The highlight of week 9 for me was being able to award our first iHope gift. iHope was created to seek out students in our community that go to my school who have outstanding work habits and character traits but have not had everything handed to them. We have an iHope board that nominates students and then we check academic and behavior history before seeking input from other teachers. We had an outstanding student that met all the criteria and had outstanding referrals from teachers in our building. With funds from iHope we were able to present this student with an iPad, a protective case, an iBook gift card, and a letter detailing why the student was selected and encouraging him/her to one day "pay it forward" when the opportunity presented itself. I called the student's single father the evening before presenting the gift and he was so excited! He called me the next morning and asked if he could come out for the gift presentation so he could take pictures because he wanted it to be a moment that was "never forgotten". It was an awesome feeling knowing that my grandma's initial donation combined with donations from local businesses and individuals could make such an extreme impact for this student. You could see the excitement on the student's face and he/she has already set up folders for each class and begun using the iPad for taking notes and completing school work and projects. We would love to be able to do this once or twice a year for many years to come but that is contingent on raising funds. The primary fund raising will be dependent on how well I race this summer. I want no more than to race well so we can continue making this potential life-changing gift for more students who do everything right but have many doors closed. My parents have pledged to match whatever race winnings I earn for iHope. I'm also hoping friends, followers, and even people I don't know realize the impact this kind of gift can make on these outstanding children and help contribute to iHope. You can make a tax deductible donation to iHope by clicking here. We appreciate any support you can give.
Week 9 was a great week of running for me but also a recovery week overall. I have been dealing with a sinus infection for about 10 days and it has made me very tired. I opted for extra sleep over biking late into the night on a few different occasions. I was able to run 52 miles and am feeling more fit every week. Yesterday on my run I had stuff coming out of my nose that made "Hawkeye" gold look white. I'm hoping that as I get this stuff out of my system I begin to feel less tired. I think the infection is coming to an end. I ran a 5k in Geneseo on Sunday to benefit the Geneseo school district. I enjoy doing races that support non-profit organizations and this was one on the Live Uncommon race circuit for 2013. I won the race but the time wasn't extremely fast. I ran 16:58 and although the time was slow I was excited because the conditions were not great for fast running. It was 20 degrees warmer than our days have been recently and the wind was blowing out of control which made for a tough run being that it was almost entirely a cross wind. I was more excited when seeing some of the other guys who do local races were nearly 1 minute slower than they have raced 5k's in the past month. I can feel myself getting more fit each week which is the goal right now. I need to make a big push to get to race weight over the next 6 weeks. I'm still about 10 lbs. off and that should help my running. I've learned that when I'm tired I have a much more difficult time controlling sugar cravings. I'm still at least 5 weeks from racing a triathlon and maybe as much as 8 weeks away. I'm being careful not to overdue things too quickly this year like I did a year ago. I feel like I'm on schedule to race my best later this year. I'm still adding strength as opposed to losing it like I did last year when I got really lean. My weights on the leg lifts are higher than they have been in the 4 years I've been doing this. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!