Sunday I’m running the Rotterdam Half Marathon. I’ve run half marathons in Amsterdam, The Hague and Hilversum, but never Rotterdam. It’s flat and fast, like all races in Holland, and attracts world class runners who come to make and break records. My goals are not nearly as sexy. In fact their kind of boring, but they’re mine nonetheless and I claim and will pursue them wholeheartedly.

Run the entire race. That may sound simple enough, but since I only did one long training run, and it wasn’t as long as it should have been, so not walking will be hard. But then again, it’s supposed to be tough, right? Push myself. Get out of my comfort zone. JUST DO IT!!!

Explore the Netherlands: I’m trying to explore Holland beyond The Hague, where I live, and Amsterdam, which is an obvious and easy destination, and running a race is a fun, functional way to do that. There are the physical benefits and it’s a great way to get a quick overview of a place and decide whether you’d like to spend more time there. A few months ago a ran a half-marathon in Hilversum, which is often referred to as “media city” because it is the headquarters for media and television broadcasting in the Netherlands. Not only did the glamour that one might expect to see in the media capital not exist, neither did the charm and quaintness you’d find in other Dutch cities. Thank goodness that the city’s residents came out to support the race. Their enthusiasm and encouragement made up for the uninspiring course.

Fundraising: In addition to Rotterdam, I’m running a race from Paris to Versailles 2 weeks later, and between both races, I hope to raise $500 for Run For Congo Women. So far I’ve raised 65% of my goal. In the spirit of totally embracing social media, I wanted to raise all the money via Facebook. And although most of the money so far has come that way, some came from a couple of my Facebook-phobic friends, and some by way of Twitter. I actually might lump the Twitter donation with Facebook since my accounts are linked. Let’s see if the power of social media can be used for good.