Chasing Down a Cure: Meredith’s Week 13 Chicago Update

Welcome to my latest marathon/fundraising update. It was a big week across the board.

Saturday marked my first ever 18 mile run. I’d run 17 in San Diego, but 18 still seemed particularly intimidating.  I could barely sleep the night before, and I was expecting tough sledding.  I mostly run on my own since I’m typically the slowest person in the club who is running my distances.  Therefore, I’m ‘in my head’ for most of my long runs.  I listen to music, compose these emails, think about how to sell more Cheerios, and almost constantly calculate my pace, time elapsed, and time still to run.  It makes for a long 3 hours.  But this time, I wasn’t alone. After the smoke cleared and the pack of much faster runners had sprinted ahead, I found myself in a group of 4.  For almost 3 hours, we swapped racing tips and shot the breeze.  One guy was a marathon veteran of 32 races in 20 states, and I tried to soak up as much advice as I could. Being part of the group made the 18 miles actually almost pleasant, and it was a fantastic confidence booster for marathon day. On October 9, I’ll be with the 2 other members of Team Merrie Miles, the 82 other runners for Team Fox, and the 44,999 other runners who just felt inspired to tackle the streets of Chicago–I certainly won’t be alone.

On the fundraising front, it was another strong week. We added 9 donors and $765, which brought us within sight of the $10,000 goal.  I brought my goal up to $12,500, which marks the 4th time that I have raised it (I learned how to sandbag with the best of them!).  Best of all, because of the Brin Wojcicki Challenge, all donations will be matched, so the ultimate impact will be $25,000. Thank you all once again–you continue to amaze me.

Apart from the miles logged and dollars raised, the most remarkable thing this week was seeing the evidence of the transformation that has been gradually taking place in me.  While I’ve been running regularly for almost 3 years, I think of myself as a pseudo-runner. I don’t have a true runner’s build, a true runner’s speed, or a true runner’s discipline. I have been motivated to run almost purely by fear–I know that if I don’t log the miles now, I won’t survive on October 9. However, I am starting to feel a change. I get excited when my new Runner’s World arrives. I have become obsessed with fueling strategies and chafing prevention.  I am immoderately proud of my calluses, and I wouldn’t dream of getting a pedicure anytime soon. I have been tearing through Born to Run.  Most nights, I dream about running. It seems a little bit like Stockholm syndrome, but I’ll take it.

On Friday, it will be exactly 1 month until the marathon.  2 more weeks of hard training and 3 weeks of tapering to go.



Week 13 Miles Run: 36

Cumulative Miles Run: 301

Donors: 94

Dollars Raised: $9,540

Weeks to go: 5

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