The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Countdown to the race and TEDx
As I write this it is just over 8 days until the start of the race. Honestly, that's sort of intense. It's too late for any running that I do to make a difference physically. I think that I have my equipment pretty much dialed in so, other than assembling everything into one place, I think that I am pretty set there. I'm working with the Children't Grief Center on materials to have at a table that will be located at the campsite we will have set up. That's where Elliott and Oliver will be collecting donations in exchange for the tie dye shirts that they made. I'll be there at 11:00 AM settings things up before the race starts at 4:00 PM. Of course, I'm still taking donations here: https://www.crowdrise.com/runforholliinsupportofthechildrensgriefcenteroftheglbr1/fundraiser/brianthomas5
I guess I'm mostly working on getting emotionally prepared for the race. Even a normal race carries a certain emotional weight as you confront physical discomfort and exhaustion. Of course, this isn't a normal race and the races that I have run preparing for this one have given some insight into how I might feel this time around. In that typical male manner, I'm no superstar at communicating feelings and emotions, but I know that there will be a flood of feelings over the 28 to 30 hours I'll be on the course. Some of those feelings will be good and some won't.
So I'm pleased to announce, with an ironic nod to the challenges I face talking openly about feelings, that I've been accepted to give a TEDx talk on ultrarunning and grief on September 30 at SVSU (http://www.tedxsvsu.com/). My hope is to talk about how running has helped me frame my life since losing Holli. The point that I hope to pass along is that the training for a race is more important than the race itself. The race is the easy part (er, easier). Training for the race is the hard part. But, of course, the talk isn't really about running. It's about trying to carve out a meaningful and fulfilling life after suffering significant loss. My life is certainly and unfinished and imperfect project, but perhaps some people will benefit from hearing about some of the things that have worked for me. You would be surprised at the number of hours I have already spent trying to put things into words, tossing drafts, and starting again. Perhaps to reiterate the point of the talk, my plan is not to "let words come" but to craft my talk and practice until it is something worthwhile. Keep your fingers crossed.