Chicago Marathon

Saving the Lives of Chicago's Stray Animals One Mile at a Time

For the second year in a row, I have the privilege of running the Chicago Marathon on behalf of PAWS Chicago, the city's largest "no-kill shelter." If you know anything about me, you know: I love running, I love animals and I LOVE Chicago. So, I jumped at the chance when offered the opportunity to support these guys again.

This year, I have been asked to not only participate as a runner, but also as a Shepherd, which is a leadership position that mentors new Team PAWS members, from running to fundraising, and everything in between.

Please join me in helping save the lives of our furry friends. With your donation, we can give those lovable critters a forever home. For those who have already donated, a heartfelt "thank you."

Fundraising Page of Justin Stone

PAWS Chicago: About

Supporting Our Furry Friends

I love running. I mean, I absolutely love it. There's no better feeling than hitting the road, slogging out the miles and clearing your head. But, equally as great is that feeling you get when you walk in the door and a cold little-nosed pup jumps in your lap.

Animals are the greatest kind of therapy. They listen to everything you say, never pass judgement and are truly happy that all you had to do was come home at the end of the day. Of course, a cookie now and then never hurt, either. But, really our little friends need love.

Unfortunately, there are people in this world who get a pet, only to find it's too great a responsibility. Some of these people won't even take on the responsibility to find the pet and home and abandon them. It's something we all know, but for the most part choose to overlook because it's too tough to stomach, myself included.

But, in this world, there are also people whose sole goal is to care for these poor creatures, fix them up, and find them suitable homes.

And, I've got their backs.

For this year's Chicago Marathon, I will be racing and raising for PAWS Chicago, Chicago's largest no-kill animal shelter. These guys are dedicated to keeping our four-legged friends alive until we can find them a suitable home. If you look on

Charity Navigator

you'll see these guys kick ass, with the majority of dollars dedicated to the animals.

It's up to us to take care of them.

It's up to us to take care of them.

DooDa says "Thank you!"

DooDa says "Thank you!"

Rylee says "C'mon. Help us out!"

Rylee says "C'mon. Help us out!"

Overcoming the Funk: Help Me Get My Running Mojo Back!

As I sit here, writing this week’s post (weekly?), it will have been about 8 days since I have gone out on a run. Sure, I may have walked 500 miles around Disney World last week, but for all intents and purposes, not one structured run. This is really odd, since I usually put in about 5 runs a week (if I’m not injured or having a post-race rest), but lately my motivation, well has been…..nonexistent.

I know I need to get out there, I have a slew of major races on the horizon like the Disneyland Half Marathon & 10k, Chicago Marathon, Wine & Dine Half Marathon, and the tortuous Dopey Challenge in January. The urgency to get ready is real it’s just nothing, nada, zip, zilch, no go. I’ve been racking my brain trying to understand the reasoning and I think I have it down to a few reasons (although, this is nothing more than fruitless attempts to find rationale and not the sheer fact I’m being lazy). 

"Meh." Source: Internet

Weather: Hey, I know it’s summer. Suck it up! Any runner will tell you summer running sucks, but you endure. I see the rain outside or look at the temperature and go, “Eh, I’ll go in the morning tomorrow.” Which, once tomorrow comes, the snooze button just looks so tempting I have to indulge.

Location: As I get more accustomed to my new city of Boston, I’m finding it’s really not that conducive to running (just like how no one here will rent to dog owners, yet everyone has a dog). The path along the Charles River is broken or mismatched concrete and on one side of it you need to stop every half mile for a stoplight. I guess I was really spoiled by the long stretches of Chicago’s Lakefront path, where you could just go and go without stopping.

Lack of Races: Boston also doesn’t have a lot of road races in/near the city. We haven’t gotten a car yet (no one has a car in Chicago so we didn’t need one), so any races in surrounding suburbs are out of touch. I used to do one race a month, now it seems like 1 race every 2-3 months. I’m the kind of person who needs that race motivation to get serious; otherwise it’s just running for health, whoop-dee-doo.

What’s the Point?: As mentioned earlier in the post, we went down to Florida last week to see friends and family. While there, we went to Disney World and I couldn’t help but notice the amount of electric “Rent Me” wheelchairs that were in service. I understand these are invaluable to those who truly need them, but clearly there were a plethora of those who didn’t require any help (we saw one lady get out of hers to get in line at the turkey leg cart). It really struck me in a way that I can’t shake. If other people don’t care about their health and we as a society enable them milk the system to their advantage, why the Hell am I running 50 miles a week. Heck, maybe I should just by a Hummer and buy a house next to a fast food restaurant. This should be motivation for me to work harder, yet it’s had some kryptonic effect on me.

Running Has Gotten Boring: Yep, I said it. Running has gotten boring. I’ve been through slumps before, but this is different. Music that once got me motoring is now flat and my feet seem heavy. It used to be on my runs, someone would pass me and I would get a little flame within to say, “Go get that guy.” Now, it’s like “Meh, I’m good.” This is the scariest of them all, as I really do love to run and participate in this passionate community of runners.

Perhaps, this is all some kind of pity party and I should just put on a pair of one of my many running shoes and kick myself in the ass to get out the door.

So, I’m asking you, running community to help me get my running mojo back. It’s somewhere out there, stranded on the side of the road, a blown-out tire without a pump. C’mon guys, be my pump (is that weird?) Tell me if you have ever been in a running funk and how did you pull out of it. New music, mental techniques, heck, I’ll even listen to astrology charts if it works.

Help me get back out there and enjoy the miles.