Marathon

The Great Ocean Road Marathon 2016

I did it guys! I can finally cross out Run a Full Marathon from my General Life To-Do list.

Another big, sweaty, congratulations to the runners who took part in last weekend’s Great Ocean Road Marathon!

I was 21 when I first signed up to participate in a marathon. As a NYC inhabitant at the time I  signed up for the San Diego Marathon. Of course. I was young and naive and didn’t really know anything about the world, let alone anything about long distance running. I backed out of the race within a few months of training.

Fast forward to 2015: I had 4 half marathons under my belt and a husband that was willing to commit to being my Running Coach. Jack’s only qualification for being my running coach was that he felt comfortable telling me what to do and he’d know if I was lying about it. Half the battle with running is mental and excuses can creep in like parmesan on a carbonara.

I really couldn’t have done it without Jack making the planning of all it so easy. All I had to think about was running. Jack booked my spot, the accommodation, found me a running plan, made sure I had my bib and that I got to the start line.

He also met me at the 40k mark when I thought I was going to die and my legs were no longer obeying my outrageous demands to keep going. He snail paced the last 4k with me and I collapsed into his arms just after crossing the finish line. It really makes me appreciate this whole partnership thing. Life is so much easier when you have someone not only rooting for you but helping you.

I also need to mention the legend standing at the 30k mark with a bowl of (only!) red snake gummies who let me take handfuls and stuff them in my bra for later use. I was not prepared with a tiny back pack full of supplies like most of the other runners, and those sweaty, little, delicious snakes really did get help me make it over the finish line.

On to the next!

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Spring

Coffee date, because…

How funny! We’re both sporting gym clothes, ordering only one coffee and a green juice to follow. We are such New Year cliches.

And as a New Years cliche, we must talk resolutions. We just gotta! If not to actually accomplish them, then to get us started on a path. And I’m not talking proper life resolutions like “Run a marathon under four hours”. I’m talking cute, small, day-to-day food related resolutions like…

1. Drink one coffee a day. Two, tops: My husband thinks I’m addicted and he may be right. Just admit to it so we can all move on!

2. Try something other than the chips on the sides menu: I have a great gift for knowing when chips will be good at a restaurant. Trust my gut. Don’t take chances. Order something else.

3. Meditate for 10 minutes a day after work and before dinner: Use the Headspace app. this is when I give myself 10 minutes to sit on the couch and go through Instagram, anyway.

4. Keep the kitchen (this includes the fridge, Bianca) neat: I don’t need to explain this. Just do it.

5. Learn to cook healthy easy meals and keep the kitchen stocked so that I don’t rely on pasta when in a jam: The amazing Cookbook Book Club you have started with your friend Bel will help with this! Look at you go!

6. Eat properly to sustain the amount of running I’ll be doing this year: Great Ocean Road Marathon – Here I come!

7. DO NOT buy any more Doritos: Doesn’t matter if Coles has them on sale. PUT. THE. DORITOS. DOWN.

8. Please avoid spilling food on your clothe: If you do not succeed, call your mom straight away. she’ll teach you how to remove said stain.

9. Stop eating leftover food from other people’s plates: This is non-negotiable. It is not cute. Anymore.

10. Once a month, dress up real nice, make sure your nails are done and go to a fancy dinner: #treatyoself

Kenya

2015 Roundup

The madness of the silly season is finally winding down and the reality that 2015 has come to end has hit me hard. It has slapped me across the face and not even apologized. I know you’re going to say “Well… time flies when you’re having fun”. But I think time flies all the time. And I believe it currently flies a Concorde.

Can someone please figure out a way to slow time down?

Here’s some highlights from my 2015:

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Mannya Village Uganda

Photo Journal: Visiting Mannya with the Cotton On Foundation

Mannya Uganda

Mannya Uganda

Mannya Uganda

Mannya Uganda

Mannya Uganda

Mannya Uganda

The pictures in this photo journal are very special to me. They are from this past February when Jack and I visited Uganda. I keep them on my phone and look at them whenever I need a pick-me-up and a smile.

The schedule for our trip to Africa was planned around a visit to a remote area of Uganda called Mannya Village. Jack’s work partnered with the Cotton On Foundation to raise money by selling Hamish and Andy “gold” water bottles last year. All proceeds went towards a second outreach project, St. Jude Primary School, in Nabunga. We wanted go visit Mannya to learn more about the work that the Cotton On Foundation team is already doing in the community and their plans for the future.

The Cotton On Foundation started these projects in Uganda back in 2007. They don’t just provide aid to these people though, they empower the youth and mobilise communities, and are building futures through four major pillars: health, education, sustainability and infrastructure. The goal is to use all of Cotton On Foundation’s current contributions and resources in a way that will make the community able to continue, independent of Cotton On, on this path. Cotton On’s work is as much about strengthening the future as it about bettering the present.

I prepared myself for a heart wrenching and draining few days, but was surprised when I found myself completely uplifted and inspired the entire time. There is so much of contagious joy and optimism beaming out from the people of Mannya. They not only need the help, they want it. Everyone I met and spoke is positive and excited to take control and change their destiny.

During our time there, I realized that the picture of Africa painted for me growing up in the US is wrong, at least in this part of Southern Uganda. I’ve thought of it as a place that only contains sadness, misfortune and despair but the community of Mannya Village is far from all those things. The people are happy, friendly and welcoming. They have immense pride in what they do with the little they have. You should meet these people. I wish you could see the beautiful women dressed up in their Sunday best and the entire families’ dedication to get to 6am Sunday Mass service. I wish you could see the sparkle in the coffee farmer’s eyes as he explained how he takes advantage of Cotton On’s micro financing program. You should witness the way children carry out their responsibilities and I wish you could feel the deep, wide smiles of the 300 kindergarteners who now have a place to gain an education and someday change their world.

Give these people an opportunity and they will run with it; that’s exactly what Cotton on Foundation is doing now.

Some customers of Cotton On don’t even know the impact that they’re making. All you need to do to contribute is purchase Cotton on Foundation products online or at any Cotton On Store and 100% of the proceeds go to their various out-reach programs. Mannya Village is only one of the many projects that Cotton On Foundation is working on. There is so much to be done.

To learn more about the Mannya project, click here! To learn more about the Cotton On Foundation, click here. And to see more pictures from today’s Photo Journal, click through.

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