Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hang on Tight

Sometimes, life is an emotional roller coaster.
We all view the ups and downs a little differently
and handle them differently too. The point is,
we all travel the journey.
Running is an emotional thing for a lot of runners. It's what keeps us sane most days. If you're happy, use that as motivation for a great run. If you're sad, channel that yuck into your training and just run it out. Possibly the best one though is when you are mad, like really, really mad, like baby with colic purple crying mad... use it. Run it out. Just go with it, dig into your emotion and when you've completed that last mile, take a breath and let it go. It's quite miraculous how well it actually works. (For the record, wine works too. Especially wine in a rocking chair on the front porch with your best friend.)

Summer time is crazy time in my household. My household is always insane. I am legitimately diagnosed and treated for OCD and ADHD and a little permanently PMS'E so there's that. I am relatively good at organized chaos and quite honestly would be bored out of my mind without crazy in my life. My crazy these days is about way less drama and just kinda every-day-life-how-can-I-get-it-all-in-and-make-sure-my-kids-are-still-alive-at-the-end-of-the-day kinda crazy. Kids, work, meetings, foster dogs, some more kids, SWIM PRACTICE every freaking day of our lives, throw in a little Candy Crush, another dog, a few runs, and injured hawk, grocery shopping, laundry and some meals to prepare for my family to make us seem more normal and that's me in a nutshell. My kids are just like me (sorry kids) so our house is always on GO-TIME! This sometimes mean Mommy's emotions get a
This is a normal night in our house.
Ok kids, let's jump and see if we can get some
funny shots. Wait, do it again.
little out of whack. This week I found myself sitting on the couch and crying to my poor husband about the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina and why it is so important in our community. As if he didn't know what it meant to me, I poured it all out there. What would we do without it? What would that mean to the animals that we house and the one's we have yet to save? You would have thought someone was torturing a puppy right in front of me. I maybe, just maybe, got a little worked up about it. The truth is though, the reality of the Humane Society of EC coming to an end is very REAL and it stares me down every morning when I wake up and keeps me up many sleepless nights.

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina survives on donations and fundraisers. My "20 hr/week" job (let's ALL laugh hysterically at that) role is all about making the money, the adoption numbers and marketing. So our adoptions are up... YAY US! We have adopted out 117 more animals as of this July as compared to this time last year. We are on track to adopt out almost 500 animals this year. That will break our 5 year records for sure. I feel like our marketing and branding have come along way in the 10 months I have been employed here and even our donations and our fundraising are up by significant amounts if you compare us to last year, BUT because we have taken in and adopted out so many animals this year, our expenses are through the woof. (you like how I did that? Always throw in a laugh if you are getting too serious). But SERIOUSLY, we have operated on a deficit budget for many, many years now and our bank account won't be able to do so for too much longer. People always say, well what can you cut from your budget? As if we haven't already thought of that. The answer is, nothing. If we cut staff, medications, supplies or pretty much anything, the lives of our animals will suffer. We are just not okay with that. We pride ourselves on the fact that our dogs not only get out 3 times a day, but they get individual love and attention at each let out. They get walked, play time in the play yard and sometimes, just some good butt scratches in the office. I mean, who doesn't love a good butt scratch. We love that our cats get out in the play area twice a day in play groups or by themselves with a volunteer while staff clean their cages and prepare their food and meds. We love that if we have a dog struggling with being institutionalized for so long that we have training sessions to break them of some of their bad habits or manners so that they can hopefully get out sooner. We love that Wednesday is new squeaky toy day and that Friday's the cats get cage makeovers with pretty blankets from Mrs. Lisa. We love that Warren has leash trained our feline friends and walks them around PetSmart so they get time out of their cages. All of these things we love so fiercely will be gone with reduction of staff time at the facility. So, that isn't an option for me or for any of my co-workers and it's definitely not an option for all of the animals that we love so dearly at our shelter.

I look super official and important. 
I have a few things up my sleeve that I canNOT wait to announce for a fundraising event that just might save us, but until then, I will be using my running and my blog to show others what THEY can do for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. I signed up on FirstGiving to fundraise for the HSEC and it took all of 5 minutes to do so. I wrote an "about me" section and shared it with my friends. I challenged myself with running the NYC Marathon for the HSEC and have set the bar at raising $100 per mile. I have challenged myself with raising $2,620 for the animals within our facility. The thing is, YOU can do something to help us by accepting the challenge and setting up your very own FirstGiving fundraiser too. If we all raise a little bit, it can go a LONG way!

Here is the challenge, register on FirstGiving by clicking HERE. Just choose, "Start Fundraising" and choose exactly what you want that to look like. Create a holiday to celebrate, "National Skip Starbucks and Donate to My Cause Day", "It's my Birthday and you Forgot it Last Year so Make a Donation Day", shave your head, train for a 5k, shave your beard, grow a beard, I don't care. As Nike said, JUST DO IT! Join me and help us save the Humane Society and all of the animals within it.

Until then, I'll be sweating out my emotions on each an every run. Some of them will be tearful, some will be full of laughter and some (let's face it) I will be cursing running and all of the glorious pain that comes with it for every single step, but I'm doing it and I'm doing it with lots of love, organized chaos and wine.

Day 22 of training

Total Training Mileage = 56 miles
Total Fundraising = $650

Donors: Megan Hardee, Kay Evans, Shelley Leicht, Chad Smith, Daniel Rankin, Beth (HSEC ALUMNI MOMMY) & Abbey (HSEC ALUMNI) Gallup, Jean Gaskins, Lisa Price, Leslie Bunch, Akiko Barker (HSEC ALUMNI MOMMY) and a super duper anonymous donor I've never met in person, but she's pretty spectacular in every way! THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE DONATED!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Now there's a run that will knock you right off your unicorn...

Isn't Stuart lovely.
Ouch. Well the glory of my 9 miler, finishing my last mile at an 8:20 pace, feeling great and loving the 61 degree temps came to a screeching halt yesterday at 5:15am as I walked out the door for my run and I felt the armpit of humidity I was about to swim through. In fact yesterday's 5 miler knocked me right off my unicorn and brought me back to reality... quick. I'm still in terrible shape. That's the funny thing about runners, despite the number of terrible runs we have, the high that we get from the good ones tend to cloud our minds and judgement about how we actually feel about running. We seem to remember that good feeling we had... that ONE time when we ran and we could have gone forever. We tend to block out the runs where we almost pooped our pants. Come on now, if you're a runner admit it, you've come close. We've all been there. If you're not a runner, I hate to break it to you, it can happen to anyone when they least expect it. That's why I follow one rule in running never to be broken (at least by me), if you think your gonna poop your pants, just stop right where you are. Sit on a curb if you have to, run into the woods if it's a must, find a port-a-potty on route and run like hell to get there, but don't sh*t your pants. Stopping is always the right thing to do. ALWAYS. No questions asked. I've witnessed 3 runners (that I did not know) crap themselves in races. One even passed me at mile 24 of a marathon and I thought, "I can't believe this old lady is passing me"! Then she got in front of me and I saw the blowout that had occurred (she did not stop... not even to clean herself off) and thought, "That lady wants this victory way more than I do!"  and very disgustedly I let her continue on her way and beat my pants off, my CLEAN pants off.

So the good news is, I didn't break my rule yesterday. I completed my 5 miles through Brook Valley with an 8:50 pace and my shorts stayed clean... sweaty, but clean. The bad news is, I'm still trying to catch back up to my unicorn. It was a pretty severe fall and he ran off much too quickly for me to keep up. This morning when I got to my alarm at 4:30am, I checked the weather and it was 78 degrees and 96% humidity. Without my unicorn, I went back to bed and couldn't stomach the thought of doing it all over. I'm crossing my fingers it rains tonight with no thunder so I can go for a rainy run and maybe find my unicorn in the neighborhood somewhere.

In the meantime, if you see my unicorn Stuart, please tell him that I miss him.

Day 10 of training

Total Training Mileage = 22 miles
Total Fundraising = $620

Donors: Megan Hardee, Kay Evans, Shelley Leicht, Chad Smith, Daniel Rankin, Beth & Abbey Gallup, Jean Gaskins, Lisa Price, Leslie Bunch and a super duper anonymous donor I've never met in person, but she's pretty spectacular in every way! THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE DONATED!