Friday, March 30, 2012

One Down

I've been slow to post about the race in NY last weekend, but hopefully this will correct that.

It was a beautiful day, cool and sunny. My aunt dropped my off at about 7:45 which gave me time to sit, think about the race, and pray for my success, those that donated to the cause, and for those in Africa who will be helped by a deep-water well. That seems to calm my nerves, as I was very nervous about the race.

I'm not sure why I was so nervous for this one. I trained harder for this one than any of the others and was as prepared as I could be, but I was still unsure if I was going to be able to finish.

As I stretched and waited for the start, the emcee announced that there were 800 World Vision runners who raised over a quarter of a million dollars for water in Africa. It felt wonderful to be a part of such an awesome effort and I knew at that point that I was going to have a good race.

The horn finally sounded and I inched my way to the start line behind several thousand other runners.

As I passed the start line, I started running. My plan was to walk the first minute, then run for four minutes and continue those intervals as long as possible. However, the adrenalin was pumping hard so I just ran. I didn't stop until I hit 10 minutes.

I noticed that my breathing was very hard...I was already short of breath. I'm not sure why, but I didn't catch my breath until mile eight...when my legs started getting tired.

The first mile was hard as my legs loosened up. But the next seven seemed to pass in a flash. I think I was more focused on my surroundings, taking in Flushing Meadow Park and all of the World's Fair buildings and monuments that are within it. I enjoyed the sites, the bands along the route, the other runners and the other World Vision runners who would encourage me as I ran. That was one of the really cool things...whenever someone noticed my orange jersey, they would cheer me on. That really helped, especially as I tired along the race.

As I passed mile ten, my adrenalin picked up again. I knew Cassie, my nephew and my aunt would be along the path soon. They spent the morning at the Science Museum which is along the route, so they planned on waiting for me to cheer me on. As I rounded a corner I saw them and became very emotional. I started running faster than at any point on the run. I passed them, waved, told them I loved them and felt great. About a minute later, I passed the 11 mile mark and the cramps set in.

My left calf let me know that it was tiring quickly. I continued my intervals, but they were now jog three minutes and walk two. That continued for mile eleven and twelve. I couldn't run too much at that point. However, as I rounded to small lake area near approaching the finish line, I pushed to run. They say that the thirteen miles are easy, that the last point one mile is hard...I don't know about the first thirteen being easy, but that last tenth is really killer. I cramped my way to the finish line. The announcer said my name and mentioned that I had come all the way from Texas to run. That was really cool, and helped my sprint through the finish, where I was handed my medal and then proceeded to cramp severely in both of my hamstrings.

I walked out my cramps and met up with some family that had come to see me finish.

It was an awesome day, made better by a family get together at my aunt's house after the race.

I am moved by all of the donations that I have received to this point...many donated Saturday while I was running. My family threw in a bunch of cash, I came home with another $355 for the effort.

All told, it was a very enjoyable experience. I'm guessing that the next race won't be as fun as I won't be able to share it with a lot of family. But, I'm committed to running and still need your donations. I am only at 20% of my goal.

[[[ Click here to donate ]]]

Thanks for your support, and I will see you in Chicago in June.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Begging It Forward

In less than four days I will be standing at the back corral inching my way up to the start line of the NYC 13.1 half marathon. It will take about three minutes to get to the start line, but it will seem like an eternity. I am very nervous about the race and have no doubt that my nerves will continue to suffer until I cross that line...then my mind will clear and I will begin a three plus hour adventure.

Because I am close to my first race day, I have be increasing my communication trying to drum up donations. I am at 12% of my audacious goal of $13,700.00. I know that even if everyone who donated last year tripled their donations (basically repeating their donation from last year for every race this year) I would still be short $4,000.00.

However, something interesting has been happening in the last started with my Aunt Carole who indicated she would donate $25 to my effort. Along with her donation, I received two $25 donations from people who's names were familiar to me, but of whom I couldn't honestly claim knowledge. I came to learn they are friends of my Aunt Carole. She had forwarded my fundraising e-mail to her friends and colleagues.

And, they responded in amazingly generous ways, to the tune of $260.00 in total donations.

Today, Angie and my sister Michele shared my link with personal requests for help.

It occurs to me that this is the only way I can reach my goal. Through your generosity, but also through your courage to forward my request to others for their help.

So, make your donation today by clicking the link below. And, when you are done, post my link to your Facebook page, e-mail it to colleagues, pick up the phone...whatever. Just beg it forward and let's help save lives by giving the gift of clean safe water.

[[[ Click here to donate now ]]]

Remember, for each $100 donated you are eligible for a custom made 2012 Jersey in World Vision orange in your size. And, every donation of $15, or more, until the race on Saturday enters you into a raffle to win a pair of World Vision orange shoe laces.

Thanks for your support and for your asking others to help, as well.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Custom Jersey - Dig It! Get It?

The jerseys are almost here.

I've "borrowed" the Love design from last year's jersey and have made it my own by adding my "Digging Deep" design on the back. Although I think it's clever, it really shows that I have no future in marketing. What I lack in quality, however, I made up in quantity, as I've ordered 75 jerseys to help with my fundraising.

Besides being practical for a jersey (it's made from 100% polyester), it's a one-of-a-kind custom and you can get 'em for yourself.

For every $100 in donation that you give, I will get you one jersey.

If you make a $200 donation, you are entitled to two jerseys.

If you make a $50 donation, you get my very sincere thanks and peace of mind knowing that you helped provide water and save lives in Africa. If you make another, second donation, for $50 you get a jersey.

This, of course, is while supplies last. I would love to have to make a second order for jerseys. That would be a wonderful problem to have.

So, make a donation and tell me your size. I have everything from adult small to 4XL.

[[[ Click here to donate ]]]

And, wear your jersey and show your support to one of the races.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time To Dig Deep - Race 1 Coming Up

In about a week, I run the first of three half-marathons this year to raise money for clean water in Africa.

As you may know, last year I ran my first 13.1 to complete a capital water project in our adopted town of Katito, Kenya. We needed to raise a final $60,000.00 to complete a water and sanitation project through World Vision. Through the generosity of many of you, I raised over $3000.00 and as a team, we raised over $100K and the project has since been completed. My time was three hours, twenty minutes, and forty two minutes.

Because of my participation with World Vision and this fundraising, I have been invited to attend the celebration of the completion of the water project, in Katito, in May. I am so honored and humbled to have been selected to participate and I cannot wait to see the good work that is being done with the funds that I helped raise. I will also have the opportunity to meet the children that we sponsor through World Vision. It is an amazing opportunity and I can't wait to go.

My expectation is that I will also see the incredible needs that remain there. I hope to bring that back so that I can share, with first-hand knowledge, the overwhelming hardship and need that remains. I hope this personal experience will give me the credibility to ask you for money as part of ongoing fundraising. If my expressing the need does not move you to give, perhaps my personal account will. If you've given in the past, perhaps my story will motivate you to give again and more generously.

Even before I knew I was going to Kenya, I decided that this year I would run three races in an attempt to raise $13,700.00 for clean water in Africa. This audacious amount was selected because it is the cost of a deep water well and hand pump that can provide clean safe water for hundreds for years. That's the enduring impact that I would like to make in this world. I would be honored if you helped me make that impact.

[[[ Click here to make a donation ]]]

All I can do is train and run. Without your donation, it is meaningless. Would you please consider and generous donation to my page that will help those who don't have the basic life giving substance of water? Would you donate to my page to help reduce death and disease caused by water borne illness? Would you help improve the quality of life to children and families by providing water?

In two months, I will be able to share the impact of your donation - through first hand experience. But that shouldn't be a reason to help now.

In a week, I'll be sweating, running, and enduring a grueling 13.1 miles in New York. I hope to be met by family and friends at the finish line. It will be a wonderful experience, made so much more meaningful by your generous support.

Remember, I have World Vision orange shoe laces which will be given to someone who donates $15, or more, before race day on March 24. These are new laces sent to my by World Vision as a Thank You for raising more than $500.