Monday, November 26, 2012

Party, Party, Party

That’s what we will be doing [for the next month, at the very minimum]. Won’t you join us?

We are so excited and hope to see you there!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Having Visitors is Like Getting a Fun Package in the Mail

Over the last couple weeks I have had some very exciting visitors. While that did mean that Sydney and I were apart for several days at each interval, it was still really great to have some fresh faces and new energy on the road.

On Halloween, Sydney left to go to LA for a wedding extravaganza so Darby and her mom, Judy, drove from LA to pick me up at the end spot in Arizona. They greeted me in festive costumes of Tigger (Darby) and a tutu-ed lady (Judy). They stayed with me until Sunday, November 4 and we had a fantastic time together. We enjoyed staying in Kingman and Bullhead City in Arizona before they dropped me in Needles, CA. The best part was that they were with me when I crossed into California on November 3rd which was a huge milestone for the GLR.

Sydney was back for a week before heading up to San Francisco on November 9 in order to be in town for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation gala, which was held on November 10. In her place came several people- my parents picked me up Friday afternoon and we enjoyed a night in Barstow, CA. Saturday evening I had the pleasure of being joined by two of my college roommates- Lauren Mann and Katie Varney, as well as Katie's mom (and my nutritional consultant) Jeannie. Katie and Jeannie joined me for the full run on Sunday and it was awesome to have their company. At the end of the day Lauren and my father joined us for a few miles and a jolly time was had by all! On Monday Lauren joined me for a stellar 16 miles, braving some mountains and blisters.

Sydney returned Tuesday afternoon of last week and we have gotten right back into our routine as we head north from Bakersfield toward SF. This past weekend while in Lemoore, CA, Sydney's good friend from college, Arielle Fersht, joined us for a few days. Instead of running, she brought her bike along and followed me along my route both days. She even bought a GoPro for her trip out, a little camera that she attached to her head while riding behind me. She got some great footage and is putting together a video which we will of course post right here on the blog.

Currently we are in Los Banos, CA, about 65 miles south of Trac. Planning for all of the arrival events (December 1 & 6) has been exciting and we are both very happy to truly be in the home stretch.

Thanks to my visitors and to all of our supporters!!!

top left: Lauren, me and Katie
top right: me, Sydney and Arielle
bottom left: Papa Harrison, me and Mama Harrison
bottom right: me, Lauren, Jeannie and Katie

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sh*t Gets Real Round 2 & A Little Gratitude

Okay, okay. We admit it. We are more than a little guilty of posting blog updates less than often. It’s time for another round of “sh*t gets real on the GLR.”

The truth is, our sites are on the finish line and that’s the main focus. The novelty of eating every meal out, living out of a duffel bag, running 30 miles a day, being in a new town every couple of nights—it’s pretty much all worn off. We aren’t complaining per se, but we admit to feeling a bit uninspired when it comes to writing these days.

We know [and are tremendously looking forward to!] all the exciting things that are coming up in the next few weeks—our families decided to have Thanksgiving together this year, so there will indeed be an official Great Lung Run Thanksgiving, the official GLR arrival on December 1 in Crissy Field [we better see you there…], and the welcome home party hosted at SI on December 6 [better see you there, too] so we will just keep our sites on that and keep chugging along.

With all that aside, as we approach the end of this adventure, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we need to give a few public messages of thanks.

to OUR PARENTS: like in everything we do, your support means the world. We are endlessly grateful for the constant encouragement. We feel pretty lucky to have the parents we do.

to DARBY: thanks for being the best boss/friend/helper/coordinator we could ever ask for.

to everyone at the BONNIE J. ADDARIO LUNG CANCER FOUNDATION: thanks for supporting this entire adventure. It would have never happened without you.

to KATE BERGSTROM: thank you for giving us Ollie (may he rest in peace). We made it to New Mexico because of your generosity. 

to Kelcey’s entire body but especially her legs and feet: way to go. You rule.

to HENRY: you can read about how grateful we are to you here, but let us say it again: you reminded us what it means to be truly selfless, good and kind. Thank you for giving two random girls a means to continue this epic adventure.

to our VISITORS: each of you has brough something to this adventure, re-energizing us in a way we haven’t even known we’ve needed. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives.

to every single person who has supported this adventure in any capacity—a text, an email, facebook message or tweet, donation, good thought or prayer, sent a care package, provided a meal—the list goes on: we wish saying thank you would cut it. You can never really know how much your support means to us.

Finally, to JILL: thanks for inspiring us day after day. We love and miss you, always.

And San Francisco…well, we are pretty grateful to call you home. See you in 15!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Your Burning GLR Questions...Answered!

Darby did a little interview with Kelcey with some of your most pressing questions. Still have a question you want answered? Leave it in the comment section below and we will do our best to respond!

From Darby...
When my mom and I started our drive out to meet Kelcey on the road last week our minds were spinning with questions we just had to ask. Despite being heavily involved in outreach and fundraising for the Great Lung Run, I still had NO idea how Kelcey was actually getting from New York to San Francisco. There were so many burning questions that I had to bombard her with, even after a 35 mile run. So, in an effort to feed everyone’s curiosity and answer many of your questions, I conducted a little interview with Kelcey and have hopefully cleared up small parts of The Great Lung Run. I still do not understand how a human body can physically run 30 plus miles every single day for four months, but hey, I am pretty sure Kelcey is Superwoman. So that answers that!

Darby: How often do you eat while you are running and what are your favorite snacks? Do you carry your water with you? And how do you carry it all?

Kelcey: I will usually eat two bars while out on the road and maybe some fruit that I all carry in my camelback. My camelback also has my iphone, wallet and a cell phone case charger just in case my phone starts to die.  

D When you wake up in the morning how do you prepare for the run? What is your daily morning routine?

K: I am normally up between 530 and 6. I get dressed, brush my teeth and fill my backpack with water. Then, I have a little breakfast which normally consists of coffee, oatmeal (if available), greek yogurt and fruit. Then, Sydeny drives me out to the drop off spot, which at times can be over an hour away and I take off!.

D: How does your body feel when you first roll out of bed? Are there days when you just want to snooze and take a day off?

K: My body usually feels fine. The sorest part of the day is actually right when I finish the run for the day and jump in the car. I am pretty accustomed to getting up early in the morning so it never occurs to me to turn off my alarm, but my bedtime is normally about 830 so that makes it easier.

D: How often do you go through running shoes?

K: Probably every 400 to 500 miles.

D:   Have there been any situations where you’ve felt really scared or uncomfortable?

K: No not at all.

D: How many animals have you seen on the road? Have any ever come close?

K: No idea how many animals I have seen in total but I have seen lots of cows, goats, horses and rabbits. The one time I did feel a little bit intimidated by an animal was actually last week. I was walking on a back road and a cow started following me. Normally when I pass by cows they just mind their own business and continue eating their grass but this one was different. It followed me for a while and then started scraping its feet and sort of blowing air out of its nose. Just in case, I found a concrete/fenced in metal area that I stood in for a while until the cow finally lost interest and turned around. Other than that I haven’t really had any close encounters with any animals.

D  Have you fallen or suffered any injuries?

K: I fell once (link to blog) about two months ago maybe 200 feet from where Sydney was parked to pick me up. I fell flat on my face but luckily nobody saw, not even Sydney. I haven’t had any injuries during the run just some soreness.  The first couple of weeks of the run I went through a series of sore muscles but I think it was just my body adjusting. Recently my shoulders have gotten pretty knotted up but it’s more annoying than anything and not a major injury.

D: What is most of the terrain like that you are running on? Dirt, sand pavement?

K: The terrain is so varied I couldn’t event really answer that; it totally depends on the day. I have run on highways, trails, hiked without a road or trail, sand, desert, mountains, mud, everything.  I have only had a couple of days of rain but once you’re wet you’re wet.

D  When you get back to San Francisco and stop running a marathon every day, do you forsee any problems like sleep, the need to run everywhere rather than have a car?!

K: I am definitely nervous about sleep. Just being tired enough to sleep at the end of every day. I am also really nervous that I will develop restless leg syndrome. Other than that I will just be happy to change my routine and be more yoga heavy. Plus I’m just excited to be home.

D:  What are the top 5 things that you have missed most while being on The Great Lung Run?

K: I have really missed cooking and eating home cooked meals. I miss wearing regular clothes and not jogging outfits and sweats all the time. I really miss Whole Foods Market as well as my daily yoga classes. But, most of all, I miss my family.

Fast Five Questions

1)   Dirt or pavement? Pavement

2)   Music or books when you run? Depends on day. More music than books

3)   Rest or out and about when you finish your run? Depends on day too. If something interesting then out and about. Otherwise rest is always good.

4)   Favorite state to run in so far? California!!

5)   Least Favorite state? New MEXICO!!!

Darby and Kelcey on the road to California

Monday, October 29, 2012

No News is Good News

Things have been pretty quiet over here on the GLR. Well, as quiet as they can be what with the whole running 30 miles a day situation.

Kelcey is still doing great and progressing along her route each day, Tuco [we may or may not have named the car after a Tuco Salamanca, a meth drug lord in the official TV show of the GLR—see this post to find out what that show is] might be the best thing that ever happened to us, but other than that there isn’t much to report.

We made some time this weekend to stop by the Grand Canyon [stunning], we watched our beloved Giants win the world series [yahoo!], and realized our bed time might just be getting earlier and earlier [embarrassing].

Sydney is heading to LA on Wednesday through the weekend because her roommate from college is getting married [always a bridesmaid, never a bride….just kidding. sort of], so Darby Anderson, the director of Jill’s Legacy, is going to join Kelcey on the road. Stay tuned for their adventures!

5 days until California, 33 days until San Francisco!

life lately:
top left: showing our support for  Jog for Jill Boston [if only Hurricane Sandy could have done the same...]
top right: a certain cross country runner finishing her last mile of the day
bottom left: Jill's Legacy in the Grand Canyon
bottom right: Giants pride on the road

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

These are a few of our Favorite Things...

We’ve compiled a list of things that brighten our days. In semi-particular order:

1. Breaking Bad [if you don't watch, do yourself a favor and start. NOW. seasons 1-4 available on netflix. seriously. do it.]
2. Nuts
3. Peppermints/Gingers
4. Dried Mango [without added sugar]
5. Sparkling Water
6. Prunes
7. Whole Foods
8. The Cinema [the movies]
9. Hampton Inns
10. Crest White Strips
11. Coffee Shops [bonus points if they make a good cup of coffee]
12. 9pm bed time [no matter what!]
13. Early morning car drives listening to NPR
14. Dr. Hoy’s pain relief gel [let’s call it what it is: arthritis cream]
15. West Coast [our anthem]
16. Wine [since this post declaring complete sobriety, we realized something: life is better with wine involved. the GLR has only gotten better since]
17. Being in the Pacific Time Zone [yes. that happened today. we couldn’t be happier about it]

 See you in 11 days, California. And San Francisco? You're only 39 days away. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How New Mexico went from THE WORST to THE BEST

By now, assuming you are on facebook/twitter/instagram, you have most likely seen the new official car of The Great Lung Run. If you haven't, take a look:

To confirm: yes, that is a gold Chrysler 300. With 22 inch rims. And a diamond "22" logo on the side of the car signifying the rim size. 

Now you're probably wondering how 2 chicks in the middle of New Mexico ended up with a sweet ride like that, so allow us to explain. 

Back at the end of August, we were generously gifted Ollie, the red Ford Explorer, by the amazing Bergstrom family. In Kansas, Ollie's power steering went out (which you can read about here) and things have kind of gone downhill since. Yesterday, Sydney had a feeling that something wasn't right again and took Ollie to the Ford dealership in Grants, New Mexico. Sure enough, the mechanic listed a few things wrong with him and said we could keep pouring money into the car to fix it but since it was older, we likely would have to do just that--keep pouring money into it.

So, we set about figuring out other options and the best way to get a new car ASAP. We eventually decided selling Ollie for whatever we could get and renting a car until we could get a new one was the best option. After a frustrating morning for both of us (Kelcey because New Mexico elements--dryness, wind, heat--were getting the best of her and Sydney because the car was about to break down at any minute), we were both kind of over the entire state as of early this afternoon. 

That's where Oscar's Auto Salvage comes into the picture. Oscar's is owned by Henry, the friendly guy (wearing a 49ers sweatshirt) who greeted us when we walked in. After chatting for a while about our adventure, the 49ers, etc., he said he could offer us a bit over $1k for the car, plus a ride to Albuquerque where we could pick up a rental. We agreed and went outside to pack up Ollie. As we were doing so, Henry came outside with a "better idea" (his words, not ours).
     "Why don't you give me the explorer, and you can take my 300. I'll come pick it up in San  Francisco in a few months," said Henry.
     "Um. What?" we said.
     "You take my car and I'll come get it from you in a few months," he replied.
     [trying to remove jaws from floor] "Are you serious? Like, are you serious? ARE YOU SEROUS?" we said. 
     "Yes," he said with a straight face.

At this point, we hadn't seen the car so Sydney said quietly to Kelcey, "what's a 300?" and Kelcey replied, "I think it's a truck?" We were WRONG. Henry and his 2 brothers set about getting the car ready for us to take, while we giddily/speechlessly packed up Ollie.

To further demonstrate how snazzy this car is, we give you another snippet of conversation. Henry cleaning out car, holds up 2 pairs of headphones and says to us, "do you think you'll want these headphones for the entertainment system in the back?"
     Us: ".................................................".
Needless to say, the car has bells and whistles left and right. 
Kelcey, Sydney & Henry
On a more serious note, there are no words to express our gratitude to Henry, his brothers, and everyone who has pitched in to help us navigate this adventure. There have been frustrating days sure, but days like today and more importantly, people like Henry, are what not only make this trip possible but also so wonderful. 

We cannot wait to get to San Francisco (6 weeks from tomorrow!) and now we will arrive in more style than we ever thought possible. We are pretty certain Jilly would approve. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.