Day #35: 80 team miles
Running Partner: Devin (as well as Danielle and Joe for the last two miles)
Today I ran for the kids at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. When I was in Key Club (an international community service club) in high school we would do service projects for the kids there and they are such a courageous group! I also ran in memory of Ms. Deb Ensor, who was the executive director of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and passed away yesterday after a brave fight with ovarian cancer. I’m keeping Ms. Ensor and the Doernbecher kids in my thoughts and prayers and they definitely pushed me along today. They inspire me so much!
Today’s route was an out and back (due to lack of other safe roads) on a fantastic road with a HUGE shoulder that was pretty much larger than the two lanes. Devin was my running partner and shared with me some of the challenges of being a leg leader. They first have to find wifi (which sometimes our hosts provide but sometimes involves a trip to café) and then spend hours each evening planning the next day’s route. They look for wide shoulders, a low volume of traffic and a speed limit of no higher than about 55 miles per hour. Sometimes it’s hard because they find a route that appears safe on Google view but in reality is not and so we have to take an alternate route or run on trails. She said the team has been very good about being understanding though. I’m so grateful for all of our leg leaders and their willingness to do the job! We definitely couldn’t do the run without all their hard work and planning skills. They are also the ones who pre-trip secured all of the hosts we stay at each night. Thanks leg leaders! 🙂
We had a few up hills but most of our miles were long and wonderful down hills that took little effort to keep up a good pace. For the last leg of the day Danielle and Joe joined us and after an initial incline we all sailed downhill for the last mile and a half. It was a great end to our running day.
After finishing our route we drove the remaining 45 minutes to Lexington where we are staying at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge! It is an excellent facility where cancer patients and their caregivers can stay during treatment if they live far away from the hospital. We are staying on the floors of a couple of the common areas and it’s so kind of them to let us do so! This place is such a blessing for some many people and their families. 🙂 It’s awesome to get to see what they do and meet some new people as well. One woman we met was super sweet and told us “I never knew there was such a need for helpers until I got cancer. Now when I get out of here I’m definitely going to help out. It’s rough going here sometimes. But it will get better.” I will definitely be keeping her in my thoughts and prayers during the journey and beyond. It was amazing to see her hope and strength during this difficult chapter of her life. Another lady was so sweet and said “It’s just nice to know people care” which is something I hope for everyone with cancer to feel…supported…cared about…loved!
Another great thing about today was that I got to see my older sister Hannah! She lives in Lexington and even works at University of Kentucky. 🙂 She showed me her awesome house (which is super cute) and we took a walk to see the historic home of Henry Clay which also has a lovely garden! Then we went to eat at a place called Puccini’s Smiling Teeth which had great pasta. Then to a nearby ice cream place, Graeter’s, where I had a delicious serving of chocolate cherry ice cream. Their business has been making ice cream since 1870 which is pretty awesome and explains why it was so delicious – they’ve had a lot of time to perfect it!
It was so nice to see her and be able to see where she lives! All in all it was another great day on the 4K!