Monday, December 22, 2008

Fundraising in Conjunction with Marathon des Sables

Over the years, I have had the loving support of friends and family as I have done marathons, triathlons, endurance swim races, and even a synchronized swimming class (well, to be fair, I didn't really have any support on that one...I crashed the class as I avoided my Ironman swim work-out and was subsequently asked to leave half-way through when they got to the more advanced moves and it was discovered that I didn't have nose plugs or the talent to go on...but that's another story!). I am so grateful for that has opened up a world to me that I love so much.

In April 2008, I will run the Marathon des Sables (MDS). It's a race in Africa - in the Sahara Desert. The race lasts a week, and each day you cover a different distance...for a total of about 150 miles. The heat will be scorching, the terrain will be challenging, and the backpack I carry with my supplies will weigh me down. But I am super amped for this challenge. I have saved up for a long time to do this and I am trying to put my head down and do the training that it requires.

So, doing MDS is a luxury for sure. I am so grateful for this chance and there's a part of me that considered leaving it at that. But I have had second thoughts and I realize I am ready to commit to this effort alongside a committment to fundraise. To fundraise for a charity that means a lot to me - the Religious Teachers Filippini.

Over the next few months, I want to tell you more and more about this organization. They do AMAZING things for women and children and 100% of the money you donate goes to women and children. By donating, you are supporting a group that selflessly toils each and every day to help women and children in need. And their help often comes in the form of education, something I am very passionate about supporting.

I will have a webpage to accept donations soon, and I hope you might visit the page and make a donation if you can.

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

ps - Many of you supported me when I trained with the Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training. I VERY much continue to believe in this organization and I pray for the day when a cure for cancer is found. In the meanwhile, keep on supporting the Society...they help support research, AND they help patients cope with the realities of cancer and the bold fight it takes to survive and thrive. TNT - thank you for everything you do!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lovin' the Outdoors in December!


I am craving a nap right now but just wanted to send out a quick note of thanks to my friends who I got out with this weekend.


Lisa - thanks for getting out on the bike path with me on Friday. And helping me recover...lesson learned, I can't cheat hydration. Water - and Nuun - will be with me on all my runs this winter.


Dusty- thanks for leading the way through the southern exposure and timing us for a mile, too. Hope the rest of your work-out went well on Saturday. You are going to do amazingly well at Rocky!

Laurie - Once again, you have shown me something new in Jackson. I love Game Creek and can't believe it is your backyard. So gorgeous! Can't wait to hear more about your prep for February. And how about this picture from Desert RATS...I like the way you are laughing as I look like I might cry! :-)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Streak with Me!

Rolling with the crowd I do, I have no shortage of opportunities to convene with individuals who accomplish incredible feats in athletics – people who climb mountains, run hundreds of miles, people who see the outdoors as their playground and who hit recess time with an appetite that is not easily satiated.

Lately, I have found myself consistently drawn to learning more about those in the group who have accomplished (and continue to accomplish) a feat that often goes unsung. That would be the group of people who consistently get out there and do it everyday.

Sure, this practice is not necessarily supported by physicians and athletic coaches. It doesn’t abide by some of the more basic laws that govern peak training. It doesn’t assure that an athlete is taking his recovery seriously. It doesn’t guard her against burn-out. It doesn’t even encourage the chi balance of moderation that we seem to be seeking in everything we do from career advancement to feng shui interior design. But it has caught my interest. And that is enough for me to know I won’t rest easy until I have explored it up close and personal. Which, I suspect, is how I landed in this group in the first place.

So, what gives? Have a look at this Wall Street Journal article: Life Lessons from a Father's 30-Year Running Streak This Harvard doctor runs 2-3 hours each morning!

And he is a card-carrying member of U.S. Running Streak Association, a group that boasts 31 members who have been running daily for 30 years or more, wherein running daily is defined as running “at least one continuous mile a day”. For more information, have a read: A 30-Year Running Streak, Still Going Strong (December 5, 2008)

So, I am accepting a challenge: to streak for one year. The challenge starts today and anything short of running the minimum one mile a day between now and December 7, 2009 will personally be considered a DNF by me. And those are three letters I am looking to avoid like the plague these days.

Why do I take on this challenge?
This is not really my year to ask why. So to answer this (admittedly, rhetorical) question, I steal the words attributed to Prefontaine’s coach Bill Bowerman to his Men of Oregon:

Gentlemen if you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team...chances are you can find meaning in that other absurd pastime: Life.

And how do I feel about the challenge on day # 1?
In the immortal words of Kirby Kager in St. Elmo’s Fire, “I’m obsessed, thank you very much.”

Stay tuned..and let me know about your own streaking habits!