26.2 Miles for Michelle

26.2 Miles for Michelle

From Alissa Marks

Running to raise funds for the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley, which provides care for those in the last phases of a life-limiting illness

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Update #2

over 5 years ago

Well, I'm in the middle of packing all my stuff to leave for Ireland tomorrow, so I guess this is it!

I hoped to post more regular updates throughout my training, but to be honest, my training has been somewhat of a disappointment for me. I struggled a lot over the last couple months with IT band issues, to the point where even a few weeks ago I couldn't run more than 3-4 miles without stabbing pain on the side of my knee. I was very nervous that I'd have to back out of the race, but I've been going to PT and trying to take it easy, and it's definitely improved...I've luckily been able to get in a couple 12-mile runs recently. Still, I have never been so unprepared for a race before...and I'm usually pretty unprepared :) It really scares me to think that I haven't run more than 14 miles during this training season and I'm about to do 26.2 in a week.

But the fact that there has been such an outpouring of support from friends and family, and such generous donations in memory of my mother, will help push me to the finish line. I'm truly honored to run for her...and for all of you who I know miss her more than words can say. She has left such a hole in this world and in my heart that will never be filled. And the pain I know my body will feel the better part of this race will be nothing compared to what I felt when I had to say goodbye to her 8 months ago. Every day I miss her, but every day I have to put one foot in front of the other...and that's what I'll do a week from today.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support to honor Michelle's memory, and to help the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley continue their incredible care for individuals (and their families) facing the last stages of their life. Your generous donations of nearly $4,000 (!!!) will be making such an incredible difference, allowing HOVOV to continue their work providing exceptional care to patients, offering bereavement services and grief/loss support groups, funding children's camps and granting patients' last wishes through their Hopes & Dream program. I still hope to reach my goal of $5,000, so if you haven't had a chance to donate I would still greatly appreciate your support!!

It won't be easy, and it certainly won't be pretty, but next Monday I will have run/crawled/rolled across the finish line of the Dublin Marathon in memory of the greatest woman I have ever and will ever have the privilege of knowing. Thank you, Mom, for being the most amazing mother a girl could ask for and for always supporting me in everything I did (especially these crazy endurance sports). You rarely missed one of my races, and I know you won't miss Monday's either. I love you and miss you...and please make sure someone has a Guinness waiting for me at the end.

IRELAND BOUND!

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Why I Run

My mother, Michelle Ross, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on February 16th, 2013 at the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley.  After an extremely long battle with ovarian cancer, her last surgery in January revealed that she was in the end stages of her life.

It was difficult to have hope in the days and weeks that followed, but our family was comforted by the care and support she received in her last few days at the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley.

I am running the Dublin Marathon in Ireland on Monday, October 28, 2013, in memory of my mom and to support an organization that provides exceptional comfort to patients and families facing the most difficult time of their lives.  Please consider making a donation to help the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley continue to allow each individual to live in comfort with peace and dignity until the end.

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Alissa Marks posted a new update:
over 5 years ago

One Week Until Race Day!

Well, I'm in the middle of packing all my stuff to leave for Ireland tomorrow, so I guess this is it!

I hoped to post more regular updates throughout my training, but to be honest, my training has been somewhat of a disappointment for me. I struggled a lot over the last couple months with IT band issues, to the point where even a few weeks ago I couldn't run more than 3-4 miles without stabbing pain on the side of my knee. I was very nervous that I'd have to back out of the race, but I've been going to PT and trying to take it easy, and it's definitely improved...I've luckily been able to get in a couple 12-mile runs recently. Still, I have never been so unprepared for a race before...and I'm usually pretty unprepared :) It really scares me to think that I haven't run more than 14 miles during this training season and I'm about to do 26.2 in a week.

But the fact that there has been such an outpouring of support from friends and family, and such generous donations in memory of my mother, will help push me to the finish line. I'm truly honored to run for her...and for all of you who I know miss her more than words can say. She has left such a hole in this world and in my heart that will never be filled. And the pain I know my body will feel the better part of this race will be nothing compared to what I felt when I had to say goodbye to her 8 months ago. Every day I miss her, but every day I have to put one foot in front of the other...and that's what I'll do a week from today.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support to honor Michelle's memory, and to help the Hospice of Hope of Ohio Valley continue their incredible care for individuals (and their families) facing the last stages of their life. Your generous donations of nearly $4,000 (!!!) will be making such an incredible difference, allowing HOVOV to continue their work providing exceptional care to patients, offering bereavement services and grief/loss support groups, funding children's camps and granting patients' last wishes through their Hopes & Dream program. I still hope to reach my goal of $5,000, so if you haven't had a chance to donate I would still greatly appreciate your support!!

It won't be easy, and it certainly won't be pretty, but next Monday I will have run/crawled/rolled across the finish line of the Dublin Marathon in memory of the greatest woman I have ever and will ever have the privilege of knowing. Thank you, Mom, for being the most amazing mother a girl could ask for and for always supporting me in everything I did (especially these crazy endurance sports). You rarely missed one of my races, and I know you won't miss Monday's either. I love you and miss you...and please make sure someone has a Guinness waiting for me at the end.

IRELAND BOUND!

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Alissa Marks posted a new update:
over 5 years ago

Tough Run - In Need of Rice Bowls

Yesterday I had a really tough 14-mile run. My legs were dead within the first few minutes, I felt like I was going to be sick for a good portion, and my knees were screaming at me at the end (and still are today). Perhaps it was the heat bearing down in the first half. Perhaps it was waiting until the end of the day to get moving. Perhaps it was because I am ridiculously out of shape. No. Must be lack of rice bowls. For people who don't live in NYC (or even those who do but haven't ventured to Pita Grill), there is a magical bowl of food known as the East Meets West Rice Bowl. Brown rice, chicken, sundried tomatoes, arugula, feta cheese. Heaven. A couple years ago while training for my 2nd marathon (the first one I was racing in honor of my mother), I ate an East Meets West Rice Bowl the night before a long run and I had an amazing workout. The next week, another long run sans rice bowl...terrible run! From then on it was a ritual. Every night before a long run I had to eat a Pita Grill rice bowl. And before the marathon, I bought a rice bowl and packed it in my luggage for my flight to Cincinnati for the Flying Pig Marathon. The tradition continued as I trained for my next two marathons and my first half Ironman, before I moved out of NYC. I have replicated a poor man's version of the rice bowl on my own and it seems to do the trick...and will have to work since there sadly is no Pita Grill in Concord, NH (if you're out there Pita Grill gods, think about expansion up north!). Here's hoping next weekend's run goes better! The only question now is...can I get a rice bowl in Dublin?? PS - On a more serious note, Friday was the 6-month anniversary of my mom's passing. Seems so long ago, but at the same time I feel like I just saw her.

Andy Vance commented on a blog post:
over 5 years ago
As ever, I'm really proud of you, and admire your toughness and dedication. I know you're Mom's proud of you, too.

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