Wine’d up

This weekend was my first fundraising event I’ve hosted [like…ever]. It was a lot of fun. I had a great group of people who came. The event was a wine tasting. Each person paid an entry fee and brought 2 bottles of wine. The first bottle went into a box for blind tasting and the other went into a ‘Grand Prize’ box. People were permitted to join the tasting without bringing the wine, but were also unable to win the Grand Prize.

My friend, Liz came to stay the weekend from St. Louis and she helped me out with answering the door and wrangling the dog when the doorbell made him go crazy. My teenager was responsible for keeping the two younger kids entertained. I got some cheese and crackers, summer sausage, and made spinach artichoke dip with toasted bread. I offered iced tea (sweet and unsweet), Pinot Grigio, and a Red Blend wine . People seemed to enjoy the Red Blend prior to the start of the tasting.

I took all of the bottles from the tasting box into my dining room. I’d used 2 separate pages to write names of people and the name of the wine they brought. I randomly pulled bottles from the box, removed the paper bag I’d wrapped them in, and marked them with a letter of the alphabet along with tagging the paper bag and using a rubber band to ensure blind tasting. Each taster got a scoring sheet that asked them to assign a number 0-5 to each one they tasted and then give them to me. We had a few Red Blends, a Pinot Gris, a wine that appeared green, and a GewurztraminerI had a chance to taste them, but not vote on them, since I knew who brought which and didn’t want to show favoritism.

Once the tasting score sheets were turned in, I invited a $1 donation to add points to specific wine letter that was particularly good. A few people added votes to their favorites and I tallied the scores. I double checked the scores and wrote each one down so they could easily be referenced afterward if people wanted to see how their wine fared with the group. The point adding actually broke a tie between two of the entries, so it was a good addition.

In the end, a Red Blend came in dead last. I announced the wines from fewest points to the winner to keep up a little mystery up until the end. The winner was the Gewurztraminer. I honestly had studied very little on this wine because I hadn’t seen it very often in the store or at parties. It was the wine with the most points, though.

I also gave out tickets upon entry for door prizes like a magnet that said “Will Run for Wine,” a couple of wine glasses with fun sayings on them (filled with chocolate), and a few of my homemade hot cocoa mixes.

The event went really well. When everyone had left, I was adding up the numbers. My friend told me to look closer at the check in my cash box. I was writing the wrong dollar amount in the total and it was for much more than the suggested donation amount. Altogether, the party raised $216 toward Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America! So my fundraising total is up to $396 of the $2000 that I plan to raise!

I intend to do more fundraisers, of course. This one went so well that I was much less worried about trying to put things together in the future. I got to meet some new people and I got to try some new wines that I hadn’t before. Someone walked away with a box full of wine, too!

If you want to donate, my link is MomJennGoal262. I am hoping to raise money by August even though September is the actual deadline. I have 2 more fundraisers in the works and am considering another tasting that might involve beer.

Thanks for reading! I hope you’re doing well with your plans for racing this year! Some days, I feel like I’m starting all over. That’s okay, though. I still really enjoy running!



2 steps back

1 step forward and 2 steps back; This is how I’ve been feeling about my journey to get back into distance running after my November injury. I have encountered repeated setbacks that threw me off the path back to running. This time, I started getting what seemed like hay fever. I felt congested and pretty miserable. That was abruptly ended by a virus that caused gastroenteritis in my family members and myself. I was weak and dehydrated and I’m still not quite back to normal.

My longest run since my injury has been 4.5 miles. I’m hoping to work my way up. My ankle hasn’t been in pain once I’ve warmed up, which took a little longer than it had in the past. The warming up taking longer has been widespread and hasn’t been focused only on the ankle.

It seems like other obligations have been taking up more time, as well. I try to schedule workouts and I can’t always predict things happening to interrupt that plan. I’ve had a few surprise “pick up your kid from school sick” calls as well as days I was needed the entire day without the chance to step away. People can call them excuses, and sometimes they might be. Truthfully, I don’t do well getting up extremely early and I can’t get to bed at an early hour most nights. My workouts are normally scheduled around my kids’ school, husband’s work, errands that are absolutely necessary, and volunteer work. I’m doing what I can with what I have and these stupid things keep pulling the trip wire on me.

I lose momentum and I get discouraged. I push hard when I come back. I get exhausted and discouraged because I can’t do what I did before. I see 11 minute miles where I was seeing 9 minute miles on short running distances. Let’s not focus on that pace, though. My husband whines about being slow in the 8 minute range, so we’re all very different.

What the hell was I trying to say? Right….I’m still fundraising and training for a marathon this year. I’m running 26.2 miles in October just like I’ve planned. I’m going to be in 10k shape for Illinois Marathon Weekend in Champaign, IL so I can run a mini challenge. Then, I’m going to increase my miles so I’m ready for marathon training by late May because that’s the plan. I just have to get up 1 more time than I’ve been knocked down to conquer this.

So join me? Maybe help out my fundraising? Let me know if you have any ideas! I have a run on the schedule tomorrow. I’m back out there now that I’m not sick. The most important lesson running has taught me that I can use right now is that “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” So I will push and I will make the effort.

Next weekend, I’m hosting a wine tasting at my house for my Team Challenge fundraiser. This weekend, I’m brushing up on my wine knowledge, mostly of grape types since regions get me flustered. I’m making things for the party for scoring the wines and for any additional donations. I’m hoping it is a great success. I’ll have to post pics. So far, I have a coffee can covered in chalkboard paint to serve as my additional donation jar to show for it because I can’t decide on a few aspects of decor. I should probably hop back to it.

Thank you for reading!

Donations can be made on this page:

Every donation counts!