Monday, May 23, 2011

Update from Mt. Hood

I am so moved by all the support I have been getting. Thank you! I have not had time (yet!) to respond individually, but reading all the encouraging, loving comments has been sustaining me.

My body seems to be holding up OK; my biggest worry is getting sufficient calories, especially over the next several days when I enter a region with few or no services. (I am bummed because I just ate a yogurt and then realized it was artificially sweetened, wasting some precious appetite.) In retrospect, it might have been easier to run westward, since I am still figuring so much out about how to manage everything on the road; it would be much easier if there were places to buy food along the way.

My biggest challenges are more emotional, particularly at the beginnings of days when I am often filled with self doubt and loneliness. However, the emotional highs have been intense and life changing. I generally have an incredibly rich life, filled with family and friends that I love and who love me back. However, the amount of deep emotional connectedness I feel with so many people right now, old friends and new, and even strangers, has been powerful. Some of this might be explained by how dependent I am on others right now. But I think a bigger part is that people have such goodness, and my circumstances are such that I am seeing that goodness from so many people all day long and so intensely.

This morning is 32 degrees and raining, and I will be running along the shoulder of a truck-filled highway. I have 48 miles to the next settlement, Warm Springs. I’m hoping Warm Springs is aptly named! But in spite of this gloomy start, I know I am ready to take on the day, and I know that it will be filled with joys and challenges that I am so privileged to experience.

There is so much I want to say, but I will end for now with deep thanks to all of you. I hear that you are being very generous with donations to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, which means a lot to me. Thank you! So many of you have been sharing word of this trip through your own networks, and I am touched several times a day when folks contact me and I hear how they came to find out. Not only does it serve my goals, but it is really such a lovely demonstration of community at its very best. Finally, many people are sharing their own stories of loved ones with Alzheimer’s, some privately and some to be published on the ‘Alz Stories’ page, and I feel so honored to hear these stories and to help share them. I believe that people need to hear these stories of dignity and pain, to understand the nature of Alzheimer’s.

I included a photo here of my Portland friends Joan and Nick Bouwes, who over these first few days have been the epitome of love and thoughtfulness. I needed their support in these first few days, and I will carry their generosity with me always. Through Joan and Nick, I had the privilege of meeting many wonderful people, including Seth, who reminded me how joyous it is running with others (and who fixed me up with maltodextrin!).


nikolaos said...

Glad to hear you're doing good Glenn. Keep the updates coming. Hope you can find lots of "refueling" stations along the way.

Donna said...

Oh no, not the artificial sweetener! Chocolate bar in each hand, toe-heel and rubber on the road. Keep strong.

Merry said...

During any lonely moments remember all of us who are thinking of you countless times each day. Checking your website has become an eagerly anticipated evening ritual!

barry said...

Remember the mantra; No calories = no good. Juice and soda and yoo hoo are your friends. Water (for the next couple of months) is wasted volume. For this trip energy density is your ally!

Christopher said...

Hi Glenn! Hopefully the weather will warm up as you leave the Cascades...ala warm springs. Happy running!

Kathy Elsea said...

Glenn, I'm doing the half this weekend with you in mind. Sending positive, good health thoughts your way.

sylvia said...

We are very gald to see the updates. Willow loves to "check in" on you in the mornings. We all send our love.

mark said...


Glad to hear you're doing well. I'm amazed at how much you've run so far. I can only imagine how much courage you have to summon up each morning when you get out on the road. Thinking of you.---Mark