Monday, April 23, 2012

Status Post My 50 mile Labor of Love

Firstly, in Case you don't read all the way to the Bottom: 

A special Thank You to The 6th Branch for allowing me to share my personal achievement with them in a way that I hope benefits many more than I could ever help on my own. I truly adore each of you, and the work that you do. Thank you for letting me be a part of it all! <3
  
I knew when I signed up for a 50 mile run it wasn’t going to be easy.  But after all of the training and the ridiculous amount of time and effort I put forth for 25 weeks endlessly pushing onward including 1 x half marathon, 3 x full marathon, 3 x 50k one of which was extended to  a 40 mile training run…. Well lets just say I was presumably more than ready for the distance.

Going into this as of December 1st, 2011 my fears included:
#1: failure to finish #2: failure to reach the start line due to injury #3:Failure to create an event/ journey that would mean something more than just that I completed a 50 mile run.
My Fears as of April 20th, 2012:
#1: Failure to maintain my body temperature #2: Failure to maintain nutritional/ e’lyte intake sufficient for the task at hand #3: Failure to finish/ failure to complete the journey I’d made so public and shared with so many in so many different ways. #4: To come home injured or worse to have had my 1st 50miler also be my last.
On April 20th I went for an easy 30min jog on the Vegas strip to get just a touch of what the heat would feel like…. After this run I was officially frightened of what I’d gotten myself into…. In 30 min I was parched, and could feel the effects of the sun on my skin…. How in the world I survive more than 10 times as much? I didn’t know, but everyone I sought advice from- 2 ultra runners, 1 father, and two other running friends offered me sound supportive advice: #1: hydrate/ e’lyte, #2: Follow you nutrition plan- no matter what #3: Listen to your body, and #4: You always worry, but I know you’re ready, you will be fine.
With these last words of advice among the other tidbits of advice including a hat, glide for chafing, 50spf sunscreen, a 20oz handheld bottle, goji berries and chia seeds on hand.  I was as ready as I could possibly be…. Would it be enough?

After talking Caitlin into getting up to take Pre-run photos for me at 5am… I hit the road heading away from Vegas into the gorgeous canyons. The sunrise was only beginning as arrived at the race area around 6am and as I drove my hopes of a cooler than planned day began to grow as the temperature dropped from 73 to 52 degrees, suddenly I was wondering if I’d be warm enough (but assumed the sun would heat things up, and fast).

I Parked the car at the lot 2 mi down the road and got shuttled up to the start/finish area where I placed my drop bags in the given “Mid-way(5.5mi)” and “Sky Ranch (11mi)” marked areas. And then went digging through my bag for anything warm… I had my hand warmers, gloves, and WOW… a camping blanket- (when did I figure out how to be so prepared?) So now I was cozy. Within 10 min, the sun had risen another 15 degrees  raising the temperature...in the sun at least, enough to pull one sleeve of my jacket off enough to rub on my spf 50 … once I thought I was good to go, it was warm enough to lose the camping blanket and the gloves. It was beautiful in the sun, with just enough breeze to cause goose bumps.  I felt good and had met a few other runners most were ½ marathoners/ marathoners, but one was a 50 miler who had only attempted one other 50, and had a 100 in July, so he was really hoping to “get it right” this time.  He made me feel comfy and scared all at once. As much as I didn’t really know what I was doing , I was pretty confident I Could do it.

Loop #1(0-22mi: 3:15): Next thing I know I’m running a comfy 9min mile pace with Rudy- a long time ultra-runner with a lot of experience, wisdom, advice and just some great stories. I picked his brain for all that I could in those first 3 hours. He kept me calm, slowed enough and made the fact that I’d apparently been running uphill for 5 miles out-followed by a 1mi steeply declining hill and then 5 more miles of slowly climbing hill to bring us to the turn around seem totally doable. On the way back (out and back so if it wasn’t clear this is now 5mi downhill with 1 mi steep uphill, followed by 5 more miles downhill) we continued our steady pace. The temperature was beginning to climb as we neared 10am. I had the mental idea that I wanted to keep a calm pace, but move as swiftly as I could to get more milage out of the way before noon.  The constant downhill eventually took me as I began to separate from Rudy. I was hoping I’d slow up or he’d catch me as the company made quite a bit of difference.

Loop #2 (22-44mi: 4:25) : Headed back up hill…. (Did I really run this last time… OMG- I mean seriously... I did this 3 hours ago?… I was so caught up in Rudy’s stories and our conversations I hadn’t even truly realized that yes… this is literally all climbing hill… ughh… I caught up to the number one 100 mile Female and just as I did we shared a greeting and then she dodged to the side of the trail to vomit. For the first time it occurred to me I was doing well.. so far.

The Climbing just went on and on, by 3mi back out I felt fine, except my quads begging me to break stride. Each water stop they received their wish as my pace paused and then moving again was refreshing…. Or had been until then. Now I saw the number one 100 miler and he was hiking it… I took a walk break…. And then kept running….. but the pain had gone from a dull ache to screaming with every impact. I hadn’t dealt with it much yet so I was able to pull through and just slow my pace, I was determined to make it to the Long downhill of “Recovery”-> or so my na├»ve mind thought.
I ran that whole downhill, it felt so good to get the breeze going and feel like I was running again… at the base of the hill was Mid-point check in. I grabbed some snacks and refilled my bottle. The comments began …”you’re leading the pack” “You’re killing it”…. My thoughts: I’m 27.5 miles in….and I’m pretty sure this course is Killing Me…. But thank you for your kindness- hope its enough to keep me in this game.

And off I went for the next 5 mile uphill….jog/walk… I kept trying, I mean constantly battling my mind to let me suck up the pain and run, but I was slowed to a walk. I tried to manage run 4/ walk 1 and that failed, I walked 5min and then got up enough…..whatever it is… to run to the next mile marker. With the same constant effort… and excruciating fail after fail after fail…At a water stop 1.5 miles away from checkpoint a very nice couple of women commented on how hot it was, all I managed was, “Yup, it’s getting hotter still….but if it wasn’t a challenge I’d be bored.” I made it to checkpoint- Mile 33.

Race Volunteer (on bike) “Meg, you’re flying out there, you’ve got ½ mi on everyone, 1 or 2 miles on the next 50miler”

Me “Thank you, but I’m not sure about flying, pretty sure I just walked the last 4 miles”
Race Volunteer (on bike) “Well, then you’re walking fast, keep it up”

I again grabbed food, ginger, heed, thanked the volunteers for their support and headed back out prepping myself to push my mind harder…. After all its 11 mi downhill with a little hike in the middle…. I GOT this… right? 

NOT A CHANCE.

The next 11mi was the same constant strain as the last 5 had been. Yes gravity was definitely helping to pull me along but dealing with more than 1 mi at a time was nearly impossible for me. The being totally alone was the most excruciating part, I kept looking back for anyone else headed my way. The ppl headed on the outbound side were hurting just as bad as I was and nice cordial greeting was often the best we could do, at time it seemed just the nod of the head in acknowledging one another’s efforts was all we had. 
I saw one 100miler camped out sitting under a bush in the shade….I was so jealous! Haha, he had the right idea! By now the extra water stops had been sucked dry. The heat of the day shining down was maxed out at 95ish… but the heat coming off the pavement started to make you feel like you’re running in an oven.
(As I write this now I feel I’m missing so much…. There was so much thought and consideration to each and every sip, each electrolyte tab, each running step knowing that increasing energy meant increasing body temp, meant burning out faster……I don’t know how to judge something like that…. I’ve never had to…..).

Anyway as I hike the mile climb for the final time, I actually sat down for 30 seconds and stretched my legs before continuing onward, again- hoping that if I slow up enough, at least I wouldn’t be alone (probably just my mind’s excuse for weakening… but it made sense at the time… I wasn’t sure I could make it on my own… I’d never been this uncomfortable).

The next 5 miles would prove the hardest stretch of the course… as It stretched downhill, the temperature was at its peak- or so it felt… I was still fighting to run… afterall I’m a runner right? Not a walker…. How could I be so weak? I’ve felt much worse than this and still kept running before… I mean I felt Really good, hot yes, tired, of course, but nothing I couldn’t run 20 more miles on…. But when I tried to move my legs it felt like I was peeling the skin off my quads, raw, tight pain… the pain of muscle fatigue. The heat mixed with long up and the long downs had wasted my leg muscles through and through… didn’t much matter if you could still do cartwheels with my internal energy gauge, my legs weren’t going to go any faster.
I brought to mind all the reasons I run (not walk) and I tried my hardest to get back into the rhythm as walking was beginning to hurt almost as bad… my general rule is “if it hurts as much to walk as it does to run, you might as well run.” Believe it or not this did help and I was running a bit more.

About 41 miles in a car with someone hauling things out of the back was on the side of the road… I had about 3 sips of warm HEED left so I figured I could at least ask for water…. He had only ice (which would be water in NO time… so we filled my bottle and he handed me a chunk of ice). At first I didn’t know what to do with it, then common sense kicked in, I placed the chunk of ice inside my sports bra right over my heart… (from past experience I was a little concerned I’d shock my heart, but the idea of dropping my core temp sounded SO good). I felt good… for about 5 min I was running under 8 min mile, running… like actually striding a little bit….felt so good, but the ice melted and within what felt like only moments the fatigue was back.  

Checkpoint was visible- this would be the last time I’d have to see the finish line without stopping.

I Grabbed more ginger, and my second bag of chips (the salt is amazing… and the bag takes me about 2miles to get down). And as I was about to head out… PEOPLE!!

The 100miler #1 guy (who was previously the #2 guy) was caught up to me.

Competitive Meg was like “Man, you slowed down a lot, L”… but I didn’t care… I had company for the last 3 mi hike!!!! Like Christmas morning! Only I couldn’t seem to express the joy, I kinda wanted to cry. lol!

Loop #3: (44-50!: 0:52min): We headed up the trek, both attempting to pull one another on running stretches of 100-200 yards… and both barely  holding on. I’d cut my walk pace to chat… but once we finished the conversational piece he jogged and I held my steady speed walk… I knew damn well at this point I could walk 4.3-4.5mph and only run 5.6-6mph up these hills and for the cost in pain and fatigue… I was better off walking. So I did, after about a mile of trying , I quit Trying and JUST walked. I was humiliated and angry with myself both enough to Keep me pushing as hard as I could go.
At some point the #1 100miler caught me again and said “You walk really fast” I concurred and said, “trust me this hurts pretty bad too… but I’m 4mi out now…. What have I got to Lose.” I tagged the sign for my turn around, grabbed one more water stop and pushed it….Those last three miles were a struggle, as the last 20 had been… but I pushed. I walked, I ran, I kept moving. Every time I walked something internal forced me back into a run, that would become a jog and then a shuffle until it was again a walk and this cycle repeated and repeated till the very highlight of my race.

With less than a mile between myself and the finish like, I could see the main road, as I’d been able to for the past mile…. But I knew I was close enough to the finish- I had to run…. Just then bounding along beside me was the most flamboyant guy I’d ever met,
(please imagine this convo in the most flamboyant voice)
FG: “HI!, Are you finishing right now?”
Meg: Yea
FG: “Omg… how far did you run today”
Meg: “50 miles”
FG: “Woooow, that’s amazing. You get it Girl!”
And with that he speeds off ahead ….yes bounding a nice fresh 6:30 pace I’d guess in the shortest short I’d ever seen, topless, with his hair in a little pony tail with the cutest headband. And honestly all I could I think was, “I want my legs to move like that… NOW”
So I took everything else I had and I ran, not jogged, I RAN. I replayed the finishes of authors of ultra-books and Friends who have mustered up sub 7min miles at the end of 100 mile races and what not and I just kept moving. Every 10 steps or so it was a new neural connection screaming… WALK!, that I chose to ignore. Somewhere still planning one last walk break before jogging in like a rockstar… but I couldn’t bring myself to stop that close to the end. So I ran up the hill/ small incline to the finish line.\

Behind my sunglasses the tears welled in my eyes, the pain was more than I’ve endured in quite some time. My pride had been devoured by the days efforts. I’d won, I was #1 in the 50mile race and managed to run sub 9 hrs, my original goal at the very beginning of this journey. 8hrs 32 minutes. So why did I feel so…. Sad?
I’d given it everything, it took everything? Didn’t it….. couldn’t I have done better? How could a runner, walk THAT much… I know deep down, that I can be better…. Or at least I had thought I could be….. But I guess that’s up to the future now. 

All in All It was a great experience and I am in fact proud of the accomplishment.

In Hindsight:
#1) I successfully managed my fluids, electrolytes and nutrition… certainly room for improvement but thrilled nonetheless.
#2) when applying sunscreen… Do not forget your neck….dumb mistake
#3) companionship on a really tough journey can make or break your attitude, which when you’re legs are done…. Its your heart is all you run with… nothing else matters.
#4) Thank you to Rich, Dave, Ryan, Cate, Alvaro, Caitlin, Rachael, Allison, Dallas, Beth, Robin, David, Mosi, Marc, Jess, Frank, Everette, Jim, Linda, Gina, Ali, Jen, The Genest Family, The Cicalese Family, My family Bren, Megan, Barb, Joe and Stella (at 96 she's still an inspiration!), members of MCVET Back on My Feet,  John Gibb (RIP), Nicole Boice (RIP),  and the many others who have touched my life, your kind words and presence in my life were the only things that made me able to make it to the finish line.
I could say more and more… as 8 hrs is quite a bit of time to think…. But this is enough.
I am not Done, there will be more….





4/19/12 The Flight and Pre Race commentary

PRE RUN:
At least in the past some of my best writing has come out of my travel time, since you end up with a LOT of timing sitting on your ass thinking about various things while  you hardly secretly people watch all of the people are you.
So, today is Thursday 4/19 of the 25th week of training. My last three weeks have been severely tapered with extensive recovery… or so I feel. Really I just followed the plan. The only time I didn’t follow the plan was about 4 weeks ago at my last 50K in my long stretch of heavy training weeks. I was so inspired by the 50miler-100K -100mile runners, especially after successfully running 8min pace consistently at Rock n Roll Marathon on March 17th… I just sort of had the idea, that maybe, just maybe I could push it…ya know… see what I could handle.
Great Idea right?… and I found out I can hold 8min miles for 31 miles … even better. So why was this a poor decision??
Because I let my pride guide my race... My body had already given me the warning signs of persistent fatigue. In fact the night before the NJ ultrafest I was barely able to eat I was so exhausted I felt awful… I was in bed by 7:30….. and I snored (as per my roomie- Frank)… I only snore when something is physiologically off. I should have been more concerned, but my legs felt ok so onward I charged.
I only snore- for the record, when I’m sick… when I enter a coma like sleep for body’s immediate shut down and recharge…. I certainly don’t pretend to understand it but I do know this to be true, and in hind site, perhaps this is a good (and somewhat amusing) warning sign.
Injury rarely occurs from overtraining …. But rather from under-resting:

1)    Fatigue

2)    Aches that aren’t recovering

3)    When EVERYONE starts saying “You need to rest more”… even ppl you barely know and suddenly seems like the Universe has teamed up to TRY anything to get you to listen.

4)    Then the stuff that I don’t experience but you may: weight loss, change in appetite, insomnia, inability to stay asleep,

5)    Physiological signs like : elevated resting heart rate, or higher that usual heart rate at the same pace.

6)    Pain- DUH…. Stop now.. save yourself the trouble… ICE, NSAID, ELEVATE, Support.

So what about this REST : you can still train- cross train and even run… but that depends… are you fighting with warning signs or injury.

Warning Signs: back Down… a LOT… don’t worry so much about losing the work you’ve done… it’s still there, and unless you literally don’t move for weeks on end, you’ll probably feel better for it (I’ll give my opinion on this in a few days..s/p 50 miles!).
If your injured: TAKE the time to recover completely before you start to get back into it. Try to use other modes to keep your endurance up (swimming is great… I don’t enjoy it much, but I am very grateful for the extra 45 min a day I spend with my HR elevated as though Im running).

The flight to Vegas is amusing with everyone drinking and celebrating various engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, you name it… I’ve never truly enjoyed Vegas… but I think this time I will.
Most of my time will be spent outside the Strip @ Lovell Canyon. The first stop after my hotel room and a little time at the pool will be REI!! I’m so excited- I’m such a outdoors junky (I wont even buy anything- except a new handheld water source) but window-shopping there is fun….

I really hope I feel alright after the 50miles because I’ve changed my mind about going out in Vegas and I think I’d really like t be able to stick around the Canyon and hold out for the 100milers and just volunteer my time. But if Im wrecked- getting Home to Treasure Island for a shower and Beer (though I can buy that and bring it out with me…. Cooler needed…hmmmm…. So much to consider)…. And yes I could go back… but again everything depends… I may be close to dead energy wise….. but I hope to take this easy and enjoy my time with the other runners.

I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself. It is my 1st50 mi and it isn’t a qualifying race for Western states so there is no real reason to push it. (I hope I listen to myself on Saturday morning!)

SO Excited!, So rested…. Tired of sitting on this plane…. Haha

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't Worry About Nothin'

This is just a quick post to express the gratitude in my heart.

 For anyone who knows me, I tend to get myself worked up about a little things. But honestly I think I'm much improved from the girl who used to wind herself so tightly she'd totally lose it with any slight deviation form "the PLAN."  I've long since learned the Plan is nice sketch, but when you add life and color to it, it resembles a kindergartner's artwork, beautiful in its own unique way but only in the eye's of those who love you (plus or minus- kinda reaching on that metaphor- but it seemed like a cute idea :p)

Seeing as I'm now One night's sleep and 1 full week away from my first Ultra-running goal of completing 50 miles; I have never been so excited. It's like the same feeling as a week before Christmas when you're little and the toy you've wanted SOSOSO badly is somewhere (you know you overheard Mom and Dad discussing its purchase... you're 99% certain its got to be there.... and 1% doubting it and fearing the disappointment.

So I'm 75% healed (randomly assigned percentage based of intuitive feeling)... In this last week I've gone through round #2 of sickness, continuing to get over poison oak/sumac/ mean plant with oils that make my skin itch.... and the aching in my 2nd metatarsal has dulled to a 0-1/10...yet it remains present, even after last weeks 24 miles trail run. Ready? Yea, I've never been more ready for anything... but that doesn't guarantee anything.

And Today's List of Moments
1) A gift when I arrived at the yoga studio, a thank you- to me... an unnecessary wonderfully pleasant surprise.

2) Having a friend come to my yoga class- (always makes me twice as nervous as a teacher- shhh) but more importantly makes me feel loved and respected (both things I innately yearn for and habitually run from). Great lessons for myself. Thank you for coming!

3) One of My beloveds told me she saves some of the positive things I say in a file on her cell phone called "megs wise advice" <= <3

4) The Sun was shining enough that I could bike in a T-shirt... my one and only fluorescent piece of workout clothing...and since Frank took me out on the roads of the Columbia Tri course for a "real" 25 mi bike ride I was grateful to have the company... NOT only company- but coaching: I think with his guidance I may almost understand shifting for hills... Still need a lot more work...
But theres not words to explain having someone bike next to you a tell you what you need to do.. and to feel the two-wheeled machine actually move without constant struggle and strain. Riding today was the closest I've been to riding a motorcycle in years and it was AMAZING... only even better, because I was working my cardio system... (Pure Joy and utter gratitude for his patience and support).

5) Throughout this ride, after this ride and even pulling up next to me at the light before diverging paths driving home after the ride, Frank's reminders "Don't worry about nothin'"

6) Coffee + fro yo with a friend its been too long since I've seen and having their presence and support and hugs.

7) The text from another friend with not only suggest running reading <3 <3 but also checking in about my upcoming race... Timing is everything, and this brought tears to my eyes, so grateful to be thought of.

8)The woman working at "EmbroidMe" who made my kick ass 6th Branch Tech-T for my run and who listened to my life story as I explained my upcoming endeavor, goals and driving forces. Just one more set of ears that heard and listened and shared positive wishes for me. Thank you!

9) Yet another friend offering my the sound advice, that YES I do know what Im doing, and Yes I am ready. And to continue to be patient and wise, the same advice  I myself shared with a friend early that day about their own fears and struggles. (Taking my own advice, utilizing my own wisdom... still requires that extra nudge from another human being).

10) And should never forget my Mom who, although she doesn't understand my running she listens intently and offers me as many phone hugs to comfort my fears as any mother could. Thank You.

SO all of this in ONE day... one beautiful day. Three times today I cried because I am so grateful and overjoyed to have any of, but luckily all of these people and many more in my life.

Knowing who I used to be, or at least recognizing my own power to hurt people and to take away joy... I am dumfounded by the Love I'm surrounded by. I can't begin to contemplate how I got to be so Blessed. But I think, I'd perfer to just say Thank You than to ever question something so Powerful and Beautiful.

So, Thank you!! (guess that wasn't that short... whoops ;).)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Integrity and "being who you say you are"

in·teg·ri·ty

  [in-teg-ri-tee] 
noun
1.
adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness ofmoral character; honesty.
2.
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preservethe integrity of the empire.
3.
a soundunimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of aship's hull.


I am preparing to sleep tonight, at home, in CT, the temperature here is 10 degrees cooler atop Bartholomew Hill than it was at my apartment in Baltimore.  My life in the past two weeks has been, different than every other section of my training prior. However, different, does not mean that I have not been challenged in like ways before.
Everything was going well, I posted about my 50K PR with pride, joy and love in my heart. Since that time, I had been stripped of some self-worth- my own doing, naturally.

This is a pattern I struggle with, as a human, this is my battle, this is what makes me a warrior. It is also what cripples me. I can move from totally together, to falling apart. My intent was not let anyone take my trust, as it leaves one vulnerable to abuse and emotional loss. Something that is a PART of life we must all cope with. However,  coping- is my weakness. I knew better than to let my stability within myself be shared because I haven't yet figured out how to re-stabilize  after even the lowest grade of "earthquake."

So there it was, everything going smoothly. And The Earthquake came. No big deal I firmly decided. And logically, it wasn't. Unfortunatly logic does not rule the mind nor the emotion. And in reality, was it "no big deal"? Where was the fault? Was there fault? How can I be blamed for being who I am? Or perhaps I am wrong to have pride in who I am? That, becomes the question. Afterall, we are all faulty, all quirky, abnormal... correct?

So where's the running, my post is about running- although I never did proclaim it to be so.

Well, my running crashed with my psyche. Afterall, If I am NOT who I think I am, then What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Despite my clear intent to explore the human boundaries we mentally place on ourselves, to establish a sort of freedom  and to share this freedom, this sense of well- being with as many ppl as humanly possible.... I know my intent. I know who I am. Layer by Layer I have dissected and examined.... but did I miss something? Had I changed? Who am I Sharing with the world?

This process of re-examining my being, takes more than running an ultra- or atleast a 50K since thats all the experience I have thus far.

My runs SUCKED these past two weeks... I mean, we're talking dropping to paces I can usually speed-walk at, and  just overall fatigue. SO I pulled back, dropped the milage, took some more time for me. 

I cancelled my goal of racing at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and just had fun running with Jenn as she re-entered the racing world after her own personal battle. And she did wonderfully. I am so blessed to have shared that with her, and Hope she knows how bless I feel, because my attitude that day was disappointing. I was stressed, cold, and probably quite frustrating, as I've been to many. My deepest apologies. I have hit my limit. 

But with less than 3 weeks until my Labor of Love... A true and honest labor of love that I have chosen to take part it to honor my friends of the The 6th branch and all of the men and women their work represents. ... I MUST rest or risk actually breaking down.

The balance has become very thin. Rest is essential this last couple weeks... but I must Try not to lose muscle as the fatigue I've dealt with has cut my hill and strength training already. And my endurance... 4 mo. of building.... to have one week too long recovery before a run like this... 

I will finish either way (with the exception of medical error)...but I am ready for a 50 mi run in 1 week... which is 1 week early. So I have one LAST long run >15 mi.  to get in, there was two scheduled, but this run is essential for my body- but more so for my mind....

Can I do this, and still continue on in my recovery- injury free, because at this moment, the pain is dulled, but I am aware of its every nerve relay. 

My self-doubt pains me. And because I entrusted a piece of this fear in private, against my intelligence of self, that piece was taken from me or in some other perspective- I willingly gave it away. 

I Need My Integrity. I Need to be whole. And I need to be who I say that I am, who I believe that I am. 

For my faults I am deeply sorry. But I am a runner, and I will continue to run because I believe that there is a purpose behind my efforts, a purpose on my life journey that I will follow to its end, wherever that may lie. But a man once saved my life, actually a father and a son- two men, saved my life, and in their honor I will fight to save others or at least, within my means, to make whomever's life I touch, more wholesome.

This is Me, whether I run 5 mi tomorrow or 25mi.... I will be ok, because you have believed in me so strongly, that I have grown to believe in myself. And this faith, provided by you ALL... is the only thing holding me together. This is what must heal me in 2 weeks time. 


Much Love and Respect. <3

14 days to Labor of Love 50 mile run