Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet The Coach for Team Run for Mercy, Melanie Blair!
Coach Melanie Blair
For the fifth year in a row, Mercy Ministries will have a team running in the Country Music Half and Full Marathon on April 30 in Nashville, TN! This year’s team is led by Mercy staff member Melanie Blair. Melanie first started running in high school where she competed on both the cross country and track teams. She knew early on that she preferred distance events to sprint events and made it a personal goal to someday run a marathon.

One week before her college graduation in 2005, Melanie completed the Country Music Marathon in just over five hours. She thought that once she reached her goal she would move on to other things, but Melanie found that she loved the training, the race day atmosphere and being a part of the whole running community.

At The Goofy Challenge
Over the past six years, Melanie has gone on to complete 10 marathons and 15 half marathons! In January, she ran both the Disney World half and full marathons to complete The Goofy Challenge – 39.3 miles of running over two days. This was also her third marathon in three months, an accomplishment that qualified her for the national Marathon Maniacs club! Melanie’s current personal records include 1:52:16 for the half marathon and 4:11:22 for the full marathon. She intends to break 1:50 in the half and 4:00 in the marathon later this year.

Melanie at Nashville's Run For Mercy 5K
Melanie’s current goal is to get Team Run for Mercy to the finish line of the Country Music Half or Full Marathon and she is here to serve YOU! Melanie can help you determine which training plan to follow, adjust it to fit your specific needs, answer questions and guide you to excellent resources regarding clothing, shoes and nutrition. She can also guide you in your fundraising efforts as you raise money to support the work of Mercy Ministries. You can reach Melanie at 615-831-6987 or Melanie will also be available for encouragement and advice at all scheduled group training runs. Whether you’re a beginning runner/walker or a veteran of distance events, Melanie will do all she can to get you to the finish line of both the race and your personal fundraising goals.

Over 35,000 people participate in the Country Music Half and Full Marathon each year. It’s an exciting event, and you won’t be disappointed. Join Team Run for Mercy to run and/or walk the race to raise money for the hurting young girls we serve at Mercy Ministries. For more information about training plans, group runs or joining Team Run for Mercy, please visit the team website at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time to Start Training and Fundraising!
Hello everyone!

Many of you are training for the upcoming Music City Half and Full Marathon. If you’re training for the half and you’re following one of the training plans posted on , you’ll start the plan the week of February 7. However, you should be getting yourself out and moving (whether walking or running) for at least 30 minutes three times a week so that you’ll be ready. I know it’s cold, but you can still run outside. Just remember that you warm up about 20 degrees when you get moving, so the key is to make sure you don’t over OR under dress.

It’s not too early to get started on fundraising! Send emails/letters to everyone you know to let them know you’re running the race and fundraising for Mercy. Give them the link to your personal fundraising page, post the link on your Facebook and/or Twitter and share your link as your away status on your gmail gchat. Also, please let anyone who may be interested in running with us know we’d love to have them join our team. It is our goal to get 50 more people on the team in addition to the 50 we have!

If you’d like to run with Mercy Coach Melanie Blair this week, she will be attending the East Nasty group run in East Nashville this Wednesday. The group meets at 6pm at the corner of 11th and Holly. The run this week is a little over 4 miles long, but you can cut it short if needed by looking at the map and planning accordingly (Route #4 on ). Melanie will be running 10-12 miles on Saturday morning, so email her at if you’re already up to that distance and you’d like to join her.

Finally, Fleet Feet Sports in Brentwood (an excellent place to purchase running shoes, clothes, fuel, etc.) is offering a Winter Speed Sessions clinic. It starts February 5th and lasts for 10 Tuesdays. This is an excellent way to get in one of your weekly training runs. There is always a large group (consisting of both beginners and veterans), a coach who leads the workouts and gives feedback and a tech shirt is included in the clinic. It’s only $50 for the 10-session clinic! Feel free to check it out at

Be on the lookout for a dinner sometime soon where the team can get together and meet outside of the running spectrum.

Happy training and fundraising this week! Let us know if we can assist you in any way!

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dr. Axe's Advice On Marathon Training
Wellness physician, popular radio show host and coveted speaker, Dr. Josh Axe has a vision to see people empowered with practical advice about God’s biblical principles for healthy living. He has donated hours of service and expertise to Mercy Ministries residents and staff in addition to being a generous financial supporter. Here are his recommendations for healthy eating while training for a marathon:

1) Stay away from - breads, pastas, fruit juice, soy products, cereal and pasteurized dairy.

2) Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, organic meats, salmon, and eggs. Also, before exercise just have fruit with protein powder and after have a berry smoothie. You can find the recipe here.

3) The best supplements for joints are Wobenzym (4 tabs 2x daily empty stomach) and Fish Oil (1000mg daily). The best supplement for performance is Berry Greens (1 scoop daily)