I finished the second stage in Corisca yesterday, which means that all I have left is 90 miles. Just 90 miles. It’s crazy to even write that, crazy to think I’ve gotten this far, and I am still scared to even dwell on it for too long because I know the next 90 will be the toughest and I certainly don’t want to dismiss them. I know I’ve mentioned it in an earlier post, but the reason I’m going to try to run the last 90 as one ultra marathon is because I believe this journey has to end with a bang. In the true spirit of the Tour de France, it has to end in the most difficult way possible, and simply running all stages in Corsica in 10 days at an average of 32 miles a day felt too much like I would be phoning it in. I already know I can average about 30 miles a day, I’ve made it across the Pyrenees and the Alps and all the way to Paris and finally Corsica and the best and scariest part is that I’ve never run 90 miles in one go, never run more than 50, and I don’t know if I can. I’m scared and excited and almost in disbelief that I could be on a plane home so soon. My normal life feels so far away, or this one feels so isolated and consuming, that the idea that I might be back in it again and so soon just feels like it can’t possibly be real.
Before I left Richmond I got to take part in TEDxRVA, a local TEDx program where a bunch of great people got together to talk about the subject of creating, and a bunch of other great people came to watch and a bunch of great relationships were formed. In fact, a fellow speaker, Kevin Carroll, was the one who introduced me to Zoe’s Kitchen, a relationship that resulted in $89,000 raised for World Pediatric Project! Being included in TEDxRVA was one of the best and most heartfelt experiences of my life and I’ve been thinking a lot about it this past week. My talk was about accepting vulnerability and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable en route to pursuing our grandest goals, and let’s just say if I didn’t fully understand my own words then, I most certainly do now. On the USA run 2 years ago, there was a certain point in Mississippi where I think I knew I would finish, not only on time but ahead of time. On this run, because the miles are longer and the elevation far higher and the time pressure to finish a day ahead of the cyclists in Paris – all of this has made it a journey that I have yet to feel like I’ve got it in the bag. There’s still an uncertainty each and every day, and I’ve been thinking so strongly about all of this in the last couple days because this last leg, the 90 miles in 24 hours, is something I’ve never done before and it’s a little nerve-wracking. It’s a weird and humbling feeling to be this far into the journey and still feel exactly as I did on day 1 – of course, I have learned so, so much; but I am still telling myself to power on through despite knowing that of course it’s still possible to fail. But I’ll never know if I don’t try, right?!
If anyone wants to check it out, the link to the talk is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5jxwFRkBDs
To add some spark to the last 24 hours, Alex and I want to thank all of YOU for supporting us on our mission and for your support of World Pediatric Project. For all donations of $5 or more made today July 31, or tomorrow August 1st, you will get a special behind-the-scenes video clip from the final 24 hours! After making the donation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we have your contact info to share the clip with you! And donations of $25 or more still receive an awesome “Team Zoe” t shirt!
THANK YOU to all who have been a part of this journey with me – it has been amazing to share it! Please send many many positive thoughts and vibes from tonight at midnight Central European time til tomorrow night at midnight : )