-Kevin Bracy-somewhere in the middle of the night along route 66- One of the top motivational speakers in the world
I wasn't even sure where to begin with this post. My thoughts have been all over the map the last week since I have been back from running across the United States with Run It Forward, and I am still trying to digest everything I saw and experienced into my brain. I am forever changed. Forever impacted, and so grateful to Erika Small and Jason Harper for including me on there incredible journey. What most people don't quite understand that along with running the entire length of route 66 we also made many stops at schools where part of our crew gave motivational talks(Jason, Erika, Jimmy, & Kevin), and we did incredibly awesome things like staging small little races and ran laps with the kids, gave out ribbons and bracelets, groceries, and free dental care. It was such an incredible feat that Jason Harper, & Erika Small managed to make happen, and all the while we all accomplished running all 2448 miles in 18 days! Day after day, hour after hour, and non stop most of the time we relayed our way across the united states until we hit the Santa Monica Pier! We each averaged about a marathon a day in miles, some days we ran through the night, in the heat of the hottest days I have ever ran in, faced 40mph headwinds, and at times were even in real danger of our lives. Our family of 18 crew members was made up of runners, Mom's(my Jenny Jenny 2 fast!), Physical Therapists(Love you Big Daddy Balla and Sara Sara Bad Ass), and many others that all devoted there time to helping the runners crew, pace, run some miles, and do whatever it took to get to the finish. My life became a mantra of run, shower, eat, sleep, recover, and repeat...it was just nuts!!! Below is a great link to a small video clip of some of what we did...it's only the beginning my friends for what future plans are for Run It Forward. I am honored to now call all of these people my second family, and looking forward to an amazing future with them!! This video was done by the amazing and very talented Bryson Roach!
Towards the end of the trip Jimmy Dean , James Bonnet, and Jesse planned a master surprise on me and Jesse showed up in the middle of Flagstaff. The boys totally disguised Jesse as James, and up until the split second Jesse ran into Flagstaff with Jimmy Dean I actually thought he was James! He even put a bandana on his head just like James does and from a far I thought it was him. I have never been so surprised in my life!! Jimmy captured the picture below the exact moment I realized it was my baby!! I leaped up on Jesse and gave him the biggest hug ever!
I picked some of my favorite pictures below of me running along Route 66 at various times during the trip, and a few other cool photos and just compiled them below... and yes I lived in nothing but my INKnBURN running clothes!!
So my crazy & busy my life has resumed back to its awesomeness pretty fast, and one thing that has most definitely come out of this is my legs are a little faster. My turn over is just plain faster. I am so stoked! I feel awesome, and this weekend Jesse and I are heading up to Big Bear to race Holcomb Valley 33 mile. Also while I was gone Jesse bought me a new bike!! It's a Giant brand frame, and the rest of the bike was custom built by his friend Vess. I took it out for a spin yesterday, and I LOVE it! Our plan is to do a 70 mile ride through Three Rivers this Summer, camp, and then do a 42 mile training run up there. He might race White River 50 mile, I am definitely racing AC100, and then we are going up to Oregon so he can race Waldo 100k. He is toying with the idea of racing Bear 100 mile, but it will be his first 100 miler, and I won't be able to be there as it's the same weekend as Leona Valley Trail Races. He kind of has his heart set on it though as James Bonnet is also racing it, and our friend Scott Jaime's dad could help crew Jesse since I can't be there. I am also racing Wasatch 100 mile in September so it just is gonna be nuts the next few months!! The next few weekends after this one will be spent up at our cabin in Idyllwild. We love it up there, and so does my son! Tons, and tons of high altitude high mileage training is all I am about right now. I am so dang lucky my man shares the same passions I do. He is the best training partner ever!!
So after everything I have been through in the last two years this Summer is somewhat bitter sweet for me. Sort of a two year renunion to pulling my head outta my ass, and starting my life over for the better. Not settling, and going after exactly what I wanted outta life. I am happier than I ever could have imagined, doing exactly what I want to be doing with my career, and all the while sharing it with the man of my dreams . I heard a song the other day, and it just grasps where I have come from in my life. I have landed stronger than I ever could have imagined, and I am living my life by my rules, the way I wanna live it, and am 100% "All In"...(that one was for you my *Suga' Suga' Bad Ass*)!! Below are the words to such an amazing song, and I am screaming it out loud rght now!!! Amen to celebrating life-and just being wide awake and fully in it! On, on, on with life my friends...GO AFTER YOUR HAPPINESS!!