Thursday, April 12, 2012

Run Across America: Run Report

It's been two weeks since I left for Rev3's Run Across America.  In those two weeks I have experienced many highs and lows.  Right after I returned from the event someone very close to me lost his battle with cancer; this made the run even more meaningful.  The Run Across America was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The physical and mental aspects were unlike any other event and I was only there for a few days, I am so in awe of those that are there for all 21 days.  And I am so inspired by those that are living with cancer and fighting the fight.  I dedicated my run to those in my life who have/are battled/battling cancer and I continue to think of them as I continue running on my own back home.  To the person who recently lost his battle---you were a very wise, kind, intelligent, generous and caring man--I am so lucky to have known you and been able to call you family.  You will be greatly missed and thought of often--I love you!

So, onto the run report.  I flew into Phoenix after work in the evening and was greeted by a text message that said "hope you're ready to run you're starting the midnight shift."  Eeeek, midnight shift, those that know me know I go to bed at 9 (or earlier) on a regular basis.  I quickly changed at the Phoenix airport including brushing my teeth and washing my face.  I met up with the most amazing woman, Meg, who flew into Phoenix from the east coast also to run! (read her blog post here)!  We got picked up and headed off to find the runners.  We found them around 1am and hopped in the van!  Here is Meg on her first leg of the run around 1:30 am!

Our shift was midnight to 8am--yup, all night long!  My first leg consisted of one mile of downhill and then a GIANT uphill.  I quickly realized this was going to be hard!  My breath was taken away and my mouth went dry...I also realized I was at elevation.

Here I am in the van trying to stay warm in between legs.

And by 8am, I had run 10 miles through the middle of the night up some giant hills under the stars with some fast new friends.  I loved every minute of it but I was definitely tired and ready for a nap.  The RV's came to pick us up for our rest shift and the other crew headed out for their 8am to 4pm leg.

After some shut eye in the RV, we were in a whole new landscape.

Sleeping area!

New landscape.

The girls ready for leg 2 (4pm to midnight shift).

Our van was ready to go again at 4pm.  Again, the elevation was killer but we had a great time running along.  It was nice to see some daylight.
Told ya we were up there!  We ended up getting almost to 8000 feet.

Giant hill!

Here is Eric running along in the Arizona sun.

Here is me running across the Arizona to New Mexico border.

This shift was definitely hard but also amazing we picked up a runner along the way.  A super friendly adorable native of a small town in Arizona.  She met us along the highway and got in the van.  She was full of energy and a love for life.  It was pretty great to watch her.  She even vowed to keep running while we were all out there.  It was one of those experiences that made this trip all the more meaningful.  By midnight I was toast and ready for a good sleep.  Again, into the RV for a sleep while the other time hit the road.

In morning we were treated to the 8am to 4pm shift--which meant daylight and SUNSHINE! And even more beautiful scenery.

New Mexico canyons

In the van!

At the end of our shift in the Walmart parking lot--classy!

That evening the whole team got the night off as an ultra team took the midnight to 8am shift for us!  Yay sleep! 

The next day was more of New Mexico highlands.  Finally, that evening we started to come down out of the elevation.  Going from 8000 feet to 5000 feet, is a HUGE difference!

The next morning, I only got to run a few miles before getting on the plane but I was so happy to be out there.  I took my last few miles to really reflect on why I was out there running.  Every time things got hard I would think about the Ulman Cancer Fund and about how much harder living with cancer is than running a few miles.

From midnight/1am on Friday to Monday at around 11:00 am I ran 45 miles with the crew.  This is more miles than I have ever run in a week.  I certainly was fatigued and ended up with a cold at the end of the trip BUT I am so glad I got to experience part of this EPIC journey.  It is an experience I will never ever forget.

Please consider making a donation to support the Ulman Cancer Fund:

The team still has a few days left, they end their journey in Washington DC on April 16th after 21 days of running and 3080 miles.  Follow the team live here: