Friday, September 10, 2010

Perhaps I'll try this again....

By "this" I mean blogging. But I now I always stink at keeping up with these things so we'll see how it goes....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Help the kids!

I recently began signing up for volunteer opportunities through an awesome organization called Hands On Jacksonville.

One opportunity is to wrap toys for underprivileged kids at a North Jacksonville Elementary school, Carter G. Woodson Elementary. It's in a part of time plagued by drug deals and shootings. Ninety-one percent of children at the school are on the reduced or free lunch program.

Today I got an email from and organizer saying that we might not need to wrap gifts because not enough money had been raised. Of the $5,000 needed to ensure every child receives a gift, only $125 has been raised online.

That broke my heart. It only takes $10 to give a gift to a child that might not be getting anything else this holiday season.

If this story has moved you the way it has moved me, help me out by:
1. Donating. Even just $10...every little bit helps!
2. Spread the word! Email, blog, Facebook and Tweet about it. The more people that know, the more likely we are to raise enough money for these kids!

Happy Holidays!! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Race for the Cure

George and I had a great time running in the Susan G. Komen North Florida Race for the Cure 5K this past Saturday. The weather in the area had stayed hot and muggy up until a few days before the race. So we were greeted by some chilly weather as we headed downtown Saturday morning.

Unfortunately, I have yet to invest in appropriate cold weather running attire. I don't have any long running pants or long sleeve running shirts. So I went ahead and wore a pair of my shorts, my 26.2 with Donna tank and a hoodie. I was hoping to be able to take the hoodie off once we got there, but it was still way too cold for me!

So I ended up wearing my jacket when the race started. The gun went off and those of us in the timed race ran under a big pink arch. (Which, only moments before the race was set to begin, fell over...but the race organizers quickly got it back up!)

My legs were still feeling pretty cold as the race began but fortunately as it was my first timed 5K, there were enough other things to distract me! I was able to keep a pretty steady pace and warmed up enough to take my jacket off after the first mile. I did take a few walk breaks, but only about :15-:30 each.

The finish line tricked me a little bit...I thought I just had to run to the big pink arch again. So I started speeding up on my approach, but then realized I needed to go a little farther. I still felt like I had a strong finish. According to the official results, I finished in under 30 minutes, 29:59! I averaged 9:39 a mile, which is a good pace for me. Check out to the full results here

George also did a great job, finishing more quickly than he expected and at a faster pace than past races.

Afterwards, we treated ourselves to brunch with some of our fellow runners at a new place in Springfield called Uptown Cafe. As George reminded me, Jeff Galloway says in his book that you should reward yourself after a race, so I had a mimosa!

On Sunday, I got to do some volunteer work to promote the marathon. I passed out information about running or volunteering at Gander Mountain on the northside by the airport. Although it was a little lonely at times because I was alone, I did get to tell some very nice shoppers about the race!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sunny Goes Pink

I'm off to spend my afternoon volunteering at The Jacksonville Running Company's "Sunny Goes Pink" event. Sunny is the running store's logo...a running sun! But for this event, he is, of course, colored pink! Check him out:

I'll be working at the booth for the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. I'm excited to tell other people about what a wonderful experience training for the marathon has been to encourage them to join!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Volunteering

I keep very busy despite being unemployed. When I tell people what I have been up to lately, they often comment that I wouldn't have time for a job.

I obviously do spend some time everyday on the job search. However, I can't apply for jobs everyday because somedays there just aren't any new postings in public relations/communications/marketing.

Besides job searching and chores around the house, I spend a lot of time much that I've started calling myself a full-time volunteer. Right now I'm volunteering for The First Tee of Jacksonville (although that has died down since A Taste of Golf earlier this month), Women's Center of Jacksonville, Much Ado About Books and The 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.

I'm working with all of these organizations because I am passionate about their causes. I love having time to devote to all of them!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More milestones!

I have now had a run in the double digits! This past Saturday, I ran 10.5 miles with my "Sole Survivors" running group. This is the new group I was placed in after running my second Magic Mile at 8:40.

We started our run at 6 a.m. along the St. Johns River near San Marco. I was happy to have lots of people to talk to during this long run! Not only was Lee there, but her fiance Mark was in town so he joined us as well. Jonathan was also there.

I'm also trying to get to know everyone in the group. Jonathan introduced me to a friend of his, Melissa. She's very energetic and helped me get through the end of the run when I was dragging. We're hoping to plan an after-training trip to the movies on one upcoming Saturday!

Lee is planning on moving to the next group, "Superheroes in Training," which is slightly faster than ours. She wants me to also, but I'm not sure. We do have another Magic Mile coming up, so perhaps my time will improve slightly to put me in that group anyway! But I am tempted to be a part of their group for Halloween because they are wearing pink capes....

I've also joined another group for runs during the week, "Bridge Buddies." Lee invited me to join them. I believe they are all training for the marathon. They run the bridges downtown on Mondays and Wednesdays. When I joined them for the first time Monday, they were a little fast for me but Lee held back with me so I wasn't alone. Training with them should be good for me...and be less boring than running alone!

This Saturday, I am running in my first official timed race, the 5K Race for the Cure. I'm very excited! I'll keep everyone posted on how I do!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ups and Downs

Last Monday, I had my first really bad run. I was having a hard time getting out of bed so I went out to run too late, which was my first mistake. I also had not been drinking enough water beforehand.

I headed out on my usual route near the house. At first, even though it was hot, I felt fine.

But after I reached the halfway mark and turned around to go back up the hill, things went downhill. My mouth was really dry, the sun was bearing down and hot wind was blowing towards me. A few minutes later, I felt awful. So I walked for a few minutes and then ran a little but more before walking the rest of the way home.

I was disappointed in myself. Thankfully George reminded me that throughout my training, I was bound to have some bad days.

I was determined to have a better run Wednesday, particularly because it was before a big Saturday run.

I had to be up nice and early Wednesday anyway to take Lee to the airport to see Mark. I spent the night at her place...we had fun eating pizza and watching Biggest Loser!

Then the alarm went off at 4:30, ouch! But Lee is always so energetic that I couldn't help but feel instantly awake! After I dropped Lee off at the airport, I headed to the beach for a run.

I don't know why I haven't been going for early morning beach runs all the time! It was dark when I started out and the sound of the crashing waves was so peaceful. I had a great 40 minute run as the sun came up.

That run boosted my confidence for Saturday's big run: 9 miles! But I was still nervous as I drove to the RiversideYMCA at 5:30 Saturday morning. Because my Magic Mile time improved from 9:50 to 8:40 (yay me!) I was placed in a new group, The Sole Survivors.

We began our run by turning right onto Riverside Avenue and heading over the Acosta Bridge into San Marco. Lee wasn't there, but thankfully my old co-worker from First Coast News, Jonathan, is in my new group! So I had him to talk with the entire way, which is key for mentally getting through long runs.

As we headed over the bridge, I also got a chance to chat with the Donna of the 26.2 with Donna. I may do some volunteering for her in the near future!

I had a few moments where I felt very tired and after 6 miles, my butt and back of my thighs were getting sore. But I made it! Thank goodness for the water stations, Gu Chomps and the company of my fellow runners!

After my bad run Monday, I was doubting my ability to finish the marathon. But after completing 9 miles, I feel like I can run any distance!