Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where to start, now that I've finished?

It's one day shy of two weeks since I ran into Petoskey. It feels rather like a lifetime ago! For the first several days, I kept having dreams that I needed to run some more to get to Petoskey. During one dream, I half woke up, realized I was in Petoskey, and the dream said, yeah, but you still have to run some more in order to actually finish the run. Not that I was stressed about making it to the finish line or anything...

And now I'm back in Boulder. There have definitely been adjustments - like to noise, crowds, traffic, being indoors, sitting... At one point during the trip back to Boulder along I80 in Nebraska, I asked Kendall if we could get off the interstate and hop back onto my route on the Lincoln Highway - the stretch that I picture whenever I think back to the calming effects of the run. So that we did, and it was wonderful. It put me right back into the serene state of mind that my slow moving adventure had bestowed upon me.

Emerald waves of grain...
June 2007, Lincoln Highway, Nebraska

But back to the original question: "Where to start, now that I've finished."
My vote is to start by thanking the multitudes of wonderful people who helped make this journey such a resounding success!

  • Kendall and Paul who spent the bulk of their summer going across the plains two miles at a time and conjuring up aid station entertainment guaranteed to keep a smile on this runner's face.
  • Devon who kept Jester dog happy and our Boulder home humming - making our summer just that much more care-free knowing that someone was keeping an eye on the home front.

  • My friends who helped crew the first week (Deb, brother-in-law Andy, and Joe).
  • Lysa who crewed in Nebraska for a week giving Kendall and Paul a break back in Boulder. (If you ever want a wonderful traveling companion, find a mellow historian: fantastic, easy-going, fun fact conversationalist.)
  • Bob K. who met us on the road in Minnesota with homemade rhubarb pie, fresh-picked raspberries, cookies, homemade applesauce and great conversation.
  • Patti who made up a cd with absolutely fantastic tunes that played perfectly with this running adventure. (Think "I hope you dance" 1355 miles into a 1400 mile run!)
  • AndyE who crewed in Wisconsin for two days while Kendall and Paul rested up at SandyE's brother's farm (Anna's Inn - wonderful spot in Marshfield, Wisconsin).
  • Deb who rendezvoused with me almost weekly over the past year to help put the logistics for this run together, crewed for me the first day (Boulder to Ft Lupton), then traveled to Petoskey to meet me at the finish - what a treat!
  • High school buddy Connie who wrote stories about the run for the papers back in Petoskey and organized both the welcoming committee on the day I ran into Petoskey and a grand bash at the waterfront with a whole bunch of high school buddies the weekend after I finished. (The party was so much fun a number of them asked if I'd do the run again next year so they'd have an excuse to get together again. Ha!)
  • Everyone who sent e-mails and text messages, who phoned along the road, who posted comments to my blog or signed the guest book on my web site. Every word put a spring in my step!
  • The many new friends I met along the way who took such an interest in the run and were so very encouraging!
  • Great Harvest Bakery of Longmont : sent out boxes full of the most delicious goodies: bread, rolls, sweet rolls, cookies, muffins, brownies, energy bars. I lost a bit too much weight on this trip - I can't imagine what would have happened if I hadn't had all these tasty treats available! I ate bread with almost every meal; my standard post-run treat was a Great Harvest cookie as we drove to our campsite; and starting with Wisconsin, I went to "real food" for my on-the-run food - with my favorite being nibbles of either Great Harvest Happy Whole Grain bread or Great Harvest energy bars. In fact, on the last day, I was running ahead of schedule (I was told I couldn't reach the Petoskey Wheelway until 11:30 tho' no one would tell me why) so I had to wait almost an hour at a park just outside Petoskey. During the wait, I ate my last piece of "Happy bread" slathered with Justin's almond butter. Yum! And that brings us to:
  • Justin's nut butters. Justin sent out a jar of almond butter and a box full of packets of various kinds of peanut butter. If you like nut butters, you must try Justin's. Absolutely delicious. And if you want a real treat, try some Great Harvest cinnamon bread slathered with Justin's nut butter. Yummers!
pjv right after eating Happy Bread with Justin's Almond Butter
just outside Petoskey, 8/1/2007

  • Gatorade. A chance encounter, and I'm set for fluids for the entire trip. It just so happens that Paul runs cross country for the same college as the son of the president of Gatorade - and we met each other at the first meet of the season last year. He heard about my plans for this summer and a few weeks later, boxes of Gatorade and water bottles and jugs started showing up at our doorstep. Riptide Rush was the flavor of the summer - a light enough flavor that I could drink gallons of it and that's just what I did.
  • Holly Beggs: massage therapist extraordinaire. She not only kept my body moving during training, she also helped with nutrition and support preparations - and - when I was injured in Nebraska talked me through self-massage techniques that got me back on the road in very quick order.
  • Mark Plaatjes: A friend - and extraordinary athlete and person - who heard about my idea for a run and who, after saying "Why do you want to do that?" volunteered to help me with a training plan that would get me ready for the adventure. The plan worked beautifully and Mark's encouragement was, as they say in the commercials, "priceless".
  • Brooks and Boulder Running Company - partnered together to provide me with shoes to last across the country. I was able to keep four fresh pairs in rotation throughout the entire trip. My feet were very pleased.
  • BCOR got me started on my training program, building up core and upper body strength where there was very little strength to start with - and Coach Josh sent encouraging words all along the way.
So, that's where I've started. More to come - this journey is going to stay with me a while...

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