"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Friday, July 20, 2007
(pic by Glenn: crew member #5 Glenn Tachiyama! - see below.)
So, I had a day filled with, uh "stuff." Some of the stuff was for race preparation. One of the good things I did was have the most awesome acupuncture treatment ever! Dang, it was good! I arrived feeling completely stressed with my mind spinning and my body tense, and Kimberly told me she was going to focus on "slowing me down by 3 speeds." She said I needed to relax and free my body of this stress in order for it to heal itself. Well, I was knew she was absolutely right; however, when she said that, I thought for a moment and I became a little anxious and replied, "well, don't slow me down too much because I have LOTS to do today!"
In a sympathetic manner, she smiled and shook her head and reassured me that's what I needed to heal. I knew she was right. Of course, I agreed. It was gloriously serene. I left with freed emotions and energy. I felt calm and much more like my normal self.
I then went to the KIX 96 radio studio and did a little fund-raising for the Team St. Lukes kids there. That was a great experience. I love to talk about what ultrarunning MEANS to me and how it is a microcosm of life. The peaks the valleys, the "walls," the reliance on your friends (at least at Badwater). It's a way of experiencing what it means to overcome and perservere...of experiencing what it means to choose how you respond to the environment around you. Commitment and inspiration. All these things are what ultrarunning is made of... just like life.
So, I started packing tonight. I've got a few more hours actually before I think I'll be done. It's tough to plan ahead for the race and also for Mt. Whitney. It's like two totally different back-to-back races: heat and sun of the desert, and elevation and possible storms and cold of the mountain. Larry Ham stopped by with his wife Debbie. She sewed some bandanas for me, like she did in 2004. She also made some kind of "tube top" out of the orange bandana that I will wear as a good luck charm from a good friend. Larry took many of my supplies so I can actually make it through the airport without killing my back. So, a bit more planning, packing and fine-tuning and I'll be ready for a few hours of sleep. I leave in the morning. .....I can't BELIEVE I leave in the morning!
(pic: This is how I packed in 2004. Everything in plastic baggies. It worked very well. I'll do the same this year.)
The medical supplies are all in place. We have an awesome medical team as usual. Highly experienced and skilled for in the field assessing and treating with the goal of getting runners back on the course if it is safe for them to do so.
Also, the research is all in place and we have almost all our subjects already recruited. We are again doing some "field" research and will be looking at fluid and electrolyte balance as well as some of the stress hormones in the body, including ADH, which can be an ultrarunner's nemesis. (pic by Jamie Mieras)
AND....you may have noticed (and I already mentioned it in my last post) that the very super cool and talented Glenn Tachiyama is on my crew! Yep. Am I lucky or what?? Glenn has been a true friend for many years now. He's one of the strongest yet gentlest people I know. He is an experienced ultrarunner who owns some darn fast finish times, and he is highly experienced at crewing some of the very best ultrarunners, including Scott Jurek many times, as I mentioned below. (I hope he doesn't get too bored crewing me!)
I will brag about him and the rest of my crew over and over again and again. Of course, all crews are awesome, but I am particularly grateful for my team of friends with whom I will share the journey across the the Valley and to the summit of Mt. Whitney. You all mean the world to me. I am overwhelmed by love and gratitude.
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!