Sunday, February 21, 2010

Water = Life

UVP works with locals in Safe Water initiatives.
This is the beginning of a well project.

This was the prior water source.

Children play a big part of fetching water.
Friend in Ibulanku
We got to dive into the well festivities

At the well I got water from daily
Pumping for water will make you strong!

I think it's safe to say we all know we need water to live. And we all do not have it. Roughly 40% of Ugandans do not have access to clean drinking water. Globally, 1.1 billion people do not have this access, with 1.6 million people dying every year from water-induced diseases.

As I am constantly refilling my water bottles with cool, CLEAN water, I am reminded of the work that requires getting water in Uganda. As I run around this city and see the beautiful lakes and Puget Sound, I'm reminded of the heat and red, dusty dirt roads leading to Ibulanku with an occasional 'water source' (a small pond, often filled with disease-causing bacteria) every now and then off the beaten path. As I'm running around Greenlake, stopping every couple miles to grab some fresh water, I'm reminded of the women carrying large yellow jerrycans full of water that I would pass on my runs through the village. These women and children would walk miles to wells or other water-sources to gather water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. AND they would balance it on their heads! Check this link out for more facts:

While some children may have had the opportunity to go to school, many are required to fetch the water instead, which can be an all day chore. And this water that is retrieved is often times not clean, thus causing many diseases. Life-taking, water-borne diseases.

Uganda Village Project is actively involved in empowering members of communities with the resources and skills required to build and maintain wells for clean water accessibility. This video from Uganda portrays the power of safe drinking water.

Almost every day in the village, I went to the boar-hole to get water for drinking and cleansing. After fetching the water, I used a UV light and a tablet to clean it and rid of bacteria. Villagers do not have that resource, so UVP is also playing a role in making the well water clean and safe to drink. I have experienced a water-born illness first hand, as I got dystentary after ONE run-in with unclean water. I can say honestly that without the resources to be able to get to a hospital after just 12 hours with the sickness, I could have been one of those numbers lost to the results of water-born illness.

I write this so that you can join me in awareness of this global problem and join me in the efforts to rid of it. Please know that if you do donate to UVP through Racing for Relief, your funds will be going to projects, such as our Safe Water project, which will make BIG differences in the lives of many.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My training program

Golden Gardens

Many people ask me if I follow a specific training program. The answer is yes, indeed I do. Otherwise, I would be way too overwhelmed to figure out how to go about preparing for race day. I'm following an online program:

I am currently wrapping up week 18 and am 1 month away from entering Competitive Season. Yikes! But so far I'm loving the training and enjoying the new challenges the weeks are bringing as June gets closer.

I do miss training sessions on occasion, but I am pretty disciplined. Passion for UVP and fitness... coupled with the desire to cross that finish line combine to create the perfect inspiration to do my workouts!

In terms of swimming... on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings you can find me at the LA Fitness pool with my water bottle, a pull bouey, and a gu at around the lovely time of 5:00 or 5:30. Making that first move to hop in the pool is always the low-point, but getting in that water is like medicine for my body and takes me back to my days as a "shark" at the Hot Springs YMCA!

My weekday rides are done on a stationary bike I clip into at the gym, and I am generally accompanied with my workout playlist or a spinning class. Highlights of my list include Eye of the Tiger, I'm Every Woman, and Eminem's Lose Yourself (for a hill climb). So far the farthest I've ridden is 65 miles, but hopefully that changes soon! My weekend rides are outside, weather permitting. Luckily Seattle is experiencing Spring right now so I'll be out there tomorrow :)

My runs take me all over. My newest run takes me across the Ballard bridge and then across another (uphill!) bridge into/onto Magnolia which provides AMAZING views. For those unaware of how incredible Seattle is... FYI, it's incredible! Last weekend I enjoyed many bridges, hills, views of Mt. Rainier, views of the Olympics, boatyards, lakes, and sunshine during my 13 mile-er. Then, there is also my standard Greenlake sunrise run that steals my heart every time. Today I ran to Golden Gardens and the Olympics were out in all their snow-capped glory. God's creation is magnificent.

Maybe I'll see you out there...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons learned

Thought I'd open with a pic
One of my many french toast plates
Usually it's a double stack, though :)

4 months of training down, 5 months to go!

First of all, for those interested (probably only my mom), here are my tallies so far: 61 miles of swimming, 1, 235 miles of biking, and 293 miles of running. Phew.

Looking back on life since I started training, I can see that I'm being challenged in many ways. I have been tested and am growing stronger physically, but even more-so I have been challenged spiritually and relationally. It's a fun, but sometimes overwhelming task trying to balance training with the many other blessings I have in my life.

But God only gives us what we can handle. Right? I hope so. Processing through my life makes me realize my balancing act is a result of many blessings: my residency, this training, my fam (growing by the minute!), my friends & core group, and my boyfriend. Lots of goodness to try manage, but so far, so good. Some occasional tears and fears now and then, but that's life. And without challenges we can not grow stronger.

Let's recap just a handful of lessons I've learned:

1. Always assume you will need gu or a snack during training... so pack it for the workout!

2. On that note, always eat something within 30 minutes after a workout, or else ... (see prior post)

3. Always check that you have a house key before taking off for a run! My excitement for a beautiful greenlake sunrise run last week swiftly turned into me being locked out of my house. But thanks to "ninja" Rob, I snuck back in.

4. Stretching your IT-band out is apparently very important. Otherwise, when somebody just simply touches it (on the outside of your quad/thigh), it feels like they are violently punching your leg.

5. Chaffing is a very real issue. Bodyglide, here I come!

And last but not least, the main thing I have learned: Apart from Christ, I am nothing. But with Christ, I can get out of bed at 4:45, work hard as a pharmacist and resident, lead my core group girls, make the most of my relationship, be there for my friends, have time for my family, and run that extra mile.

"For in Him we live and move and have our being."

Acts 17: 28