Chasing Down a Cure: Meredith’s Week 17 Chicago update

Welcome to my final pre-marathon update.  With just 6 days to go, the countdown is on.

Week 17 was, as expected, nice and relaxing.  The taper is starting to do its magic. My mid-week run of 6 miles and Saturday longish run of 8 miles were glorious.  Because I haven’t been running nearly as much, I had energy to spare, and I ran those distances at speeds I wouldn’t have thought possible.  I am beginning to understand why the most popular advice from experienced marathoners is to “start slow!”  With all the stored up energy from the taper and the excitement of the big day, it’s extremely common to start too fast and to use up energy that should be reserved for the last 6 miles or so.  I like to start slow, even on my practice runs, so I’m hoping to resist the temptation to start at a sprint.

In the final week before the marathon, I’m becoming a worrier.  After 17 weeks of training, I am determined to finish this thing, and I am on high alert for anything that could get in the way.  With the training behind me, my two biggest concerns now are staying healthy and the weather.  I had heel pain on Saturday and Sunday, but it seems to be improving.  Unfortunately, it was replaced by a slight cold, so I am determined to fight that off with tons of fluids and extra sleep.  I’ve also been watching the long-range forecast like a hawk and am willing it to stay as cool as possible.

It was staggering fundraising week, with 16 more donors and $12,820 added to our total.  There were some extremely generous and totally unexpected donations, and each one left me humbled and inspired. Once again, I’ve been amazed by your collective generosity and overwhelmed by the love and good wishes that have come my way.  With close to $26,000 raised, I’m up to almost $1,000 for every mile that I’ll run on Sunday. On behalf of my family and everyone who is impacted by Parkinson’s, thank you so much.

Given that Parkinson’s is a relatively uncommon disease (1 million in U.S.), I’ve been surprised to find just how far it reaches into my circle of family and friends.  Before I started training, I knew just two other people with PD.  Now, I know of many more. October 9 will also be my tribute to Sybil, Loll, Park, Ada, Alois, Kip, Robert, Dick, and John.

Week 18 is about mega doses of Vitamin C, carbs, and weather.com.  October 9 will be about guts, tears, family in matching t-shirts (thanks, Susanna!) and celebration.  The next time you hear from me, I’ll be wearing a medal!

Best,

Meredith

Week 17 Miles Run: 20

Cumulative Miles Run: 421

Donors: 131

Dollars Raised: $25,970

Weeks to Go: 1

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