Giving Initiative #1: Race for SEEQS 2015

I’m kicking off the year with my first initiative for giving back and I’d love for you to join me on the Race for SEEQS 2015 Team!

230339_179697701_XLargeThis is a fundraising challenge to help raise money for my son’s school.  The School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS) is in its second year of operation and is a public charter secondary school located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Most people would say, “Wow.  That’s a cool place to go to school!”  However, the locals would suggest that it’s actually a tough place to go to school.  Hawaii’s state education system has come under a lot of scrutiny over the years because student test scores have been among the lowest in the U.S and internationally.  As a result, Hawaii has a very large number of private schools with high price tags for education starting at kindergarten.

Although the State has made improvements over the last year, education continues to be a hot topic for parents in Hawaii, many of whom not able to afford the private option.  This is where SEEQS comes in.  Not only is it a tuition-free public school, it also has a terrific educational philosophy!

logo_seeqsMore about SEEQS…

SEEQS is progressive in its educational approach, nurturing a child’s desire for learning through a growth mindset.  Learn more about Carol Dweck’s research in this TedTalk about Growth Mindset.  The SEEQS curricula and educational philosophy are based on solid research on education and child development.  Intrigued?  Find out more about SEEQS.

Essentially, the aim of the school is to raise children into productive, caring citizens by creating real-world learning for them through real-world situations in real-world contexts.  Confucius said it best in this regard:

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.”

The Challenge

1376188090As a public charter school, SEEQS receives basic funding from the State of Hawaii, but not enough to cover the essentials for resources, faculty, and facilities.  SEEQS is an important addition to public education in Hawaii so the mission for SEEQS supporters is to help make it sustainable for the future.

The goal for Race for SEEQS is is to raise $100,000 for the SEEQS Foundation by the end of 2015 with the help of a team.  The fundraising campaign is run through CrowdRise, a progressive and well-established fundraising site.

Please join our Race for SEEQS Team!

If you plan to do any races (running, walking, cycling, triathlons, swimming, etc.), set your own fitness or nutrition challenge (30 days of yoga, 30 days of clean eating, etc.), or simply want to donate to a great cause, please visit the fundraising page and share it with others.

Tips for Running & Racing

Not a runner but want to get started?  Read our blog post on Running 101 that was featured on ethicalDeal.

Want to get better at racing?  Here are some training tips:

Know your goal and train for it – If you’re new to racing, you may be tempted to think, “I just want to finish the race.”  Training for this kind of goal may not get the best out of you. If you understand your limits and aim for a realistic goal, you can train yourself to achieve it.  Our bodies have a natural ability to adapt and improve if you impose the appropriate stress.  Measure what you can do now and set a goal that’s a bit higher than that.  For example, if you can run a comfortable pace of 9 minute miles, then aim to run 8:30 minute miles. With the goal in mind, set out a plan to achieve it.

Plan your training – Now that you have a goal, translate it into what it will take to get your body to be comfortable running at the faster pace.  Depending on the distance of the race, give yourself 6 to 20 weeks to get ready.

Slowly increase the distance you run and the pace you run at – not every run, not every week!  Break down your week into specific runs.  For example, if you plan to run 3 or 4 days per week, you can do the following:

  • Day 1 – run to improve speed so run at faster pace;
  • Day 2 – run to improve endurance so run for longer distance;
  • Day 3 – run to have fun so run at an easy pace or a flatter course;
  • Day 4 – run to recover – just run easy and make it short!

Be sure you know how fast you should be running to get the most out of your training.  Do some math to figure it out or go to to calculate your training paces.

Add variety to your training throughout the training period while you add more challenge each week.  Be sure to give your body a break with a lower mileage and lower effort week every 3 weeks of harder training.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.40.25 PM

Strategy Definition – accessed Jan 12/15

Have a race strategy – Get to the starting line knowing how fast you aim to run throughout the race.  Break the race down into segments.  For example, instead of setting one constant pace for the entire race, I prefer to break down the race into segments.

When running a marathon, I know the average pace I need to run in order to achieve the finish time wanted but I chop the entire race into four 6-mile intervals.  I run the first 6 miles slowest; the next six miles I pick up the pace; the third 6 miles I slow down a bit; and the last 6+ miles I try to go as fast as my body and mind will allow.

Before setting out on the race, I calculate the exact paces I need for each segment to achieve the overall goal time.  Knowing the paces and the time it should take for each segment of the race keeps me focused on the goal and striving to achieve it.  Of course, for most races the strategy gets adjusted along the way because no matter how well I’ve thought out the plan, my body sometimes just won’t cooperate or unforeseen circumstances get in the way!

Rest and recover – After a race, give yourself a break.  Celebrate your accomplishment and take a break from running for a few days or a week.  Stay active doing something different like swimming, cycling, walking, yoga, etc.  Eat well to re-nourish your body since this is the time your immune system may be most vulnerable.

Your mind and body will thank you for the vacation from running!

If you’ve been thinking about a challenge for 2015 and want to get in shape while doing some good, this is the time to join the Race for SEEQS 2015 Team.  In Nike’s words, “Just do it.”

Recipe of the Week:  Mediterranean Style Cod

About aspireperspirenourish

We are sisters who share a passion for healthy living! Each of us brings different knowledge and skills to this project, some similar experiences and a whole lot of shared passion for mindful, fit and nutritious living. This blog is our way of spreading our knowledge and passion about motivation, fitness and nutrition for everyday living. It is also our forum for finding like-minded people from whom we can learn. To learn more about us, please see our "About" page.
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