   I guess I am meant to do this, because in the couple of months since my fundraising goal for 2015 has been met and my 165 miles run, I have not felt as happy.  I felt lost and like my purpose was gone.  There were no adrenaline rushes, or good endorphins anymore.  I haven’t had as good of an attitude about life, and I felt bored and fatigued with my day to day routine.  All it has taken is starting to look forward to the 2016 MS Relay to start to feel better.  So I know this is my purpose in life.  I am very excited for another year of fighting to CURE MS!  🙂  Woooot!

Check out my video from my 2015 segment if you have not already seen it!  Or view it again because it is pretty sweet 😉

Click here –> 2015 Video Recap!

If you want to check out the new fundraising site, share with friends, or make an early donation to get 2016 started, here is the link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/msruntheus2016relay

Thanks for the support to everyone who has helped me on this journey so far!!

Run Happy,

Nikki 🙂

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! :)

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! 🙂

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