First Time Ever Running the Half Marathon Distance (Ignore the Crazy Hair!)

The Fall has arrived and that means I have to complete my half marathon that I had committed to running.  Again, our family thanks you for your generous donations!

Initially, I had not planned to participate in any organized run/marathon.  As with most marathons that are organized, there is a fee that each runner needs to pay to be registered.  Since we were trying to raise money for the kids' school, I thought that I would simply commit to running the distance of a half marathon on my own and donate that money to the school instead...and I am still doing that.  Brother Gustavo and I and planning to do a 15 km run along the Burlington waterfront before the end of the year.

In fact, in my training, I was able to complete the half marathon distance (21.1 km), but not without great complaints from my knees!  I clocked in at around 2 hrs and 11 minutes at the 21.1 km mark.  My overall pace was 6'13" per km, but my last 3 kms were very painful...I actually kept a < 6'00" throughout the first 18 km, but hit a wall after 18 km.  There was a point when I had real trouble passing an old man walking along the sidewalk where I was running!  It was quite a hilarious scene now that I reflect upon it. But I persisted and pushed through.  When I checked my route on Google Maps the night before, I was supposed to end up near home, but due to a miscalculation, I was almost 1 km from home when I finished the half marathon distance.  I was not pleased to walk another 1 km home!

FLL Walk with God
Just this summer, Renee and a few other moms we've known from church got into raising Monarch butterflies (that's a story for another time).  They have now formed a team to do a 5 km walk for Fountain of Love and Life (FLL) on October 22 (this coming Sunday).  For those of you who are not familiar with FLL, it is a Chinese Catholic media organization, founded here in the GTA, which is doing great evangelization work.  It started off making TV shows but now also has a radio program and all sorts of other good things.

They're holding this fundraiser through the Scotiabank Marathon.  So, instead of doing the 5 km walk with Renee, I've signed up for the half marathon.  It's killing 2 birds with 1 stone!  I need to run a half marathon and FLL needs more supporters in their run!

So, here I am asking for more money!  This time not for the school, but for FLL.  Please hit this link to get to my page: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  Any donation $20 or greater will get you a tax receipt immediately.  Thanks for your generosity!

Last Request
I was actually a little reluctant when signing up.  Over the summer, each time I increased my distance on a run, my knees and ankles would complain after each run.  My muscles and cardio are not the problem, but my joints are.  I think this is a classic sign of age :(  So, about 2 weeks ago, my left knee really started complaining, even though I had not run that week.  It went away mostly, but when I did a short run just this past weekend, it became somewhat painful 1 km into the run.

Lucky for me, I have so many medical professionals in my family, Renee's sister, Rachel, who is a physiotherapist took a look and identified an injured lateral collateral ligament (LCL), a ligament on the outside of the knee.  It's likely due to my inactivity (prior to starting running) and lack of muscle strength that my leg is just not built for repeated impact.

Anyway, the only thing I can really do is rest it until this Sunday.  It was painful up until yesterday, but it feels pretty good this morning.  I hope I'll be back to 100% by Sunday.  This whole knee thing has me a bit anxious.  Last night, I had a semi-nightmare that I had missed the marathon.  So, my last request is simply a prayer for me that my knee will be in a good enough shape for me to complete the run.

Again, thank you so much for your generosity and for reading this (I actually can't believe the number of pageviews I get).  God bless!

Hello World!  Renee and I are pleased to introduce to you our newest addition in the making!  We and the kids are super excited and can't wait to meet little A5!  She is due January 24th, 2018.  We just went for the 20-week ultrasound yesterday and yes, it will be our 4th girl!  Athan was a little disappointed that he wasnt going to have a littel brother, but Audrey was very pleased! Lol!

Grandma (my mom, Susanna) said, after Anne was born, that if we have a 5th, she would quit (佢話佢唔撈)!  But so far, she seems to be quite pleased as well!  Lol!  I guess we don't have to make any decision quite yet, but Renee turning into a stay home mom is quite possible.  Perhaps a hiatus from work for a few years, until all kids are in school, would make sense.

I've always thought that Renee's artistic talents are somewhat going to if she does stay home, I will be encouraging her to paint regularly and sell her paintings.

A Car Has 5 Seats
When we had 3 kids, I remember thinking to myself that it was quite nice to have 3 kids and it was because of a very silly thing: seating in a car.  We wouldn't need a minivan if we only had 3 kids.  So, now that we have 4 kids and a 8-seater minivan, I always joke to whoever asks how many we're going to have that we can now have 6 kids!

Further, here's another idea.  I've got a Tesla Model 3 reservation, and in a year or so, I should be getting it.  It's eventually going to be capable of self-driving, which means I actually have 8 + 5 seats.  I can be driving the van and the Model 3 can be following from behind (or in front)!  13 seats = 2 of us + 11 kids?!  LOL.  Ok, that I'm really kidding!

After 3, It's All the Same
One thing that I also get asked is, "People say that after 3 kids, it's the same amount of work.  Is it true?"  So, for the record the answer is....yes and no!  Is it the same amount of work when you have 4 versus, there is more work (for sure).  Unless your oldest is a teen and is super helpful, being able to take the load off you, there will be more work.  However, the experience that you have is that it is not more work.  Why is that?  It is because that the incremental amount of work becomes less.  Going from no kids to 1 kid is the biggest change, but going from 3 kids to 4 is at most a 33% increase.  Furthermore, it's now your 4th kid, it's safe to assume that you've learned a thing or two about taking care of kids.  Lastly, your "care" level with your 4th kid inevitably drops as well (sorry, Anne!).  When your first picks up a piece of dirt and puts it in her mouth, you go crazy, but when your fourth does the same...oh well, she'll spit it out on her own.

So, in absolute terms, yes, it's more work, but experientially, you could say it's the same...or even paradoxically less?!  For you considering having more, go for it.  "After three, it's all the same"....except the happiness you have increases exponentially!  We, as a society, need to see kids as a source of joy rather than a burden.
Happy to be Going to School!

Wow!  Thanks to all who have donated, we have now surpassed the $1000 mark or 20% of our goal!  Looking at the contributions just opens our eyes to your tremendous generosity!  You have donated without expecting anything in return.  For this, we're deeply grateful!  Thank you!

For those reading about this for the first time, we're raising funds for the kids' school again this year!  Read about it here.  To up our game, we're doing a 5 km walkathon this coming weekend and I'll be running a half marathon in the Fall.  If we reach our goal of $5000, I will also be shaving my legs and head again...but these don't seem to be enough as some of you suggested.  My coworker and generous donor, Keith, has suggested that before I shave my head, I should wear a mohawk to work.  It may be a career-ending move, but if this is what it takes to get to our goal, I'm game!  I will also take a picture of me and the highest ranking employee in the company as proof.  (I work in the same office as the President.)

So, please keep those donations coming!  Thank you!

Donate Here:
It's me again!  Thanks to all those who have so generously donated, we have reached 8.2% of our goal in just a couple of days!

For those of you who may have missed it, I'm running a half marathon this coming Fall to raise funds for the kids' school!  It'll be a good challenge for me as the farthest I have ever run to date is around 8 km.  In addition, if we reach our fundraising goal, I will shave my head again this year!  Please help me make this happen!  Thanks so much in advance!

Donate Here:

See me like this again!  Donate today!

Hi Everyone! It's been a while since I've posted on this blog.  GDI (Ainsworth's parent company) decided to buy another company and merge us together.  It's been a grueling few months going through the transition and still feeling the effects.  Hence, I've been fairly quiet.

Didn't Know I Loved Running Too!?
As some of you may remember, our family raised funds for the kids' school around this time last year through a Walkathon.  With your support, we beat our goal and as a result, on top of the Walkathon with the family, I also shaved my head and legs!  This year, I am humbly asking for your help again!  On June 10th, the families of the school are participating in a 5 km Walkathon.

While shaving my head and legs were not on the top of list of things I had planned to do, they weren't terribly difficult things either.  To make things a bit more interesting this year for both you and I, I would like to ask you to sponsor me to run my first ever half marathon (21.1 km)!  Running has always been something that I liked to do, but it's not always something that I actually did.  I guess this was mainly due to laziness.  Just this spring, however, I started running more regularly, in anticipation of the fundraising event...that was until around the end of March, when my work hours just went out of control.  Things are getting a bit better now and I will resume my training again.

I'm aiming to do a half marathon in the Fall, around September or October.  I haven't chosen the actual event that I will be running at, but there's no shortage of them.  I'll keep you all posted.

Ok, It's Not All About Me!
Sorry, actually, the universe actually does not revolve around me!  Let's not forget the young ones that this fundraiser is all about!  Adele is finishing grade 2 and Athan will be graduating from Kindergarten!!  Lastly, since Renee returned to work in January, Audrey has been attending the pre-K classes.  They all enjoy being at school so much, but I think the most important part of all is the safe and caring environment that the school provides.  The teachers are all excellent and dedicated, and all of the students are so well behaved.

One of the things that, as a parent, we're afraid of is bullying at school.  I'll have to confess...there was a time when I was in grade 6 that I played the role of a bully.  It wasn't because I was intentionally malicious, but it was because a number of kids had been mean to this one kid, and that I somehow thought that being mean to him was acceptable and somehow in a twisted  And reflecting back to that, it was partly because the school culture did not promote a safe environment for the kids, where kids cared for each other.  We're fortunate that Guiding Light and the Heralds of the Gospel (the school and the religious order which co-runs the school) focuses a lot on the virtues of faith, hope, and most of all, love.  Renee and I would occasionally ask Adele if kids are mean to each other or if there are bullies at the school, and each time, she would reassure us with a confident "no".

Audrey's First Day of School...a Little Nervous!

Just a few weeks ago, when we were having pho with another family from the school, the kids spontaneously held hands and sang a grace before meals, without any reservation.  Thinking back to my days as a kid or even not so much as a kid, I would feel embarrassed to even make a sign of the cross in a secular setting, never mind break out in song.  I was so proud to see them as witnesses of the faith, much more so that I ever was.  Athan has also recently started genuflecting when he enters a church, without us ever teaching him to.  It's great to see the kids grow in faith and love!

Please Help!
We need all the help we can get to support the school and the Heralds of the Gospel in continuing to provide the education that will develop the Catholic leaders of tomorrow!

Our goal this year is $5000.  I'm sure with so many generous folks out there, this is absolutely an achievable goal.  But to give you some enjoyment, on top of just doing a 5 km Walkathon and running a half marathon, the following are the things I will be doing as we get closer to the goal:

$3000 - I will be shaving my legs again and posting a video of it on Youtube
$5000 - I will be shaving my head again and posting a video of it on Youtube
Other? - I'm open to suggestions to make things more interesting!  Leave me a comment!

As usual, you will be getting a tax receipt for any donation $20 or greater.  You get the receipt no waiting till tax time.  With most of you, you will be getting back around 40% of your donation through tax credits.

Thank you so much for your support!  Salve Maria!

All Saints Day Celebration - Even Renee and Anne Dressed Up!

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