Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quick run . . . Quick post

Don't have much time to write today as we're getting ready for a visit from my niece Stella.   I'm super excited to have Karyn's sister's family come visit.   It's always a challenge to stay exercising and running when you have visitors or are on vacation.   Fortunately, I was able to drag myself out of bed to run a 10k.  It was supposed to be a race, but who has time for that!  

I ran as fast as I could at my favorite urban running place - Wash Park.  
2.5 miles of goodness!
I was shooting for 45:30 and ended up running 47:20.  Not too bad for an unseasonably warm morning and no one around to push me to go faster.   I'm still off my training pace to meet my goal of 1:40 for the half, but there's still time. . .

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Bet

The morning of our first race together in D. C.

In another attempt at motivation, my brother and I are currently involved in a year long bet.  The bet is as follows: we each track the miles we've run for the year on an excel spreadsheet created by my super intelligent and sometimes geeky brother Ryan.   At the end of the year, the person who runs the shorter distance has to give a dollar for every mile difference.     So if Ryan runs 500 miles this year and I run 400 miles, I will donate $100.00 to his charity of choice.    (hypothetical example that will not reflect reality in any way, shape or form)

This is the second year we've done this bet.   The first time we had the bet was in 2010.  My first son, Grayson was born November 24th, 2009 and I foolishly thought I could juggle having a newborn child, a new job and running lots of miles.   Needless to say, Ryan's charity of choice received a nice fat donation in January of 2011.  I will not disclose the amount because it's embarrassing.  However, if I can get 4 people to comment on this blog, I will reveal the amount in a later post.  

This year will be different, though.   I currently am only 17.1 miles behind him with half a year to go.   Some may think that with two small children in my family and my brother beginning to train for a marathon this week, that I made a foolish mistake.  I disagree.

Here's my top five reasons while I'll be victorious this year.  

5. The weather in Colorado is way more conducive to running than the running in Kansas/Missouri

4. He just developed shin splints (yowzers!)

3. He's getting married in two weeks and I'm guessing he won't be running that much on his honeymoon in Hawaii

2. My charity of choice this year is HealthEd Connect and I really want to have him give money to such a worthy organization

1. I'm better looking

I'll try to keep folks updated throughout the year on this bet.  

Here's the ribbon that I'll wear on my lapel, when I win!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Setting Goals

Super Cheesy Image alert!

When I get ready for races I like to set at least one goal for the race.    This helps me with motivation and also gives me math to do in my head each day as I run as I try to calculate my current pace and the pace necessary to meet a certain time.

I also don't just set one time goal.   I like to set a range of goals, so that I can feel like I at least accomplished something.   So here's my first goal for this race.   

Finish the race in 1 hour 40 minutes

Here's the range

Minimum:  Finish the race (not a given since this race is in the mountains)

Goal: Finish in 1 hour 40 minutes ( My personal best is 1:40:49)

Stretch Goal: Finish in 1 hour 38 minutes (edited because I realized 1 hour 35 minutes is impossible) (yikes!)

I'm thinking this might be ambitious.  I'm trying to increase my speed and following Hal Higdon's intermediate training schedule.   So far I'm feeling good, but I have no idea how the altitude might affect me.     Pretty exciting!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Running motivation

I've sometimes described myself as a person who has run marathons but is not a runner.   I say this because I don't usually just run for exercise.  My pattern is that I run for the duration of my training schedule for whatever race I've entered and then I rarely run afterwards . . . until I get the crazy idea to run another race.  Granted the amount of time I have to run has greatly diminished since we've added two little small guys to the mix, but this has been my pattern for most of my time since finishing college.   I run for 20 weeks or so, then stop for several months.  Then run for 20 weeks or so then stop for a year or two.  

Two obvious distractions from running

I've also tried buying stuff so that I feel guilty if I don't run.   I've bought fancy new shoes (even jumped on the barefoot running bandwagon).  I have a fancy Garmin forerunner watch.   Though apparently mine is significantly outdated as I noticed when adding this fancy link to their website.   I've bought wicking shirts, wicking shorts, wicking bandanas   My desire not to waste things works for a month or two, but then I stop again.

Wicking Bandana - I've found my next purchase!
updated version of my merrell barefoot shoe (I couldn't handle the funny looking toes)

If only I used my Garmin as much as this blogger - she's a real runner

My strong desire to avoid wasting things motivates me for a month or two. then I find myself in the same place again  . . .  not running.  

Why ease into running when you can run the risk of multiple overuse injuries all at once

So here I am again . . . training for a race.   I am faithfully running 5 times a week . . . ignoring all advice to ease back into it . . . and even throwing in speed workouts this time around.   I feel really good . . . I'm sleeping better . . . I'm more patient and less stressed.   As a good friend of mine said, "exercise is my antidepressant."

Maybe if I run enough, my head will turn into a big yellow smiley face!

Knowing myself, I'll be ready for this race. . . the bigger question is - will I run at all after it's done?

What motivates you to stay in shape?   Does it work? 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why I'm running for HealthEd Connect

One of the main reasons I'm running this race that starts at 8500 feet of elevation is to raise awareness for the organization HealthEd Connect

HealthEd Connect's mission is to empower women and children through evidence-based health, education, and advocacy programs.  HealthEd Connect focuses it's attention on orphans and vulnerable children in some of the poorest countries in the world.  I have been on the board of directors since it began and I continue to be impressed with the work being done by this small but mighty and growing organization.   I encourage you all to read more about this organization at

There are several reasons why Karyn and I support HealthEd Connect

1. Community Health Workers - The cornerstone of HealthEd Connect has been the focus on educating and empowering community health workers that work tirelessly to improve the health of the communities where they live.   Community health workers are seen by the World Health Organization as part of the solution to the global health crisis that disproportionately impacts the poor.   Long before HealthEd Connect was formed. . . over 20 years ago . . . our executive director, Sherri Kirkpatrick began training and supporting community health workers in several countries.   It is these volunteer community health workers in Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nepal that are the driving force behind the programs that HealthEd Connect supports.    They are the ones that identified that the biggest need in their communities is to provide education, nutrition and support to the many orphans and vulnerable children who have experienced devastating losses to the ravages of AIDS.  

2. Sustainability - One of the guiding principles of HealthEd Connect centers around sustainability.  We don't want to come into communities, tell the people what they need, give it to them and then leave.  Instead,  "the foundation for our programs is participatory research (PR) conducted by community health workers (CHW) and local leaders. PR empowers people from the beginning since they are totally involved and “the experts” from the start. It increases self-esteem, self-confidence, increased status for women and prepares leaders for tomorrow." -   

3. Big Impact - HealthEd Connect is a small organization with lofty goals.   Donation dollars have a bigger impact because of this.   They also have a bigger impact because currently 93% of the budget goes directly to providing programs to the communities where HealthEd Connect is located.   I recently came across this article which highlighted the 50 worst charities in the US.  Not all charitable organizations use over 90% of their funds towards programs and it is important to support organizations where most of the money is used for what the organization is focused on.     

4. Superb leadership -  HealthEd Connect's cofounders Sherri and Jac Kirkpatrick have many years of experience of working in the countries where HealthEd Connect currently operates.   They get how to run this type of organization and are always looking for ways to learn from the community health workers and other volunteers associated with HealthEd Connect.  They have also assembled a diverse board of directors that have the energy and desire to grow HealthEd Connect over the coming years.   The passion of those involved coupled with the high level of expertise is a big reason why I've chosen to support HealthEd Connect and have to decided to share it with others.  

As I said earlier, I'm running this race to raise awareness for HealthEd Connect.   I'm also running to raise money to help support the difference this organization makes in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in the nations of Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal.  I've set the goal of $2000.00 and am hopeful that in the next 40 days I'll be able to get there.   If I were better at this blog thing, I'd make a cool graphic or something showing our progress.   We'll see if I can figure that out.

So if you're interested in sponsoring me, please click here.  At this point, it appears that the drop-down menu doesn't list my run as one of the options.  This should get fixed when our HealthEd Connect team returns from their current trip to Zambia.   When the drop down menu is fixed, I'll be sure to post about it.   In the meantime, if you want to donate, go for it.  You can let me know you did at so I can add your donation to the grand total.

Whether you sponsor me or not, I would love it if you spend some time learning about the organization at our website

Thanks for taking the time to read.   I have to get to bed so I can run eight 400 repeats tomorrow morning at 6 AM.

Addendum: The link is up and running now.  If you want to donate, go to and click on the button pay now or follow this link.   You'll see "Jeff's run for healthy kids" in the purpose of gift  drop down menu.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013