Sunday, September 20, 2009

Four weeks of training down.

And so far, so good!

I've had to adjust the training schedule a tad for a few reasons. First, I don't work out on Sundays so I use that as a rest day instead of Mondays. Also, I have to be fairly flexible because I am not a routine-loving person and I have things come up some days that change my plans.  But I try to keep my total miles each week on par with the schedule and so far I've done pretty good with that. I even ran more miles this week than I needed to, but just because I felt like doing 4.5 on Friday, so I did.  (well actually I did 4.6 just to spite a certain someone who I'm being competitive with) :)

I can honestly say I look forward to the group runs on Saturday mornings at 6:30am!  I really enjoy it so far.  Although I did miss this last Saturday for the first time, but this week was so incredibly stressful for me that I fully excuse myself.  I needed to sleep.  Trust me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wow! I'm overwhelmed!

In a very short time, my fundraising goal has already been not only met but exceeded!  Thank you so very much to my amazing donors for your generosity.  I am 110% pumped to keep training and finish this race, in honor of your gifts!

Just think, the money that we've raised so far for Big Brothers Big Sisters will be able to support one match for an entire year (and then some!), so together we are helping at least one child to have a better feeling of self worth and a brighter future.  I'm so grateful for your support.

Thank you a million times over,

p.s. I'm also currently the 2nd top fundraiser for our entire team!!  That's all your doing!  I'm so proud.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why should you support Big Brothers Big Sisters?

Great question!  Thanks for asking.

I recently became a Big Sister to a 16 year old girl, "B". In my job, I help kids who are in legal trouble.  I love doing this but have found some frustration in how limited my role is as an attorney.  I'm not intimately involved in my clients' lives so I can only do so much for them, and so many of them need more love and attention than they're getting.  Many of them need a mentor- a positive adult in their life who genuinely cares about them and can be a good example and a friend.

With BBBS, I saw an opportunity to be that mentor to at least one kid who really needs it.  We haven't been matched for very long but so far I'm thoroughly convinced that this program is important and effective.  I'm very proud to be a part of it.

Some info and stats about BBBS:
National research shows that positive relationships between youth and their Big Brother and Big Sister mentors have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. By participating in our youth mentoring programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are:

• 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school

• 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs

• 27% less likely to start drinking alcohol

• More confident of their schoolwork performance

• Able to get along better with their families

Arizona State University conducted a study with children involved in our Site-Based program at Wilson Elementary School in Phoenix. The study assessed the effectiveness of the program based upon three objectives: self confidence, decision making and school grades. It was discovered that:

• 92% of youth who are mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona have an
increase in self confidence (wow!)

• 62% of those mentored in the Site-Based program made better decisions after six months
of being mentored

• 85% of the students improved or maintained passing grades in science

• 70% of the students improved or maintained passing grades in reading

• 60% of the students improved or maintained passing grades in math

Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.
Brown, William A. (2004) 2003-2004 Evaluation for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. Tempe: Center for Nonprofit Leadership & Management, Arizona State University.

My inspiration.

It's important that I answer the question, "what on Earth makes me think I'm even capable of such a thing as a half marathon?", because I have never been into running. I'm really not athletic. I can honestly say I wouldn't even be doing this if it wasn't for one person's example and this very inspiring and memorable blog post. (be careful; reading that post will make you want to sign up for a race!)

That post was written by my sister, Maury.

Maury has sort of turned into a legend in our family. I wonder if she gets tired of talking about running because it seems like everytime the family gets together, we always talk with amazement and admiration about Maury and her marathons. But seriously, she's amazing. Who runs a 5k a week after having a baby?! And who runs a marathon 3 months after having a baby? The accomplishments go on and on.

So my very first Thank you goes to Maury for inspiring me to make a goal that I never even desired to make before, let alone one I can feel confident about completing.