RunLizRun.com - Day of Hope
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Tempe, Arizona
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
 
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A Day of Hope
Sunday, September 3, 2006

The support from the running/biking/walking/whatever community for Liz has been nothing short of awesome. Each of you has not only blessed Liz with your wonderful words of inspiration but you have blessed each other, as old friends have reconnected and new friendships have been forged. We will continue to Run For Liz, and continue to provide this place to share those experiences.

Five years ago on September 3, 2001, Liz ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach...as did a bunch of other penguins. Following the race that afternoon, they all gathered to relax on the beach and enjoy the ocean that Liz loves so much. They talked and laughed and told stories and went for ice cream.

Now we are designating this same day - this coming
Sunday, September 3, as a Day of Hope for Liz.

Since you come from all around the world we can't pick an hour in the day where we could all be out there at the same time - so we are picking a day, Sunday, the Lord's Day, to celebrate TOGETHER Liz's life, her tenacity, and her will to survive. You don't have to commit ahead of time or sign up or anything like that. On Sunday, September 3, run - or walk - or attend church - or meditate - or cycle - or do whatever brings you close to your own heart and the place you have made there for Liz. It can be physical activity, or a time of thought and prayer.

Then submit your post about what YOU did on our Day of Hope. Through our collective experiences - and prayers - we will lift Liz higher and higher so the healing may continue.

Sunday, September 3rd - A Day of Hope

The box above explains the Day of Hope and gives the instructions people used to post what they did on this special day. Below are the reports posted from all around the world.

Day of Hope Reports

 

9/8: Day of Hope report from Ellen in NYC
I run the same route several times a week. I've been doing it so long I really don't pay much attention to what I see unless it's about to mug me! So when I thought about dedicating my run to Liz I got to thinking about how I could do that. I wanted something mindful--some way that I could bring Liz with me. Running didn't seem to be a good answer because I'm so internalized when I run. Instead I opted to travel my regular route at a more leisurely pace, and pretended I was giving Liz an in-depth tour of my regular 'hood run. I took my camera along to make sure that I would have to stop and look at the scenery (the better to explain to Liz what we're looking at!).

We got lucky in that it was a gorgeous day. I told Liz to expect the unexpected--there's no way of knowing what New York will dish up on a lazy Sunday afternoon. As we started down my block I explained to Liz that my 'hood run is not necessarily meant to take in the most interesting sights in NYC--I designed it to minimize long traffic lights and unyielding pedestrian traffic. But in it's own way it gives a great slice of New York life.

We headed west from my building down my street. I pointed out some of my favorite gardens. When we got to the corner we turned and looked east and I pointed out the Empire State Building and how it looms over everything in midtown. Rounding the corner we made our first stop: the Church of the Holy Apostles. On Sundays and other holidays this is an Episcopal Church. On Fridays and Saturdays it is a synagogue. On weekdays it's New York's largest soup kitchen. And when it isn't any of those things it houses AA meetings, the Chelsea Community Chorus and community "town hall" meetings. Truly a building that earns its keep. We were fortunate to meet Pam here. She's a volunteer gardener who told us a little about how the lovely gardens are maintained (all volunteer). She offered to show us around, but we had miles to cover so I declined but promised to stop by another day.

The next few blocks were Chelsea eclectic. We passed through campus of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) where the new students were just going through orientation. We passed by Martha Stewart's studio (there goes the neighborhood! ;-) )
and stopped for a few minutes to watch a spirited game of volleyball going on at one of our neighborhood playgrounds. I puzzled for a moment at the "Chinese Yellow Pages" office, wondering if looking up something in the Chinese Yellow Pages is as difficult as it sounds...

One of the coolest things about wandering your neighborhood with a camera is it makes you really look at stuff. I noticed the amazing iron grill-work on the balconies and banisters of the brownstones. I kept looking up and seeing wonderful architectural details I simply don't notice when I run by. I snapped a lot of pictures and enjoyed how pointing things out to Liz made me look at them through different eyes.

Another cool thing about wandering about with a camera is that people stop to talk about the pictures you're taking. Several times I had people ask me what I was looking at as I took pictures of windows and billboards. The best instance, though, was when I met Adele. We have a community garden that I've always been curious about but never really knew how or why it existed. It is surrounded by chain-link fence, with a locked gate, so even when I've taken the time to stop and look at it, I've never been able to truly appreciate it. However, as I pointed my camera through the fence I caught the attention of a lovely elderly woman (a rough estimate maybe 90 y/o!). She came over to the locked gate and invited us to come in to the garden to get a better look. She guided us down the paths between the plots, explaining that each little plot belonged to a different person and that the plots were rented by the season. The lot had formerly been a storage area for maintenance equipment and had been an eyesore to the residents in the surrounding buildings. However, the vision of one guy, and the hard work of a small community had turned the eyesore to the fantastic urban garden it is today. Adele told us her own story--she'd had heart surgery earlier in the summer so her little garden plot was not perfectly maintained--but she thought that taking care of her little 32 square feet of greenery was the best therapy she could have. We spent about half an hour in the garden with Adele and I left feeling tremendously cheered. After running by this little urban oasis for years I finally could put a little context to it. Thanks to Liz for making me slow down and take notice!

After the garden we proceded down some of my favorite residential blocks. There was a very lazy feel to the day--the Sunday of a holiday weekend--and most of the people we passed were out enjoying a very leisurely day. It was a very different feel from the hustle of a typical weekday. We stopped to admire London Terrace--New York's oldest co-op community--and the lovely grounds surrounding the Episcopal Theological Seminary. Then it was on to more lively pursuits as we crossed 10th Avenue en route to more edgy territory.

Manhattan's western-most districts have gone from "scary fringe" to "somewhat uncomfortably chic" in the last few years but it's not always evident from the outside. As we headed to the river I pointed out the graffiti-covered "Heavenly Auto Body" shop which looks like a crack house but actually houses a chi-chi gallery. We had a good laugh watching the gallery crowd trying to maintain their dignity while picking their way through some neither-sober-nor-silent street people. We were still giggling as we crossed the West Side Highway and came upon the dog park.

Now I don't have a dog (wish I did!) but I'm always fascinated by the dog parks in this city. They have their own subcultures. Today we watched as many dogs played without any aggression while their humans staked out their territories and agendas. One guy seemed to have appointed himself "mayor of the dog park" and made grand proclamations about the worthiness of each canine to enjoy the facilities. As it turned out he had at least 4 dogs (two of them pit bulls--though admitedly quite docile) so I guess he felt he had critical mass in ruling the dog park. But jeez! Liz and I shook our heads and rolled our eyes at how it seems you can find a petty despot in just about any situation.

Our final destination for the afternoon turned out to be even better than I hoped. We had headed to a place called the "Frying Pan" on the Hudson River. It's a place I only discovered a few weeks ago and I wanted to show it to Liz. It was the perfect place to grab a seat, have a beer, and enjoy the end of a lovely Sunday afternoon. The Frying Pan is actually a boat, which is moored at a pier in the Hudson River. It used to be a lightship which the Coast Guard deployed off the coast of Cape Fear NC. Now it is an historical landmark gracing the Hudson River just north of the Chelsea Piers sports complex. The pier that anchors the Frying Pan is, in itself, an excellent place to relax and take in some beautiful views. There's a little bar/restaurant and tons of tables to sit and enjoy the views of the river and the New York skyline. It's especially amazing to watch the sun set across the Hudson. And luck was with us on Sunday: Not only was there a wedding party going on at the Frying Pan but there was a Bahamian festival going on at the pier beside it. Wedding guests and Bahamian festival-goers were all kind of morphing together into a big, happy, conch-eating, beer-drinking crowd and we just joined in the fun. We pushed our way out to the end of the pier where there was a live reggae-type band and we sat down and made ourselves at home. I was happy for Liz's sake (as well as my own!) that we'd stumbled across this festival because it was the perfect way to end our Chelsea adventure. I snapped a lot of pictures but mostly what got imprinted in my mind was the sunshine, the music, the smiles and the good company of Liz as we rehashed our afternoon in New York.

We spent a long time at the pier and by the time we left the sun was sinking toward the horizon and I had used up the memory card in my camera. It was a great day and I'm thankful I could spend it with Liz hovering right there in my consciousness. I'm not sure what to do with the pictures--I don't want to clutter Liz's website--so maybe I'll just wait til she comes to NYC in the flesh and I'll give her the whole slideshow then. I hope she enjoyed our adventure as much as I did.

--Ellen

9/6: Day of Hope report from Karen B, Murfreesboro TN

Sept 3, 2006
Day of Hope for Liz report

The alarm sounded at 3:15 a.m. To be honest, there was no time to meditate for Liz then. I knew there wouldn't be. The day would be too full, the work too ceaseless. I thought it probably would be much like Liz's last few
months in that regard--overflowing with work that is largely concealed from the people most involved. I carried that thought into my Day of Hope, to better understand what Liz has been living.
By 4 a.m. I was at my assigned work station--the Information tent at the start line of the RNR Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. There was no coffee at the hotel or our staff check-in point AND I was informed my Info backup
had been re-assigned to work another area at the start. I picked up my staff radio which is how we communicate on race day and trudged through the dark across the vast parking lot that was the Athlete's Village adjacent to the starting corrals.
At Info I couldn't get the generator started which meant no lights around the tent. Not a good thing, as I knew the first runners would begin to arrive before 5 a.m. with a million questions from "I forgot my bib number"
to "what are corrals?" I zip tied banners to the top of the tent poles, set up the Info tables and laid out the safety pins, zip ties for chips, and information on the race course, shuttles, spectating, all the things people
might have forgotten to bring or ask about earlier.
The tables were rusted and heavy. In trying to pull one upright onto its legs, I lost my grip and fell flat backwards onto the asphalt. Hit my head, skinned my elbow, had to use all my tissue to staunch the blood flow. Injuries were minor but loss of the tissue was not, since I knew exactly how much I'd want those later in the day when the TP in porta potties ran out.
The first runners appeared before dawn, shadows drifting across the dark lot. I was ready. This is the part of my job I like. It's when a few words can settle the panic of a first-timer. It's when calmly taking the zip tie from a shaky pair of hands and attaching the chip myself means the runner gets to gear check and the start before the gun sounds. It's when I get to give Ed Shanley or another penguin a good luck hug. :-)
From 5 to 7:30 a.m. I answered a million same same same questions and answers: where're the corrals, the UPS trucks, the bagels, the water, do you have vaseline, which direction do we run, are there buses to bring us
back here no then what am I going to do, how is my mom in a wheel chair going to get to the finish line 1.5 miles away, how will I find my boyfriend, I lost my car keys how will I get home, can I push this stroller and my baby on the course, will you take this shirt which I just bought yesterday and bring it to me at the finish line because I forgot my gear check bag please please please. People were frantic because time was running out. People were angry that the shuttles arrived after the UPS gear trucks left. I answered and explained and soothed as best I could.
From time to time, not often, I bit my tongue at the unpreparedness of people and silliness of questions. I reminded myself that I didn't know what happened in the days and hours before they arrived to ask me their question. Regardless how serious or silly the question, it really is the part of my job I like the most. It's when I get to care about these runners.
At 7:30 I tore down everything I put up at 4:30 and stacked it in a neat pile so the clean-up crew could load it fast. Staff and volunteers were cleaning up the debris and dismantling eqipment in the starting corrals and
athelete's village. At 8 a.m. I radioed for a ride to my finish line work station. All 7 staff who were going from the start to the finish had to ride in the same Neon because parking is so limited. It was the first time I sat down since I fell down. All I wanted was coffee, but there was a convenience store on the way to the finish line. Feeling headachy.
My finish line assignment was refreshments. By the time I arrived, staff and volunteers who had been working there since 5 a.m. had it organized. Thousands of bananas, oranges, bagels, bags of pretzels, energy bars, water were laid out on tables, with more in boxes stacked behind to replenish. Enough for 16,000 runners.
My job was to supervise volunteers who passed out the food and to replenish refreshments as they were depleted. This is the part of the job I don't like. I'm the food marshall, the one who tells the volunteers they must monitor how much food runners take. It's unpleasant and hard to enforce. The speedy greedy don't always think about the slower runners and walkers behind them who are just as hungry and depleted. Neither I nor the volunteers understand why Joe Blow takes 8 bagels, while Sam Smith sweetly takes a half. Neither I nor the volunteers want to tell Joe Blow that he can't have what he wants at the end of 13.1 miles. But we do and he lets us know exactly what he thinks of us.
I spend hours alongside the volunteers in direct sun unpacking boxes, opening and depositing the contents of each bag into bins on the refreshment tables. After the first hour and for four more, runners clog the refreshment area, a stream so steady and constant there's rarely time to glance up. The press of doing the job requires ignoring the runners, a real conundrum for me. All I see is bagels, plain or wheat, with an occasional respite to check on the condition of volunteers, who will often work themselves to a dangerous point of dehydration or debilitating fatigue. One of my best volunteers was the woman who passed out oranges from her wheelchair with a tube from a portable oxygen tank in her nose. My dose of daily inspiration.
Around 1 p.m. the last walker finished. Staff and volunteers began tearing down finish line tents, booths, tables, banners and loading them into trucks. Also cleaning up the debris left by 16,000 runners; bagging the garbage and carrying it to beachside dumpsters. At 2 p.m. those who began work at 4 a.m. were released; others stayed for at least another hour to finish cleanup.
In the car to the hotel, I realized it was the first time I sat down since the car ride to the finish at 8 a.m. By now I'm very hot hungry tired and not thinking too clearly. Staff working in the refreshment zone couldn't get through the crush of runners to staff food in the middle of the secure zone, so I had what I brought: a bottle of boost, a bagel and an energy bar for breakfast and lunch.
Back at my hotel, the call of the shoreline and my Hope for Liz were stronger than the shower or bed. I needed silence, the calming sound of waves and the feel of sand and water to clear the day's fatigue and stiffness from my head and legs.
I put on my running clothes and went onto the beach for the first time since my arrival in VB on Wednesday. I ignored the throngs of Labor Day beachgoers and stood alone with the water lapping my ankles, wiggling my toes in the sand, feeling the tide and thinking of Liz on the opposite shore. I stopped at an outdoor beach bar for a sandwich and cold drink. I called my parents and a friend. I thought some more about Liz and hope.
Back at the hotel I showered, napped, went out for a decent meal, packed, went back to bed. Monday morning I woke before dawn. Leaning on the rail of my balcony overlooking the ocean as the sun rose, my thoughts were with Liz again, weaving a net of friendship around her from that time on Virginia Beach after the RNR Half in 2001 to her recovery rest at Laguna Beach this weekend.
When I'm deep in thought like that, music often comes to me. Monday morning it was Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband singing these words of hope for Liz, for her family...well, for all of us...Dream Big:
When you cry, be sure to dry your eyes,
'Cause better days are sure to come.
And when you smile, be sure to smile wide,
And don't let them know that they have won.
And when you walk, walk with pride,
And don't show the hurt inside,
Because the pain will soon be gone.
And when you dream, dream big,
As big as the ocean, blue.
'Cause when you dream it might come true.
But when you dream, dream big.
And when you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud,
'Cause it will carry all your cares away.
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself,
And it will help you feel okay.
And when you pray, pray for strength to help to carry on,
But when the troubles come your way.
And when you dream, dream big,
As big as the ocean, blue.
'Cause when you dream it might come true.
But when you dream, dream big.
Dream big.
Dream big.
When you cry be sure to dry your eyes,
cause better days are sure to come.
And when you smile be sure to smile wide, and
don't let them know that they have one.
And when you laugh be sure to laugh out loud,
'Cause it will carry all your cares away.
And when you see, see the beauty all
around and in yourself, and it will help you feel okay.
And when you pray, pray for strength to
help to carry on when the troubles come your way.
Karen B >^..^<

9/6: Day of Hope report from Louise Thompson in Charlevoix, MI

Hi Liz.....I'm a little late posting this, but I wanted you to know you and I PR'd a 4.4 mile Mackinaw Bridge Run on Monday.

[this note was added from Louise's post on the Penguin Runners' list. It adds a lot to the report so I'm including it here]
The Bridge run was awesome again this year as usual. As usual, I wondered and worried "what the heck am I doing here again, what makes me think I can do this again, I'm going to be last, I'm going to humiliate myself, my leg is going to cramp --- I had an acute muscle spasm in my calf last week at the Crim 10 mile and rested it all week, meaning no running or walking for 8 days --- did I hydrate enough, did I eat too much for breakfast, should I carry this water bottle or can I get along without it, there aren't any porta potties on the bridge, there was a sort of a terrorism scare about the Bridge a few weeks ago, there are FBI and security all over -- what are they thinking????---- ) Then I decided that if the Gov showed up it must be OK! I was a winner, they aren't going to scare me, I can do this - I've done it before --Lizzie is on my shoulder this time, forget the potty issues, I won't be last, the Gov won't catch me this time, and I'm not going to think about the cramp - it's going to be just fine. Talk about race jitters.......nothing new for me, I should be used to it by now (do you ever get used to this anticipation?!.........So off I went, and here's the result :

Normally walkers are not allowed on the bridge, except on Labor Day, when the Governor leads 45,000 to 60,000 walkers. Runners were never allowed until the Governor started it 3 years ago........she was bored with walking and started running, throwing the Bridge Authority into a real tizzy!! Since then, a lottery selects 300 runners to run with her (after engineering studies determined it to be safe to do so, LOL). Next year will be the 50th walking (4th running) of the bridge.

Started out very early, arising at 4 am to catch the bus to the northern side of the bridge (running south). Began running at 6:45 am, in the northbound lanes of the bridge.
The partly cloudy sunrise was a beautiful orange/pink/gray over Lake Huron on one side of the bridge (Lake Michigan on the other side), the weather was a nice 68, little breeze to ruffle the waters, but high humidity. Just about right.
I'm a back of the packer........and at one point I thought you and I were ABSOLUTE LAST.........the runners ahead of us were at least 1/2 mile ahead, and when I turned around to see how close the Governor might be getting (sheesh, I didn't want her PASSING us!!!) ......... I couldn't see ANYONE! We had the whole bridge to ourselves, Lizzie! I ran hard to try to catch up to those ahead of me, not wanting to be LAST finisher, and caught myself running way too fast for me.........you were providing the wings for my feet, evidently. I thought for sure I'd crash and burn before the finish at that pace. We PR'd by at least a full minute PER MILE (12:58 vs my usual 14 - 14:30!!!). I can't find my notes about the previous runs, but I haven't done 12 anything for more than one mile in at least 4 years. Thank you for your wings!
I'm so glad you are done with the chemo/radiation. I'm sure that was brutal! You look wonderful! I know you'll sail (run) thru the surgery as well. In the meantime, we'll keep running/walking/biking/swimming for you.
Thank you for the wings on Monday. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Louise

9/6: Day of Hope report from Shawn Newton in Tampa Bay, FL

Hi Liz. I hope you're enjoying your time in Laguna Beach. I bet it's beautiful :) We went for a long run on Sunday--although not quite as long as intended. At least not outside. See, I'm, shall we say, directionally challenged, and I managed to get lost in my own neighborhood. I've been training for the Baltimore Marathon this summer, and I had intended to do two 8-mile loops, passing my house in the middle to get more water and Cliff Shots to get me through. Well, I decided to go straight instead of turning right, just to see what was there. It was another part of the same subdivision, so naturally I thought it'd be all right; I'd just go down this one street and come back. Well, that street wound around and changed names three times, and I had no idea where I was. I was almost at 10 miles on my GPS thingy, and I had run out of water about a mile before. I knew my friend Kevin, who I work with at Bed Bath & Beyond, lived somewhere in that part of the subdivision, but I wasn't sure on what street. My brilliant plan was to run up and down the streets looking for his truck and then bang on his door at 8:00 on Sunday morning and beg him to drive me home ;) Well, luckily it didn't come to that, because I made a turn and ran for a bit and, lo and behold, I finally came across a street I was familiar with! Yay! A mile and a half later, I was home. I was pretty much done at that point. So, we went about 12 miles outside, and then after dinner, we finished up the last four miles on the nice, bouncy, soft treadmill in the cool, air conditioned family room, where there was no possible way for my fool self to get us lost ;)
It was actually a fun trip--I'm glad you could come along with me. I promise not to get us *that* lost again--at least not without water ;)

9/6: Day of Hope report from Kitty Cole, WI

Sunday was to be my last day of any real work, preparing for a week of
primarily resting. I drove to Devil's Lake which is adjacent to Wisconsin
Dells and a beautiful place to run/bike/swim.
The whole area is glacier formed which of course means hills, lots of hills.
I decided to run from the south shore to the north shore which is about 4.5
miles, most of it uphill which meant I would run downhill back to the lake.
The hills around Devil's Lake is where my brother did all his training, so
my run was filled with the joy of running in his footsteps, tempered with
sadness for the pain Lizzie is enduring.
The run out approximated the run/walk strategy I hope to use during the
IronMan marathon. If I can run that is. Considering the hill, run/walk is
all that I could do. To give you an idea of the hill...when I turned around
and started downhill, I ran for 15 minutes, around an 8:00mph pace, before I
took a walk break. It was great, I haven't run that fast in a long time and
it felt like I was flying. What a great feeling!
Once I got back to the lake, I stretched, ate, sat in the sun with some
friends, waiting for the others to show up so we could all swim together.
Devil's Lake is a great place to swim because no motors are allowed. You
still have to dodge the fishing boats and kayakers, but they're very
understanding with us training nuts.
Struggling into the wetsuit is almost a workout unto itself, but it sure
does help on the swim, so no complaints. Off we went, south shore, to
across the lake and back before the rains moved in. Looming storms are
great for pace work and the threat of lightning is even more better! We
finished 1.5 miles and for me, it was my fastest swim yet. A perfect way to
say, "that's it, I'm done training, bring it on."
It was a great day, filled with the company of friends, reflecting on the
friends who were present in just my mind, and sending prayers to universe
for strength for Lizzie.
It was a great day Lizzie, I'm ready to tackle IronMan and I hope you're
ready to tackle your next hurdle.
All the best,
Kitty
IronWannabe
[webmaster note: Kitty is making her IM debut in Ironman Wisconsin on Sept 10]

9/6: Day of Hope report from Daniel Wellner, New York City

Sunday, I rested to prepare for the Mad Dash 10K in Rhinebeck the
following day.
On Monday morning, Labor Day, I got up at 6:30 to have breakfast and
drive about an hour from Hillsdale to Rhinebeck, NY, a charming
village in the Hudson Valley. It was cloudy, cool, and humid.
To make a long story short, I ran the 10K in 1:01:21 and won a
beautiful first place AG trophy. I am dedicating my trophy to Lizzy.
The goomies were excellent, including lots of home-made brownies.
Harriet also ran the race and she is much better than I am in telling
the story in great detail. Your turn, Harriet.

 

9/5: Day of Hope report from Lisa Lawrence in WA

On Sunday the 3rd, I walked five miles on the Ruston Way Waterfront for Liz.
I was sore and tired, but needed to do it.
Run Liz Run
~L

 

9/5: Day of Hope report from Julie McFadden, Richhfield, MN

Hi Liz! Weve never met - YET - but I feel like I know you from all that has been posted about you. I have lurked on the Penguin site but wanted to finally talk about a couple of the runs you and I have taken together...
It's probably no coincidence that much of the spiritual music you have on this site is the very same music I have on my Ipod as well as playing on my radio when I run. It's funny, but the first time you and I "ran" together I asked if my music choice was ok with you and now I know that it is! hahaha
That first run was along a 5K trail that was the site of my first official 5K race. (I'm new to running and w/ a slow 12 min / mile pace but that's ok - I'm a new penguin!) We finished the first run together in an OK time but had more fun after with the stop we made at the local farmer's market! I bought you a huge bouquet of summer flowers in gorgeous shades of yellow, purple, red, blue... But since I could not give them to you in person, I put them on the kitchen table so I could say a quick prayer for you every time I saw them. We also tasted some cheeses and sausage, bought some yummy trail mix, but mostly just did our "cooldown" walking the market and you being so gracious to listen to me ramble - as my thoughts do when running...
Our most recent run was yesterday and I call it the run that should not have been. Because it was cold and raining here on Sunday, I did do my honor run as agreed by all on the boards but it was on the treadmill and not much to write about as the scenery never really changes... LOL
Yesterday's run was supposed to be an off day of rest so I decided to go to Lake Harriet and walk while my husband and stepson rode their bikes. The path around Harriet is paved w/ a path for pedestrians as well as one for bikers which makes it safer for all. There is a beautiful bandshell there with concerts most evenings which makes for some delightful walks (I usually run in the morning before work) as you can hear the music much of the way around. There is also a pavillion that sells good ice cream, popcorn, candy, water & sodas and is a great place to meet my family if we separate. Well, anyway, as I said, yesterday was supposed to be a walk... The sun was shining, it was 75 degrees, no wind. There were a lot of people out walking the cutest puppies, lots of darling babies in strollers, a sailing regatta for the small sailboats that dock there, artists painting on the shore, turles sunning on the logs, ducks swimming everywhere, kids fishing... So we were going to walk (see the trend here - the plan was a walk so we could chat and take more in) but fate wasn't having that! I had my Ipod and we decided on some of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as we wanted a decent pace for walking (I gotta burn some calories here). The first song came on and we were off - running - and we could not have stopped if we had to! We were running so comfortably... It felt right and there was no stopping us! We talked, dodged the cute puppies & strollers, laughed and loved being in the warm sunshine! We finished that run of 4.2 miles in a 10:29 pace! I don't know about you but that is a personal best for me as I am usually at about 12:00 min/miles... I could not believe it! You had so inspired me to do better than before and I am grateful! One of the songs we listened to was Springsteen's "No surrender". While the words themselves are ok, I love the lyrics and thought they applied to you. I have posted them here...

"We made a promise we swore we'd always remember -
no retreat baby, no surrender.
Blood brothers in the stormy night with a vow to defend -
no retreat baby, no surrender."

Liz, I know you will never retreat from this battle you are waging! You will not surrender, nor would the Lord want you to so remember, we are all with you and will stand beside you as best we can from cyberspace!
God bless you! Oh and do you want to run again next Monday? The band concert that night is in memorial to 9/11 and I thought we could get a quick lap in and then grab a water and enjoy the evening if you are up for it?

 

9/5: Day of Hope report from Geri O, Hammond, LA

Hey Liz -
I got to do the Tupelo marathon for you on Sunday.

We could not pick up our packets on Saturday, so I emailed the race director and asked if I could pick it up race morning. He replied that we could between 3:00 and 3:15 a.m., turns out that was his idea of a joke. The race started at 5:00 and everyone else was picking up their packets around 4:30 or so. Funny guy huh?
In spite of the rude race director, it was a great morning. Really the first time I actually felt just a bit cool. It was a long slow day for me, but I am grateful that I am able to be out there doing what I love.
Moose and I are planning on running RNR in June - see you there.
geri o

9/4: Day of Hope report from Lauri in AZ

Yesterday I ventured out around 7am for my Sunday long day of 6 miles. The track at the local high school was redone over the summer, and I've been itching to get on it and try it out. Previously, it was a very old, black asphalt track, with plenty of buckles and cracks to watch out for, especially in the inside lane. Practicing good track etiquette, I use the outside lane and rely on my garmin for accurate distance. I have to use to gauge my pace anyway...
So off I went. I noticed right away that the temperature was noticably lower yesterday morning than it had been in quite a while. In actuality, it was about 77F, but the humidity was up quite a bit 76%, and the wind was breezy with a few gusts blowing to make it feel much cooler. As I walked from my car to the track, I almost felt chilly (dare I say that in September in Arizona!). Anyway, the walk itself was none too eventful, although I had to quit at 5 miles and high tail it back home early due to ERIC coming on around 4.5 miles. But it was a beautiful 5 miles, on a glorious new spongy track, my bones have been ever so thankful to me by not feeling creaky and complaining..
So, while Liz was enjoying the beach in California, I was enjoying a beautiful day for her here, her regular stomping grounds of Arizona.... so while she wasn't here physically, she was here in spirit through my thoughts and walk!
Lauri in AZ

9/4: Day of Hope report from Cheryl in SD

Hi Liz,
Sunday , started with a trip to Britton to pick up a friend for the Sunday Meeting. It is a 45 minute trip through the hills. Very pretty, a nice morning without fog. Our grass had been brown this summer for lack of rain, but now we have an abundance of rain and the rolling hills are green and lush. There are the usual herds of cattle and horses, lots of seagulls out in the morning, plus a flock of wild turkey and a large crane (think that is what it was) plus an occasional pheasant. Lots of frogs this year and the turtles are trying to cross the road. It is a pleasant trip. We had lunch together after the meeting. Had a nice visit. both of us have been care givers for many years. Her father , who is 85, is now recovering quite nicely from his cancer treatments. She worries about the day that she will be alone. Next month will be two years that I have been alone. It has not been easy, but I have grown in self confidence as I have had to deal with home repairs and other situations on my own. I assure her that she will do fine, it just takes time. I feel she has an inner strength..more than she realizes. Liz, you too have a great inner strength and are meeting your challenge with grace and courage.. an inspiration for us all.
We took Shiloh and Daisy ( my two little dogs) with us on the return trip to Britton. Her Dad had not met Daisy yet and he loves dogs. They gave him kisses as he greeted them. On the trip home I stopped at the
Nicollet tower and took the dogs out for a short walk. On a clear day, from the tower you can see all three states. Mn, SD and ND. as we are in the NE corner of the state. It was a beautiful day , It brings a smile to think of all the people who are celebrating with you and your family on this Day of hope . It is heartwarming to read the posts. Best wishes to you Liz, for a full recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

9/4: Day of Hope report from Mary Sharrow, Athens GA

Hey Lizzie,
Don't know if you remember me or not, since we only met twice, but I'd like
to thank you. Your sharing of your story has made me look into my own
situation, and to realize that as bad as things sometimes get, there is
always hope.
Without going into pity party details, things have been a bit rough for me
lately, so when I thought about Sunday for Lizzie, I decided that serious
meditation was in order. So I did, and somehow discovered that the
following truth will keep me going:
The meaning of life IS life--and that is enough.
Thank you so much for making me look inside and find hope once again.
Biggest penguin hugs in the whole world,
MaryS

9/4: Day of Hope report from Karen Cooksley, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Yesterday I lazily slept in and didn't get out for my run in the nice, cool morning.
I puttered around with other things instead, to avoid the heat. I re-packaged some meat I'd bought in bulk. I even took the time to add marinades to the freezer bags before freezing them. In the afternoon I took my daughter out shopping for some back to school clothes, and we stopped for lunch and groceries, too. Hubby worked until 6 and I made a late supper of beef satay. I put some laundry in the washer and resisted the desire to curl up on the couch.
With Labour Day today, I could have saved my run for this morning, but I'd promised to run on Liz's Day of Hope, so I put my shorts and shoes on, kissed my family, and headed out the door.
By the time I got outside it was dark, but that didn't bother me - I run in the dark all the time in the winter. The air was still kind of warm, but not hot like it had been earlier. I ran much the same route I'd done on my birthday earlier in the week, but stuck more to the lighted streets instead of meandering through the pathways.
Something was kind of weird about my run. As I said above, I run all the time in the dark in the winter, but I felt different on this one. The shadows were kind of strange, but that wasn't it. I felt more relaxed, more free than I usually do on dark runs. What was it? It took me a good 15 minutes before I realized that I wasn't scanning my route for ice! Aha! I laughed when I realized that.
It was not a long run, only 5 km. I ran up the hills again, and imagined that it really wasn't that hard at all. Since I wasn't going far, I tried to keep the effort strong.
There were lots of folks out walking in the cool evening air. I saw some dogs out playing with their owners. There were other runners out, too. I frightened two big jackrabbits, one at each end of my oval-shaped route. There were a few other kinds of animals out, having barbeque parties and sitting around fire-pits in their back yards. Lots of happy sounds.
I was all sweaty when I got home, but greeted everyone with a kiss again. I poured myself a glass of milk, grabbed a few of my birthday chocolates and THEN I succumbed to the couch. Today is my kids' last day before school begins again. I think I'll drag them out on a hike.
Thanks for getting me out the door, Liz!

9/4: Day of Hope report from Wendy Sibley in NC

Liz, I took you with me to Virginia Beach for the 6th Rock ‘n’ Roll Half this weekend. I wanted so much for it to be fun—the way I remembered our visit there for the race as fun—but all days aren’t fun, I suppose. In fact, perhaps that made this race even more poignant for me. At my low points, I thought of the un-fun days you must have faced recently, and how you have to keep going anyway and squeeze every drop of goodness out of each day.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because there was a good deal of goodness in this day. In fact, it was a glorious day. We skirted a hurricane to make this race, you and I. Right up until the day before I left home, there were questions about whether the path of Ernesto would prevent the race, and whether it would prevent my drive to Va Beach. But the storm passed, the trip was made, and on your “Day of Hope” I toed the line in Corral 20–far behind where you would have started, but I kept you there with me anyway.

And the first six miles WERE fun. The wave start sent us under the balloon arch 29 minutes behind the elites. I laughed, thinking they’d be finished before we got to mile 4, but I had my camera and my goal was not a stellar time, but a palpable memory. I love the water stops and neighborhoods and cheerleaders at this race. They didn’t disappoint us this year. They were just as marvelous as usual. And not far into the race, there was the huge panel from rbkrunning.com: “When exhaustion gets tired, when agony doubles over in pain, when defeat waves a little white flag, I will still be out here. Running. I am what I am.” That’s you, Liz, still running.

Remember the short little bridge? It’s the only “hill” on the course.

Well, the theme for this year was pirate-y, with all the neighborhood there dressed in pirate garb, and a huge pirate ship complete with skull and crossbones, and a series of signs demanding we “walk the plank” (the bridge). Their lighthearted encouragement made the bridge seem insignificant, even to this flatlander. And Camp Pendleton had its jeep-borne drill sergeant shouting encouragement to us through her megaphone.

A 9-or-10-yr-old kid played acoustic guitar from the back of a pickup. He was as much fun for me as any of the bands, and he was adorable.

But when I left the shade of Camp Pendleton, turned back on the city streets, and began the long trek past the finish line out to 37th street, the day changed for me. It was late, the heat and humidity were rising, and the concrete resorts and asphalt offer little in the way of shade. I drank cups of warm water at the water stops, and couldn’t seem to get enough.Then came that wonderful turn toward the ocean on 37th street, and the surf was gorgeous.

The boardwalk was crowded, and it was hot, but we faced the finish line in the distance. And we crossed it, you and I. No iced towels for you at the finish line, because when you travel with me, the good stuff is often gone before you finish. And no water, unless you wanted to stand in the two-block line in the sun for runner refreshments. So I bought a finisher’s shirt and a diet Pepsi, and I walked six blocks to wait in the long line in the hot sun for the shuttle back to the amphitheater where I’d parked. And I was so nauseated and miserable, and I wanted to cry because I’d wanted this to be a tremendous celebration of you. And I dreaded writing the race report.

But it’s morning now, and I’m back home with my medal and my finisher’s short and my photos of the happy moments during the race, and it occurs to me that maybe this is a very appropriate celebration of you. Because this morning, I’m completely "healed". The ugliness of yesterday’s nausea has passed. I am deliciously cool in front of my computer screen and I have a tall, unsweetened iced tea in hand and another pitcher waiting. And it’s a good day. A marvelous day! I wish you a lifetime of complete healing followed by many marvelous days.
Love you, Liz.

9/4: Day of Hope report from Bonnie Broydrick/Singleton, Hingham, MA

Day of Hope! It is fitting that on Labor Day weekend you will be off to Laguna Beach! You have finished one laborious journey and now a little "rest and restore" time is in order. I think Labor Day really marks new beginnings--not the new year, not spring time, but the "back to school" feeling, new crayons and new pencils, all ready to create a new vision.
So, on this day, I took time to reflect. But not alone, my daughter, Heidi, was here for the weekend and together we listened to "Go Gratitude" and we read your journal and your mother's posts and many of the messages. I reminded Heidi of the many times I said to her--"remember that how you live your life counts and sometimes you need to know in advance what kind of person you want to be." Lizzy, your family exemplifies all that I hope mine can be.
And then today, while we were out shopping, Heidi started to lament about the fact that she wished she could afford a Toaster that cost twice as much, but then she looked at me and said, "Go Gratitude." So your message has been passed on. Thank you.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Debbie Askwith, Feeding Hills, Massachusetts

Hello Liz. Knowing you had a busy day ahead of you today, I saved
our little walk for this evening. For several days I've been
wondering what wonderful journey I should take you on. Then I
decided, it would be a very short but personally significant path
that we'd waddle.
In 2001 a friend planted the seed in my head of me becoming a runner
and doing a marathon with her. Each day she'd ask, "What did you do
today for training?" I'd come up with some lame excuse for not
prying myself from the couch. It took a month before I finally
laced up those running shoes and headed out the door - for a whole
quarter of a mile! (That was all I could handle then.) So come on
Liz, let's take a brief "historical" walk down my street and around
the corner.
The far outer bands of hurricane Ernesto passed through here late
last night with refreshing gusty winds and bands of rain. Our path
is littered with tiny twigs snapped from the trees by the wind, and
leaves that lost their grip from the rain pounding on them. There
are no stars visible tonight, but the intermittent car headlights
and a few streetlights will light the way. Our soft footfalls are
drowned out by the conversations of crickets, frogs, and a bevy of
other insects. Listen. Can you hear them calling to each other?
We're back home now, sitting on the stoop, and enjoying the sounds
of nature at night with a cool beverage in our hand, and a toast to
your continued healing. Reluctantly I head inside and ready for bed
as you move on and continue to celebrate LIZ DAY with a legion of
Penguins lined up to share the road. Cheers, my dear :)

9/3: Day of Hope report from Marjorie Mullaly, Springville, Utah

I started this day for you LIZ, by playing for Church (something I do whenever I'm home). The music for the prelude was dedicated to YOU. I choose-- "The King of Love My Savior Is", "Fairest Lord Jesus", "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" and my favorite of all "In the Garden"-- "and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own". Following church, David and I drove to Deer Valley which is near Park City. We hiked up and I do mean up 2 1/2 miles gaining 1,400 ft in altitude. This was the steepest hike we have done to date. When it got tough and it surely did, I thought of you and knew that I had to do it. Then we rode down on the ski lift. This was my biggest challenge of all, I'm terrified of those things. But I managed to get on and off without falling or making a fool of myself. David did say as we neared the bottom that I really needed to let go of the bar as he could not lift it off with my hanging on to it for "dear life".
Praying for you and your family
Marjorie


9/3: Day of Hope report from Daria Pilipczuk, Utica, NY

Liz, today is your day - enjoy it and bask in the all the good wishes that are coming your way - you sooo deserve them all.
I did NOT run, walk, bike or do anything to exert myself today - why not? -- because I am just getting over a real bad case of pneumonia-- but I will post the details of that to the PR group.
Instead, I lit a candle for you and also said a prayer and then I went to the nursing home where my mom is in rehab and helped out with the noon meal. There are so many elderly residents that have no one to visit them - it breaks my heart. This being a holiday weekend - the home is short staffed so I wondered - would Liz like it if I helped to feed some of the elderly folks? So, in honor of Liz, I volunteerd my time at St. Luke's Home. It was great to see smiles on some of the ladies who called my honey and also thanked me but I didn't do it for the thanks-- I did it for you Liz.
God Bless you and keep you in His loving care.
Remember - we will rock San Diego!

9/3: Day of Hope report from Karen Maas, Newberg, OR

Hi, Liz! Today was a 7 mile, easy run/walk for you! On my ridge road, only dusted by a few passing cars (not much wind this morning). Beautiful views of the Willamette Valley, but not clear enough to see the mountains. This is the time of year when great clouds of dust are generated, as the tractors till deep into the ground after the harvests. And this afternoon/evening, I'm cooking up some fresh applesauce, from 2 beautiful boxes of Gravenstein apples that a good friend gave me. It smells wonderful in here!
Prayers for more celebrations for you to come!!! :)

9/3: Day of Hope report from Cheryl Link, Dublin, Oh

Hiya Liz!
I hope that you're enjoying the healing time at the beach. I did my long run yesterday morning, and planned on either running short or taking a rest day today. I wanted to do something different for your Day of Hope, so I decided to explore the morning with my granddaughter, Alex. She's 5 months old and this was the first time that her mom & dad have been away from her for the night. Milt & I were honored that we were the ones that they asked to babysit.
Alex is a happy baby and this morning was no different. I took her on a walk thru some of the bike paths that criss-cross our neighborhood. We ended up at the playground and I decided that it was time for her first official swing - not one of those little baby swings, but on an actual swingset. Apparently, all of the fresh air wiped her out and even the excitement of being on a big-girl swingset didn't wake her up.
As we were heading back to the house, we passed a house with a "Welcome Home Baby" banner across the front porch. The guy that lived there was mowing his grass and he turned off the mower to come over to see the baby and to tell me that he had a new baby in his house, too. I hope that he gets just as much joy out of watching his little one grow as we've been getting from Alex.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Chris Gasco, Commerce Twp MI

5 Miles from Michigan for Liz's Day-
5 today along my favorite dirt roads (which unfortunately are getting scarcer here in SE Michigan)..fall is definitely in the air here! The purple loosestrife and water willow plants in the river are turning a pinkish-red. Saw a few painted turtles out in the river, sunning themselves on logjams. Lots of deer sign - tracks all over and quite a bit of scat (the polite name for deer doo). A few chipmunks crossed the road ahead of me - fast little buggers - no wonder they have racing stripes!Part of the run was in a "tree tunnel" - the Garmin wouldn't pick up the satellite, but the trees arching over the road were most soothing. In a month or so, the colors there should be gorgeous. Not a lot of idiot drivers today either,so it was a great run. I've been at DEFCON4 on the PMS scale the last couple days, so this was just what I needed as I start my training in earnest for Kiawah Island. Thanks, Liz,for motivating me, and I hope you're enjoying the ocean.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Bill Kramer, New Albany, IN

Today will mark my first official work day at UPS. Up until today I've just been sitting in classes. Today will be the day I actually get thrown into the fray. No matter, despite the butterflys that are marking my new experience, I wanted to be sure I made it out for a run for Lizzy before work.
On an early Sunday morning, it was mostly just me and the crickets. When I was training for Rocket City I always enjoyed (after I got used to starting in the dark) my Sunday morning long runs. There is a peacefulness, especially in the city environment, when you get out before anyone else. It somehow empowers me to realize that most other people are still laying in bed and I'm out doing something proactive for my body and soul.
As perfect as the setting for the run was, it still just wasn't my day. It's my 3rd day in a row of running. Yesterday I met up with Jim and Terry. I ran 5.2 miles and this morning my legs and my foot were kinda sore from 3 straight days. In addition, I ran in a shirt yesterday that left burn marks on my armpits. However, whenever I wanted to believe I was having a hard time, I thought of Lizzy and her struggles. There is no way that my struggles can compare. The thought of quitting never entered the equation.
Lizzy, I hope everyone joins together today to run for you on this designated day. Just know that everyday you are being prayed for and that you continue to inspire all of us.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Lisa Whipps, Columbus, OH

Hi Liz,
Today on YOUR day my husband and I went to church. We chose to go to the Exault Service, which is more modern and up beat. The lesson was on including God in your every day life. Our challenge was to pick something that we do on a regular basis and instead of just doing it, do it for God. Well that is not too hard for me. I will just make sure that God is with me on every run.
Then we went over to the regular church service and took communion. I prayed at the altar for you and for the other people in my life that need healing. I sent you positive thoughts that you are enjoying your time with your family at the beach.
I wish I could run for you today but we are running a 5k tomorrow so we rested. I know so many others will be out there for you. I will take my strength tomorrow from your fight and from God.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Alan Longfellow, Tempe, AZ

Dear Liz,
I was up early here in Flagstaff to dedicate a run for you. These days I usually just do 2 or 3 miles for my cardio. Today was a day to do 4 miles for you. I also will be doing this at 7,000 feet instead of the usual 1200ft. After about 2 miles it was time to climb the hill back toward the house. I was determined not to break stride, so I got your help. I was saying I run (breath,pant) for Liz (breath,pant), I run (breath,pant,gasp) for Liz (breath,pant,gasp). Anyway, I made it with you and your strength and spirit pushing me on. Thanks for sending your energy my way. I am so glad your radiation is finally finished and you are on your way to healing and feeling better. I admire your tenacity, your spirit, and your inner strength which is getting you through this rough journey. All your friends, family, and even those who you do not know, are with you and sending so much positive energy there is no way you can't help but win this battle. I love you. Alan

9/3: Day of Hope report from Patti in St Louis

Hi!
I had the most awesome run for Liz. I ran about 12 miles and saw some awesome stuff. I saw butterflies. I crossed the Missouri River to run on the Katy Trail. On my way back I was getting tired and was thinking of the hard time you have been through Liz, just as I was thinking about it four F15's flew over me. It was awesome. They were probably heading to the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show. It was really weird. My angel joined me again on this run. He had a dream to ride in an F15. We tried to get the Blue Angels give him a ride but they said that they only do it for famous people. I think of him every time I see fighter planes. He fought hard to beat cancer and he is fighting with my Dad and you in spirit. Now I have had two very special runs for Liz . This one was also for my Dad who is still fighting hard too.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the butterflies.

Patti in St Louis

9/3: Day of Hope report from Violet Elder, Ann Arbor, MI

Hi Liz, I hope you are having a happy and restful Sunday in Laguna Beach. My Sunday started at 6:30 a.m., when we set off in the dark to do our long bike ride. Biking in the dark, with very little traffic on the road, is really a surreal experience. Peaceful, meditative.
We headed east, out of town, and then north along the eastern border of Ann Arbor, eventually cutting through the park along te river, just as the sun began to rise. It was to be another gray, cold day, but it didn't matter--sunrise is a beautiful and spiritual thing, regardless.
We followed the river through the park, eventually ending up back on Huron River Drive, bound for Dexter, Michigan. In the early fall morning the wildlife activity was incredible, much greater than usual. The squirrels were frantically darting about, in high gear now as they prepare for the coming cold. Flocks of birds were gathered by the river, collecting themselves for a flight south; we saw more white-tailed deer than I've ever noticed on that ride, and a number of herons.
We were at 20 miles by the time we arrived at the coffee shop this morning. Millard and I decided that we would stretch out the return trip to make it a total of 40 miles. I'm training for a fairly challenging 45-miler in two weeks, and that ride will be through glacial moraine, with a number of long and arduous hills--one of them has a 9.5% grade, I'm told. However, for the moment, we enjoyed the hot coffee and good conversation, a small reminder of how important it is to live in the moment and enjoy whatever small pieces of joy come to you.
The ride back was fast. I was cold and needed to pick up the pace just to stay warm enough. As we approached the downtown area, back in Ann Arbor, we were able to see a parade of motorhomes headed for the expressway--the same ones that camp outside the stadium during every home game. We've lived here so long that we practically recognize each of them.
We detoured away from our side of town and pedalled down another main street, ending up on the southeast side of town, where we lived when the kids were growing up. I feel an affinity to that neighborhood as well. And after a few more turns, we were back at home, ready for a good stretch and breakfast.
40 miles x 2 riders, dedicated to your healing, Liz. Please know that you are an inspiration to us all.

9/3: Day of Hope report from Phillip in Sacramento

Liz,

Good morning. You look bright and chipper this morning and I can tell that you're ready for a little stroll. We will be out around the American River this morning. And, since we race next Sunday, we shall be going a nice easy six miles this day. Just looking to keep it loose and enjoy the day.

Appears as we have a most gorgeous days on which to stroll. It's in the middle 50s, with a slight breeze. The sun, which just a few weeks back scorched us, is setting lower in the sky these morning as we gently drift from summer to fall and isn't quite as hot. It's the type morning where a sweatshirt would be quite comfortable if we were just out strolling, but one on which we would be too warm were we not to shed it before we began. Yep, perfect!

It's shortly before 8 a.m., so guess it's time we get going. We will probably bump into the Fleet Feet training group later in our stroll. They begin at Howe Avenue, but won't be hitting the path until shortly after we pass that area. Figure the first group will either pass us shortly before or after we turn back and head to the barn.

Might even bump into some Buffalo Chips are we come back in. They, too, begin at 8 a.m., but start at about the 6.5 mile on the path. Figure we won't see them until we're coming back.

Chips, Fleet Feet folks, people on bikes, and folks, like us, just out for a gentle stroll all out enjoying the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bicycle Trail on this lovely Sunday morning.

You thought it was the American River Parkway? Well, it is. Both those of us who use it frequently call me by various name. Let me explain a little, give you a little history of the path. Happen to have a map of it in front on me and it includes some very fine history of it. Sure they won't mind if I "borrow" their knowledge and words.

The path is actually named after Jedediah Smith. As you might recall from history, he was the first explorer to reach California overland by was the the Sierra Nevada mountain range. He camped along the American River in 1827 and named it the "Wild River". Because of his accomplishments, the bicycle trail that winds along the river's banks in the parkway has been named after him and became a recognized national trial in 1974.

An organization named "The Capital City Wheelman" built the first bicycle trail along the American River in 1896. The trail was cinder path which extended from Sacramento to Folsom. Today's trail was designed in 1967 and completed in 1985. It runs 32 miles of parkway from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake.

Let's do some walking. Loosen up the old gams this first mile. Just stroll and see how muscles feel. As I said earlier, just see what happens. No sense to press the pace or make it a speed session. Our race is next Sunday, not today.

I can tell by the start that this is going to be a good day. Legs feel strong. We're nearing the Howe Avenue underpass and I can see a group of runners coming towards us. Looks like about eight folks. Sun is blinding me just enough so I can't tell if I know them. Getting closer I hear one of the folks shouting my name...it's Doug Thurston. Doug is both a local runner and race organizer. He handles most of the Fleet Feet events. Good guy.

There's a few folks out besides them. The first real glance we're getting of the river indicates that it's flowing quick. Think they must be speeding the release of the waters from the Nimbus Dam so that the rafters will have more fun on the river over the holiday. Might be fun on a raft, but should wouldn't like swimming in it. Moving a tad too quick for that!

Liz, we're just hitting the end of our first mile. Click it off and we see 15:06. Not a bad pace for the first mile and could be a precursor of a very good next five miles.

We are continuing to move well during this second mile. Not encountering a whole lot of folks, but Thurston and another runner have just ran by us again. Probably started up about Watt Avenue and heading back towards their finish. We get a very good view of the river here and it is flowing.

We have not settled into a very nice pace. Not sure what it is. Quicker than our first mile, but my HR is staying in the mid 120s so we will just keep strolling.

Here's Watt Avenue, mile two marker is just beyond it. Pass and click. We are moving good...clearing mile two in 14:42. About twenty-five seconds quicker and didn't feel the increased effort. One more mile and we turn back.

What? Can we go farther? Liz, please. Not today. Let's leave it at six and as a compromise we'll kick it the last mile. Sound fair? Okay, deal.

Now we're bumping into a few more folks coming our way. Goodly amount of runners, walkers and bicyclists. Figures, too nice a day for folks to stay indoors. Our pace is still strong, moving well with little effort. And the HR is staying around 130. Quickly we approach the 11 mile mark and our turn point. We've walked this last mile in 14:31 and will stop briefly to ensure that we don't run into any bike traffic as we turn. Bike coming, so we'll just wait a second.

We are about a quarter mile into our return trip when we start bumping into the leading edge of the Fleet Feet group. We spot one of the trainers, Justin, and extend a hello. And, of course, are wishing are we meet a good morning. Can't believe how good we are moving. Especially can't believe it because I've been on South Beach diet for two weeks (low carbs and sugar) and still have tons of energy. Let's truck on.

Even though we continue seeing Fleet Feet folks there doesn't appear to be as many as we normally see. Guess a lot of folks are off doing other things on this Labor Day weekend. As for us, well we have just cruised the next mile in 14:19 and are crossing under the Watt Avenue underpass with a tad less than two miles to go.

One of the rules on the trail is that runners/walkers stay on the left. Allows us to stroll with oncoming traffic facing us. As we truck this fifth mile we are encountering quite a few folks who don't know the rules. Just don't understand that running/walking on their right makes it more dangerous for both themselves and us. Oh, well, we will be careful even if they aren't.

The heart rate is picking up and is starting to bump up against the 140 mark. I want to get it around there until we get to mile six...and then we can bust it. I know, a promise is a promise.

Okay, my friend, we have reached the end of mile five. We turned it in 14:09 and are now ready to move. I'm still surprised that we are moving this strong. I don't know about you, but I'm not feeling the effort. Know that we're moving stronger, see the HR rising, but it feels so good.

We're clipping right along. I can already see the 8.5 mile marker up ahead. That means that soon we will be walking under Howe Avenue. Our journey is rapidly drawing to a close. We're pushing it. Concentrating on generating power with our arm swing, making sure that our stride doesn't lengthen, and it's paying off.

We pass under Howe Avenue, come around the bend and can see the finish. We're staying on the dirt, but will move back to the payment right before the finish as the newly finish area of dirt is still too soft to walk upon. Moving, moving, moving. We have just crossed and clicked. My friend, 13:24 last mile! Not bad, not bad at all.

Think we are ready for next Sunday. I've picked up your entry for that and hope you join me for it. We'll go easy most of this next week. Get out tomorrow and Tuesday, Wednesday is golf and Thursday will be our last effort before the race.

As for today, thanks for joining me. It's been fun and hope that you have enjoyed the journey.

As always, thoughts and prayers flowing your way.

Cheers,

Phillip

9/3: Day of Hope report from Barbara Grandberg, Somerville, MA

Well Liz, today was not what I thought it would be ....For your Day of Hope, I was to be on a relay team for the Boston Triathalon...I'd be swimming in Boston Harbor and also doing the run through an industrial section of South Boston, aka Southie..Well due to Ernestino's rain,(we didn't get the actual hurricane), the tri was cancelled...I did go to the World Trade Center today, tri central, to turn in my chip and then went to theY to workout...Saw an friend at the Y who I hadn't seen in a while...Hmmm, I wouldn't have seen Anita if the tri had happenned...Then roamed around the Back Bay section of Boston..Due to the weather, it was quite nice without all the crowds....Thought of you today, hoping you're enjoying the beach....Hang in there Liz...

9/3: Day of Hope report from Ron Horton, Charlotte, NC

Started my Day of Hope (for you) off in God's house - Wendy and I enjoyed time in church studying God's word; when our SS teacher talked about those who really care for each other, I just smiled as I thought about all of those people around the world that have you in their hearts today.

After lunch, I came here to the computer to update the web page. As I expected, there are messages from every corner of the world. I know you and your Mom and Jessica are having a special few days at the beach, while all around the USA - and beyond - people are celebrating your survival, and lifting you and your family up. We're still looking forward to that race we're going to come run with you to celebrate in person!

We rode the bikes 45 yesterday, so today is an off day for running or biking...but that's what today, your Day of Hope, is all about. Whatever anyone can do, that keeps your struggle in their hearts, brings us all together...for you.

 

music

The song that is playing is "I Run for Life" by Melissa Etheridge.
One day Liz will be running again, holding a banner of victory and stating that she is running for all who fight for their life as she has.
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You can control the playback by using these buttons

The Lyrics:

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

[Chorus:]
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend: I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running I'll tell you I run for us all

[Chorus]x3

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more


Chorus second time after 3rd verse:
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your daughter your wife for you and me my friend: I run for life