50 by 50 | Natalie Krause
I fell in love with running at 11 yrs old. An outstanding coaching team mixed with my parents' love and support was the perfect combination. I was hooked after my first mile. My big dreams started when I was 15 and knew that I wanted to run a marathon someday. I got my first chance in 2005 at the Chicago Marathon.
My aunt had run a marathon before and knew I could complete the distance as well. She got me the bib, I did the training and on marathon day I was overwhelmed with excitment. I ran that first marathon to honor my coach who had passed suddenly while I was still in high school. I remember seeing my family at mile 19 and my mom telling me I barely looked tired. I crossed the finish line exalted and could not wait to try the distance again.
The following year I ran Chicago finishing with a Boston qualifying time. I didn’t know enough about marathons at the time to know what a great accomplishment this was. My only thought was, I can handle this distance twice in one year. In 2007 I completed 3 marathons in Disney World, Boston, and Chicago. Those early races gave me everything I love about the marathon. The effort, the challenge, the training teams, seeing different cities on foot, and meeting and exceeding goals set for myself.
My current and biggest goal is to complete 50 marathons by my 50th birthday. With a full time teaching job, coaching job, husband, raising 3 children and training for races myself, I want to say, it can be done. To date, I have run 40 marathons. I have seen and experienced things during those 40 that I would not and could not have done any other way. I am often asked if I have a favorite marathon. The truthful and most honest answer I can give is that they are all my favorite.
St. Jude Marathon sixteen weeks pregnant with my first child.
The Marine Corps Marathon watching amputees carrying our nation's flag complete the race.
Chicago for the 4th time with a group of athletes I once coached.
Rock n Roll Las Vegas, 12 weeks after giving birth to our third child.
The four marathons I ran to honor my sister who was serving overseas.
The Erie marathon I ran step for step with one of my closest friends and earned a huge P.R.
The Boston marathon with my high school teammates and training friends in a freezing downpour you’d have to see to believe.
Wisconsin and Kalamazoo back to back for my 38th birthday just to see if I could (I did).
Indianapolis pacing a former athlete to her Boston time.
Bayshore for the 8th marathon that year just because I wanted to run with friends.
Baltimore where my aunt completed her 100th marathon and my mother her 10th.
And so many many more.
My success and my goal of 50 by 50 has been fueled by so many people in my life. The more I run the more I want to do good through running. I want to help others. If I am going to run anyway I want to do something that will leave others with a positive impact.
With the help of my aunt I found the organization “22 too many”. This organization brings awareness to the alarming rate at which veterans are victims of suicide. It is a group I am honored to be a part of. This year I joined Team World Vision (TWV) as my first ever fundraiser with a worthy cause to help bring clean water to those in need. My goal race was the Chicago marathon with TWV. My race calendar for 2020 included five marathons.
On the last weekend of February of this year I traveled to Atlanta with some of my closest friends and training partners. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to not only be spectators to the Olympic Marathon trials but to run in the Atlanta marathon the next day. After battling an injury for almost a year it was once again pure elation to cross the finish line.
Two weeks after arriving home, Indiana schools were shut down and we were issued stay-at-home orders. Soon after Boston announced that their marathon would be postponed and would later be cancelled. Not long after, we all watched as race after race was and continues to be, cancelled. As much as I would love to get back to marathoning I know there are far more serious issues at hand. Races may be cancelled but running is not.
The marathon has taught me many valuable lessons. One being if things are not going as planned, change your plans. Life changes on the run and if I can adapt to these changes success can still be attained. I will get to number 50. In the meantime I continue to dream excitedly about the 10 marathons it will take to complete my goal and to the many marathons beyond.
I continue to take inspiration from my training partners, training team, my family, and all those looking ahead to their own goals. It can be done.
To learn more about 22toomany please visit: www.22toomany.com
To learn more about TWV please visit: https://www.teamworldvision.org/participant/211032