Thirsty Alexis

Journey to Quench that Insatiable Thirst for Knowledge

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4rd Half Marathon – 02/21/2010

#3 – 26.2 with Donna – The National Marathon To Finish Breast Cancer in Jacksonville, FL
/ Half-marathon Map

(2/21/2010)

I ran my4th half-marathon at Run with Donna 26.2 this morning in Jacksonville FL on behalf of Deborah Stoner for her two friends Dusty and Debbie who are fighting breast cancer. And this page is dedicated for them.
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Dear Deborah,
First,  I would like to thank you for letting me run on behalf of you for Dusty and Debbie. It was an amazing experience which was beyond regular half-marathons I have run. Not only the Expo but also the whole race was full of those who are running for their friends and families fighting breast cancer and who have survived from the breast cancer. They all were wear pink and were there for the same reason. As meaningful as the experience was, I would like to share it with you, Dusty and Debbie.
I left Atlanta on Saturday at 6am and arrived in Jacksonville, FL around noon. I went to the Expo at the convention center and there were full of people picking up their packets. Oh, I saw Donna and Hal Higdon there. Isn’t it awesome? 🙂
The weather was very nice and warm, so I decided to cruise around the beach area after the Expo. Here are a couple of pictures – I went to Atlantic beach which was about 17 miles away from downtown where the Expo was. As you can see the sky was very blue and you know I love palm trees. Haha

Today morning at 4 o’clock,
I woke up in a hotel room where all my race gear and clothes were waiting for me to wear them – I was ready, too! It was not cold at all and by the time the race started which was 7:30 am, the sun was up and it was pretty sunny.

Below is me before the race wearing the logo you made. I was totally wearing all pink and was ready to rock n’ roll. 🙂

The view from the bridge was breath-taking even though it was very hilly. The fog was all over under the bridge and I could see the top of trees. The overall course was pretty awesome – as you mentioned, I could even run on the beach which was awesome although it was very difficult to run on the sand. The race was full of volunteers, bands, and supportive spectators. There was even some lady in front of her beach house peeling fruits for the runners!

Even though I started off the race very easy – actually I couldn’t really run faster as there was full of people in front of me. Hah About at mile 5, I started feeling my ankle hurt a bit from the ankle sprain which happened a month ago. Then I knew that I might have been in trouble – the ankle pain kept worse and worse. The weather became very hot and humid which I was not used to. But I had to keep going thinking of Debbie and Dustin. At about mile 10, I was not sure if I could even finish with the pain that was going all over my left foot and leg. Basically, I could not feel my feet and the pain was all over.. I thought “Should I quit? This might worsen the ankle injury and I might not be able to run again?!” Millions of things were passing through my mind. But then again, I realized the run was not about me… it was for you, Dusty, Debbie, and those who are fighting for breast cancer. Was I that weak?!? So I just bit my lips and finished the race.

The race result was,  1172/3711 Total rank, 124/346 Age group  rank, 2:22:11 Time. The hill and weather, and most of all the ankle beat me hard. However, I’m satisfied with the results, especially the rankings and the fact that I did finish “strong” for you, Debbie and Dusty! Remember human spirits are stronger than anything!

I dragged my self to the first aid tent after the finish line. My feet were in mess with blister and my ankle definitely needed ice pack. And I soothed the pain with Bud-lights and delicious Florida oranges.

For Dusty and Debbie, Lance Armstrong once said, “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them.  When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope?  We have two options, medically and emotionally:  give up, or fight like hell.” For the 4th annual Run with Donna 26,2 we are going to run all together – Deborah, me and the survivors – Dusty and Debbie. Keep fighting!!! Keep  your faith!!!

PS. Thanks again for giving me an opportunity to experience unforgettable weekend road-trip. Hope your leg recover soon!

818 miles drive + 13.1 miles run= total 831.1 miles!

Yes, I pulled it off with a blistered foot! Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE!

Best, Alexis

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