I just finished my last run from my house before departure. It was a cold morning and the sky was crying big tears to say goodbye. All of the earthworms came up out of the mud to say farewell. I will be in CA tomorrow! My poor body will be very confused to go from 40 degrees to 80. Hopefully I will adjust by the 16th.
My phone is ringing off the hook and my inbox is flowing over. Feeling the love from you all, please do not be offended if I am unable to return all of my messages. I still have quite a lot to do before I leave and I hope to rest for at least 10 minutes. (not likely) This will be the very last time I blog from a PC. From this day forward I only have my phone. If I send out any strange messages it means that I am using voice recognition.
I have been getting tons of messages asking questions about my route. You can go on the about page of this blog and look at my projected route at any time. If I am running through your area and you see any short cuts or better options please let me know.
Special thank you’s to Wayne and Donna Redfern for buying my ticket to CA. Melissa Sharples for all of her support. Lin and Charles Richard for helping me sort out all of my stuff and assisting with shipping and logistics. Scott Rowe for his hard work on loading my route into the ETREX 20. All of the people at the Mustard Seed for their donations and asistance, John Ahlgren for his continued support and finally FOLLOWING MY BLOG. Jodie Fisher-Aviles for rescuing my house plants, Fay Aucella for being all around awesome and everyone else who has been making donations to BIA and the GOFUNDME page. So much love that I can’t even begin to list everyone. I am feeling so loved!! I have put in the training and now we will see if I can get through whatever challenges this trip will offer up. With all of you behind me it will be hard to feel alone.
Oops! Sorry. I have so much going on that I forgot to post yesterday. Thanks to Deb Cram I now have a non selfie picture! Nice to not be looking up my nostrils for once eh? I believe an article will be coming out in the Exeter News-Letter but I am not sure when.
This will be a quick post, I ran 41.5 miles yesterday and 40.5 today and I am also trying to accomplish several other last minute tasks to get ready. Tonight with my mothers help we are mixing mass batches of my vegan nutritional powders and adaptonogenic herbs from the Mustard Seed. Quite a mess going on here.
I got an email today saying that the Mayor will be at San Francisco City Hall to see me off between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. on April 16th. Also the girls track team, a bunch of friends and representation from The Brain Injury Association of America will be there. Sounds like a party!
I am overwhelmed by the support that has been coming in this week. Special thanks go to a high school friend and their contact who wish to remain anonymous. (You guys are making this thing come true!!) I also want to give a shout out to Jeremiah Fitzgibbon for continuing to be an awesome support. Katie Murray and her awesome coworkers who mailed me a UV Buff. (If you are a runner and haven’t used one of these I highly suggest you check them out) I am also VERY grateful that Jeremy Schaefer is back from his transcontinental run and he has been patient and kind enough to answer all of my millions of questions. More thanks go out to Bjorn Suneson for doing a fantastic blog post about my run this week . (click the British flag at the top for the English translation) http://www.suneson.se/
My good friend Matt Willette took the time to come and visit me while I was in class in Manchester this weekend. Seeing the strength and positivity that he maintains while undergoing exhaustive treatments for Hashimoto Encephalitis reminds me to keep my head up and stay strong. Matt has been one of my biggest supporters since my early training. Now that he is dealing with this illness and brain injury it pulls my heart even harder towards my fundraiser for the Brain Injury Association of America. http://biausa.donorpages.com/ForwardMotion/
Thank you for following my journey!
I ran 249.7 miles this week. To be honest I think it was more but I don’t have the interest to locate the missing miles on my spreadsheet right now. Thanks to everyone’s donations and sponsorships I was able to take a couple of full and partial days off to run some 40-50 mile days. I ran some with the stroller and am working on fine tuning devices and gear. I have seen quite a bit of wildlife this week with herds of deer lurking on the roadsides, vultures swooping down to check me out and this adorable opossum who came out to say hello. This next week will include some unintentional rest days as I will be attending class and seeing several clients.
I keep getting reactions from people who seem to think that I am amazing. I want to clarify that I am just an ordinary person. I am pretty much the same as you. I am not a super athlete and I do not spring up every morning ready for non stop training. I wake up feeling tired. The mornings come very fast. My first thought is always: It is too cold out to run.
After prying my eyelids open I realize that the sun has started to come up and I have overslept again. My warm blankets and soft pillow promise me that there is no better place to be than in bed. I almost fall back asleep but then I remember that there is food just one room away. I drag myself into the kitchen and slam a few slices in the toaster. The coffee pot starts to gurgle and the computer screen fires up. Hello world! I check the weather. Single digit temps again and bitter cold winds. I think of a dozen fine excuses to not go and run today. The house whispers warm sweet things to me, telling me to not go outside. I forcefully get up and start the process of getting dressed. 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, jacket, gloves, hat, neck warmer. My muscles are stiff from the day before and once I am dressed I feel like a mummy. I slowly very slowly start making my way to the door, dreading the icy burst of air that will hit my sleepy face. The smell of fresh coffee and the thought of wrapping up in the blanket sing out to me like deadly sea sirens. I claw my way out of the house. When I start running I am sore and have aches and pains. I start off slowly adjusting to the cold air which starts to clear out the grogginess. In a matter of minutes I start to feel like I am coming alive. I can hear the birds singing and see the glorious way that the sun is highlighting the frost covered trees. I am in motion. I am on a planet that is also in motion. And I join the movement with the rest of the universe. The more I run, the clearer my thoughts become. I become such a part of the scenery that the animals forget to run away when they see me. I am constantly moving yet every step I take brings me to someplace where I completely belong; but soon I must turn around and go home.
I allow myself one hour in between training runs. When I step back into the house it feels hypnotically warm. I wrestle all of my cold and partially frozen layers off. I grab some food out of the fridge and head into the living room. The couch winks at me and says, “Hey, why don’t you come and spend some time with me?” Powerless I sink into the cushions and slip under the warm blanket. I know that I only have one hour. I also know that I will have to fight for my life to get back out that door again into the cold. But I will. And it will be worth it. Every single time.
Only 29 more days!!! Those of you who run races might resonate with the pre-event anxiety dreams. I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because I have forgotten my shoes. Or I accidentally start running from the wrong side of the country and don’t have a map. I am also feeling sentimental towards my bed and my toilet which I know will soon be unavailable to me. I know that when I start running the panic will all wash away once I get in my groove. The first week is going to be the toughest. I need to maneuver my way out of the city which will add on extra time for all of the stoplights and intersections that need to be traversed. And right off the bat when I am still green I will be climbing up windy mountain roads to get over the Sierra Nevada’s. And on top of this my body and mind will be undergoing some major adjustments and adaptations. I hope to run strong but remain cautious in the first week. I am a little frustrated that every morning when I have gone out to run it has still been in the single digit temps. It will be a very fast transition from freezing cold to desert heat. Although tomorrow looks promising as it will start out in the teens and warm up to the 30’s.
I have been working on all of my gadgets trying to get the right apps on my phone to be able to blog and post to Facebook for you all once I am on the road. Especially for my loyal fans who have been following my preparation for over a year. I LOVE you guys!! Well, I apologize if this blog post is lacking but I am EXHAUSTED. I am looking forward to tomorrow because I have a day off from work and only need to run! And by the way the fundraiser has really taken off and I am getting closer to goal every day! http://www.gofundme.com/6vszzw
The title is a reference from Monty Python if you were wondering. I feel like my determination and persistence need to be at a level of ridiculosity in order to keep going sometimes. Last week I lifted a heavy bag at work and threw my back out. For 3 days I couldn’t roll over in bed or bend over to tie my shoe. This happening with just over 30 days before my take off to run across America. Ridiculous. So my road to recovery had to be rushed and radical. I went ot the chiropractor and had my SI joint adjusted. And then I ramped back up adding 10 more miles each day. SO I am pleased to say that today I am back to 30 mile days. And I didn’t run an ordinary course. I did 3 loops up and over Teneriffe Mountain. I took pictures although photos never quite give the full feel of steep roads. It was a total of 6,876 feet of elevation change and 3,423 feet of climb. Not bad considering a 30 mile stretch from Steamboat Springs that goes over the continental divide is 4,162 feet of climb. So this route is an excellent simulation of what my tough climbing days will be like. And I feel great. I wanted to add on some more miles today but in consideration of my recent back injury I will wait one more day. (Stupid winter storm weather permitting)
I have so many thank you’s to hand out this week that I am afraid I might forget someone! These are people who have donated and supported me outside of the GoFundMe page. The GoFundMe page is public and you can see all of my awesome supporters by looking at this page: http://www.gofundme.com/6vszzw?preview=1
In addition to that I want to thank the Pazdon family and Auntie Karen for their generous donations, Pattie Meier for mailing me a castaway Wilson ball, Scott Rowe for diligently converting my map into Garmin, Sarah Canney for giving me Nuun samples and featuring me in her blog: http://runfargirl.com/2014/03/06/running-across-the-country-jessica-goldman-goes-for-it/
A little over a month before take off!! Thank you so much to everyone for following my story and keeping me on track. 🙂
I actually got a little bit of cold exposure this week. Sores inside of my nostrils. Nice huh? My nose is really about the only thing sticking out so I guess it makes sense. I still totaled 153 miles for the week, mostly in single digit or below zero temps.
The countdown had definitely started. I am pretty much busy between 6 am and 10 pm trying to work, train and organize all of the last minute details. Still getting all of the GPS equipment and solar charger set up. I have most of my gear together and I am making up a first aid kit. If you haven’t found my Facebook page yet you should check it out. Jessica Goldman Forward Motion. (It should be on the right hand side of this screen) Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting me and making donations to this project. It is all coming together!
Despite a busy work week I still got 150.5 miles in . Much it on ice and snowy trail. The stroller which I am now calling the Thingamabob has been spruced up. Tire liners installed, brakes adjusted, drink holder and pockets attached, rear view mirror and a bell added to boot. Still not done but it is getting there. So much to do and so little time! Thank you so much for all of the support and donations that have been made to my GoFUndMe page!! You guys are awesome 🙂 http://www.gofundme.com/6vszzw
I saw this sign on my run today and it caught my eye. I investigated but there wasn’t a mule in or around the box. Maybe it was invisible. I got 26.5 miles in this morning before the storm started. I have been hard pressed for solid training days due to work and lousy weather. I feel strong though and I am confident that I will be as ready as ever for this transcontinental run. I finally ditched the tent that I didn’t like and replaced it with my good old trusty children’s tent that I have used on other treks. I also made great headway with Guinness information and it looks like I can have them officiate after all. I now have a Facebook page set up for followers (you should see it in the sidebar on the right side of the screen? And for those of you who have been asking I finally set up a GoFundMe page for people who want to make donations towards my trip. http://www.gofundme.com/6vszzw Take off time is so close! I am getting VERY EXCITED!!
So this week has involved research on how I need to document my run in order to get an official “World Record” according to Guinness. The information that I have found leads me to believe that it might be impossible to satisfy their requests as an unsupported runner. They want me to complete a book full of witnesses with signatures throughout the entire route. That would be fine if anyone could sign but they require the witnesses to be officials in some capacity. So if I had to go off course looking for town offices and wait for an appointment with someone to sign off for me I think it would defeat the purpose. It would prevent me from accomplishing the task. Especially considering that many days or even weeks might be spent in areas without actual towns. I have been in touch with several people who have been involved in other record attempts for running across the country. They are telling me that it took 2 full time support people with vehicle access to collect required documentation and handle logistics. I am hoping to get Guinness to make some exceptions considering that I am running solo. I feel that having a live GPS tracker on me (and saving it as a file) and uploading geo-tag photos on a daily basis and collecting signatures from witnesses (even if they are not officials) would be solid documentation and proof of my run. But they might not agree. To be honest, I do not really care about getting officiated by the famous book. But I know that some of the people have been supporting my planning process are going to be very disapointed if it doesn’t happen. I will do my best and that is all I can do.
Which leads into my training this week..TOO MUCH SNOW! My miles look pretty pathetic but i am having to consider my efforts by time on my feet. Running in deep snow on trail can take twice as long so I go out each day and make the best of it. As for the treadmill? Even if someone laid a million dollar sponsorship in front of me I do not think I could survive a multi- day stint at the gym. (shudder) By request I will be setting up a GoFundMe page very soon. I have been procrastinating because I do not have any current photos to put up.
I have been sick and running rather slowly so I was a little nervous when this giant vulture swooped down in front of me today. Luckily he found something more appetizing. I got knocked down pretty hard this week with some type of virus or infection. I didn’t run at all on the days I had a fever (high enough to warrant some fun hallucinations) and then I limited myself to 10 miles a day until I felt stronger. My legs were ready to tear up the road but my respiratory and immune system had another opinion. Today I got 30 miles in. Nice and slow on a hilly course with about 1,400 feet of elevation climb.. It was in the teens when I started out but eventually it warmed up to 28 degrees. Unfortunately it looks like I will end up back on the treadmill tomorrow as we are expecting to get buried in snow again.