Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tough Time

The run has come and gone.  I had a really tough time and I deserved it.  I did not do the training I should have done, and it is pretty hard to do a decent hundred miles without the base.   I did do 85 miles and I am pleased with how things went with the exception of about 3 total hours of the venture.  Two of these were together from 9 to 11 PM Friday, and the other was really a series of events that took away from the flow.  Once you stop, it easy to stay stopped.   I’ll say a bit about the hardships, and then move to more enjoyable aspects of the run. 

I didn’t train enough.  My long runs were not nearly long enough and there were not enough of them.   I have had a downturn in my running ever since the JDRF 30-hour run 2 years ago.  At that time, I had a stress-fracture at about 40 miles into that run, but was really well prepared to do the distance.  I kept on, because this is event is not about me.  It is about going beyond what is “normal” for those we love.  I’m not exactly sure whether it was the physical lay-off that caused me to lose my motivation or if it was the emotional intensity of the whole project and then the let down afterward.  I do know that I have never quite returned to the same level as I was.  I feel pretty poorly about that, but it is certainly time to get over it and move on.
In between 9 PM and 11PM, I really hit a low point.  I thought that I certainly had issues with the same place on my leg where I had the stress fracture.  This worried me a lot because I don’t want to be sidelined as I was 2 years ago.  I am also registered for the Rothrock Challenge on June 2, and I don’t want to miss it.  However, the biggest reason that I was scared because I would let everyone down.  There have been so many supportive people around, I needed to get this job done.  I very nearly just sat down and cried in frustration.  I felt that there was nothing I could do to go further.  Then, I put on a neoprene ankle brace, new socks, and new shoes an voila`,  I felt amazingly better than I had much of the day.  It was pretty smooth sailing through the end.  Walking instead of running, but at a pretty good pace.

Now for the good stuff.  The generosity of the people who supported the 100-miler and the M&M team is amazing.  Even after the walk, people are continuing to come forward with donations.  It’s a good thing.  The long distance effort would not be possible at all without the encouragement and kind words that are given freely and liberally. 

The people who travelled alongside me for portions of the 85 miles included, Pete, John, Brian, Jeff, Cody, Riley, Alex, Andy, Mike, Neil, Bob, Heath, Jeff, and Bruce.  I literally would not have made it through the night without these guys. 

Lauren and Colin, Kathy, John, Amy and Caleb, Alice, Rachel, Mary Ellen, Allison, and Heath:  you are so helpful and encouraging.  It is so much fun to see you and I am so thankful that you were there to lift me up.

Special thanks to Kathy for all of the great drinks and eats.  Yumm!

Jeff, I am so glad that you brought the pizza!  I’ve never eaten pizza on a run, but since reading Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, I’ve wanted to do it.  It was awesome!  I’ve got to say the salt, fat, and carbs were a great mix and the taste was a bonus.

Most of all, I want to thank Molly for her support, encouragement, occasional exhortation (?) to go a little further or faster.  I can’t ever truly know how you feel dealing with this every moment of every day.  I hope that I am not a hindrance to your progress and success.  I love you as much as there is.

So, all in all, another great adventure.  Thanks so much for helping.

Titus 3:4-7

New International Version (NIV)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done,but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirshaving the hope of eternal life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stick Around.

What a great day today at PFMS!  Lots of kids showed their generosity, and maybe just a touch of mischievousness, by duct taping several teachers to a wall during lunch.  Thanks to all of those kids and teachers who were so giving of their time, attention, and money, to help raise money in the search for a cure.  You can check out the photos on the PFMS homepage until I get some pictures uploaded.  Thanks, especially, to Poppy for organizing and directing the whole operation.

I visited the chiropractor today to get everything into alignment. There is no point in starting in a bad way.  After that, it was to the grocery store after school and loaded up on eats and drinks for Friday and Saturday.  It is amazing how much stuff I put into the cart, but it is all great junk food - excuse me, energy replenishment and electrolyte replacement resources.  I'm sure the boys will take care of whatever is left :)

Thanks to BestBuy for the donation of a new armband for my iPod.  I know that it is not directly helpful to JDRF, but it helps me make the miles go.  Somehow, the old stuff wears out after many miles.  Go figure.

I'm spending the evening packing and going through the checklists.  I know that I will be near stores, and so I will be able to get most of what I need, but I really don't want to have to think about it.  Tomorrow night will be a blur, so if it is to happen, it had better happen tonight.

The weather looks even better than it did earlier today.  Instead of high 70's, it is expected to be in the low 70's.  I am excited that several students have signed up to share part of the morning with me and they've done a great job raising support for JDRF.

I really appreciated an email from John Fegyveresi this week.  He had a really tough run at the Massanutten 100.  A huge attaboy to John for his ability to keep going when he didn't have any reason to stick with it.  Can you say inspiring?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I would like to wish all of you who are mothers a most wonderful weekend.  Being a parent is an incredible blessing and the bond that is formed between mom and baby is beyond special.

Under a week to go, and it is getting exciting!  I had a great run up and down Mount Nittany last weekend.  Bruce was taking the SAT, so I took advantage of the time and did a few ascents at a brisk walking pace.  Once I reached the top, I ran a couple of miles exploring the interweaving trails, then ran hard down the mountain to the trailhead.  Once I got there, I turned around and repeated the process.
I was going to quit after 3, but I felt like challenging myself, so up I went again.  I didn't intend to go all the way to the top, but each time I got to the place I thought I would turn around, I was able to go just a bit beyond.  before I knew it, I hit the top.  I decided to pay special attention to my footing on the way down because I knew that I was tired.  As you can guess, as soon as the rockiest parts were over, I bit the dust.  The good thing is that I had thought a lot about how to fall, so I tucked and rolled.  I'm really glad that I had my CamelBack on because it absorbed a lot of the shock.
I just laughed once I realized that I was still in one piece.  Sunday did bring some soreness that was noticeable for a few days, and then Molly pointed out that my shoulder was black and blue.  I knew it hurt, but didn't realize I had a battle scar.  Cool!

Yesterday, I ran a nice quick 5 miler in the woods.  It felt great and was one of those runs that I never wanted to end.  Runs like that are a confidence builder.  It makes for good feelings in the final few days.

The Centre Daily Times, the State College newspaper, ran a nice article about the State College JDRF walk.  The story provides a look into the life of a diabetic through those closest to her/him/  Thanks for putting this article together, Heather.

Several friends have been signing up to keep me moving on Friday night and Saturday morning.  More room is available, though.  Don't be afraid to join in the fun for an hour or two.

Monday, May 7, 2012


The time is drawing closer with each day, and everything is getting into place.  The logistics of the run are the primary focus now.  When will I get to Park Forest?  Who will be running/walking with me while I am there?  What will I be eating? When will I eat?  Weather concerns?  Clothes changing?  Shoes?  Socks?  Skin lubrication?  Hydration?  Electrolyte replacement?  These are all questions that need to be answered and contingency plans considered.

I want to thank the many generous folks who have donated to JDRF over the past few weeks.  I've sort of fallen down and not shown them the gratitude I feel.  Thanks Stef and Matt;  Brian, Vicki and Lynette; Laura, Eric, Kaitlyn, Ryan, and Cassie;  Dawn, Jack, Andy and Emma; Sue and Joe;  Pat; The Steckleins; The Baughmans;  The Smiths;  Marla and Dave;  Sara;  Matt and all the folks at EnergyCAP, Inc.; The Jacobsons;  and Jackie.  I am sorry that I haven't gotten most of you a personal thank you, yet.  Please know how wonderful you are and how much you are appreciated.

If you want to spend an hour or two walking/running with me, let me know. It is a great time.

I'm really excited because Molly, Jeff and I have been working to get ApologetiX, a Christian parody band, to come to the State College Alliance Church for a concert.  It looks like it might come together for June 8.  More info on that later, but if you like rock and roll, you will love ApologetiX.  Amazingly, they can sound like everyone from Led Zeppelin to Huey Lewis.  AC/DC to the B-52s.  They are great musicians and a lot of fun.  Oh yeah, they are great witnesses for Christ as well!   I love to listen to their albums when I run because I can listen to rock and roll, hear some scripture, and get a wide variety of music genre to keep my mind occupied.

Colossians 3:23-24
New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Friday, May 4, 2012

2 Weeks Away

I am so incredibly blessed.  I have so many amazing people around me to encourage and support me.  I wish that I could be that supportive of Molly and help her with dealing with the unknown and unexpected effects of her diabetes.  Sometimes I think that offering a suggestion is a good thing, while at other times it really seems as though it would be callous of me to even mention what I think might be beneficial.  So many factors influence blood sugar levels, and the same application of insulin to carbohydrates can vary dramatically based on these variables.  And that is why it is important to find a cure.

I'm starting to get to the excited stage when the run seems just around the corner, but there is still lots to do.  I want to avoid the bonking that can happen due to poor electrolyte balance and low energy stores.  I've been there, done that and I don't want to do it again.  I think overnight accompanists are going to be fewer this year, but that adds to the excitement and the challenge.  I know I'll have Pete, John, Jeff, Neil, Karen, Mark, and Bob at various times.  I just wish that I had "Scooter" to help me out again!  I know he is enjoying Florida, though.

Well, time to get out for now.  Donate to JDRF and come run or walk with me.  I'm not fast, I just keep moving forward.