Chasing Down a Cure: Meredith’s Week 11 and 12 Chicago Marathon update

Welcome to my latest marathon/fundraising update. The past two weeks have been filled with very special events.  During my cousin Ryan’s beautiful wedding in La Jolla, I had a magical moment with my entire family, including Mom, on the dance floor. The image of all of us celebrating is one that I’ll remember for a long time.  On the trip, I also had the opportunity to run a gorgeous 8 miles with my fellow Team Merrie Miles members, Susan and Patty (see attached photo).

The past couple of weeks have also caused me to think more deeply about the word, “support.”  It’s a word that we throw around quite a bit at work, but I’ve come to appreciate it in a new way.

For example, when in La Jolla, I needed to fit in a 17 mile run.  Not having the faintest idea of where to go, I immediately thought of my good Darden friend, Terri Denning. Terri lives in San Diego and has run 9 marathons. I knew that she would be able to point me toward a good route.   What I didn’t expect was for Terri to volunteer her entire Saturday morning to “support” me on my 17 mile run. At her insistence, she picked me up from my hotel, drove me 30 minutes to the start and proceeded to meet me at every turn of the route with a sports drink and encouragement.  Afterwards, she supervised my stretching and drove me back.  She gave up 5 hours of a precious Saturday to wait for me to shuffle by every half hour or so.  Not incidentally, Terri told me that she’d donate to support me even before I’d signed up for the marathon! Her uncle suffered from PD, and she shares my desire to find a cure.  Terri, I will never be able to thank you enough!

In a different way, the support I’ve gotten from Sam has been critical throughout this process.  As a working mom, my time with my family is precious and allocating 6-8 of those hours each week to running is a sacrifice for all of us.  Sam and I talked extensively before I signed on for the marathon, since I knew that the training commitment would increase his at home workload substantially.  He was completely supportive from day 1 and never complains, even when I return from 3 hours of running to about 3 more hours of virtual unconsciousness. He is the silent member of Team Merrie Miles, as every mile run and each dollar raised would be impossible without him. Sam, thanks for making this all possible and for making me the luckiest woman in the world.

Finally, the financial and emotional support that each of you has given continues to astound me.  I added 8 donors and over $1,000 since my last update.  We are fast approaching my $10,000 goal, which is over 3x my original hope and a prayer.  I wish I could convey how much your support means when I am slogging along on a long run with more than an hour still to go.  Knowing that all of you have committed to this cause and put your faith in me gives me the strength to keep my legs turning.  Thank you.

Next week brings 18 miles on Saturday.  Wish me luck!

Best,

Meredith

Week 11 Miles Run: 32

Week 12 Miles Run: 25

Cumulative Miles Run: 265

Donors: 85

Dollars Raised: $8,775 (including $ donated toward Team Merrie Miles)

Weeks to go: 6

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