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In My Head

Being that it’s the final month of the inaugural MS Run the US 2013 Relay I know I should be blogging more, updating more, sharing more pictures, sharing more stories… I’m just not though, not as much as I would like.  I living day-to-day in my head while I help each of these Relay runners through a grueling running/fundraising task.

I get asked often, “So, what do you do all day?”.  I crew the runners and plan the route. I read books…like I did back in college when I would spend the whole summer storming through book after book absorbing nuggets of life. I cook meals and reply to emails. I plan for the future and assess the past. I workout and keep myself fit.  I live day to day out on the road with each of these Relay runners all the way across America.

I’m living in my head.  I guess I didn’t really know what that looked like until I met Relay runner Rachel Aldrich.  Whether she knows it or not, she lives in her head too.  To me she seems like a girl of few words.  I sense that she has little need to fill silence and her aid station stops are filled with us standing around as she eats a pickle or two.  “So, how’s your morning going?” She asks. “Good”, I say. “Yours?” I ask back. “Good too.”  It’s not an awkward silence, just an understood need to not talk all the time.

I think often about how living in my head makes me probably not very good at this…promoting a cause.  I steel myself up for events and a big fundraising push. I do it for the cause and because I think of my mom.  But if left to my own devices and caught off guard I’m all too much of what I think is considered awkward to public advances.  Then I think, am I making excuses? I counter every thought with an equal and opposite thought.  Am I quiet or lazy? Am I doing enough or just doing the minimum when it comes to this event?  Am I working or just driving across America?

To all my questions I’m just not sure of the correct answers.  I don’t have much to compare to.  What are other people doing a relay across America doing? What are previous US crossing runners doing? What are non-profit Founders doing? How much should I be fundraising? Is this how successful people operate?

Recently I’ve decided to give myself a break.  I’m proud of this Relay.  It’s taken me a while to say it, but I’m proud.  Mostly though, I’m proud of these runners who have become like family to me.  I look through our pictures and the miles we’ve run together and tears well in my eyes.  If helping these runners this year is not enough for my soul right now, I’m not sure what enough is.  Sure there is plenty more potential where the event is concerned, and I’m more then ready and willing to take it there, but I also have to just let my thoughts be and appreciate where this year has taken me with this non-profit.

With only 4-weeks remaining in the event I’m feeling what can be considered nostalgia.  I know it’s not over yet, but it’s getting there.  No matter where this event goes, no matter how much the event raises in years to come, no matter how many runners we include, to me, not much will compare to the group of runners this year who believed in this event, and ran the miles, and conquered the unknown with nothing but raw belief that this was something worth doing.  It reminds me so acutely of the unknown confidence I felt standing at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in 2010.  The unknown confidence that I could run to New York on my own two feet.  It’s organic and unexplainable.  In my head I am oh so very thankful for each and every one of the Relay runners this year.

They alone with their heart and their feet have made a dream come true.



  • by ashleyk
  • posted at 2:11 PM
  • August 9, 2013