I showed up at 5:45 AM at the Wallis Sands State Park parking lot where I found the RV Lisa and her crew has been traveling in, parking inside the lot. It was an amazing morning, the sun rising over the atlantic under an overcast sky. Winds were light yet chilly.. and Lisa was all ready out there running the 4 mile loop I had set up for her. I picked up Mike Evans and we went to check some mileage of a potential out and back instead of the loop. Lisa wanted NO HILLS and while the loop I set up for her was relatively flat, it was just enough to irritate her bruised shin. We drove up alongside Lisa when she gave me a huge hug. It's so great to see her, it's been years since we have, back when I ran her race, the Grand Tetons 100. With her is Sister Mary Beth, my friend David from school and a father daughter team pushing a child in a baby carriage.
We figured out an out and back, and headed back to the parking lot. Lisa came in and said she was happy to shuffle along the route I had set up a few times and then go from there. And so it was. Lisa in a pair of Blue Crocs, shuffling along the side of a road, doing a 4 mile loop. I joined her for the next 8 miles. We caught up, we laughed, we cried.. we ran, we walked. What sticks out in my mind is her humbleness. How in the middle of her run she can tell me tales of the children she's met, the orphans she's running for. She's open and honest, blunt and real. There is no hyperbole, there is no ego.. there's just 50 miles in every state for an amazing cause.
After 8 miles I put Mike in my car and we headed into town. We wanted to find some energy drinks for Lisa as she was running low. Nothing is open before 10 AM in the area so we struggled a bit. At the mall, the dude that worked at GNC told me he had Endurox for Endurance athletes. It was nice to know he had no idea what he was talking about. We made our way to EMS to pick up a watch, then headed off to Runners Alley so Mike could try on some Compression Sleeves. When we got back to Wallis, Lisa had come in from another 4 and was ready to head back out. I headed out with her and her brother, and we picked up trash along the side of the road, dropping it off at the entrance to the Seacoast Science Center.
Lisa wanted another out and back measured so Mike and I got in the car and drove a mile down route 1A. Her shin is bothering her as is her piriformis. I rubbed her shins, elbowed her gluteus and massaged her feet. Anything I could do to help her. Then we took her down the road on what she would finish her day one. One mile down to Petey's Crap Shack... then 1 mile back, over and over and over again. Lisa had a variety of highs and lows. Wondering if she could really pull it off. She's hurting yet as the day goes on.. she gets stronger. Stronger emotionally and physically. It's amazing to see her move. So fluid with purpose. I'm in aw.. you just have to run with her yet.. she wants to be alone.. to clear her head.
I ran a few out and backs with Lisa. My friend Laura Bleakly showed up and joined us for an out and back and then Mike, Laura and I headed out for a 4 mile loop. When lisa wanted to be alone, I went off and ran the 4 mile loop alone. I sat and visited with her crew, I encouraged Lisa to push on..
As I write this now, I know that the 32 miles I ran are nothing compared to the 50 Lisa ran. Nothing compared to the 20 Sister Mary Beth clocked.. nothing compared to their overall mission. I'm just happy I could help yet sad that I cannot help more. I'm impressed by the entire operation.. and I urge everyone to join in.. run a few miles. DONATE! www.runhope.com