When you’re simultaneously training for your first marathon and campaigning for sponsorship in your pursuit to win the World Egg Throwing Championship, you have to assume you’re going to hit a few roadblocks along the way.
Knowing that, however, doesn’t make it any easier to overcome rejection. On Wednesday, Tossing For Hunger received its first official rejection from a supermarket chain that shall remain nameless.
(By the way, if you haven’t been to the website yet or watched our YouTube video, check it out now.)
Sure, I was expecting to receive plenty of rejection letters until the perfect sponsor comes through, and the e-mail I received was pleasant enough, but it still hurt to know that a potential sponsor didn’t see the true beauty and potential of our plan.
Or maybe I was still too upset about the events of last weekend.
Last Friday night, I mapped out an 8-mile out, 8-mile back run on the Raleigh Greenway trail—a route that would be my longest training run leading up to the Tobacco Road Marathon on March 20. When I awoke the next morning, however, I nearly coughed up my right lung. Clearly, I had received an unfortunate gift from Carie, who had picked up bronchitis on a recent business trip. Or maybe it was nothing at all. I convinced myself that it was an aberration. That if I filled up my Camelbak with Gatorade and hit the trail, I could literally run away whatever sickness might be festering in my body. Plus, it was a gorgeous day. There was no way I wasn’t going for a run.
Three miles in, I was perfectly fine. Four miles in, I passed another runner who seemed to be in better shape than me. I imagined conversations I would have with friends and coworkers on Monday. “Yeah, I was starting to get sick,” I would tell them. “But then I just ran it out of my system. Infection has no chance against the mighty Jon Page. In fact, next time you get sick, don’t even call your doctor. I’ll come over and take you on a run. Forget medicine, I am your prescription for relief!”
At the halfway point, however, I faced a cause for concern. Normally, on long runs, I don’t start tapping into my water supply until I’ve run at least 6 miles. And no matter how far I go, I usually finish the run with more than half a tank. But 8 miles into this run, my pack felt extremely light. Two miles later, the Gatorade was empty. Worse, I had to stop running to wait for traffic. Once I could cross the street, my legs refused to resume their previous pace. I decided to walk until I was comfortable enough to run. A mile later, I was still walking. After another mile, I considered napping in the grass.
With 4 miles back to the car and absolutely no energy, I finally decided that I should probably call for rescue. I had my phone with me, so I considered calling a cab, but I had no money. I would have called Carie, but she was on a road trip with her mom.
Instead, I surrendered to running failure in the most humiliating way possible for a nearly 30-year-old man—I called my mommy.
I explained my predicament, nearly in tears. Here I was, exactly one month away from my first marathon, and I couldn’t even finish a 16-mile run. How in the world could I expect to run 26.2 miles?
Worse yet, I was calling my mom to rescue me.
When I finally made it home, I slipped into hibernation for 15 of the next 18 hours. Clearly, I was sick. And exhausted.
A week later, I’m happy to say that I’m completely recovered. I’m happier to say that I just finished a 16-mile run, and that I easily could have run another 10 miles. And more than ever, I’m determined to find a sponsor for Tossing For Hunger.
Even if I have to ask my mom for help.