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2011 Summary

In 2011 I decided to do a year-long running fundraiser for Gracehaven House. It was basically a win-win situation. I got to raise money for a cause I’m passionate about, raise awareness about the issue and an awesome organization that’s doing something about it, and have motivation to race more and train more! And, of course, got a sweet shirt designed =).

Here’s what came of Running With Grace, 2011:

  • Raised a total of $2,172.20
  • Raced 124 miles
  • Ran 21 races (including putting on my own race for my birthday)
  • 46 sponsors (including participants at said birthday race)
  • 4 new personal bests; 5K – 25:03, 5mi – 46:57, 10K – 54:03, Half marathon – 2:03:11
  • The satisfaction of having an outlet for my frustration. The injustices in this broken world can often be frustrating or overwhelming. I felt like instead of standing there helpless, wondering what to do, I could run. Because it’s one thing I do know how to do. My desire to run drove this, and this drove my desire to run.

I have been so blessed to have the support of so many of you. I could not have done this without you, and every amount makes a difference! The house is finished, and so close to being open. Just a few i’s left to be dotted and t’s crossed. I just want to leave you with a picture I took at the house this summer, which I realized I hadn’t posted before.

The Pink Room

"The Pink Room"... 1 of 5 bedrooms at the house, and the one I worked extensively in during a deconstruction workday

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So I completed the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 5, 2011. I realize it’s been almost a month since then, but forgive me as I’ve been super busy and haven’t gotten a chance to give you an update. The race was fun and the fundraising was phenomenal! I asked for a suggested donation of $10 per mile, but so many of you went above and beyond. And then more of you continued to give donations even after I had all of my miles sponsored. In total, I raised $661.20 for Gracehaven!

The shirt I wore in the marathon boasted the names of my sponsors on the back. It also mentioned that I was running for Gracehaven, which sparked a few conversations with fellow runners and I got to talk about my cause =).

Back of race shirt

The back of my shirt that I wore in my race

With my fellow marathon/half-marathon friends after the race

So I’m in my last month of my Running With Grace fundraiser. Can’t believe it’s been so long! It’s not too late to sponsor me for December guys =). I have run one 5K this month and am trying to get in another – although it might be tricky with traveling. We’ll see!

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So in February I started this year-long fundraiser for Gracehaven, raising money based on how much I run. I didn’t know if it would work. I didn’t know if I was going to have tons of sponsors or if it would just be my mom. I didn’t know how significant a difference I could make in helping Gracehaven open its doors. But I decided to do it. Because I know I can run. And I know I can give them something.

I had no concept of how much money I would raise, or how much I would need to to consider this a “success.” But from February to June I raised $1,035 – including $270 from my birthday race. I don’t know what $1,035 really means in the grand scheme of things, but it’s $1,035 more than they would’ve had if I hadn’t done this. And that’s good enough for me. So I am very thankful to all of you who have chosen to sponsor me, whether it was a one-time donation, or a several-month or all-year pledge.

So if you are asking yourself how can you help, there are a few things you can do:

  • To support me monetarily, please check out my Sponsor Me page.
  • To help Gracehaven win a grant for up to $250,000, vote for them (for free) once a day until August 27 on the Vivint Gives Back Project. Plus, if you give to Gracehaven through this site up til Saturday 7/23 at 4pm EST, Vivint will match your donation.
  • Come cheer me on in any of my upcoming races!

I’m expecting to raise more in the remainder of the year than the first 5 months, especially as we get into fall marathon season. But even if not, I’m just going to keep running. Even if all I have is loaves and fishes, I’m going to bring it! =)

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Summer Running

The hardest part of the running season is upon us – summer! Well, I am of course counting the running season as starting in, say, March. That’s when racing season really starts anyway. Let’s not even get to what it’s like running when it’s bitter cold and icy.

Anyway. I’m hoping for some motivation to not slack off just because of the sweltering heat, and keep up the running. So far I’m signed up for 2 5Ks in June for great causes; Race for Ellie (join me on team “Fat kids win at teeter totter”) and MoveMMore (join me on team “Smedlop”). If you have any 5Ks or 10Ks you are planning on doing this summer, or just know of any for a good cause, please send them my way! When I run them for Gracehaven it will be a double-good cause =). Speaking of which, if you’ve been thinking about sponsoring me, what better time to start than now? =)

So send me your races. Even if you are not in Columbus… if you find a cool local one maybe I will come visit you! You just have to promise to come out and run with me/cheer me on =)

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So now that it’s warming up to the point that I can run without needing a jacket or long sleeves, I’ve gotten my official race shirt made! It’s designed by the lovely Katie Talbott, a close friend, talented graphic designer and former Gracehaven employee. I debuted it in my 5K last weekend, and plan to wear it in all my races until it gets too cold again to.

Front:

Running With Grace - front

Back:

Running With Grace - back

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I’m excited about finishing month #2 of my fundraiser. It’s exciting to get new sponsors and to get Gracehaven‘s name out to people who had previously ever heard of them. Running for Gracehaven is motivating me to race. And racing, in turn, always motivates me to run – as in, to train leading up for a race. I just signed up for the Cap City Half, so this means for the next 5 or so weeks, I’m not going to be able to get away with just sporadically running a couple times a week. I’m going to actually have to relearn consistency and dedication. It’ll be good for me =)

Speaking of motivation… I’ve been thinking about travel recently. Mainly because I’ve been doing a lot of it this past month. On the one hand, I am a little less motivated to run when I’m traveling. Because it means either I’m on vacation, and would be more inclined to be sleeping in or hanging out with whoever I’m visiting/traveling with, or I’m on a work trip, which means I’m really busy. But on the other hand, it’s always fun to run an unfamiliar route and explore a new city. There is something pretty sweet about the fact that I was in 4 states last month and ran in all of them.

The other fun thing about travel is racing in different cities. My last race was in Cedarville, OH. My next race is in Atlanta. The one after that will be in Miami, OH. Sometimes I’ve already planned a trip and decide to find a race while there, but other times I travel specifically for a race. Then the race is no longer just an 30 min or 1hr event. It’s a road trip. It’s a weekend. It’s a story =)

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So here ends my first month of the Running With Grace fundraiser. I greatly appreciate the five sponsorships I received for February. I’m sure the girls you’re helping through Gracehaven appreciate it too! But it was a short month (in that I only got this started half-way through the month) and I only got to do one race. I’ll be more active in March and I hope to get more sponsors again!

As for the race itself, it really wasn’t bad for late February; there was no snow or ice on the ground. Not super-thrilled with my time, but it was just the first race of the season. And for right now it’s the miles that count more =).

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