Why Mile in My Shoes?! 

There are so many wonderful places to give – why feed this kid pancakes for a cause? Wyatt put this together (his words, his soundtrack, his… color choices). Enjoy!

Learn more – read amazing member stories here:  http://www.mileinmyshoes.mn/our-members/ (Alumni Jeff is a great one… but so are they all!)

And stop by here! Support the Pancakes!



From Mother Runner to Mother OF A Runner…

It used to be that I played at being a superhero on this blog…

Getting up before my fam to run, and going about the rest of my day having accomplished whatever my training plan had laid out for me felt amazing – felt like I had a secret life or a superpower… I loved it!

So, I had the secret life, with special clothes and all, but what kind of superhero isn’t out to save the world?!? Or at least make it a better place…

I ran my first half marathon for an organization called MATTOO. (Men Against the Trafficking Of Others).

After I completed my half (thanks to lots of you!) I even tackled a full marathon! Through all of this running has become an essential part of my life. I WANTED TO SHARE!

The stories of people experiencing homelessness – and connecting with ALL the residents of the city where I live – is something that matters to me.

I have been thankful to find, and become involved in the leadership of, a running team where I get to share my love of the sport AND share it with people who are homeless or formerly homeless. Getting to be a part of Mile in My Shoes is so meaningful to me. I’ve gotten to run a couple of 5ks to help support them too!

AND NOW! My son Wyatt has been following his mom around while she races away…

Wyatt after my 1/2 marathon for MATTOO. Surly that he hadn’t gotten to run.

…for too many years, and he’s been bitten by the running bug. The kid ran his first 5k when he took off like a dart at the Race for the Key, a run supporting and including local shelters for people experiencing homelessness. When he beat the pants off his mom at the latest race their family did with Mile in My Shoes (the lovely Downtown Run Around) everyone decided he should go farther! He and his dad (Mike, the Shelter Manager for St. Stephen’s Human Services) are training for a 10k.

And Wyatt? Well, he’s generously offered to eat a pancake for every $20 that is donated. Mind you, this is a SACRIFICE. Poor thing. Just what he needs to do to fuel his training…

I originally posted this October of 2012. He’s been waiting for this…  🙂

Know what else? If they can get $500, he and his dad will get ANOTHER 500 DOLLARS! Your money will go twice as far!

Wyatt has been a part of the MiMS team since he met the crew at their first race and was welcomed with open arms. He looks up to the whole team of runners and all they accomplish, with no thought to where they live or what their backgrounds are.

Welcome to the wannabe-superhero biz, kid. ❤

Wyatt with his teammate Manny (and little bro) at this year’s Torchlight 5k! Wy says Manny plays the best chase!


THANK YOU! Oh, what a race!

Photo Bomber
Ready to race with a huge MiMS fan + a mysterious photo-bomber.

To you wonderful race donors! Here you are! Find your name! THANK YOU! I loved sharing the story of your generosity.

Left Arm Thanks
Stephanie W, Elijah W, The Mays, Amy W, The Larsons, Reagan & Boston!
Right Arm Thanks
The Binders, The Aderinkomis, Wyatt, Jevan, Ron C!

It was a warm and beautiful night! The two sites gathered and had a fantastic team cheer all together before heading off to do some pre-race volunteering.

Dwight Prerace
Emanuel resident Dwight & I Pre-race
Higher Ground resident John and Higher Ground staff Amanda
Higher Ground resident John and Higher Ground staff Amanda

I was assigned to run in this super team! We ran like queens and kings down the middle of Hennepin Ave, with little kid high-fives as super fuel.

Manny and I on the run...
Manny and I on the run…

Part way through, this guy’s pacer (another wonderful Amanda!) had knee trouble and I got the privilege to run with Manny – one of the original Higher Ground team members – an old friend.

Cheek Thanks
The Prices, The Kotlyars, and The Zenners!

Here is where I get to give some HUGE THANKS to some AMAZING supporters. It was an honor to wear your names! My parents went into super-stellar territory, and I can never say enough thanks. They matched the $500 I set out to raise with $500 of their own. They did it in honor of their grand-kids who tried to out-charm one another in the photo documentation… Wyatt Cheek Thanks Jack Cheek ThanksThe race finished in a flurry of cheers and high-fives – first races and PRs and team love. A wonderful, wonderful night!

This adventure is wrapped up but the invitation to come run with us

(email volunteer@mileinmyshoes.mn!) still stands! See you on the trails!

training snaps 2.1

“Going for a run is like a cup of coffee… I’m much nicer after I’ve had one.” Here’s us last Saturday – post-run, pre-coffee!

This is TRUTH. 🙂 You can times it all by a million when the run includes MiMS teammates. You get to run, with someone you probably wouldn’t in your normal day-to-day, and share stories, encourage and be encouraged, smile a lot, and HUG.

Want in? E-mail volunteer@mileinmyshoes.mn!

The Torchlight 5k, for which I’m raising money to give a little bit back for the OODLES this team has  given to me is THIS Wednesday! Click the link on the right if running isn’t right for you, but you still want to be a part of the wonderful that is happening in this team.

Either way, stay posted for race pics and celebration!

Two Hundred and Ten. Or, my selfie face.

Friends, YOU did it. We got the $500. Then, we kept going.

THANK YOU! The money raised is currently at 210% of the goal.

To say thank you, I give you this picture of lots of wonderful teammates, plus, my goofy selfie face. You’re welcome.

FullSizeRenderI can never say enough thank yous, but… you knew this was coming, right? 😉

We don’t HAVE to be done! The goal was my hope and dream, but anything else you give to the team – still goes to help the team! To empower those experiencing homelessness! To share the power of better health, goal-setting, community, and more with those who have experienced homelessness or addiction!

There’s still 23 days until the race, and I’m excited to see just what can be done.

$20 to my goal, and then magic. $500 = $1000.

I have something amazing to share! I need to make it to $500 to be able to keep any of what has been given. But now, if I make it? That $500 will be turned into ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. For the team.

MiMS Race team

Yep, that team of awesome.

I have been tearing up at the generosity of friends and family and strangers in the week since I launched this campaign. I am at $480.

We are not far from $500! When we reach it, the super-parent duo of Kim and Dale Rosten have said that they will match it. Jaw-dropping goodness. (How can someone ever say thank you for all the support?!?)

Thank you to ALL who have supported and given and sent words of encouragement and shared the story of Mile in My Shoes.

Be the one to take us to $500?  🙂

training snaps – 2.0

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” John Hanc, running writer

Last week interested resident members gathered with coaches and teammates to talk about taking on a marathon. They have each come so far and done so much, and it is beyond exciting to watch them set out to reach this goal!