Thursday, March 31, 2011

18 miles and a great donation!

I totally don't have time to write right now, but I wanted to update that I got a great donation from a great man who is also running the same marathon! Woohoo! (I've had it for awhile but due to some issues I needed to work out, you couldn't see it on my ChipIn. Issues are all cleared up :-)

ALSO, I ran 18 miles today. It was my longest run ever, both by time and mileage. It wasn't easy, and I began planning for how I would add 8.2 more miles come May 7th at the marathon. I think some planned walking breaks, even if just to savor the water at the water stations, will be needed. I saw a small herd of deer and scared some geese along the way. I also saw a lot of people out, a sign of spring break and the approaching end of wintery weather...I didn't even regret not running with my gloves today. I won't even be able to remember all this cold weather tomorrow when I land in Fort Lauderdale! I am so blessed to be able to go there for work. I love my job.

Favorite songs to run to today: Glitter, by Pink, and the Glee version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

OK, gotta go! I'll check back in soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Braving Nine

Nine miles. The daunting mileage that I secretly wished to avoid for...well, forever. The last time I ran exactly 9 miles it was my "Run of Death", as I refer to it. It completely sucked the life out of me, and I was convinced that there was no way I would ever be able to do more than that, or to ever run again at all. I spent more time walking on that run that I EVER walk, and I was fairly certain that I was going to freeze to death because I couldn't run or really even walk any more. At all. And I was still miles from home. I have a huge mental block in relation to the 9 mile run.

So this week my medium length run was supposed to be 9 mile. Guess who didn't want to do it? I worked this weekend, so I am physically tired. I feel it in my eyes, my knees, my body. I have the 18 mile long run looming over my head, so I should really not run this 9 mile loop as I prepare for the really long one, right? My knees are hurting, so I shouldn't even try to run 9, right? I'm tired. I have homework...What other excuses can I come up with to NOT tackle this run?

I did go out on this run today, and it was ok. Not my best run ever, not even something I really enjoyed, but I am glad I did it. There's no way I was going to do it on the same course I ran it the first time, so it involved a bit more planning and rerouting, but I did it. Tired and with hurting knees, I plodded on. I guess a better word to describe it would be plodding, rather than running or even jogging. As I switched from a podcast (2 Gomers Run a Marathon - LOVE them!) to music, I realized that when my body is feeling like I am running in a pool of molasses, music may be a good way to come out of that. Not a perfect fix, but probably something I should start the run with the next time I feel like that.

Less than a year ago I was completely anti-headphones while running. I loved listening to my own breath, the birds singing, the wind rustling the leaves on the trees. Now I couldn't run without my headphones. At least not more than a few miles. The music and podcasts help me to focus on God or my pace or relationships or ...well, lots of things. If I was just thinking about running all the time, I think I would talk myself into quitting a lot rather than enjoying tuning out, mellowing out, and breaking out of my old limitations.

Monday, March 28, 2011

ChipIn Zeros

This is my second post of the evening, just a note that I added an end goal to my fundraising (I know we can raise WAY more than this, but since no one has chipped in yet, I started low). I did this because when it said my goal was $0, that just meant that I didn't specify a goal, and the yellow bar kept looking like it was growing as 0 approached 0.

Also, I was SUPER excited to hear that someone I know from childhood is now a monthly donor to Feed My Starving Children! If anyone else donates in an alternative form, I still want to hear about it! Or if you want to know about donating online/monthly/etc., go here.

Running in North Carolina

Last week I looked up our hotel in GoogleMaps. I zoomed in with the satellite viewer, looking for trails to run on. I brought clothes I could run in outside, expecting rain, or inside on a treadmill. I was ready.

It was cold and rainy almost the whole time we were in Mooresville, so I was thankful for the treadmills. There weren't sidewalks or side roads anywhere near our hotel, so I was doubly thankful for the treadmills.

We had pockets of time in which I could run and experience a stairclimber for the first time (apparently I climbed 150 flights of stairs, but I am certain I couldn't have done that on real stairs!). I was so thankful for the treadmills and the attached televisions. CMT's music videos provided a great source of entertainment (minus the overkill on commercials). It was my first time running on a treadmill since the first week of my marathon training, and probably only the second time in over a year (?). Last January the treadmill didn't agree with me, but this time it was a real blessing to have nice equipment at our hotel. Otherwise, there was no way I was going to go out to run in the freezing rain!

Because of using the treadmill and not having a ton of time to run, I decided to re-order my running schedule for the week. I did 5 miles, then 4 miles. Tomorrow, now that I am back home, I have 9 miles, and then a new distance: 18 miles on Thursday. I have a lot of catching up on sleep and ice/rest for the knees before I am ready for the 18 miler. But I am excited to conquer a new distance!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Week In Review

This week we had rain, snow, and sunshine.

Sunday: I ran 4ish miles in my basement, round and round and round. It was a great time of reflection and I was thankful to have a place where I could run but not be caught in the downpour of rain.

Monday: I ran 8 miles, the second time I had run that route. I wasn't feeling great on Monday, and it was the same route I had run a week previous, also a day I wasn't feeling well. Somehow I managed to run the same route about 6 minutes faster this week than last week. I think last week I was much more tired, but it is still fun to see such major improvements.

Tuesday: I ran 5 or 5.1 miles, not my fastest 5 miler during this training. However, it was a good run.

Wednesday: Rest Day. I used to hate Wednesdays because they were rest days. Not that I always want to run, but there is something addicting about having a goal to meet and meeting it day by day. I was just lonely and bored on Wednesdays, so I began volunteering in a second grade class. I really enjoy the class and the kids and I am learning a lot from the teachers. This week was my second time in the classroom as a volunteer, though I spent a week observing there last fall.

Thursday: 12.0 miles. It was my second time doing 12 miles during this training. The first time was a really big deal because I hadn't run that far in probably over 5 years. This time I have three runs longer than that under my belt, so it seemed "short" in my head. Not short, I guess, but do-able. That mental switch is a cool monitor of my mental progress, if that makes sense. I did run it about 6 minutes faster than last time, I didn't feel as tired while running or as accomplished when I finished. But it was a good run and a great way to get my mind centered before my presentation tonight. Also to take my mind OFF of the presentation! Songs to run to: Glee. Glee music is great for running!

Friday: I am supposed to Cross Train tomorrow, but I will be on a plane most of the day, going to a work event. I hope to get some cross-training in, as I totally love getting that break from running to do something else physical.

Saturday: A rest day will be spent on my feet at Williamson Chapel in Mooresville, NC doing a Feed My Starving Children event. I'm excited!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meals for Japan

Click here to read more about Feed My Starving Children's recent and upcoming shipments to Japan.

I have worked with Convoy of Hope and was impressed with their ability to meet needs so quickly and so far-reaching. They don't have the bureaucratic hoops to jump through. They are "first responders", meaning they focus on the ability to get food clean water and other things they know to be necessary in the first hours/days after disasters. They have other things they do well, too. I worked at an event at their headquarters in Missouri just days before the Haiti earthquake, in which we made 100,000 meals that were available just in time that they could use those in their first response after Haiti's earthquake.

I have also recently learned more about NAFEC, and I have been impressed with their heart for Eastern Asia, their emphasis on supporting community, and their passion for this mission.

My Biggest Loser Moment

I enjoy watching The Biggest Loser on television. OK, that's not true. I enjoy watching The Biggest Loser on because there are only about 7 minutes of commercials instead of 40 minutes. I like the show because I love seeing people discover their own potential, discover greatness inside of them, and create a better, healthier lifestyle for themselves.

Since I have watched the show for many seasons, I have begun to imagine the contestant interviews in my head at certain, seemingly relevant times. For instance, yesterday it was pouring rain but I needed to run 4 miles. Since I was already feeling a bit under the weather, I decided to run circles around my basement, just like I had a number of times at the beginning of my marathon training when it was snowing or below 0 degrees outside. There is a nice path that takes me about 15 seconds to cycle through, and I just crank up the music and run on autopilot.

Yesterday, however, all I could think about was how good it felt to be running again after a few days’ rest. Putting my running shoes onto my feet, which are healing from old blisters, actually felt good. Stretching my legs out in my little circular path around the basement felt great. Cranking up the tunes again felt rejuvenating. Yet it was the Biggest Loser statements that kept my mind occupied.

Look how far I’ve come, I thought. When I first started, running circles around the basement felt hard, monotonous, and forever-long. Now this just seems like a few minutes out of my day, the circles are completed faster and more athletically, my shoes are worn in now so my feet feel great. It was like on the Biggest Loser when they repeat their first workouts near the end of the season. What used to be hard, maybe impossible, is quite easy now. They reexamine their old outlook, their old capabilities, and their old limitations. And they appreciate how far they have come.

I, too, am appreciating how far I have come right now. I had never run more than 13.1 miles, and now I have twice. Not only that, but I recognize that I can run much longer and much harder than I ever knew. I know a little bit better what my body needs as far as nutrition and rest and ice and stretching. I look forward to my runs rather than dreading the long ones. I still get nervous about the long runs, but I know I can handle them. I think back to my first long run of 6 miles, think how daunting that was, how long the run seemed. I didn’t think I could do my second long run, 7 miles, and I avoided leaving the house for fear of the run. I hadn’t run over 45 minutes in a long time before those first long runs, and I wasn’t sure I could do it. Now 45 minutes is a short run. My medium runs are longer than those first long runs were, and I have grown used to being out on the roads for over 2 hours at a time. I have found music I love listening to, found a cause I love to think about (Read about supporting Feed My Starving Children here and ChipIn on the right!), found sermons and podcasts I look forward to keeping up with. I have found new routes through old stomping grounds, landmarks I notice each time I pass, and protein drinks I will never make again.

I’ve come a long way, and I recognize that this is just a season in my life. After this marathon, I never have to be in this training mode again. I never have to push myself like this again. But I hope that I do. I hope that this is a new part of my life that I never give up. Running has given me a new sense of sanity, balance, and overall health. I will be student teaching in the fall, and I don’t expect to get much running done during student teaching or my first year of teaching. However, recognize that even in the busy times, it is worth the time to run. The mental and physical effects are worth the 30 minutes or hour out of my day. I want to come back to this place again and again in my life. Each day is an accomplishment, even if I am just checking off that I completed a rest day! (Who knew I would feel accomplished about that?) I highly recommend this running thing to all of you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Marilyn's Progress since the Earthquake in Haiti

Check out Marilyn's story in this link. I love her little face. She reminds me of one of the orphans I played with in Bolivia. I am hoping for SOMEBODY to donate some meals for these kids. For a reminder of the amazing amount of meals your change can provide, go here or here

It costs less than a quarter to feed a starving child for a day, and the food meets a child's nutritional needs for the day and tastes good. Can you spare some change for kids like Marilyn?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What it was like for Robyn

Here is a quote from a Feed My Starving Children food recipient. I haven't been in a place where I could experience the sharing of our food, but I have seen things like this in my own experiences overseas. It is so precious and heartwrenching.

“It was touching to see the children, dressed in their finest donated clothes and barefoot, make the walk to the house where they are fed. Children 5-8 years old were carrying their infant siblings and gave them such loving care. Many fed their younger siblings—and only ate after their siblings appeared fed.”
- Robyn Moravetz, Tierra Santa orphanage, Honduras (November 2008)

Taken from:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today I ran farther than I have ever run before, and longer than I have ever run at one time. And it was good...

I have to say I was nervous about the whole thing after my 15 mile run last week. It was hard and I was dragging. The thought of doing 11 more miles was daunting. It seemed impossible.

Today, though, I ran 16 and I ended knowing that I could keep going. I wasn't eager to run 10.2 more to complete the marathon distance, but I knew that I could run at least 2 more. My knees hurt the whole time, but not to the point that I needed to stop, and they haven't been bothering me since. I was more hungry than I have ever been during a run, and I will have to bring along more raisins next time!

I wish I could blog while running, because I have so much more to say while on a run, and things seem so much more interesting. Instead of interesting, you get this. However, I do plan to share more stories about some of the kids Feed My Starving Children feeds so that you have more reason to donate than just hearing about my runs being long or short, good or bad. So there's something you can look forward to in the near future.

My niece and sister-in-law are here visiting, so I ran my long run a day early this week, which will give me an extra day off with which to run around following a toddler. I can't wait!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Impacting 100...and counting

It costs Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) $24 to feed 100 kids for a day.
It costs FMSC $168 to feed 100 kids for a week.
It costs FMSC $744 to feed 100 kids for a month.
It costs FMSC $8760 to feed 100 kids for a year.

Last weekend I worked with the Lindemanns, founders of Lindemann Chimney. They, as a company, had gone down to Aurora to pack food for Feed My Starving Children, and wanted to host an event. Mr. Lindemann said their company's goal for this year was to impact 100 people's lives. I love that goal. It reminds me of the movie Pay It Forward, which so intrigues me. Anyway, after a lot of planning and preparation, Lindemann Chimney hosted an event in Lake Bluff last weekend. In the course of one day, they packed enough food that 293 kids could eat 1 meal a day for an entire year. These are kids who would otherwise not eat their daily servings of the nutrients they need to be healthy. These are kids who might not eat at all were it not for Feed My Starving Children food. It took some planning, some fundraising, and a lot of faith, but the Lindemanns and Lindemann Chimney joined the ranks of Feed My Starving Children Event Hosts last weekend, and impacted not just 100 people's lives, but about 293...and the lives of those around the kids who will be eating the food also will be impacted...and the lives of those people whom these kids will continue to interact with throughout their lives...exponential impact.

Oh, and one of the coolest parts for me was finding out that Mr. Lindemann will also be running the marathon on May 7th with me. I was blessed to work with the Lindemanns and I hope to see them again at the marathon!

Friday, March 11, 2011

So how has training been going?

(Read my first blog about the marathon before you read this one!

So far I have really been enjoying the marathon training. I have been following the schedule I found online for marathon beginners. It involves 4 days a week of running, one day of cross training, and two days off. I thought it was crazy to start training in the winter (training started January 1), but it has actually been super cool. I have always hated winter because it is SO cold and you have to stay inside all the time. Being on the running schedule, though, got me outdoors even when it was cold and dreary. With the right clothes and the occasional schedule adjustment or basement run due to snow, winter running has been incredible. I haven't felt cooped up, I have been getting fresh air and soaking up the sunlight (through 3 layers of clothes). Up until this week, I only ran distances I have run before as I trained for a half marathon 6 years ago.

Yesterday I had my first run over 13.1 miles (that's how long a half marathon is), so it was a new "longest run" for me. I ran 15 miles, combining 3 running routes to make a circle around our town.

It was my second bad run of the training. First, I am incredibly grateful to have had so many good runs in the last 10 weeks. Second, it was harder mentally than I expected. I woke up crabby and couldn't shake the crabbiness. I got two new CDs to listen to, and I didn't like either one. However, it is such a feeling of accomplishment to have done something I have never done before. I am not very sore today. I can check 15 off my list and look ahead to the 16 miles I am supposed to run on Wednesday. I think that is a true test for me. I have run 13 miles four times in my life, as far as I can remember, and each time I have been able to take some time off before my next run.

I will keep you updated on the running and fundraising. This week I have to adjust the schedule a bit because we are getting two special visitors at my house! I am so excited, and hope to post some pictures of their visit. They arrive on Wednesday!

Running for A Cause!

Well hello again! Guess what? I didn't disappear off the face of the earth, I merely disappeared off the face of this blog. I hope you have had a good year without hearing from me.

You may have noticed this ChipIn thing above (Does anyone know how to get that to show on the side of my blog? I couldn’t do it). That's what brings me back to the blog, and hopefully will continue to keep me writing for awhile. I have been training to run my first marathon, and so far I have completed 10 out of 18 weeks of training. My original purpose in training was to prove to myself that I could do something I didn't think I could do, and to do something that I'd always wanted to do. As I have been training, though, I wanted to use all of this time and energy to benefit someone besides myself.

So here's what I have decided: I'm raising money for Feed My Starving Children. You can check out their website at For those who haven't heard of them, this organization uses volunteers to package nutritious meals for starving people around the world. There are four ingredients in these meals, and the meals have been created by food scientists to meet the nutritional needs of a starving child for an entire day. The organization has partners in 67 countries who know who needs the food and knows how to best get it to them. You can read more about the partners at The organization is nongovernmental. They don’t partner with governments overseas and don’t receive funds from the United States.

Each meal produced costs 24 cents to make. My marathon will be 26.2 miles. So I thought I would raise money based on those numbers.

If you would like to contribute 1 cent per mile (.26 total), you will feed a child for a day.
If you would like to contribute 10 cents per mile ($2.60 total), you will provide about 10 meals.
If you would like to contribute $1.00 per mile ($26 total), you will provide 108 meals.
If you contribute $2.00 per mile, you will be donating an entire box of food, which is 216 meals for $52.
$5 per mile ($130 total) donates 541 meals, 2.5 boxes worth of food.
$10 per mile ($260 total) donates 1083 meals, about 5 boxes worth of food.

Here are some other descriptions from the Feed My Starving Children website of what certain donation amounts will provide:
$52 provides 216 MannaPack meals (1 full box)
$208 provides 864 meals for patients in a malnourishment clinic (4 boxes)
$855 will fill ½ pallet with MannaPack meals to support a mountain village (approx. 17 boxes)
$1710 provides an entire pallet of meals to be packed with His love (33 boxes)

I’ll take ANY donations, whether 1 cent, 1 dollar, or $10,000! You should know that ALL of the money donated will be given to Feed My Starving Children. I will not be taking any cut of the donations. I know a lot about this organization, so if you have any questions, just let me know!

I’ll also be keeping you posted through this blog about my training, the fundraising, and the marathon.