Day 6: June 5th
Today is the last day of running and we are only 14 miles away from the finish in Wray, CO!! 179 miles away from Denver, and 6 days of running. 33 miles per day up until today in order to end on an easier day. We got up extra early to get the miles started today, because we have to drive the 180 miles back to Denver after I finish in order to make our flights. I flew out at 4:05 and Bryan around 5 pm. So we figured we need to leave Wray by 11:30 at the latest. We started running around 5:45 am and Bryan once again joined me. He was feeling a little stiff and sore but he said he would at least run the first half with me.
All was going well and we started out with 4 miles, a quick stop to talk to the crew and get what we needed and then we set off for another 4. The first four felt fine, we were keeping a steady jog with juts a couple walk breaks. The second four also started out ok… but then all of a sudden went down hill when we were about a mile from the vehicle again. The shooting pain in my inner thigh that I get (day 4 and before Boston) that is so sharp and painful that I cannot run through it and barely even walk through it, started suddenly. I cried out when it hit me suddenly and made us stop right where we were. I told Bryan I needed to walk a little to see if I could walk it out but as I walked it just kept happening. We were on mile 7 with 7 to go and it was all falling apart before my eyes. So close, yet too far to hobble and still finish in time to get cleaned up and leave for Denver. At least at the pace I was suddenly moving.
That moment was the first time the entire 6 days that I fell apart. I just started sobbing right there on the side of the road as I slowly tried to put one foot in front of the other and deal with the pain as we slowly moved forward at a snails pace. Bryan put his arm around me as I cried and we walked towards the car where the crew waited, still a good half mile or more up the road. I cried because the finish line was only 7 miles away and I may not make it. I wanted to finish what I started and I went into this week with hardly any training, and only pure determination carrying me forward for 33 miles per day (except day 4… 15 miles…) all day, in the relentless sun, the heat I wasn’t used to, and through all the pain. I walked when I couldn’t run, and I jogged when I thought I could. All day, from before 7 am until after 4:00 pm. And here I was, so close, and I couldn’t even walk without a sharp pain that took my break away and made me cry out or double over every time it hit me.
After I got done sobbing my hurt and frustration out I pulled myself together and we made a plan. I would stretch it out good when I got to the crew, we would try walking one mile, and if it went ok, I would keep going, if not, Bryan would run the next three for me. So that’s what we did, and unfortunately it did not go well for me. The pain hit me at least every couple minutes or so over the 20 some minutes it took us to walk that mile. I had no choice but to let Bryan run for me. Right before the pain started he had talked about being done at 7 miles because he was feeling a bit mentally tired from running 23 miles yesterday. Instead he took off in my place and we moved 3 miles down the road to stretch me out over the next 25 minutes.
By the time he got to me I was feeling hopeful that the stretching may have helped and I could make the lasts stretch with a combination of walking and very slow jogging. So Bryan and I once again set off together and the crew went forward to the finish to get things set up for me to get there. We started with a walk and after I was sure the pain seemed to be mostly gone, we experimented with some slow running. We were able to make it the rest of the way like that (3.2 miles) and then there it was! The finish! I finished at a park that was right after the sign saying we had reached Wray. They had the finish banner up and waiting for me and Bryan jumped in to help them and let me run the last part on my own. The three of them cheered me in and I went down the slide at the park to cross under the finish line. It is hard to put into words how it feels to reach this destination that you have been kicking your ass to reach for the past 6 days. So amazing. I have raised right around $13,400 now, which is way more than I had ever expected to raise! And I had reached the finish line, despite all the set backs over the last 6 months.
After the finish line we took a bunch more pictures at the part before we cleaned up and drove back to the RV park to get cleaned up, eat a light lunch and leave for the airport. It was crazy to think that by the next day at that time I would be home and recovering and getting caught up on the life I put on hold for a week in order to come out and do this run for MS. I want to thank Kendra, Cornelia, and Rachel for taking such good care of me all week as my crew members. And of course Bryan for traveling out to spend the last two days with me and helping me through it. And to all the awesome people I met this past week!! And Ashley, the founder of MS Run the US, for creating such an amazing way to help others. The last two years of MS Run the US has been amazing and taught me so much about myself and what is really important in this world. It has taught me about giving and why it is so important, and opened my eyes to the people I surround myself with and which of them are giving and kind people.
Well, I won’t say this is the end of MS Run the US forever for me, but I do know I need a year off to rest my body and step away from it all and recover 100%. But I could see myself wanting to do another segment in the future because the whole experience is just something I enjoy having in my life. The fundraising and the segment itself. And it is a pretty cool way to see a new area of the country!
Thanks again everyone for the support and following along during my week adventure and cheering me on! Couldn’t have done it without you! Now it is time for me to not run for a month or two. And I’m pretty excited about it. 🙂