• a few lost toenails..120 miles run

    a few lost toenails..120 miles run

    Day 3 is done! O.M.G....Valor Run NW...

    You may notice my posts are getting done later and later each day. The baths are longer, the dinner more delicious, the route recon for the following day a little more careful and deliberate as I am slightly more tired.
    How’d it go? Awesomely magical, thanks to friends and family. I have to start with 3am to do it justice. Woke up like one of those women in the Niquil commercial, eyes wide open, thinking the following thought, “Holy makerel, I just passed the half way point. Wait, that means I’m ONLY half way and this is L.O.N.G.” Then I forced myself to give it up to God, reminding myself to continue to pray at every mile, savor every minute and love the sense of comradery and commitment to the fallen. I decided to eat again and I opened up FB. Suddenly, I noticed a message from Matt Denny, 29.5 years a Marine and adventure racing partner from 1995 (yep) who now lives in Bend, OR. Message says, “Flying to Seattle tomorrow. Arrive at 0730. Renting a car and I’ll find you.” What? A friend, doing this for me, for those we are honoring. How can it be a bad day?
    The actual day then started at 7:30, with Fr. Brad Hagel leading us in beautiful prayer around the Veteran’s Memorial, which was decorated with 165 flags. 160 were there for our female soldiers, and 5 for the Marines and sailors killed last week in TN. We had a very big crowd, and about 25 people walked the first mile with me. This included Dr. Gene Hernandez, President of the College, two female Marine officers from Cherry Point and San Diego and their friends pushing their teen in a running chair joined as they’d flown to Seattle to do a half marathon the following day. Chris and Teresa from the EdCC Vet’s Center joined me, my sister in law Sophie, my niece Emily, Rita and Amanda Mohn, Monica O’Neill and so many others. Finally it was just a few of us, and we got into a routine. At Greenlake, my friend Matt (from Bend) found us, and we all stopped in for a hello at Road Runner Sports. My jogbras have ripped up my back, and my SIL Sophie and the manager got me back in the game, while Dan painted some dreadful second skin solution on my back which almost made me cry. We continued south, crossing the Eastlake Bridge and ran into the super spunky Clark family, and Tara jumped in with the gang. Life was great, we skipped along, picked up one of my favorite friends, Kris Ilgenfritz, and had a great stop at the VA with VA staff. We then meandered down and through the Mariners fans to the West Seattle bridge and picked up RWB Seattle’s Sarah Roberts, who was carrying a beautiful flag. A few miles later, we were met by the incredibly adorable Sidney, from St. Luke’s school, who rushed home from camp and down to W. Seattle to run with us. That kid has heart and tenacity. Shortly thereafter, we ran into the Honor Station at Westwood Village, hosted by WarriorPointe and Kimberly Newlove, widow of Petty Officer Second Class Jarod Newlove. It was a beautiful station, chock full of people. Another great friend, Theresa Batty, joined me there and got me fueled up on natural wonders (chia, beet juice, enzymes, etc). Unfortunately, I probably saw her a half mile too late, as the stomach totally went south as we left the station. It was a very difficult 6-7 miles, and I am so thankful to those running with me who nursed me along. I felt horrible, but incredibly loved by crew and runners. I finally snapped out of it, and we finally arrived at Saltwater State Park to friends, Chaplain Lew and Rick Froman. Another serendipitous moment was when a Vietnam Marine came into the RV with me, Heather and Matt and confided in the difficulties he’d had at reconciling the deaths of friends. He had even driven to Ohio 20 years after Vietnam to speak to the family of one of his closest brothers in arms. It was emotional, but again, a total lovefest. I couldn’t do a step of this without my crew- the dynamic duo of Dan and Heather today. And to cap the day off, my cousin, Mary Lou, and her husband Kelley, took us back to their home and fed us the most delicious feast ever. One more day of this- what a bittersweet feeling. I’ve lost 3 toenails, worry a little about my belly for tomorrow, have a road rashed back, and yet, can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to honor our female servicewomen in this special way. Until tomorrow……

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