Thursday, October 24, 2013

To pavement for charity!

Fundraising for OXFAM

On November 3rd, I will be running the ING New York City Marathon as a charity runner for OXFAM America. This means that while I train to complete the marathon, I will also be campaigning to raise funds for this charity organization.

Why run a marathon?
I am an avid runner to begin with. Running helps me relax and I enjoy the overall feeling of being outdoors. One always discover new things and places when running which in turn leads to a better understanding and appreciation of life in general. Although I run mostly on trails now, I still look at the 26.2-mile marathon distance as a baseline to test one's endurance and speed in long-distance running.

Why raise funds for OXFAM?
My last work in the field of community development was with a partner organization of OXFAM in the Philippines in the mid-1990's. OXFAM was a significant source of funding for our organization that mainly do projects on coastal resources management like coral reef preservation.

1999 with OXFAM president, Raymond C. Offenheiser (2nd from L)
and me at their Boston office.
In fact, my first trip to the US was in Boston where I visited OXFAM America's office to lobby for continued funding of our projects. So, I know first hand the effectiveness of OXFAM's work on the ground level. In the same respect, this effort to raise fund for OXFAM is my own little way of extending my gratitude and recognition to their life-saving work around the world.

What is OXFAM?
Founded in 1942, OXFAM is a humanitarian organization working in 90 different countries whose mission is to create lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and social injustice. Their work includes community finance, private sector involvement, disaster relief aid, clean water access, and gender equality among many others. Some of OXFAM's celebrity ambassadors are Scarlett Johansson, Anquan Boldin, Crowded House, and Coldplay. Click here to learn more about OXFAM:

How to donate?
Click on the image below, click the word DONATE, and follow the easy steps:
click here to DONATE

- OXFAM is highly rated by leading independent charity evaluators, including the American Institute of Philanthropy & Charity Navigator.
- 100% of your donation will go directly to OXFAM America 
-Your donation is tax deductible
-You can give as low as $10.00, comparable to the price of your expensive morning joe
- the 10% processing fee can be changed by clicking on the word itself then change it to zero dollar or any amount you want. 

10 things you need to know about OXFAM America

Thank you in advance for your support.

More on OXFAM America:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

a not so disappointing year

Regardless how I try to objectify the things that happened to me last year, I can’t help but get a slight tinge of disappointment when I look back at 2012. My projected mileage was down by 25%, I missed three races including the 50 miler that I trained, and I was virtually on maintenance mode logging only an average of 15 miles per week on the last quarter of last year.

Twilight, past sunset at Verdugo Mts.
It’s a lot easier to identify the shortcomings than the positive achievements we made. Success in itself is a vague term. The way I see it, it’s more measured by one’s attitude rather than the actual outcome. So failure to some maybe a success to others; and this goes the other way around. In my case, it helped that I was able to identify my goals last year and even blogged about it (2012 Goals). Although the goals that I set here can be argued difficult to measure, at least I have something to start with. Reading it now actually made me realize that my 2012 wasn’t that bad after all. This really put a smile in my face. 

Couple of years back I devoted my entire year doing 50 K races so naturally the progression in mileage was to complete a 50 mile the following year, and this was one of my major goals for 2012. I trained for months working around in an almost impossible schedule, logging miles at odd hours early morning before work or late at night with little to no sleep. Unfortunately, three weeks leading to the race I decided to cancel because of the ever increasing demand of our schedule at home. I may have not knocked out this goal but if the timeless mantra of runners hold true, it’s the effort that counts, it’s fair enough to say I get a B + on this. The same goes with the other goals that I missed for 2012, I gave them all my best effort. 

My goal this year is to be efficient. Another big word and vague none-the-less but one that I must make serious effort if I want to get anything accomplished this year. This means getting the most benefit out of running with the given time at hand. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, our family is in a situation where we are still dealing with the medical condition of our youngest child. Although he’s made big progress on his condition, I still cannot commit to anything and any plans that I made are still secondary to his needs. 

My plan is to do more quality training runs and participate only in select races. I wanted to avoid logging junk training runs just to up my weekly mileage. In the previous years, I tend to fill up my calendar with too many races, usually more than I can handle. Since I still want to carry over my previous year’s goal of a 50 mile race, I scheduled one this April and this is the only distance race in my calendar for 2013. To prepare for this, I skipped on the 50K race that I usually do in February, and the Los Angeles Marathon this year will have to wait until 2014.

To maximize the time available for running, I’ve been doing runs in the early morning before work when it is less likely to conflict the day's schedule. This has so far been working I just have to work on going to bed earlier which hardly happens.

Other specific plans include incorporating the basics that I always overlook like strength & training exercises, core workouts, and cross training. Inevitably, this also necessitates on the importance of improving the efficiency of my running form. I started it late last year by doing more walks usually during lunch break at work and by concentrating on running slow and tall. Doing this I was able to complete a 50K race in October without feeling overly spent afterwards and to think that I was only logging about 15 miles per week that time. Although the finish time wasn't ideal, this opened the prospect for me to still pursue the 50 mile goal this year.

I am not really sure what's in store for me this year, but I'll take whatever life throws at me; at least in running, me and my stinking feet will try to deal with the road or the trail ahead as efficiently as possible.