Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cold Reminder

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer” - Albert Camus

During this morning's run, I wore my gloves for the first time since early, early this year. The season's are changing yet again.

As I ran at little too fast at first to warm up, I thought about Betty Brock - a homeless woman living in her van in Raleigh, NC whose story local columnist Ruth Sheehan highlighted in today's paper - and wondered if she was staying warm.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." - Dale Evans

In my training world, it's the off-season: A time to begin dreaming big dreams, focus on skill development, and plan for the year ahead.

In the world of Genesis Home and other shelters, food banks, and crisis organizations, it's the on-season: A time when folks feel particularly called to volunteer, donate food, and sponsor families for the holidays. While this outpouring of generosity is certainly appreciated, it's actually needed in July just as much - if not more- than it is in December.

Just as we continue training in the off-season, our local human service agencies need our help all year long. As I plan out my 2008 race season, I hope that we'll all plan out our 2008 giving season - one that extends well beyond this month.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Race Report: OBX Half-Marathon

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.” - T.S. Eliot

One of the joys of this year's Tri to End Homelessness campaign has been seeing how it has inspired other new endurance athletes to try something new. On November 11, I had the pleasure of joining my dear friend Carly in running her first half-marathon - the Outer Banks Half - nearly five years to the day since Rachel and I began our endurance sports careers with the running of the Raleigh Half-Marathon.

My intentions for the race were to (1) support Carly and help her run a negative split; (2) stay incredibly positive and cheer on other runners; and (3) focus on my form throughout the entirety of the race.

The flat race course ran along the barrier island chain off the coast of North Carolina - from Nags Head to Manteo. Although the morning started off a bit windy and cool, the overall weather could not have been better. This second running of the OBX Half was well organized and very well supported - volunteers in costumes, neighbors cheering from their porches, great snacks and free beer at the finish line -- what more could you ask for!? We even got a glimpse of Genesis Home Director of Development Shannon looking strong at mile 21 of full marathon.

Carly had what I would call a perfect first race: solid negative split pacing, success in meeting her goal times, and a challenging enough finish to let her know that she'd truly done something special. Pictures from the day can be found HERE.

According to our official race stats below, we passed 175 runners between the first and second half of the race - many on the one big hill of the course! All those hill repeats really do pay off.

  • There were 246 finishers in the Female 25 to 29 age group and 2172 finishers in the 1/2 Marathon Division.

  • Your overall finish place was 1314, your age group finish place was 158 and your gender finish place was 663.

  • Your time was 2:23:08.40 giving you an overall pace of 10:56 per mile.

  • Your 6.9 Mile split time was 1:17:40.95, Giving you a pace of 11:15 per mile, Overall place 1489, Gender place 777.

  • Your Finish split time was 1:05:27.45, Giving you a pace of 10:33 per mile, Overall place 1314, Gender place 663

My race was one of reflection on where I started in this endurance journey -- from not being able to run for 3 minutes at a time, to completing my first half-marathon, to completing one 5 years later just for fun in the name of celebrating friendship. Thanks, Carly!

Back in the Saddle Again

"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another."- Fyodor Dostoevski

After a seven week hiatus, I got back on my bike this morning for the first time since racing at Pinehurst! That's right, training with my coach has begun again. The goal of these first few weeks is simply to remind me what it feels like to swim, bike, and run on a regular basis. Then, we'll jump back into base building and speed work - hooray!

Since Ray will be starting her doctoral program in January, I'll be training and racing alone for most of 2008 -- although Ray will still be an integral part of the Tri to End Homelessness team: cheering, fundraising, and motivating me through long rides as usual!

My big racing goal for next year is to successfully complete the inaugural Beach to Battleship Half Iron Tri. In the coming weeks, I'll also be announcing a big fundraising goal to match. My first solo racing season is shaping up - and I'll need all of your encouragement along the way!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why We Still Have to Tri

Over 1,000,000 youth are homeless in America. Over 3,000 of them live in North Carolina and several of them live with their families at Genesis Home.

Those are staggering figures - that require a staggering response. You can help.

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. You can take action by adding your name to the list of over 5,000Americans who want to send the message to Congress that one homeless child truly is one too many. Only 168 North Carolinians are on the list so far. Let's up that number. Click HERE to speak out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One Month Later

"Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” - Peter Drucker

Well, times keeps on ticking and it's officially been one month since we completed our 2007 goal race. In total, we raced five triathlons this year and met all of our physical goals. Perhaps, most importantly we exceeded our Genesis Home fundraising goal by leaps and bounds. Thanks to all of you, we raised $5,757 - more than twice what we originally set out to do.

As the new year gets closer and closer, we're planning next year's season -- and that means Tri to End Homelessness Year 2!! Robyn has decided to race her first Half-Iron distance race (70.3 miles in total!) and will be announcing an equally ambitious fundraising goal in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned...

Look out 2008!