Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Abraham

I'm having a hard time with this "blog thing" this week.  I am so not a "blogger."  I really wish there was any other way to advocate for these children because this blog thing isn't working.....at all (hint hint....accepting ideas).  It saddens me because people I hoped to help share the blog, who have a genuine love for these children, are not.  I completely understand if you cannot give or do not want to be hounded to give each week.  You may already be doing so- thank you!  Or you may truly have no interest or means to, and I get that as well.  I am simply asking you to share the blog so that if someone else is touched and wants to sponsor an orphan or donate to Uncharted, they get the opportunity. 

This past month we sponsored a new orphan.  We visited the Love Home in 2009 and adopted Aung Yun Tun.  I will tell you it is amazing to sponsor a child that you actually get to spend a week with.  He clung to Brock as if Brock was his biological father...it truly brought tears to my eyes.  He was 6 years old but so little.  All of the orphans seem so much younger because many are malnourished.  Leaving him was the hardest part of returning home and we were so excited when we found out we were able to sponsor him and keep in touch by writing letters.  We found out last month that Aung Yun Tun's birth parents came back to the Love Home and he is now living with them.

I got an email telling us this news and that we could sponsor a new child.  I'll have to say thank you to Donna, for selecting a little girl who is Isabelle's age.  It is so beyond awesome to see Izzie make her pictures and to talk about her and pray for her.  I think she has told everyone but the postman about her "new sister."  At the risk of sounding cliche.....it seriously melts my heart.  

Meet Abraham..........









Name
Abraham Oo
Gender
Male
Birth Date
July 25, 2004
Age
7
Arrival Date
June 28, 2010
 

 
Additional Information His parents are divorced and he stayed with his aunt and uncle until they could no longer care for him. He is a very intelligent boy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the Average Day........

"On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves.  On the average day, we don't consider God very much.  On the average day, we forget that our life is truly vapor." - Francis Chan

Yep.  I think we are all guilty of being impressed with ourself at one time or another.  Possibly putting our activities, urgencies, "our gifted, important children" or "my CRAZY day!" ( that one is my favorite because the secret is so simple....you choose to let it be too busy or too crazy!). 

I often struggle with running and sometimes even the stereotype that goes with "crazy runners."  Some people smile and think it's ok to be obsessed with running because it's healthy....me time....stress reliever, etc.  Really it's not.  Many I am sure reading this are thinking to themselves "hi pot....have you met kettle?"   And I will admit that used to be true....100% true.  One would assume that in order to run 100 miles you have to be crazy, obsessed and all consumed, especially your day, with running.  That is definite one option and sadly probably a popular one.  I will tell you that my struggle with this goal is that I will be put into this category, and for the valid reasons above.  I have prayed, discussed with loved ones, and prayed again to make sure my heart was not in this place.  That helped but still the "label" I would receive from completing this honestly scared me until just a few weeks ago.  I had a deep examination of my heart, both where it is and the purpose behind it. 

I say this with truth that I am not doing this race for self-glorification.  I do not seek a "good job" and especially not a "you are amazing!" because I truly do not think that  (side note, anyone can cover the distance, I promise you that).  God is amazing.  He blesses people with ambitions and gifts and I feel that if we feel called by him we must listen.  So that is why I am running this race.  Myanmar left a permanent indention in my heart and I am always astounded by these children who have nothing but God and are filled with such contentment.  It's seriously something Americans can't even comprehend because even the poorest here would be considered rich there.  While these children's souls are filled in abundance they still have basic needs to be met financially.

Honestly, you don't have to believe my "motive."  I really only have to be accountable to one, the One, of my heart behind this race.  While yes, we have to put in the miles and the time, we are also praying for these children while we do.  I have said it before, there are moments in ultra running that you cannot train for.  You cannot physically do this on your own.  I think that's why I truly love it, you whole-heartedly lean on God for strength.  Some may say then I didn't train hard enough or I wouldn't feel that way......then I want to be undertrained :).

I'll leave you with this thought, and this orphan to pray for......."Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." - R.C. Sprout

I ask that even if you are not interested in giving or adopting an orphan, please pray for Jacob and please share the blog so that the opportunity is not missed by someone who is.  Thank you!

 

Name
Jacob
Gender
Male
Birth Date
April 11, 2001
Age
10
Arrival Date
June 24, 2010
Favorite Class
English
Favorite Bible Story
Jonah
Favorite Activity
Soccer
Additional Information
His father died when he was a baby, so he does not know his father. His mother married a man who treated him very badly. A missionary brought him to Zion Children Home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

100 miles for Myanmar





In January of 2009, Brock and I traveled to Myanmar with a team from Bethel Temple. I did eye exams and Brock worked on a water system for the orphanages. The trip changed our lives in so many ways.  I honestly feel as though I left part of my heart in Myanmar.  I cannot even describe the hearts of these children.  Their generousity is unbelievable.  For example, I would give them a minature candy bar and they would break it in half and give half of it back to me.  They are satisfied fully with what so many Americans are craving....a relationship with God.  I was so enthused about how God changed my heart on this mission trip that Elissa got excited as well. It was then that we started Pace with Purpose to use our love for running to help local non-for-profit organizations. Running became purposeful and we accomplished so many "bucket listers" along the way. We decided that our 100 miler should go back to where the idea for Pace with Purpose originated- Myanmar.

So our race last year had to be postponed due to an injury but......we are back! On April 20, 2013, Elissa and I will be completing 200 miles (100 miles each, and yes all at once and together) raising money and awareness for our orphans in Myanmar. You truly have no idea how far even $10 goes in Myanmar. I could literally go on all day about the amazing work our church and missionaries have done to bring Christianity and hope to our orphans there. Still, there is so much work that needs to take place. 

Uncharted International serves in under-resourced countries to provide education and housing for orphans and widows. When the orphans are finished with their school, they can qualify for a college scholarship through Uncharted as well as micro-finance loan to give them the capital that allows them to become self-sustaining.

Uncharted runs 11 orphanages, a widow's apartment complex, 2 schools, micro-finance program and partners with other organizations to restore children that rescued from human trafficking. Current one-time projects that you could consider giving towards are:
  • Boy's Dorm (need 2)--$25,000 each
  • Girl's Dorm--(need 1)--$25,000
  • Kitchen and Dining Hall--(Need 2) $25,000 each
  • Human Trafficking Rehabilitation Center -- $95,000

A truly amazing gift is to adopt an orphan.  I say truly amazing because your $35/month will provide your child with food, medicine, housing, utilities, school fees, school uniforms, and school supplies- WOW!!!  What you don't realize is how much it will touch YOUR life and influence your children through example and by daily family prayer for this child.

Here is a link to visit for more information about our connection with Myanmar:
http://1bethel.com/world-missions/myanmar/.  You can actually to request to adopt a specific orphan.
Each week we will be training and each week we will be posting an orphan that is available for adoption.  Meet Hope.......


Name
Hope Ling Young
Gender
Female
Birth Date
February 18, 2001
Age
10
Arrival Date
July 7, 2009
Favorite Class
Burmese
Favorite Bible Story
John
Favorite Activity
Reading
Additional Information
Her mother died and her father could not afford to care for her, so he brought Hope and her sisters to Calvary Home. She is very obedient and helpful to others.

PLEASE SHARE our blog so all your facebook friends have the opportunity to support our cause.  We hope to raise awareness and would love to see all of our orphans gain sponsorship.  Let the training continue.......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh the places we go......










If you know Elissa and myself, we are slightly extremists. Running is obvious. We couldn't just stop with 26.2, we had to go further. I would bet that 50 will soon be surpassed as well. This tendency seems to carry over into other areas as well. Bibbity Running's pace seems to be going down this path as well and all I can say is it has been a fun ride so far!


Our first expo was the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago. Elissa and I packed up her Honda Pilot with a crazy amount of skirts, racks, hangers, etc. and somehow we managed to fit in the vehicle. We literally looked like the Clampetts. We managed to make it to Chicago. I seriously didn't sleep the night before....I was a nervous wreck! We had a blast at the expo and met some great people! Saran Dunmore, personal trainer of MTV "I Used to be Fat", loved the skirts and even made us drop and give her 20 push-ups! She plans to wear it on next season's show this fall! We will be watching, Saran! Gary a reporter interviewed us for the Michigan Running Times and he put on a skirt. He liked it so much he decided to wear it to run the Shamrock in! He text me after the Shamrock and said it was so comfortable that he was wearing it to Boston. Gary represented Bibbity at Boston- BooYah!

Then we headed to Cincinnati to the Flying Pig Marathon. Again, we made lots of friends. Katie Rhodes, of Skinnymoms.com, introduced us to her group. If you have never checked out www.skinnymoms.com you really need to. Katie's blog is titled "Fit Diva Mom." They have tons of fitness tips, from the pros, as well as great mom tidbits. We are teaming up with Katie for Tri Joe. It is a triathlon to raise money for children with Down Syndrome. We will also be involved in the "No Drama Mama" fundraiser to raise money for neuroblastoma. I love how Pace with Purpose inspired Bibbity Running, and Bibbity Running is following in Pace with Purpose's plan. Love it! Thanks Katie for this opportunity!!!! The Cincy expo went great! Bibbity was a hit!


We had a huge 4 day break and then we were on the road to Indianapolis for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. We had an awesome booth space right next to the main sponsors with an open corner. Plenty of room to spread out! Our tee shirts seemed to catch everyone's eyes. A little RTL baby! My most memorable moment was when Jenni came to our booth. Jenni's enthusiam for our skirts was so adorable! She was so excited to find a skirt with briefs, bib snaps and as light weight as Bibbity's. She seriously was giddy and it made my weekend. I really get excited when I see someone call our skirt "the best thing ever" or "someone finally got it ALL right!!!" Our response at Indy was unbelievable. We had a blast meeting all of you!


Honestly right now I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with the success we have had thus far. I never dreamed we would get this response so quickly. I am not surprised about the good reviews. I am confident (not arrogant, confident) in our product. I am just so amazed at how many people have been looking for our skirt. Flattering running skirts that are amazingly lightweight and functional are few and far between. The testimony from Shawnie from Fishers, IN blew me away:

Ladies, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you yesterday at the Expo in Indy. I wore my Bibbity Skirt today and I am totally in love!!! I also got several compliments on it as well. The best running skirt I have ever owned...hands down!!!! Can't wait to get more! Thank you so much for all of your help and best of luck with your business!!!


To quote my cousin in a facebook post earlier today "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!" Now I need to remember that quote at the low point during our next ultra! Happy running girls and stay strong!
Take a little time for some RTL :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dean Fever (as opposed to "Bieber Fever")


I find it really kind of funny when people ask me "why haven't you been blogging lately?" Funny in the fact that they notice. Honestly lately we have been too busy with the skirt biz to race since our ultra in October. I guess we have been in an off season mode. We haven't gone more than 3 months without a race since fall of 2008 so I think it was time for a little bit of a breather.
Well....breather over! We are going on an adventure run "sometime in April." The date is tentative. The hour in which we will start running is unknown. We may began in the morning or it may be late in the day. I am not sure if it will be one long stretch from dawn to dusk, or two entirely separate days? There is no starting line and no finish line. There also is no pre-determined distance. There is one mantra that comes to mind in our next adventure........

"Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must.......just NEVER give up!"

Yes, those are the famous words of the famous runner we will be awaiting on I-70. Dean Karnazes is running across the country to raise money to fight against childhood obesity. He is sponsored by Live with Regis and Kelly. He is running 3000 miles, roughly 40-50 miles a day, from California to New York.
Shortly after we ran the Boston Marathon in 2009, Elissa and I read Dean's book "Ultra Marathon Man." This lunatic decided to just "go for a run" on his 30 birthday and ended up running 30 miles. The book went on to tell of all his crazy adventures of running without sleep, for 48 hours straight on a treadmill, etc. Yep, he's to blame for our 2am IHOP runs. He inspired us to just keep going. He made running an adventure instead of a training plan. He really defines the phrase anything is possible. People call him "super human." Don't get me wrong, I am really really impressed and in awe of all that he has accomplished. But, I don't think he's super human. I think he is super determined. Most likely, super stubborn. And without a doubt, super dedicated. Obviously I have never ran more than 50 miles in one stretch, however, I have hit that place where you are completely gutting it out. You have nothing left to give one moment, you dig really deep, and you keep going. Then, sometimes minutes other times hours, you are chugging along like that struggle never happened. And then.....the same pattern repeats (over and over and over). Welcome to the world of ultras!

So basically we will be awaiting (I prefer awaiting versus stalking) Dean on I-70 near Terre Haute and heading towards Indianapolis. His EDA is in the time frame of April 17-18th depending on how his journey goes. He has covered over 450 miles(unbelievable!) to date (he started on Feb 25th). If I can figure out how to video our adventure I will (in the case that law enforcement takes us out we could make some money for that tape footage :) ). I have no idea how far we will be able to go. However, let's put this in perspective. Dean is our equivalent to Justin Bieber in the middle school. We will be pretty star struck and that alone will carry us at least 50 miles!

Monday, January 31, 2011

A new adventure.....


Since Pace with Purpose started in winter of 2009 there has always been one constant. Wardrobe. That's right....a skirt. A running skirt. We have tried them all. All of them had good qualities, but not ALL the qualities we were looking for. During a 50-mile run your clothes have to be flawless, functional, and if it looks good that's a plus too, right? During an ultra you have a lot of energy to carry. By that I mean, buffet bar. Essentially you are carrying a buffet bar in your belt, pockets, and skirt. Pocket placement is very important for comfort and actual placement of your skirt. Sweat + weight of GU = not pretty. I like to keep my skirt on my waist while I run, thank you. Another important functional property of a skirt is what is under it. The biker shorts are a no-no on my list. They ride up with every stride. Briefs, lollipops, undies- whatever the politically correct term is- are what you want. If you just gasped when you read this, I'd like to point something out. The Olympians wear essentially bikini bottoms to run. Well, I don't feel comfortable wearing this, but I do want to be as functional as an Olympian. So....walla....put a skirt over them and there you go! Speaking of "go"....when nature calls, the skirt/brief combo couldn't be more convenient. Ok, so point #1- function

On to point #2.....style. Let's face it, spandex anything is hard to pull off. Spandex with a brief under it is really hard to pull off....unless it is designed very carefully. The skirt has to give enough in the right places, yet not look to flowing. It cannot show an undie line or the lovely indention that accompanies it. This may not sound challenging but oh it is. The skirt has to stay down enough to cover the derriere, yet not be too tight. This was a major flaw in most skirts I tried. It either looked like I was wearing a potato sack (not pretty) or like I painted it on (straight up scary). Pocket placement....a huge area to be improved on. Even my favorite skirts couldn't get this right. Pockets on the side + GU = saddle bags. So not attractive. Pockets in the back? As if women want to add bulk there?! Pockets perplexed me and really left me dissatisfied. Oh and then there is the waistband. It is called a WAIST band because it is meant to stay there. From mile 20 on, I typically pulled up my skirt at the waist every mile. This wasn't because it didn't fit. It was because it couldn't handle the sweat. Ugh!

So, after much aggravation and many, many miles to discuss our "perfect running skirt" we decided to take action. Elissa and I designed a skirt that combines function and fashion. Our skirts went through many "test runs." We tested this skirt out in 100% humidity to make sure it was sweat wicking and stayed put on our waist. It remained weightless and didn't slip at all. We ran a 50-mile race to make sure no rubbing or chaffing occurred. It also passed the buffet test, our GU stayed put in our unique, flattering angle pockets. Another "extra" our skirt has is reflective outlining; both on the front and on the back right side for traffic specific safety.
The most unique feature of our skirt is in the name......the bib snaps. I absolutely hate pinning on my race number during pre-race jitters. Not to mention that excessive pinning ruins the material. Our skirt has two small discrete snaps at the waist band that snap securely into your bib number. I love this feature!

We are SO excited for you to experience our skirt. We have had great reviews from those who have raced in a Bibbity Running skirt. Don't take their word for it....try it yourself!

Bibbity Running......where fashion and function run together!
http://www.bibbityrunning.com/

***Pace with Purpose is currently working out the details to continue giving "purpose" to our running. Bibbity Running will be an extension of this....stay tuned to for more info on how Bibbity gives back.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

These boots are made for running.......


8 hours 35 minutes is a good night's sleep, a full day of work, a plane ride across the country.....or a 50 mile race on foot. When I put it that way it really puts it in perspective how weird I am. :)


We left on our girl's weekend for Nash Vegas on Friday afternoon (Elissa, Mandy, Laura, and myself). We headed to the race "expo" to pick up our packets. It was amazing that we got in and out of the expo as quickly as we did with the crowds. I think it took us 3 minutes total including getting in and out of the car. It reminded me a lot of the Chicago Marathon expo (minus merchandise, crowds, lines, food and motivational speakers). Then it was off for dinner. As I have mentioned before, we are creatures of habit and we always eat Chinese food as our pre-race meal. All the stars need to be in alignment before this 50 mile jaunt so naturally we head to Pf Chang's and a little ice cream to follow. I am pretty sure this goes against all of the rule books.


Alarm went off at 5:30am and I now know why Chinese food and ice cream are not on the same list with pasta and potatoes for your pre-race meal. All of our stomachs, those running and not running, were churning. Thankfully, after a cup of coffee and some food we were ok. We got to the race about 15 minutes before the official start time, dropped of our drop bags in their appropriate bins and prepared to start. That is when we met up with Elissa's friend Ashley from Knoxville (who Elissa has ran a few marathons with in the past) and our new friend Will of the East Nasties. Ashley was doing the 50k (smart girl) and Will was in it for the full 50 miles. Will belongs to a running group in Nashville who call themselves the "East Nasties." This runner's club started with a few people from east Nashville that did a van relay and the van smelled so nasty that they became the "east nasties." The group has grown to over 170 members! I think 6 or 7 east nasties were on the course and many of them were volunteering along the way. Kuddos East Nasties!


So at 7 am we took off. Immediately we realized that people from Tennessee have a skewed perception of "rolling hills" and "trails." The first 16 miles of the course was hill upon hill upon hill. It was a really pretty course, crossing lots of bridges and through some really pretty wooded parks of Nashville. We maintained an 8:30-8:40 pace the first 16 miles which was too fast considering the hills and the fact that we still had 34 miles to go. At this point Ashley and Will were still our running buddies. Our drop bag was not at mile 16 like it was supposed to be. The aid stations were well stocked so we were ok, but we were concerned that we may have lost our replacement shoes.


Mile 17 started the trails that we totally weren't expecting and the hills just kept coming. My ankles and achilles were not ready for the instability and I had a few aches and pains that I haven't experienced on the roads. There are some positives of trail running. First and foremost, they are surrounded by woods so endless bathroom possibilities. This beats a porta-pot anyday! Here is where I slip a Bibbity Running skirt advertisement in too, skirts are the ultimate easy access when nature calls. As much as I wanted to disprove the theory, trails are so much easier on your body. When we first started on the trail I thought it was miserable because my stabilization muscles were not ready for this. After a few miles though I could tell such a huge decrease on the impact on my lower back and hips. I may see a trail run in my future (did I just really say that????)! Mile 21 was slightly stressful because our drop bag was once again missing! I nicely (ha!) let the poor volunteer know that I was slightly concerned. Elissa would describe this the same way I'm sure as she kept apologizing saying "we know it's not your fault" to the volunteer. We said a quick prayer that 3rd drop station was the charm and our bags would be there. Ashley's turn around was around mile 23 and we kept on going with Will just a little ways behind us. We later learned that he was the smart pacer. :)

I can't exactly remember when we got back on the paved greenway but it seemed like an eternity. Switching back and forth between the pavement and the trails made me all too aware of the changes in impact. I know we were on pavement at mile 25 because the race began here. The sun was beating down and we began to run to downtown Nashville. Mile 25- 36 were by far the hardest for me. I looked over at Elissa (at this point she was on my left because I could only turn my head to the left because of a muscle spasm in my right shoulder) and she was bright red. Who would have thought mid-October that we would need to prepare for a sunburn? Not only were we both getting burned at this point, we really started to feel the effects of dehydration. I remember turning around at mile 31 to head back and asking Elissa "do you think I'd just get hurt or would I die if I threw myself down that hill into that fence?" This was probably my low point :). We continued on the levee to downtown Nashville from mile 31-37 and then hit the trails again. The one thing we kept repeating as the sun beat down on us for 12 miles was that we would be in the shaded trails for the last 13 miles. WRONG! Just because there are trees does not mean there is shade. My rock began to soften a little at this point. My rock being Elissa. She was feeling horrible and her exact words were "my quad muscles are ripping from the bone." In my mind I was freaking out at this point but remained calm for her. I really have never seen her in pain before so this really scared me. The recommendation of stopping was thrown out there and....BAM....she was back. She looked at me as if I just asked her to eat her first born child or something. Holding back tears she continued forward. The trails on the way back were not marked very well so we ran a little out of our way and met up with another weary looking runner who redirected us. You can imagine how happy we were at this point :). Elissa decided to voice how elated she was about her sunburn, dehydration, the bad trail markings and her quads. I think she felt better after she vented this to the all confused, barely moving runner. Our motivation now was "the bridge." The last mile was a straight up climb to a bridge that then proceeded to climb even more and then you had about 1/4 mile to the finish. The reason we were excited about getting to the bridge was not just the finish. It was because there was no way in Hades that we were running up that mountain! Yes our reward to get us through mile 47-49 was that the faster we ran there the sooner we got to walk! It sounds slightly ridiculous to run that far and then wimp out and walk the bridge. If you would like to meet me at that bridge sometime we can talk :). Will kept reappearing and then falling back behind us. Until the end where he conquered the bridge and finished 2 minutes before us. I wish there would've been some competitive bone left in me to chase after him but I think I said "look at him go....go Will.... I am walking!" We climbed the bridge and then approached the finish. I remember saying to Elissa "I don't care if I walk through the finish....I just want to finish this!!!" She concurred. Well....that didn't happen. We heard the people and the cheers and we full out sprinted across the finish. It really amazes me as spent as you can feel how you find it in you to sprint across the finish. I remember the speed, crossing the finish line amazed by our time, and then falling to my knees and puking. I will never forget the spectator that was sitting just feet away in a folding chair from where I finished and she looked at me and said "Great Jo......ewwww." Yeah, "ewww" was an understatement. I just smiled because I had been wanting to do that for about 20 miles!

I will have to admit, this was the ugliest race and finish I have ever completed. It's nice to blog about a wonderful race experience with great memories and an amazing finish. Sometimes though that's not the case. This was the toughest thing I have ever physically experienced (and Elissa will report the same). In the next breath, though, I am still so glad I did it and wouldn't trade it because it was a huge test. It tested our strength and mental toughness in a way I have never experienced. I saw so many lone runners and I have no idea how you run something like this by yourself. There were times that we needed to encourage each other, make the other one laugh, or simply yell at each other. I cannot imagine this journey solo. We are really pleased that our time was only 2 minutes behind our Chicago 50 because Chicago was much easier. We finished 4th and 5th (or just 4th because once again we crossed together) female overall and 19th out of 70 overall 50 mile runners.

After the race we headed to Hard Rock Cafe for some burgers. I dreamed about a burger from mile 25 on....which is weird because I rarely eat red meat but it was ALL I wanted! We then decided we needed to "go country" and get some boots to remember our journey. Thanks Mandy and Laura for the fun weekend and thanks Elissa for going jogging with me. :) Also thanks to the pack for the training! We have news for you though.....be prepared for some major hill work and some trails in the future! We were inspired by the "East Nasties" and may have to start a distance running club called the " 'Villedge Idiots " :)