Saturday, June 26, 2010

Part 1 of the Finish Line of Run Hope!

Hello wonderful friends! I am still having a hard time putting many things into words. It will take a few more days. I am still coming back from the lack of sleep. I still wake up at 4:30 am and find myself running in my sleep! My hearts yearns to continue running but my soul could not be with more peace, love and amazing joy being HOME!!! My family is here, my children are so wonderful. I still can't find the words to thank so many people ALL over America for all you have done for us. Our mission was complete and many children will have a much better life because of all of you. Below is the prayer that was read at the finish line of Run Hope. Pastor Ian Noyes wrote and read it to the crowd and it brought myself and so many to tears. I am left with unspoken words for now but can't wait to share our journey with you.
God Bless and love you all

**Gracious God, there are none whose lives and hearts you do not see.
With love and compassion, you stand alongside the vulnerable and the broken...and you have made us to do the same - to join our lives to your purposes that healing and justice might more and more characterize the world you have made. Tonight we give you thanks for a team of people who have answered your call to address the needs of vulnerable children throughout our nation and the world. We thank you especially for Lisa who has with every mile born their loss and pain in her own body. We thank you for her commitment to share in your heart for orphans. We thank you for her tenacity, her endurance, and her reliance upon you for strength and comfort throughout these past two months.
And we thank you for the witness of this team to run hope through America.
For Sister Mary Beth..., for Mike and Julie Smith... and Mike Evans - for their tireless efforts to support, encourage, and facilitate this amazing achievement, for the countless and often thankless ways that they and others worked behind the scenes to make this possible.
We thank you for the hundreds who ran with Lisa to raise awareness about vulnerable and orphaned children, and we thank you for the thousands more who have been touched by Lisa’s passion and commitment. We pray now for fruit to be brought forth from these seeds that you have sown in human hearts. We pray that you would continue to be at work in us tonight to join this effort to bring hope to children who know little of home and less of family. Gracious God and Father be a Father to these children and awaken us to how we might also play a role in your work to heal and redeem and comfort.
Lord, we thank you for Jay and for Annabella and Gabby, who released Lisa for this
purpose these past two months. We pray their time together now would be all the sweeter for this season of absence. Deepen their relationships we pray and bless them. Heal Lisa’s foot and mend her body. Grant her sleep and rest from weariness. May she find peace in knowing that you take pleasure in her, your daughter, who has spent herself for your glory.
We celebrate Lisa tonight, but we also celebrate you who have gifted her so, and we pray that you would help each of us discover your call upon our lives. Help us to know your steadfast love and your purpose for each one here that we too might grow in compassion and give ourselves also to love one another with great abandon. Indeed, with you all things are possible and you promise that those...
who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
What an example you have given us tonight of one who has lived this hope.
Be glorified tonight we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

RHTA Hawaii

State 44 Hawaii completed in the shadow of Diamond Head on Waikiki Beach! Bob MacCallister and his HURT (Hawaii Ultra Running Team) members did a terrific job crewing Lisa and Sr. Mary Beth. They were like a NASCAR pit crew! They provided all that Lisa needed and got her out and running again before she even realized it! It was Lisa's fastest day so far. Perhaps Magic Island put its spell on RHTA! What a great place to run- that day there were 3 weddings, a run for Autistic children and a parade for King Kamaima- all on Magic Island.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My 48 hours on the Island of "Run Hope" by Tammy Brown

It was an adventure. I had a great time for two states with Mike Smith, Mike Evans, Lisa and Sister Mary Beth.

They live like sardines in that RV. I had always thought that it would be so much fun to travel that way, and it was for 2 days. But 62 days?

I showed up at the airport in Phoenix to meet Sister MB and Lisa at around 10:30 pm. Lisa was walking like she had been riding a horse for a week. They were both absolutely exhausted after 50 miles in Utah that day, then the flight to AZ. We made it to the hotel in time for about 4 hours of sleep, which they informed me was a long night of sleep for them. They were so grateful to sleep in a bed that wasn’t moving down the highway at 70 miles per hour. (Eventually, I would understand)

We arose at 4:30 am and headed over to the Freelife Headquarters in Phoenix. Colleen Rossi the AZ Captain was so helpful and wonderful. What wonderful, generous people that we spent the day with. Thank you everyone at Freelife! So after an interview, greetings, a prayer and quick route review, we were on our way! Smiling and only sweating a little, at 6 am and 90 degrees. The route was a concrete sidewalk through what I consider a busy street. Very little shade, very hard hot surface. Great camaraderie with the fun "Jule" people, Colleen, Eric, Robyn, Brian, Brennan, Scott, The fun "Chi" shirt guy, (sorry) and all the other people who joined in that day. I was about to experience what they had been doing for the last 40 days.

Lisa , Sister MB and the duo-Mike’s were amazing. Sister MB pounded out 20 miles in her black habit, then spent the rest of the day taking care of other people. Always helping others. Every time even I would come near the RV, Sister MB or Mike would ask if I needed anything. So nice. Mike Smith works all day long, keeping things going. Lisa has a long, long day. She starts off with a fast limping gait in her croc’s. Big smile on her face. The 15 of us on her tail can hardly keep up with her limping start. She changes shoes and grabs quick snacks during the day. That beginning limp evolves into a healthy run. I am amazed at Lisa's running. She visits with many people on the route, returning calls and messages too. She is trying her best to maintain the project as well as her family, life and business at home. She is the ultimate multi-tasker, all while completing her daily 50 mile ultra marathon. With 10 miles left to go, she turns on “her jets” and quickly finishes the final 10 miles while she is in her zone. She completed 50 miles, press, meeting people, visiting, resting and fueling all by 6:30 pm, and is rewarded with an ice bath. We had a wonderful party with the “Jule” people at Freelife and eventually we were on the road. I am sold on the products, especially the energy one! We stopped for a fast food dinner and were on our way to Las Vegas. We were in for a long drive.

We were riding in what I will now refer to as the “SS Jiffy Pop”.

I had watched the movie “UltraMarathon Man” in which Dean Karnazes runs a marathon in every state over 50 days. Pretty cool movie, amazing, inspirational feat which Dean completes with style. He raised funds for children and other projects. He is amazing, has inspired so many people. As a bonus to the movie viewers, Dean looks pretty good with his shirt off. I have to smile when I think of the differences in the ways that Lisa is traveling and the way UltraMarathon man traveled. If you get a chance….check out the luxury bus and private jets that he and his crew traveled on. There was almost no chance of shaking out a dental filling while traveling on Dean’s bus. The Run Hope Crew may need to see the dentist when they return home.

Anyway, the RV is great but it is loud and very bouncy. There is not much sleep had while driving after the runs each day. Sister Mary Beth was so kind to make a space for me on her bed. I had to laugh at first while my heart was in my stomach as we hit each small bump. One of my favorite memories of the trip will be enjoying the beauty of crossing Hoover Dam at 2am. Sister MB and I were like two little girls, it was an amazing sight all lit up and so quiet.

We arrived in Las Vegas around 3 am, parked for about 2 hours and tried to sleep. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is seeing Sister with a pillow over her head, leading me to believe that I may have been snoring. (So, sorry!)

We got up, and met Ernie Rambo to start our day in Las Vegas at 5:30 am. Ernie and all the LV people were wonderful. We met great people! Thanks to everyone who came out! The route was again a concrete path, but no traffic to fight through. It was nice, but another hot day in the high 90’s. My favorite miles were a few miles that we ran through KMART and Lowes. I seriously thought we might be arrested. What a sight and smell we must have been. Our pace through a busy Kmart was pretty impressive! We also did many miles around an indoor parking garage. It was a fun, but long hot day. I developed some blisters, which slowed me down, and I eventually wimped out in hopes of saving my feet for the following week in Montana and Idaho. Sister MB powered out her 20 miles with her usual smile and cheer. Lisa collected several dollars in change from the road over the day and ran her last few miles hard. My feet were really sore and I was assessing my damage when Lisa finished. She sat down and took off her shoes and socks. She too had new blisters, but she still had 400 miles more to go! Again, I realized……It was all relative. I could limp home and complain. She would be doing it all again the next day! Just like the movie GROUNDHOG DAY.

We had a quick ice bath, which felt great to me. Lisa had a much-needed massage from Rudi an 83 y/o massage guru. At around 7:30 pm it was time for “Jiffypop” to start heading to California.

I was done, time to go to my cozy hotel bed and a glass of red wine. Hugs all around then the crew went bouncing down the road. They all look so tired, they work hard. 9 more days, and they will be done. Only 400 more miles to run.

It is all relative. “Almost done” means that Lisa only has to run the distance between Driggs Idaho and Polson Montana.

God speed SS Jiffypop!

Thank you so much Run Hope Crew. Without Lisa, I would still be whining and not be running let alone covering 80 miles in 2 days!

This project is not about the running. It is about helping kids around the globe. I was able to spend time talking to Sister Mary Beth about the children that she works with all over the world. The orphanages can feed a child with 6 cents per day! I can help 58 kids per day if I give up one latte. (SMB didn't tell me that, I just really needed some coffee at the time). Talking to Sister MB makes it all real, she is the real deal. Her life is dedicated to helping children. Lisa and SMB are a great team fighting for kids, they just do it best with running shoes on. They "Just Do IT".

Lets donate if we can! How about the loose change that we can find in our drawers, cars, or more! Let’s help these kids.

Hope to see you all in Montana next Thursday June 17th!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

RHTA 42nd State Las Vegas, NV

Pictured above Riley and Richard (barefoot) running the last lap with me.

Thanks to Ernie Rambo our 42nd state run in Las Vegas was a great success! Thank you to all who came to run. Also, thanks to the people who stopped by to greet and wish Sister Mary Beth and I good luck with the project.

I’ve always said that when I have people around me that I know and that understand the experience and can give me my space, it changes my whole attitude and keeps me energized and motivated. This was certainly what happened in Las Vegas!

I was able to do my last laps so quickly because Richard was running ahead of me, and I would just kept listening to the patter of his bare feet to keep the pace.

Richard said that during the last laps he kept listening to my feet hitting the pavement that helped him set the pace!

I am so grateful for a massage given to me by Rudi! He is an 83 year-old master's division Olympian sprinter who also has given massages to Jack LaLane!

Thank you all for your prayers and kindnesses to me and the Running Hope Through America team. Continue your prayers as we quickly are approaching the end.



Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What Will It Take To Finish?... A Lesson In Selfishness

Hi All --

Just to let you know, our new RHTA website is also a place for me to blog. Because of that I've been neglecting this blog... sorry for any confusion.

Thank you to all of the people who have come out to run with me, thank you to all the supporters, media, captains, friends and family – especially my girls who are on the RHTA team back home with their wonderful father and grandmother.

As some of you have read in my recent posts, I’m learning how to think about myself. I’m not saying that I’m a saint; it’s more of a selfish thing, really. I simply don’t know how NOT to be professional when people are around me and I’m in my element – running. I feel like I have to keep up with them, or slow down with them… I just feel like I must be near them. However, I am reaching the end of my rope.

I love that quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” This is exactly how I feel right now. My knot requires absolute focus… and my focus requires space. My foot is in pain, my knee is in pain, my body aches. Most days my spirits are high, but it’s a crap-shoot – I never know what the day will bring.

So, from now on, with only two weeks left before the big finish line in Idaho, I am learning the Art of Selfishness (which is actually a great book by David Seabury).

I am promising myself that next time someone wants to run with me for 25 miles and talk to me the whole time, I’m going to say, “I appreciate you, but NO”. And, next time someone wants to give me advice on how to raise my children while I’m running and already upset about missing them, I’m going to say, “I understand your concern, but NO”. And next time someone would like advice about their running form for a full ten miles while I need to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, I will say, “Trust your body, I have to focus on mine… and NO”.

People that know me, know that the last thing in the world that I want to do is appear unprofessional and/or unkind, however… the finish line and goal of RHTA is more important than any one individual at the moment… especially me.

I do worry about how people will view me. But, at this point the pain and journey takes precedence over almost everything else.

Will everyone understand? Will they get it and allow me my space to keep my pace and do my 50 miles everyday? I wish I could be sure.

“Anybody who's ever mattered, anybody who's ever been happy, anybody who's ever given any gift into the world has been a divinely selfish soul, living for his own best interest. No exceptions..”

–Richard Bach

Hmn… I’m going to have to work on it a little then.



Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Our life these days on the road to HOPE

As St. Paul says, suffering leads to endurance which leads to hope.

Our experience these days we have come across many people who are suffering. Some externally who have suffered physically and many who are suffering internally, either from the death of a loved one or sickness that has ravaged their families.

But all, even though they are suffering they give us hope from their endurance.

My long time friend Dan Jensen who had his leg blown off when he was 21 from stepping on a land mine in Viet Nam came to run all 50 miles.

Lisa and Dan ran the Marathon des Sables together 13 years ago and Dan gave Lisa great strength during this run as she watched him run with one leg. Having two legs certainly put it all in perspective! This man is more than extraordinary, he has something so special that it can't be put into words.

On Nov. 5th last year Dan lost his beautiful wife Robin to brain cancer. Lisa found about this as she and Dan ran together in North Dakota. Lisa was very quiet all day and in such a somber place. She wanted to run the last 3-5 miles alone. Once the day was over Lisa had an out pouring of emotions thinking about Dan, Robin, their children and most of all the amazing love they shared for 35 years of marriage. Dan and Robin were always together at all the races and the joy they shared for life and love was always such a bright light for everyone. Lisa ran in Robins honor all day long and we will continue to do so as we run through the rest of America.

Suffering comes in so many forms these days, it puts life in perspective and reveals more than Lisa can bear at times. Her feet hurt but what is this in comparison to someone who has lost a spouse or a child? So many have lost jobs, homes and come to Lisa and Sister Marybeth to ask for prayers of hope.
Lisa said, "I am not suffering so others can have a better life". "I am suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually by choice to help others." At the end of the day I get a shower and a meal and perhaps a bed. At the end of the day so many have none of this.

We all have our sufferings at this very moment. What will you do about yours today? How can we help each other through to a newer and higher level?

Lisa has been helped by so many along her journey of HOPE.
Dan, Roy, Dale, Albert..all who have come to share their stories about suffering and stories about how they have or are getting through to the next level.

Taking an ice bath is NO fun you know, but it helps the suffering from the day on your feet.
Try it, you may find some wonder yourself in the cold hitting your skin!

We are praying for all who are suffering in all ways. Emotionally, physically and spiritually.
You will forever be in our hearts and on our minds as we continue our run through America for the children of the WORLD.

Love you all
Team Running Hope