Where has all the time Gone?

Boston StrongI do not know about yours, but right here I wonder, where has all the time gone? Days seem to run pretty fast here. The other day, it was Monday, now it is Saturday, going on to Sunday!

Dear Calendar, Please allow me to catch my breath!

This is the second weekend of May 2015, and the second week, since I did the Boston Marathon. I am in “recovery mode”; I think I am doing pretty good. Doing nothing crazy, with my body. A couple of runs here and there, not going for mileage, yet. Just happy to go out, when I can.

My legs are doing quite great, back to pounding the tarmac. No 40+ miles per week runs at present, just enough to keep me excited that I went out and did it. A week ago, I ran only 10 miles, this week I have already done 13.9 miles. And it is it not even the end of the week. I still wake up on a couple of weekends, and just do it.

Don’t get it twisted; I am not down and out just yet. You’re probably wondering how I can fall that far from grace! I know, it can be a little haunting and taunting not to do 40+ miles per week. Though, I am not freaking out at all. I know I need a little break.

Good news, my fundraising efforts seem to be styling up; I have two new donors to my CrowdRise account, with $100.00 each, thanks to my stellar performance in the marathon. I am still hoping for more! If you would like to support, please click here to support.

Judging by the number of likes my marathon picture got, I trust the same support will come through. I have no doubt the folks who liked the picture, will also like giving $5.00, $10, $50 or $20 to my cause. supporting Tufts Medical.

For now, I am looking forward to my next big challenge, perhaps Steamtown Marathon this October, if all goes as planned. I will train smart and strategic. I want to do the downhills and uphills, per run course. I should have a PR, right? That’s if I get a mastery of “Downhill-Uphill Running

Running never stops. I strongly believe that, if I can conquer running, then I can conquer back my weight, pre-Bartonsville. That battles seems more uphill than “Heartbreak Hill” along Boston Marathon course.

Nothing is unattainable. We just have to dust ourselves and try again!

Running also opens up other great joys, achievements and awards. I am still thankful for those who stake their time and efforts to watch me grown and achieve big, and participate in my actualizing and celebrating my happiness. Family and friends helping out in many ways – chauffer-ing, sharing a pie of their possession with my Child, Super grateful!

Hoping that my zeal to run and accomplishments, will translate into other areas I sick success, family finances, ownership, career and adventure.

More Birthday Celebrations – There is Only One Boston…..Marathon

On the eve of celebrating yet 21st Birthday….For-ever 21, get’t….To Boston 2015

I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, for all the support I received toward accomplishing my dream of running the Boston Marathon!

Indeed, There is Only One Boston — Marathon!

From the start of mooting the idea of running Boston, I received love and support from friends, colleagues and family, till I finally accomplished my goal on Monday, April 20! What a feat! Do you worry, if you’re yet to declare your support for me; you can still donate to my fundraiser for Tufts Medical Center, my charity of choice for the marathon. I still have until end of May 2015 to accept your donation. Here is the link: https://www.crowdrise.com/TuftsBoston2015/fundraiser/doreenlwanga

Thank you so much, for the many people who expressed their love and support for me, verbally, monetarily, emotionally, physically and communally! Lost for words! You are truly unprecedented!

What a marathon! As I said, this is the first marathon that I went in fatter, financially challenged and socially isolated. Just look at pictures from all previous marathons I ran sleek, slender and swift.

This time, I had no income to afford a running watTufts Teamch, after the strap on my Garmin watch broke. I could not afford to pay a couple of gym hours for strength training, or pay my registration fees for Boston 2015, or a hotel in Boston during marathon weekend. I had no pace-mate/pacemaker/pacesetter/running mate, and had to train alone in the Mt. Poconos. My fundraiser did not yield much, either, in terms of financial contributions, as much as I sent out an email every week.

Yet, the volume of support, directly and indirectly, solicited and unsolicited, declared and undeclared enabled me accomplish Boston Marathon with no glitch and plenty of satisfaction. While I trained alone in my Poconos neighborhood, I had plenty of ‘unseen’ and undeclared support from the watchful eyes of motorists, pedestrians and onlookers, who saw me pounding the area main streets, back roads and sports fields. No doubt, they were cheering me on, in sleet, snow, rain and below freezing temperatures, even though they did not know my mission was Boston.Coach Megerle

It all started with Coach Don Megerle giving me a spot on the Tufts Marathon Team. Thereon, I knew I had to get to Boston and run, and run damn good! How that would happen? I would worry later. Once the registration process with BAA opened, I innocently broke the news to Coach that I was frantically trying to mobilize the US$300+ registration fees. Surprise! He asked me to give him a call, and instantaneously find it! Fully registered and paid up, I did my happy dance, as news, updates and reminders started flowing in from BAA.org. With registration finally confirmed, I upped my training and preparation for Boston 2015.

Plus, Coach Megerle sent near daily running updates, schedule, motivational articles, advice on staying physically fit and focused, eating well and staying connected with the TMT and other freebies to the team. Just connecting with us, and making me feel a part of a team, from far away was super-good!

GoMebTo keep track of my mileage and stats, my phone came in handy on my runs, with three running apps, plus two other apps for tracking daily strides and activity. Two of the running apps had pre-scheduled marathon training plans, perhaps more than necessary, but each served a purpose.

My running shoes were really wanting of immediate replacement, both pairs were not eligible to run Boston. Along came my brother with magical ideas on how to obtain new shoes. Viola! I got myself two new pairs – my first choice of Newtons Distance to run the marathon, and an additional Brooks for training. Add to that, a sweat scarf, which served as a mouth mask, face mask, and head scarf, and two good running tights. I was all set.

Still, I had to find a place to stay during marathon weekend, and a ticket to Boston. I planned to take my son with me, so he could watch me run and cheer me on. Sadly, friends, who had hosted me the last time I was in Boston were having guests over during Marathon Weekend. So, I posted a message on FB, seeking for alternatives. Problem solved, in an instant of posting a message, and a couch readily available at the Mwosa Girls and Boys. They happily welcomed my extra-baggage aka child, giving me joyous relief!We can do this

We traveled to Boston two days before the marathon, taking two buses -The Poconos to NYC, then, from NYC to Boston. Got to Boston safe, picked up our Bibs and run package, took a couple of pictures, toured the expo, did a little bit of freebie hunting, made posters, and enjoy a coffee at Boston South Station, and shared an ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery until our host returned into town.

The entire Mwosa house was ready for us. The young boys, eagerly awaited this child of mine, and indeed enjoyed each other. For the entire four-day weekend in Boston, I do not think I saw him for a full hour. He did not care that he was sharing a room with ’new friends’, away from his mother! Nor did I have to worry about feeding him breakfast, lunch or dinner because the Mwosa parents had all that covered! They pampered me V.I.P. -style the entire visit, allowing me to rest before and after the marathon. They chauffeured me back and forth to the “T” aka “Boston Train”, when I could not find a cab, and they accepted my invitation to the Tufts pre-marathon dinner.

I gat thisOn the eve of the Sunday, Marathon, April 19, I did only 15:42 minutes of running, rested most of the day, until I went to dinner with my hosts. Typically, I don’t like eating the night before the run, for fear of shocking my stomach during the run. Since Tufts, was hosting us – the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) and family to a pre-marathon dinner, I went with child and our hosts. I felt compelled to eat something in keeping with “carb loading” advice, even though I don’t do “carb loading”; quite frankly, I don’t know what it entails. Dinner was good in taste, time of day and duration.

Marathon Day, April 20! Of course, in my typical style, I barely slept the entire night. Once again, my body clock woke me up close to two the morning, before my alarm clock went off. Plus, the jitters I have every night before  any big event did not allow me to sleep soundly throughout the night. I was wide awake way before scheduled time to leave the house for the “T”.

After two cups of tea and warm water, I set off to catch the T downtown. The T gate would not take my ticket! Another train rider gave me a ‘nod’ to go through without paying. Heard, there was some kind of “Boston Marathoners ride Free T Ride Day”. A woman on the T asked to take my picture – my short celebrity moment. She said, she too wanted to run the Boston Marathon, and wished me good luck! I got a few more “Good Luck Today” cheers, but most of the commuters were absorbed in themselves. Surprising, since the Boston Marathon is a Big Deal on Patriots Monday. Perhaps, they have had enough with their city being swarmed by ’26.2 miles Zombies’ from the world over! Don’t blame you Boston, I still love you!

On oN to Marathon Bus Loading Zone, with no problem. First, into the “porta-potties” line. While standing in line for the bus to Athletes Village, I saw a friend from Kampala Hash House Harriers. Yeah! What a joy! We boarded the bus together, and stayed together until our marathon wave started, then planned to hook up again post-marathon.Medals with friends

Everyone was allowed to board the buses to Hopkinton, MA, regardless of the Wave number. The ride was too long; felt like going to another country! Got there, and made another dash for the porta-potties! Yes! A woman gotta empty her bowels before hitting the marathon route. I don’t believe in stopping for the porta-potties along the course, even though I drink at each water refueling station. I say, nobody will know if you pee on yourself while running. Particularly on rainy Marathon Monday; who would even care? Except for that guy with a sign, “Smile if you peed on yourself”. So naughty!

I must say, the love and support along the route was phenomenon! No way I would have finished the marathon, the crowd support. Please believe me, because I am not a quitter, never thought of being one. Yet, the hills and hills and more undulating hills along the BM course gave me lots of temptations in my head, to quit. See, I run in the Mt. Poconos, with plenty of hills and steep climbs. I run below freezing, in temperatures before what we had on BM, I run in rain, wind and everything. Yet the hills burned me so damn good! Unfathomable!

I guess even more reason to celebrate my 3:49:02 finish. I know I was aiming for more, but that was much better than any pace during my training. Remember, I am fatter in size than all other previous marathons. I was amazed by the runners, outdoing themselves, like each was a professional! Folks were running, no jokes! Sweating it nice and each staying calm. I guess that’s the true meaning of being among the crème de la crème. The best there at this game of marathons.

The crowds gave us all the love, not just water and gatorade, but also oranges, water mellow, more water…And I heard, but sadly missed, the “Beer Stop” of the Boston Hash House Harriers. That beer would have given me wings! On consolation, there was plenty of Jumbo-Love especially at Mile 9, at the water points, and different points along the route, with plenty of “Kisses from the Wesley Girls, music and more cheers all the way to the finish line.

How gratifying to catch sight of the finish line! I always say, I have very high respect for anyone who can run a marathon in five Family celebrationshours! Don’t mean to sound obnoxious or condescending, but by three hours and a half, my legs are ready to give in! But that excruciating agony, is positively boosted by the exhilaration seeing the finish line. Every minute thereon counts, you push yourself to achieve better. Especially when crowds cheer on your like a champ!

My son’s grandparents drove all the way into Boston, bless their kindest souls, to watch and support me run.The grandparents deserve a big shout-out! All those times you were in the battle alone, training in the snow, freezing rain, while all others are tucked cozily undercover, it is so gratifying witnessing the love of anyone taking off their time to support you!  They traveling at night to Boston, came out in the rain and chilly weather, stood at Mile 9, waiving the poster they made with my name up high, waiting to see me run by. Then, unexpectedly, to finish line to welcome me with flowers, though I missed them, as I dashed off. Even grandpa who stayed in the hotel room, because the weather was conducive for his health, was glued to the TV the entire time, hoping to catch a glimpse of me run amidst the crowd. Then they stayed, until I was all done with the post-marathon reception on Tuesday, to drive us back to PA! Priceless!

I am so grateful for all who contributed to my run – as financial donors, cheerleaders, hosts, and admirers. MWith grandma Anitay friends and family in Boston, who I was not able to meet in person due to a tight schedule, but gave me a call or sent me messages. My son, who does not understand why I did not win, perhaps a manifestation of his ‘grandiose’ respect and confidence of me. I love my son, very much! I love to see his glow, whenever he sees me. I love everything he says. I am so glad he’s very flexible in different circumstances and different places. I run for him.

Running the Boston Marathon is not just about being part of phenomenon history. As I ran those streets, I thought of my best friend Phina, who would have lived the streets of Boston outskirts, along the marathon route, cheered me on, and waited for me at the finish with her contagiously perfect smile. I dedicate this run to Phina. We met in Boston and last saw each other in Boston. She like me was a beneficiary of the care at Tufts Medical Center.

Please join Phina (RIP) and I in celebrating Tufts Nutrition, Fitness and Health Programs by donating to my Charity the Tufts Medical Center. It would be a great honor to me, as I celebrate another 21st Birthday, tomorrow April 28, 2015. https://www.crowdrise.com/TuftsBoston2015/fundraiser/doreenlwanga

Thank you for all your love! Thank you!IMG_7416

Ignorance is Bliss, Sometimes….

IMG_4254Literary societies pride themselves in the abundant availability of information. They privilege the ability to read and write, communicate and publish. Evidence of one’s name imprinted on a couple of publications, bestows a level of respect and titles, and a sit at several ‘high tables’ as a respectably important member of society.

In academia, we know the common saying, ˆPublish or Perish”. So real that tenure-track aspirants spend their maiden post-PhD years teaching, conducting research, writing and submitting articles to academic journals for publication. While publishing does not guarantee tenure track per se, at least it gains the pursuant important visibility and respect within and outside academia. Writing and publishing provide one a sense of comfort and confidence, adds a paragraph onto one’s literate portfolio, and the self-endowment to sit on one’s very high horse.

No doubt information is very useful, even to everyday living. We need information to operate the microwave, drive a car, assemble furniture, or cross the road. Even in our professions, passions and personal lives, access to information enables our career progression, personal growth, goal attainment and reaching for the moon. Information shapes our job applications, helps us prepare for big events like training for a marathon or nurturing our children into well-developed human beings. Yes! The ones who will take care of you when you are of age; I mean, put you up in a nursing home with abundant information sources – Television, remote control microwave, smartphone, book library, and a temper-pedic with a button to call room-service.

Sometimes, however, too much information is undesirable. Ignorance is Bliss!

For instance, right about now, I am overwhelmed with all the information flooding into my brain as I prepare for Boston Marathon 2015. I do not remember any other time, while training for other marathons I have done, receiving this much information. This time, plenty of emails, newsletters and bulletins mailed, e-updates, web information and running apps. Add to that, Webinars! Really?

Please believe me, I recently signed up for a Webinar on preparing for Boston 2015! I thought I was gonna be about logistics in preparation and getting to Marathon Day, April 20. I did not expect another academic seminar on “panic relief”, “fluid prescription”, “emotional” and “psychological” stamina during the marathon, or a whole chapter on Maslow!

Perhaps this is, indeed the “thrill of a Big City Marathon”? Perhaps it is just Boston

source B.A.A

source B.A.A 

Marathon? I can understand the ‘paranoia’ among the organizers, trying to deter another 2013 bombing. Understandably, extra caution needs to be taken to secure the race before and on the day, to ensure safety, confidence and security for all runners. It never occurred to me that some people actually suffer panic attacks during or in the middle of the race, requiring specialized treatment.

Yes, I know of colleagues who have run to the porta-potties to ease their running stomachs along the marathon course. I know folks who have taken a break, read a novel, adjusted their socks, and got back onto marathon route. None required specialized support and rescue, or sessions of webinar preparation!

In my imagination, running is something one picks up out of interest, as a hobby, ultimately becoming routine part of their existence. Granted, some folks run for their livelihoods and dedicate themselves to as much preparation, training and mentoring as possible. Still, I doubt any of them started out as “textbook runners”. Most of the world’s most elite runners are from very poor backgrounds, and some started out running with no running shoes. While, they have grown into world phenomena, I doubt all they sit around reading textbook from “theoretical runners”, on how to run a marathon. I am sure they might read up on what to expect when registration materials are sent out to them, and perhaps log onto marathon websites.

I must say, all this information is freaking me out! I already have enough responsibility keeping up with my run apps, reviewing run assessments and statistics after every run. Plus the pile of information on training and staying in the winter; buying the right running shoes; tapering; keeping the pace; nutrition and diet during training and on marathon, I am e-receiving from my team coach, and the B.A.A newsletters.

source B.A.A website

source B.A.A website

I want to stop reading, but that is not feasible. I am worried I will miss out on last minute details. Too much information seeping through my ears into my head on marathon preparation is making me crazy. I already have enough worries, whether I will attain my target pace and finish time. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have all the community support through my marathon running team, I am yet to meet, and the marathon organizers…But please, can I have no more information….Please leave me in my Blissful Ignorance.

April is All the Kool Kids Month! Let’s….!

It is here….and….It is Official! Sun over the First Spring Lake

April is All the Kool Kids Month! Go Figure!

Sorry y’all who don’t fit the profile! I know the, “Damn! Why was I born on March 31? I don’t blame you, I would too…If I happened to fall off the “Kool Kids Train”…oops 🙂

I love April! Nor more ‘smell’ of Spring; it is upon us…in all the realness! The rain, the sun, the pollen, the cooler temperatures, and the flower blossoms! I love April, because I share this coolness with my other most important person in this world…the one who gave me a life —Sweet dear Mother (April 6)! My very beautiful niece too, is also a Kool Kid (April 6).

I love April because it is National Families and Reading Month. Who does not love reading? Thankfully, I gave birth to a reader; we know how to turn the pages, one after another. Often sharing our “pages” with the “paws”,who surely enjoy the magic of our reading! This April, we are both reading to Child’s class: child is reading on April 22, and I will be Guest Reading on April 28 – which also happens to be my Birthday!

What else will I do for my birthday? Not sure yet, but traditionally since childhood, I celebrate and make merry! At the very least, we celebrated with popcorn and tea, which were very big features of birthday celebrations in my family household. Last year, Child treated me to a special birthday, when he won the Student of April Month, with a coupon for a free meal at Friendly’s. So, we decided to dine out on my Birthday! I am sure we’ll be doing something funky and blinged this year as well, including receiving lots of love with y’all! Right?Spring Tree Climber

What I am sure about this April, I will be running my maiden Big City Marathon, the oldest and most prestigious City Marathon born in 1897. It is The Big City Marathon, the rest are races, so they say. I have butterflies, self-doubts, thrills that a bride gets the morning of her wedding night. I am thinking, since I have never been one. Yet, I am super determined to do it. It is not my first time, but this is a Big Deal, Big City Deal! Lets…

Glad to be sharing April with some of the Koolest Kids on planet earth, especially since I am getting cooler myself! Now I know about Star Wars, Super Sonic, Beyblade and Wonder Woman. Now I know all about the solar system, and learning lots of astronomy, thanks to the Child. Plus, my birthday also happens to be International Astronomy Day.

Yeah! There are a couple of more Kool days you too would know about, if you were an April Kool Kid! I plan to enjoy a fair share of those, starting with Fooling Around (April 1); Read a Book with Children (April 2); Skip Work (April 3)Hug A Newman (April 4); Say no to Housework (April 7); Go Patriot [on the Boston Marathon trail] (April 20); pay homage to Earth Planet (April 22); Take a Chance (April 23); and Hug an Australian (April 26) who would become My Mate to Kiss (April 28), very appropriately on my Birthday! How Kool is That!

Oh! Before I go, CrowdRise asked me to tell you that I should ‘give up my birthday to raise money for my favorite cause. I think this is awesome! Wait, how did CrowdRise know that I was already raising $$$ for my favorite charity of the year? Y’all know that I am running Boston Marathon 2015 with the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT); yeah, that’s what’s up!

All proceeds from my fundraising are going directly toward the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition toward support for research on nutrition, obesity, hunger and famine, and to sustain programs that promote health and wellness across the university and within our host communities of Medford, Somerville and Boston’s Chinatown.  Here is the link to my fundraiser; your gift is big to me, and will mean a lot to me and everyone who benefits from Tufts University Medical Services! Please support, and make me the Koolest Kid, ever!

Happy Koolest Kids Month! Bring on April!

Geese on the LakeOnly one Big City Marathon

Tapering For Real! Road to Boston Marathon 2015

Telling a runner that you cannot run after 21K, is like saying you cannot walk after a full marathon.

Who does that? Who listens to that? Not a runaholic. And I happen to be perfectly one of the brand.

On second thought, perhaps there is a time when enough is enough! When even a runaholic better go into “Tapper Zone”. For real, I might have said “Tapper Zone” two weeks ago, but never committed to it. Shh! Please don’t tell my Team Coach that I did not listen to his advice. Don’t even blame me for disobeying my coach, it is complicated!

See, I am training away from my fellow teammates, Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) for the Boston Marathon 2015. I am not sure when they started on a training plan, nor each individual projected finish time. My marathon training plan, from one of the run apps I use has me going on longer than my Team Coach’s recommended tapering period/date. So, I decided to follow my run app.

But I am done! Believe me, I did my last long run 20.66 miles this Friday, March 27, which I think is a safe moment to end the long runs, in preparation for marathon on April 20. I am aiming for a better finish time than my last marathon. The marathon plan I am training with has a lower finish time than my target finish time. I am not sure that is advisable? Is it? Hopefully I won’t burn out to d-day.

Talking about burning out, most marathon coaches and pre-scheduled training plans advice to take off the day after a long run. Trouble for me, I have to readjust my schedule to fit my life. A typical marathon training schedule plan goes like this:

Sunday – Long run (combination of fast and steady) Boston Marathon 2015

Monday – Off 

Tuesday – Fast (marathon pace (10miles<)

Wednesday – Slow (under 10)

Thursday – Fast (under 10)

Friday – Off      

Saturday – Slow and short

Looks like a great schedule, right? Except that I have a lil’ ‘handicap’. I cannot do long runs over the weekend because I am the sole CEO of my child, who is home from school over the weekend. When I have occasional help, I go out and do up to 13 miles, but that is not guaranteed. Which means I readjust my schedule to do most of my running during the week, when child is at school.

Monday – Off

Tuesday – Fast (marathon pace 5-8 mi) Sometimes Off

Wednesday – Slow (4-6 mil)

Thursday – Steady/Fast (6-11 mil)

Friday – Long Run Steady and Fast (8-20)

Saturday – Steady (4-8 mil)

Sunday – Off or Steady (8-13mil)

My schedule is a little intense, but it has kind of worked for me. If I have a chance to run on Sunday, then I take off Tuesday. Sometimes I run six days in a row, sometimes take off Wednesday, if I know I can run Sunday. There is no guarantee for Sunday, so I try not to risk a week day, when I am sure I can run.

Generally, I have done well with my schedule, although I have missed a couple of runs due to inclement weather or work schedules that did not allow me time off to run. Sometimes I have made up by running longer distance on the following days, otherwise, I put in a short run. Overall, I have put in quite an impressive mileage per week.

This week, I put in 56.7 miles, my most mileage in a week! I cannot believe that  translates to 91.2 Km. I feel strong at the end of the week. I also did all the scheduled runs for the week, and more. Plus, I did back to back running from Wednesday to Sunday. My long run was on Friday with 20.66 miles, mostly steady with eight miles fast. Ideally, I would have to rest on Saturday, but I decided to go out for a slow run instead, to stretch my legs and relax the sore muscles. Then Sunday, I went on a Steady/Fast eight mile run, and sealed off the week feeling strong again.

I am finally agreeing to go into “Tapper Zone”. I have put in enough long runs, I am not doing any more long runs until Marathon Day, April 20. Now on, I am going for speed and shorter runs. The longest run I have left is 13 miles next week, thereafter will all be under 10 miles.

I do not feel ready, though. I do not feel like I have done enough preparation. I still do not feel plenty of strength. Too much information coming in, is also making me a nervous wreck. I repeat, Ignorance is Bliss, sometimes! All the tips about running, preparing, tapering, nutrition, rest, and more are so much for me! I want to switch off, but then I do not wanna miss anything important.

Today, I received my “Runners Passport”, and all the info I need for Boston Marathon. Totally freaked out. Off to work on more strength, and off to keep the fundraising.

Now, this is the part where I ask you again, to please please support my pledge and responsibility to Tufts Marathon Team to fundraise for Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition, health, fitness and wellness. I would appreciate any donation you can add to support me at https://www.crowdrise.com/doreenlwanga for such a worthy cause. It would boost my running even more!

Fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon

As someone who has tried my hands at both, I must admit that fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon. When you are doing both at the same time, one partly to benefit the other, it gets more complicated. In training for my first Boston Marathon (2015) with the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) I am also trying to fundraise for the Tufts nutrition, health and fitness programs at the Tufts Medical Center.runtheworld

Sometimes I get overrun by training for the impending marathon that I forget to keep the fundraiser as active. Yet, the former requires as much dedication and consistency as the latter. The consequences for falling off either one, are detrimental, haunting, and costly in financial dreams and ego.

Yet, both involve a wider public audience of friends, family and strangers, who will come through to support your cause. A public fundraiser banks on the assumption that it would not be hard to get as little as ten kind souls to donate at least five dollars each. That makes it $50.00, in an instant! For my personal fundraiser, I would be US$755.00 away from achieving my humble fundraising goal to afford me a much needed pair of running shoes, training gear and a few hours in the gym for strength training. I should say that my initial fundraising goal was US$1130. Thanks to a kind soul who paid my hefty Boston marathon registration fee of US$325, reducing the goal to US$805.00, of which I have thus far collected two donations!

I also have a major and much bigger fundraiser of US$5,000, as a requirement for running with TMT.  All proceeds go directly to support the Tufts Medical Center. So far, I have not even raised a single penny of it, through my social networks that I am using. Never mind that sometimes weeks I sent out at least two emails.  I am a little taken back by my abysmal performance thus far, considering I have  outstanding expertise in social networking and fundraising, from cold calls to emails, door-to-door, telephone, grant writing and crowd sourcing.

All hope is not lost, I am still giving it my all, as much as I am trying to keep focused on my marathon training plan. The gist of training for a marathon is to set your goal, aim a great finish and come out strong and accomplished. Similarly, the aim of fundraising is to have a strong rewarding finish with the goal netted in the bag (and over) and satisfaction attained. The proof of training for the marathon is in the time covered in 26.2 miles; the proof of fundraising is in the money raised. How much public clout one is able to attract, is a satisfying measure of one’s accomplishments. Ten or twenty cheerleaders could be as resourceful (or even more than) as 100, if their love and support helps one successfully accomplish set goal.

Which explains why I believe running provides a great opportunity for soul searching and reflection on goals, accomplishments, strategies and ultimate product. I run at least five days per week, aiming for at least 42 miles per week. I fall short sometimes, due to the inclement weather or family obligations. I live in an area of steep climbs, mountains and heavily snowed-up winters. The back roads are narrow with hardly any sidewalks. The main roads are all concrete, without much defined sidewalks. When it snows, the roads are not cleared immediately, which starves me of running space.

I am not really scared of running under a snowfall, I have done it several times – rain, sleet, wind or scorching sun. I am more concerned for motorists during snowfall or immediately thereafter, who have to navigate the slippery roads and keep away from barely-there sidewalks to create leg/running room for me. Often under better weather conditions, many move into the middle of the road to share the road with me, though it is more complicated when the roads are still covered with snow or low visibility.

But that does not stop me from going out to put in the mileage or show face in the public. With my YakTrax strapped to my running soles, I go out and run in the snow, providing enough room for motorist to drive safely, while also keeping myself far away from the main road. Or I go out off-peak hours, when road traffic is low, mostly after the morning work commute, before lunch hour. I schedule all my runs during the day before dark, to avoid getting hit by a speeding motorist or attack from bad people. Makes perfect sense, since my color is not as reflective in the dark as my running gear (smile). Thanks to my currently flexible schedule of [unintentional] underemployment, I have more flexible hours during the day, when child is at school.

Why don’t you join me and support my cause(s), to make me a happy runner of my first Boston Marathon 2015, and a proud accomplished fundraiser for more health, fitness and nutritional programs at Tufts.

To support my person fundraising goal of US$805.00 toward the purchase of a new pair of shoes (Zappos tells me it is time to replace both pairs I have used for the last one year), running gear, and a few gym hours of strength training, please click on this link http://fnd.us/c/9vY4b

To support my fundraiser for the Tufts Medical Team of US#5,000, please follow this link https://www.crowdrise.com/tuftsboston2015/fundraiser/doreenlwanga to my personal profile on crowdwise.

And, feel free to donate to both, as much or as little as you can.

Come Run With me!

Thank you!