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

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Good Luck Charms for Runners

To quote Ulysses S. Grant,

“Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, or to do anything, never to turn back or to stop until the thing intended was accomplished.”

I have my own superstitions, which I have also dubbed Good Luck Charms for Runners. Here is one, “If you run the first day of the month, you get good luck throughout the entire month. You will run literally all the 28 or 29 or 30 or 31 days of the month! Ok, maybe I made that up. At least I live by it, and it works for me! Try it; you may like it!

I consciously try to go for a run every first day, and last day of the month. So, I am ‘haunted’ throughout the month to stay on course. Plus, Monday is a Running Day for me, since I joined my first “Hash” with the Kampala Hash House Harriers (KH3) in Uganda back in 2011. Though now I physically run solo where I live [except once when I did the New Years Eve Run], I feel and stay part of a running community.

I virtually run with KH3 on Monday, even though their weekly six O’clock run happens before or after mine. I am subscribed to a couple of running Apps –Runkeeper, MapMyRun and MiCoach, through which I follow my running-mates around the world. Following my friends on mobile Apps helps boost my morale and commitment to keep running, always aiming to top the “Leadership Table” every week and at end of the month. I enjoy observing their running and other fitness activities, which boost my running morale.

Thankfully, I have started off March running the 1st day, and the 1st Monday. The last week of February 2015, I put in 47 miles in four days. My target of 50+ and five days did not happen due to a combination of necessary rest and conflict of schedule: Monday was a resting day, because I had ran 12 miles the day before in sleet and freeze; Wednesday became tres occupé for me, when I should have put in a run; I rested on Saturday because I ran 18+ miles on Friday, then went out on Sunday. This Monday, I did it again, because the schedule permitted!

I am glad for what I was able to do. Keeps getting better by the week. I am pounding the road, the tarmac and trying to put in all the mileage. It is cold, it is snowed out, it is icy, all the conditions that could discourage one from going out running. Especially, solo running is more dreadful! Thankfully, I sucked it up and did my mileage. I was not able to run the last day of the month, per my plan, but I ran the first day of the following month.

I always say that running the first day of the month helps fuel my running for the entire month. I didn’t do that bad at all this month. In fact, February is my best month, thus far. I broke many records: 1) Farthest Distance in a Month; 2) Longest Duration in a Month; and 3) Most Calories Burned in a Month. 🙌🙌🙌

Hopefully, March will march along so good for me. I need to put in those mileages, as the marathon draws nigh! And these Muzinos need a final rest.

Rest in Peace, Muzino

Rest in Peace, Muzino

So, if you still wanna support me on my journey in six weeks, please click on this link to make a donation that could afford me a new pair of shoes. Most importantly, please help me raise money for the Tufts Medical Center, on behalf of the Tufts Marathon Team I am running with. I would be most grateful!

56.7 miles in a Week averaging – F Weather!

Last week, I run a total of 56.7 miles, over six days, in an average of single digit weather. The weather last week was terrible with snow, ice and wind, all moving at high velocity. I had to suck it up and do what I have to do, run it. Success does not wait, nor does marathon training.

That is why we invest in YakTrax, to providing traction and run smoothly over snow. Proper running shoes, a warm jacket – there is nothing better than Free Country, a warm cozy pair of running socks – shout out to Cabot & Sons, plus head, neck and mouth gear smitten in Buff’s multifunctional wear. You should see me out on the road. I am all good to go. My mittens are with me, supplementing my Columbia gloves. Which reminds me that I lost one of them, and need a replacement, as well as a replacement of the running shoes.

I am proud of myself for 56.7 miles. I hope to replicate that, going forward. The first step is always a challenge, especially thinking of the gush of the wind awaiting my body once I step out of the door. I am grateful I am able to overcome that. Add to that, treading carefully the first 0.4miles of my route, to avoid slipping on icy roads. Sometimes I forget my YakTrak when I step out of the door, and have to walk carefully on the snowy sides. But even when I have them, some of the roads are too icy to take chances of falling, so I walk and my pace suffers. And Yes! I need to replace the YakTrax – wow! more money going out!

Did I say that the pace is also affected by wearing gloves? That’s right! Since I have to double glove – I am yet to find one pair of gloves that keeps me fully comfortable, I have to start the running Apps before starting the run, and that counts against me. The least of my worries, it should be. As long as I go out and do it!

Now I need to really go out and get some money, fundraising on the road for my charity. My ideas it to myself a mobile billboard, and collect any donations possible. Please help me raise money as part of the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) to the Boston Marathon 2015, to support 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 Tufts Fundraiser. You can also support me personally, as I train for the marathon

The Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition offers a very specialized program designed to study adolescent obesity. Dr. Christine Economos is the chairperson of the study, and is also the Director of Child Obesity 180 at the Friedman School. She is currently a committee member for the Institute of Medicine report, “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation.”

According to our coach, Don Megerle, additional funds are also raised and donated to the Tufts Personalized Performance Program. This program was actually an offshoot of the original Tufts Marathon Team concept. The program educates and trains seniors at Tufts to become Life-Coaches in the fields of health, nutrition, and personal fitness. There are 15 seniors enrolled in the program, and they assist me during the year with various projects related to the marathon. Marten Vandervelde, Director of the PPP, ran the Boston Marathon with the TMT three years ago.

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!