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.

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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.

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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.

7 Quick Takes: The Irish Catholic Sports Fan Edition

Jennifer Fulwiler hosts the 7 Quick Takes, and once again, I join everybody else on the Internet.

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So I’ve been trying to get myself onto a sleep schedule that is more amenable to family life, and more amenable to jobs that make you show up to work before noon.  I have been doing this with reasonable success this week, but for whatever reason, today I feel like I’ve been hit with a truck.  Bring. On. The coffee.

And don’t talk to me if you see me online after 11:30pm EST.  Make me go to bed.

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One of the positive parts about moving back to Michigan is HOCKEY!  I’m a big hockey fan in a region that loves it, and the last championship tournament of the CCHA is this weekend in downtown Detroit.  I had paragraphs of information I could present about the situation, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.  Suffice to say, Notre Dame is playing Ohio State in the conference semi-finals tomorrow, and I get to go.  If they win, I get to go to the championship on Sunday.

Go Irish!

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Speaking of the Fighting Irish,  the men’s basketball team plays their round of 64 game tonight.  I really hope they win, because they’re my team, and because my bracket says they will.  Granted, my bracket does not say they will win very many games, but if I get to choose between winning my bracket pools and Notre Dame winning its first ever Final Four championship, it would not be a difficult decision.  I’m only playing for bragging rights either way; might as well end up with the good ones.

Addendum: The Notre Dame WOMEN’S basketball team is probably going to win it all.  They’re consistently awesome like that.

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One more take of Notre Dame fanclubiness and then I’m moving on I PROMISE.  This is a goofy one, and an opportunity to vote, so all of you Twitter-happy ND folk, might enjoy it.

Her Loyal Sons, my favorite ND football (and occasionally other sports) fan blog did a recap of the Twitter reactions for each football game of the season.  Now, they’re pitting the 64 “best” tweets against each other, tournament style.  Winners in each match-up are determined by popular vote, so get on over there and help out.

Trust me… there’s nothing like ND men’s basketball to make you miss ND football.

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YES.  This is the part where we move on.

This is SUCH an exciting time to be Catholic.  Pope Francis is breathing life into everything he does.  Did you hear that he accepted an invitation to visit Iraq?  The head of the Chaldean church, His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, asked Francis to come visit Iraqi Christians, and speak as well to Iraqi Muslims about interfaith dialogue.  Apparently, Francis said he would. 

I just keep encountering so many warm and loving descriptions of the Holy Father, so many joyous stories, so many hopeful Christians!  It’s as though his elevation to Pope has Catholics the world over taking a good deal of pride in their association with him as head of the Church.  I pray that Francis may really be the source of good that he seems to be in these early days.

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Living with my parents means I have access to all kinds of retro pictures!  Here’s one of my favorites.

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I’m helping my great-grandfather dig up potatoes.  I remembered this photo last weekend, because one of the pearls of wisdom Grandpa made sure to leave behind was that you should always get your potatoes in the ground by St. Patrick’s Day.

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I’m running in a marathon relay!  And you can help support me, and even better, one of my favorite nonprofit organizations!  This will get its own full post later today, but for now check out the PULSE marathon page.