26 hours to the starting gun!

46% left to raise with 26 hours to the starting gun. Thanks for the support as I hunker down and get myself ready over the next 24 hours.
There is still time to check out my “donate” link at the top of the blog if you would like to support my race.

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Last Push! 1 Week & 53% to Go!

It’s the final week to train and donate!  Today was my last long training run before the big day.  Since race day will close out my fundraiser, I’d like to go ahead and thank everyone who has supported me…both financially and with your thoughts and prayers.  I am humbled at how many of you have stopped me to ask how the running is going or to tell me that they read this post or that. I started this almost six months ago with no idea if anyone would even want to hear about my “Running on a Mission.” I hope that I’ve been able to touch at least one person’s heart with the stories of the people of the Dominican.  Rest assured, I will share more photos and stories on social media after my trip in July.

As for today, it was the last and longest of the long runs I have ever had.  I felt the entire way that God was giving me a huge test of perseverance to show me that if I could push through today, I would make it through the race next week.  I had 12 cold, gray miles this morning.  And wow, do I feel every bit like I ran 12 miles.  Yesterday, we did tons of yard work, pulling out and planting shrubs in our back yard, mulching our front yard, and planting flowers.  I was grateful to have the chance to spend time with hubby on a nice day, but I sure did feel it in my back and shoulders this morning when I woke up to run.  Hubby wasn’t sure I would make it all 12 miles.  Then somewhere around mile 6 and a half, I wiped out.  If you were driving up Main Street in town, you saw me tumble in one epic fall.  At least it was in the grass.  I wasn’t hurt (except my pride), but laying there on the ground made me cool down so that I became cold.  I stopped by home at mile seven hoping to dust myself off and make sure nothing was actually hurt.  Big mistake.  I cooled off even further.  I finished out the next five miles shivering in my own sweat.

BUT I finish the 12 miles.  I got very close to my goal time as well, which I think means that as long as I don’t bite the dust again next weekend, I should have a race I’m happy with.  Something just keeps telling me that if I was able to finish out today, I should feel good next weekend.

I hope to report a healthy finish and one step closer to the D.R. next weekend to all of you. Thank you again for your support and generosity.  If you’d like to donate before the race, there is still time.  You can check out the link below.

https://www.youcaring.com/meredith-ng-444115

 

47% and 12 days to go!

Thank you a million times to all of those who have donated in the past few days. With 12 days and 29 miles of training left before the big day, I’m 47% to goal!  God does not call the equipped, he equips the called. 

If you would still like to donate, there is time left. Check out my youcaring page in the donate tab of this blog.

25% Funded, 2 Weeks to Go

Two weeks to race day and I’m a quarter of the way to my fundraising goal!  (Ok, technically 15 days).  The good news is that the weather last week was so fantastic.  I took my long run on Sunday in what had to be near 70 degree temps and shining sun.  It was so pretty outside I explored a whole new neighborhood in town.  The bad news is that this week I ended up in management meetings that meant long hours interspersed with conference calls.  I tried to find time to run early one morning and I only got in 3 miles.  The next day I tried to run late to squeeze in more miles and somewhere around mile 4.5 the rain started pouring and I saw lightning.  Thankfully hubby jumped in the car to rescue me.  Today I never even made it on my run due to changes in my schedule.  Now I hear we are supposed to have a Nor’easter roll through Sunday.  I’ll be out bright and early Saturday to squeeze in my 11 miles before the weather turns gnarly.  As a side note, 11 miles is the farthest I’ve ever run.  Pray for me.

Aside from the great weather this weekend, I got some more information about our mission trip to the Dominican.  Specifically, this week we learned about how to stay healthy in the D.R.   We talked about vaccinations and anti malaria meds.  I think those things are sort of expected when going to a tropical environment to work.  We also talked about sunscreen, bug spray, and hydration.  If there’s something I know well, it’s about the need for sunscreen.  Anyone out there know how much can reasonably be packed in a checked bag?  I run every day (even in the winter) with a little sunscreen on my face.  Last weekend, I relied on my daily moisturizer with spf and ended the night feeling like my nose was a little rosy.  You can imagine how hours in the equatorial sun must take a toll on my fair skin.  So, if you all could go ahead and say a prayer for me and whatever poor checkout clerk has to scan 15 bottles of baby faces for me before my trip.

At least I can guarantee this…as I gear up to run out ahead of a Nor’easter this weekend, I’ll be happy to think about ANY environment where I would need multiple bottles of sunscreen.  I can only hope and pray at this point that in 15 days, our weather will be somewhere between snow and the tropics.  I’ll ask for a few big prayers this week:

  • Reduced stress, especially in my schedule as we come so close to race day
  • healthy legs and body as I run my longest distance yet this weekend (and health up to race day)
  • GOOD WEATHER!!
  • A good final push with fundraising on my youcaring page (link below) and at our fundraising event April 1st.

Thank you friends.

https://www.youcaring.com/meredith-ng-444115

 

 

Hello, Sunshine

I will go ahead and apologize that that is post will be just as short as it is late for the week.  It’s been so sunny and nice for the past three days, that the only real choice for me was how to spend some hours soaking in the great outdoors.  When the Good Lord sees fit to give you early March days filled with sunshine in the 60’s and 70’s, you don’t dare sit in front of your computer blogging.  The good news is, that means that with just 3 weeks to race day, I’ve logged some good road training.

Since I can freely admit that I’ve been thinking more about the beautiful weather and my Vitamin D intake this week instead of what I’d write here, I’ll just give you another shameless pitch for the big Dominican Republic Mission Team Experience.

silent auction

So, come one, come all and see what the Mission Team is all about.  There will be great food and some fabulous silent auction items.  I know for fact that we have ski lift tickets as well as seats at the New Haven Symphony.  There will also be a raffle for an Apple Watch and a Big Screen TV along with live music. You can also check out different areas of the team’s work.  You can talk to team members who have been and see exactly what the medical clinics are working on or how the teachers at our sponsor school are supported. You’ll be able to check out plenty of photos like the ones below.  Hope to see you there!  Save the date for April 1st!

$3 a Day

Happy Wednesday!  I only have 3 weeks of solid training left and 1 week to taper before my big race to raise money for my mission trip.  I feel ready and not ready all at the same time.  I haven’t had a chance to update in two weeks since I’ve had a crazy busy work schedule, but last weekend I got back up to 9 miles.  This time was faster than my first 9 miles by 3 minutes.  That might not sound like much, but it makes me feel like the “Little Engine That Could.” (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…).  I still have to work up to 12 miles before the big day, so I have some distance to cover, but I’m feeling good.

Also since my last post, we had another meeting with our Mission Trip Team.  One of the interpreters (named Ariel) who will be working with us in the Dominican came to speak to us about how the Dominicans will feel about us being there and what we can expect.  He grew up in the cities of the Dominican and his parents grew up in a Bateye (sugar cane village).  I learned a great deal, so I’m going to fill you in:

The biggest assumption that Ariel broke for me is that since we’ll be going to the Dominican, we’ll be working with Dominicans.  It seemed logical to me.  The truth is that we will be working predominantly with spanish speaking Haitian immigrants to the Dominican.  I forewarn you that I am most certainly over simplying the following explanation. (aka, don’t use this for your next book report on Hispaniola)

See, the Dominican people aren’t happy with immigrants coming into their country without proper paperwork.  That means that Dominicans are documented to work in resorts and factories, making upwards of $9 a day as a bellman or line worker.  The Haitian immigrants are not.  Sugar cane companies ship Haitians in to Dominican to work (on contract) in the sugar fields cutting cane.  This is a job Dominicans who can get other work do not want because it is incredibly hard labor.  The Haitians living in the bateyes are paid only $3 a day.  Yes, you read that right…. $3 a day.   Even if they worked 365 days each year, they would make less money than I need to raise for my trip.  Because of this, they have a hard time putting food on the table.  And since they can’t put food on the table, they certainly cannot afford to send their children to schools.  While the primary schooling is free, it requires uniforms that these families simply cannot pay for and the cycle perpetuates.  These families don’t return to Haiti because, sadly, what would await them if they returned are conditions worse than they currently have.

$3 a day.   That’s our morning coffee.  That’s what they have to support a family on.  It costs an American $160 to sponsor a Dominican child to go to school for the whole year.  A parent working sugar cane would have to save their entire paycheck for nearly two months in order to give one of their children an education.  We’d have to pass over our morning latte for the same time period or give up just one fancy dinner out for a family of four.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all go cut caffeine cold turkey and I want everyone to enjoy their family time.  My mind just simply exploded when I thought about how easy it is for most of us to cut $3 out of our daily budget when that’s all these families have to put into their budget daily.

I don’t really know what I expect you to do with all this information except to sit with it and realize how lucky we truly are.  Odds are you’re reading this on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet with high speed internet.  I don’t care how bad the bills might look this month,  I assure you that you are still the 1% to the rest of the developing world.  If you’d like to do more than just roll this information around in your heart, would you do one of the following:

Sponsor a child at the Joe Hartman School at the link below.  The cost is only $160 a year to give a child a chance to advance beyond sugar cane.  Visit this link http://www.drmissionteam.org/hartman

Would you sponsor me and my trip to the Dominican?  I’m 20% to my goal as I run this race to raise money and awareness for the DR Mission Team. https://www.youcaring.com/meredith-ng-444115

Or you can pray for me as I close in on my race for healthy body, mind, and spirit.  You can also pray for our team as July 1st comes near and we fly to the Dominican.  If you are interested in signing up for a specific time to pray for the team or for a specific team member, send me a message and when that info becomes available I’ll put you on the list.

Thanks Friends!