1 mile per year and .2 to grow on

Those of you who have been reading me for a while will know that I have slowly become a runner.

dashmarathon1

 

It was an accident, but somehow, I went from struggling to run a mile to running an entire marathon.  I transformed from the picture on the left to the picture on the right over a three and a half year period.

 

In thirteen days, I am doing it again. I will be celebrating my 26th birthday by running 26 miles – and .2 to grow on – in the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 4.

When I ran the Detroit Marathon last fall, I was doing it for me. I wanted to give myself a goal, to prove that whatever else was going sideways in my life, I could still be successful. Now, though, I’m running for a cause.

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The Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience was the reason I moved to Pittsburgh after I graduated from Notre Dame. I spent my year with PULSE volunteering with a non profit organization dedicated to meeting the basic needs of Pittsburgh’s East End. PULSE provided regular personal and professional development for myself and the other participants. We lived in an intentional community, sharing household duties and spiritual journeys. The seven women I lived with that year have become some of my dearest friends. One of them, Laura, is a huge part of my inspiration to run. The PULSE community has been so supportive of my journey into the running lifestyle.

It seems right, somehow, that I should run in support of them.

community

community

I would like to invite you to support my marathon run and my favorite service organization by donating to PULSE right here through my marathon support page. My goal is to convince thirteen of you to donate at least $10.

I had an idea of writing out 26 reasons why you should donate to PULSE, but that would take a while and I value your time. Here are just a few of my favorite reasons and a bribe:

  1. PULSE actively seeks peace through a focus on community. Participants are encouraged to build community with each other and with the people in their neighborhood. One result of this is the Kincaid Street Community Gardens.
  2. PULSE believes art is a service to the community. Participants are given a cultural funds allowance, which can be used to attend events or purchase supplies for a project. Some participants even spend part of their placement developing their own artistic projects.
  3. This is the perfect birthday gift for me! What better way to celebrate my life than to support an organization that played such a role in shaping me?
  4. The first thirteen people to donate $10 or more in support of my marathon run will receive a thank you note on a hand-painted card, personally designed for you. All donors will receive hand-written notes, but I’m only promising to paint something for the first thirteen. All others will be handled on a case by case basis.

Every little bit helps PULSE on their mission to cultivate a community of young servant leaders.  Donate here on the website, or make out a check to PULSE and mail it to 5615 Stanton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. I am grateful for every bit of help you can give…

…and I’d appreciate all the prayers and pep talks you can send for me as well.

Creative Week 1: Friday

I announced my intention to participate in a Creative Week earlier today in my 7QT post.  I am now pleased to present my very first project.

My awesome friend Christine was the very first to suggest a theme, and I absolutely loved it, so I decided to make it my first day.

Idea: Expectation

actual size: 5 by 7 inches

acrylic painting, 5 by 7 inches

I’m pleased with the painting.  I rushed it, a little, but that’s part of Creative Week.  If I made all of these absolute masterpieces, I probably couldn’t fit them all in.  The point is to get back to actively creating things.  I want to stretch my creative muscles.  I want to be able to point and say, there, that is a Thing of Beauty that I have done.

I am a little less pleased with the photograph of the painting.  In real life, it’s a lot easier to tell that the woman in the center has both a face and a dress.  Who knows?  Maybe at the end of the week, I will go back and retouch those features to make the contrast between light and shadow more obvious.

But probably not.

SO!  What do you think?  Am I off to an all right start with this Creative Week?  Or am I just crazy?