Saturday, July 7, 2012

Recap

I ran the race in 4:20 three days ago. Today, as the lingering soreness in my quads breathes its last hurrah, I remember that my legs will have the last laugh, with Ragnar DC (a 200 mile relay race)  only 2.5 months away. Being sore reminds me, as everything seems to remind me, of Timmy. We worked so incredibly hard moving furniture on the truck that having sore legs, sore arms, and a sore back were just about as normal as walking, talking, and breathing. On July 5, after a 2-plus hour drive home, my mom wanted to stop to walk along the Leaburg canal trail with her dog Missy. Because Timmy would mock soreness as an excuse for laziness, I walked (only about 1 mile) with them. Today, the third day after the race, I was outside shoveling old ashes from the firepit, preparing for the next bonfire in Timmy's honor.

One of the things I heard a lot the last few days was that "Timmy would be so proud of you." I don't doubt that Timmy would have given me an 'attaboy' for running the marathon. I also don't doubt that he would have told me over and over how proud he was of me successfully defending my dissertation. Truth is, though, that these things would not have meant a whole lot to him, in the scheme of things. In fact, I keep thinking about this past September, when i went to Germany for work. I flew into Frankfurt, but was staying about 2 hours away. I reserved a car because I couldn't run the 120 miles, and made it an automatic because I can't drive stick.

As it turns out, they don't have much in terms of automatic cars in Germany, and upon my arrival in Frankfurt, I was told that I could have a manual transmission, or I could, you know, hitchhike. So... I took my chances, with the manual...

I got down to the garage and sat in the car, noting that the parking attendant was seated basically 10 feet away from where my car was parked, watching me. Moment of truth, I had to get out of that space and out of that parking structure, without the parking attendant figuring out how incompetent I was and taking the car from me. I put the car into reverse, let my foot up off the clutch, and started rolling... forward. Brakes. Clutch, Lurch. Stall. Again, into reverse, roll forward, brakes, clutch, lurch stall. Damnit, the parking attendant, she's walking toward me...

"In Europe, you must press ze shiftah down or ze cah wont go een reversuh," she says to me in a thick accent. I hurriedly reply 'thank you,' put the car in reverse, release the clutch, back from the space, shift into 1st, and roll out of the parking structure without stalling - thanking God for his help the entire time. I roll up to my first stop sign, press down on the brakes, stop, and stall. From this point on, I am trying (without a map, directions, or working GPS) to find the autobahn to Kaiserslautern. This is tough, considering that at this point, I think the autobahn is a single special highway for high efficiency cars, not the word they use for any highway. It's also tough because I stall every time I start, stop, turn, or look in the rear view mirror at an odd angle.

Eventually, I found my way onto the autobahn toward K-Town. On the autobahn, the lack of a need for shifting eased my difficulties. To keep from offending the speeding Germans, I pulled up behind a semi truck and drove at its speed. I felt like this was a sign that Timmy was watching over me. I made it to K-Town and had dinner with my coworkers. My trip after dinner from K-Town to Otterberg was particularly bad. I was unable to find my way, I was on rural, hilly roads, I was still stalling. I got to my hotel and cried and cried. I called Bridget, and I cried some more. I told her how Timmy had watched over me during the day, and how I was so scared about the needed drive back to K-Town in the morning.

The next morning, I drove the same rural roads back. At one point, I came to a stop sign on a steep hill. Stopped, and started again without stalling. In fact, I made it all the way to K-Town without stalling. Since I would be staying there the rest of my trip, I parked the car and swore to never drive it again. I even got a coworker/friend to drive me back to Frankfurt in it, since I was so terrified of a repeat stall experience.

Anyways, my pig-headedness in accepting a manual car. My stupidity for deciding to learn to drive stick shift ON THE AUTOBAHN, and the fact that I did it, that I didn't back down....

There is no other accomplishment I have made or action I have taken that Timmy would have been more proud of. With caution to the wind and adventure in front of me, Timmy would have loved to hear this story, and to make jokes about it. He would have told EVERYONE he knew. He would have known that, without him, I would have never ever had it in me to do it, and he would have reveled in pride at having given me that power. When I realized I wasn't going to be able to tell him the story, I cried even harder than I had after my drive to Otterberg. When I've heard that he would be proud of me now, this story has been all I can think about.

Monday marks a year since he passed, and with $100/mile going to the McKenzie River Trust, you have all provided something for me to be proud of through your donations, a way for me to tell the planet a little bit about what Timmy has given me and added to my life. I am planning to make a few more blog posts and continue accepting any donations above and beyond our goal through the end of the month, and I will also be sending all the donors something over the next few weeks. However, I want to express my gratitude for everyone!

I also want to express my pride for my sister, Jenny. She also ran on the 4th. Unlike me, she doesn't love running and does not consider herself a runner. She ran a 5k at the foot traffic flat, and totally kicked butt, to support me and to support Timmy. I'm so proud of her and how awesome she did! (So are her kids!)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

So I am winding down a week in California for my friend's wedding, and it looks like my dissertation is within moments of being done. I had father's day brunch with my dad, and now I'm in the airport waiting to go back to dc.

I miss Timmy so much -

We did get to see the fireworks show at disneyland... and fireworks will always be for me what the rainbow was for Timmy. A bright, happy, reminder of him. (also, loud and dangerous, just like him!) :-P

Now only if I could hug a firework without getting burned or exploded...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Less than 20 bucks away!

We are rocking on the DONATIONS! So happy to give back to the river that brought Timmy so much happiness!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Damn you, Bose!

Just got an email from Bose, titled "Give Dad Bose sound. Get great values."

Timmy's Bose was one of his favorite things. I remember that he and I were the only ones who could hook it up to the TV and change it to run video games, the dvd player, etc.

He would turn it up so loud for action movies because he loved hearing the bullets fly.

My mom always used it to listen to Pink Floyd's the Wall. She'd try to get me to dance, I would be sheepish, and Timmy would dance with her to make up for it.

Bose's email made me remember these things, made me realize that Timmy isn't around for this father's day, and right now I am crying like a baby, at my desk at work.

Just a reminder that I need to double and redouble my running efforts and get ready to face the marathon.

Our fundraising is up to $2252, just $368 away. Actually, we're closer than that because I know that there is one donation from JDerek that hasn't been added and a check from my dad that is on its way. That's less than the cost of Timmy's Bose, we can do it!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

8.8 miles today

3.7 this morning and 5.1 this afternoon.

Slightly farther than yesterday... :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

new schedule

just over a month left. They may not contain any deep or insightful writing, but I am going to put my daily mileage totals here, for accountability.

8.7 miles today (8:55 pace)

On another note. I saw three deer grazing outside the national zoo on my way back home, all adolescent. I stopped for five minutes or so to watch them, and got to thinking about rainbows. Tim's mom loved rainbows, and when she passed, he believed that every rainbow he saw was a kind reminder from his ma that she's watching over him.

I was running and thinking how little running I've been doing that lately, and thinking about how Tim needed to watch over me, and part of me really wanted to believe that those deer are a sign that he was. I'd be the first to call that silly, but it's amazing how one yearns to feel like those who have passed are still right there by looking for signs outside. Instead, I remember that Tim is still here, inside. Inside of me and the man he helped me become, but also inside my mom and everyone else whose life he touched. We're $418 from the donation goal, and then I will run my legs and my heart out in his honor. Running a three (my personal goal) is basically impossible given my level of fitness, but finishing the marathon (the goal for Timmy) is something for which nothing could stop me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Still Sporadic

I feel like a total waste in my inability to muster the strength to post lately. Things are rough. Deadlines are looming. I've been selfish and kept my daily thoughts of Tim to myself. I've been silly, and kept my worries about the race to myself. I've been absent, and kept pretty much to myself.

I need to be done with a draft of my dissertation like... two weeks ago. This last chapter just doesn't want to get writ.

But that's not the point here... (no matter how much I love to vent)

The point is, I hope you all know...

It doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about Tim, It doesn't mean that I'm not going to finish the race, and it doesn't mean I don't have more to share.

I am, I am, and I do.

So please don't give up on me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birthday

"Hey pally-boy"

It was always weird when I got a call from that cell phone, and it was Tim on the other line, rather than my mom, but his greeting was always the same. (To be fair, the normal process was that my mom would call, but the phone would always be passed to Tim eventually). When Tim made the call, there was always a reason.

At least a few times, that reason was because it was after 8pm on September 30, and he wanted to make sure that I didn't wait too late to call my mom and say 'Happy Birthday.' In fact, on that day, he would call anyone who he thought may have forgotten, or anyone my mom had recently talked about, and tell them "So I'm going to hang up, and then you call right back." It guaranteed that she would be around to answer, and it guaranteed that she would receive happy birthday phone calls all day long. It was one of the stupid little things that he did to show he loved her, one of the millions of good examples he set.

Of course, today is May Day, and that means that Tim would be 53 today.

Until and including 2009, I was always in school on Tim's birthday, and I don't think I ever spent the day with or celebrated with him. Instead, I always called him, especially because his proactivity for my mom let me know how important he thought such calls were. In 2009, the family had a surprise 50th for him (which I didn't even know about until I called while it was happening!) and from what I hear, he was both thoroughly surprised and ecstatic. I think that May Day is going to be rough for me, filled with regrets about not having celebrated this day with Tim. That said, I really want to open this blog up to comments today, and really urge anyone reading to comment describing an experience you had with Tim on one of his birthdays. So tell us, what is your favorite Timmy birthday memory?



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sabbatical?

So what happened in the last (almost) 4 weeks?

I decided, after nearly three years, that I could finish my PhD dissertation. Among other things, this led to:
  • Many days of finishing my workday, just to begin working on writing, meaning as many as 20 hours straight at the office
  •  No free time - making my friends and loved ones in DC experience what many of my friends and loved ones in CA and OR have experienced since I began writing it three years ago
  • A serious reduction in gym time and mileage
  • A lapse in blogging, which I'm very sad about.
But some good things happened too:
  • I'm on the last substantive chapter, and I can taste the finish line!
  • We were a small part in helping MRT raise over $21,500 in March!
  • Some of my friends (without any prodding) threw a party and collected donations for McKenzie River Trust, totaling over $100!
  • We crossed the $2,000 mark for total donations!
At the end of March, I said that I would post about beer if we hit that milestone, and now it's time to deliver!

Of course, it is with a heavy heart that I talk about beer on this blog. Tim loved beer. He was never the kind of man who got drunk, or angry, or silly when he was drinking. We would just sit, preferably around a fire, and tell stories and chat while having a few beers. Ultimately, too many nights of that, too many beers, is part of why he was taken away from us. It serves as a reminder to be careful not to overdo it. But it also means that every beer I drink will be bittersweet, and will remind me of sitting by the fire, laughing, telling stories, and learning about life, love, family, and how to be a good man. Those things make me really appreciate a good beer.

So what's the most important ingredient in a good beer? If you've ever chewed on raw hops, you know that they don't make magic on their own... let Joe Moll, executive Director of MRT, break it down for you:


Not convinced where the flavor comes from, just ask Matt Van Wyk, one of the many amazing brewers of the Pacific Northwest...


That's right, the River makes for some damn good beer. And to celebrate that, last year, Ninkasi (one of my favorites when I'm in OR) made a brew to support MRT, and it raised over $10,000!


That's right... it makes our goal of $2,620 seem (India) Pale (Ale) in comparison, right?

We're only $476 dollars away... and for the price of a pint (in DC) - you can add $5 (or more, of course) to our total here!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Only one day left!

Tomorrow, March 31, 2012 is the last day that Mountain Rose Herbs will be matching, dollar for dollar, all donations received by McKenzie River Trust. It's a great time to donate and DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!


If we cross the $2000 dollar mark on Timmy's campaign before the month ends, I promise to post about a recent partnership between McKenzie River Trust and one of my favorite craft brewers in the country!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Journey

I was recently sitting in my office on a Saturday afternoon working on my dissertation (the office is empty on the weekends), and someone else who was in the office during their down time walked by to say hello, because he had heard my music playing down the hallway. I was on the Pandora 'Classic Rock' station. A few days later, in a meeting, he recounted the encounter to some of our other colleagues, stating that I was listening to something that could only be described as "Truck Driver Classic Rock."

Damn right. I grew up on truck driver classic rock. Every winter, ever summer, ever since I was 4 years old - I was sitting in that truck, driving all day long, and learning to love Boston, Chicago, and Kansas (the places yes, but especially the bands) - falling in love with Pink Floyd and the Who, jamming to Metallica, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and so many others...

One that always made me think of my mom and Timmy was Journey. Whenever I was at home, in school, and not on the road, the song 'Wheel in the Sky' was always a bittersweet reminder of where they were, what they were doing, and how much I missed them. I spent a lot of time missing them. And then Monday night I flipped the station and 'the Voice' was on, and the final act was two singers covering the Journey song "Faithfully."

I was moved to tears when listening to the song. I called my mom bawling like a baby. The next day, I was explaining it to someone else, and I started crying again. Heck, I started crying just writing this post. All that to say, I think you should all watch it. I hope that you all can, at least a little, feel through this song something like me and my family are feeling for Tim every day.


Monday, March 26, 2012

16.2 miles!

Last week I ran my first half marathon distance, and then some! I AM RAMPED UP!!!

I'm going to make Timmy, my family and friends, and MRT proud when I rock that marathon in July!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cougar Reservoir


One look at the beauty of the reservoir in the summer, and it's easy to see why Tim loved being out here.


Not only are you completely surrounded by incredible beauty and lush greenery... but...


There is also mud to play in (don't worry, ATVs are allowed here).

Anyone who has known me since I was a kid, knows that I am a big, nerdy, geeky, nerd-geek. My sister and I used to go on the go-carts at amusement parks, and I would slow down because I was afraid I would crash around the corners. Growing up, my brother and Tim went bungee jumping, and everyone knew that was something I could never do.

Then one day a friend somehow convinced me to go skydiving. And I did. And my life changed. Next thing I knew, I was riding ATVs with Tim, and stuck in the mud in the picture above.

We did have a lot of fun there...

  video


and Tim did pull me out of the mud, just as he pulled out everyone else who ever went with him, and anyone he met along the way. Somehow he never managed to get stuck, and always managed to be there to help, or to retrieve someone from the bottom of the mountain. After all, he loved the river, and he wanted everyone else to be around, to experience it, and to love it too.

Tim and I after a fun day at the reservoir


PS - We're about half way to the new fundraising goal, and your donations to McKenzie River Trust will still be matched in the month of March, so it's like getting double for your money when you DONATE.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day!

In celebration of π day, I intend to run 3.14 miles today.

Sorry I missed the scheduled Friday and Monday updates everyone, work has been hectic.

I will return Friday with a cool post about the McKenzie!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We don't need on stinkin' lunches.

I was at work from 7am-10pm yesterday, and here I am, near 9pm, and writing a blog post before I go home, because I know I'll be too tired to do it when I get home.

It wasn't so much a rule as an unwritten standard operating procedure, but we don't eat when we work. Specifically, Timmy would stop for lunch under any of three conditions: 1) our customer offered to give us lunch (because turning them down would be rude), 2) we were done working, or 3) one of us (never him) got hungry enough to ask "can we take a break to eat?"

If anyone wanted to eat, he was always okay with it, and would always eat with us and everything - it just wasn't a thought that would ever have occurred to him while working otherwise.

To this day, I have coffee in the morning and generally don't eat until dinner. In fact, when I'm not fighting to keep up with work and my dissertation at the same time, my lunch hour is usually spent at the gym (as is the hour directly following work). I usually get home around 7, and eat some massive meal around 8. This system is suboptimal, but I've researched the medical journals and its not actually unhealthy (despite a lot of popular and media opinion to the contrary).

Generally, I'm thankful for Tim for helping me acclimate to a lifestyle that allows me to run in the morning, workout at lunch and after work, and stuff my face at the end of the day. But today... today I bring all this up because, if I'm at work until 9 or 10, and don't get home until 10 or 11, this system seriously stinks.

I'm also writing because I realize that so much of who I am and what I do, down to my work ethic and eating habits - they're all given to me by Timmy. He's here with me now, and probably didn't realize if he was hungry until he saw that I was.

Monday, March 5, 2012

February Fun And March Madness

I ran 67.5 miles in February (a mere 2.3 miles per day, on average - down slightly from January), but I did manage a big-time 12 mile run! I'll run at least two half-marathon distances (13.1) in March, I promise. :)

Anyways, that brings my 2012 total mileage, through the end of February, to just over 150 miles. I plan to crank it up this month, and I'm aiming for at least 100 more. I plan to run at least 524 miles before the marathon (20 miles for every mile of the race). Why so many? Well, first of all, running 12 miles at a 9 minute pace makes running 26.2 at faster than a 7 minute pace seem impossible. Second, my good friend Billy once said "Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible. Yea, get the better of them." I mean... I bet he never thought that his words, the words of a conspirator plotting against Julius Caesar, would be taken out of context to inspire runners to accomplish the impossible...

Frankly, I'm a little surprised too. Yet, here we are. And here I go!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big News!

First, congratulations to everyone who has donated, and pushed us over the $1,000 goal. Anyone who knows Timmy, knows that enough is never enough, and that you always take the next step. To that end, I have updated the goal to $100 per mile - a total of $2620 - so we can keep those DONATIONS coming in!

PS - McKenzie River Trust has a matching gift campaign going on in March. It's not directly related to my run, but all donations they receive, including those they get through our marathon site (up to an overall Trust total of $5,000), will be matched by Mountain Rose Herbs. That means that every dollar you donate will bring $2 in benefits to the Trust. So if you like a deal, double your money before March 31!

And McKenzie River Trust deserves congratulations as well... on March 1, they announced the protection of the Coyote Spencer Wetlands. Wetlands, apparently, are often compared to coral reefs or rainforests for the diversity of life that they support, because they are exceptionally productive ecosystems, with a huge variety of plant, bird, and wildlife species. For example, bear, mountain lion, bobcat, deer, and elk have all been seen in the wetlands. The Trust posted on their website that "Our newest protected landscape, the Coyote Spencer Wetlands, is a testament to your past gifts." The money we raise in Timmy's memory will help them continue their mission to protect these and other lands in Western Oregon, and I am so happy to be able to report the good news of their acquisition of this new property!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LEAP for Joy!!!

Happy Leap Day!

I just watched as my fundraising campaign crossed the $1,000 mark, which is the goal I set. I'm so thankful for everyone who has donated so far, and everyone else who still might.

I'm not surprised that we made it to the goal - as Tim touched every single life he touched. I remember this past July, when I was helping my mom out with various things, I met and unfortunately had to break the news of Tim's passing to his tax preparer, and she began to cry. Come to think of it, I don't think there is anyone in Tim's life who wasn't brought to their knees by word of his illness and passing.

I was surprised that we got here so quickly. I was shocked to see that instead of a bunch of $5, $10, and $20 donations, that I saw several people donating $50 or more. People really loved Tim. Everyone I have spoken to has confirmed that they think the McKenzie River Trust is a great representation of Tim's love and what he stood for, and I hope that we can give even more to support their conservation of the rivers.

I want to leave you today with a fun story relating to a leap, and another one of my cherished memories of Tim.

For those of you have have never moved furniture on a semi, you might not know the value of ramps. Whether loading or unloading, we always have to slide ramps up to one of the doors on the trailer, so that we can carry things onto and off of the truck. Simple enough, right? Well, not quite. First off all, connecting the two sides of the ramps can be a little frustrating... but the real problem is lining up the truck doors to the ramps, so that that the path between the house and truck are as clear as possible. In order to get the right alignment, we lay the ramps down approximately where we want them to line up, and then Tim backs up the truck, while watching us in his side mirror, and we tell him to keep going or to stop when the door gets to the right place.

Me in the Truck

Sorry for the digression and impromptu lesson in ramps, but you really have to understand the process to understand the story. I'll always remember one day In Georgia, we were preparing to unload the truck. We lined up the ramps and Tim hopped in the truck to back it up. In order for him to see me in his mirror, I placed myself at the far end of the ramps, waving at him to continue backing up. I waved and waved (you all know the motion you make when you're trying to help someone parallel park), looking from the truck door, to Timmy in the mirror, and back.

Next thing I know, I'm looking over the top of the truck. It's over 13 feet tall, and I had a line of sight clear over the top. In case you were curious, I am not superman, and I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound. How then, did I leap higher than a semi? And how did it happen without me wanting it to happen?

Well, I was focused on the door, and on Tim. He was focused on me. Neither of us was focused on the truck's rear wheels, which ran over the near end of the ramps, catapulting me into the air unexpectedly.

As Timmy flew out of the truck to make sure I was okay, he told me that, suddenly, he could only see my shoes where my face had been. We both started laughing, and (sensing that I wasn't hurt), he asked me the question that was always on the forefront of his mind: "So... are we ready to start working?"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunny Days

It's getting warmer out here.

We had a beautiful day, nearly 70 degrees this Thursday, and I used it to achieve a new longest run - 12 miles. It was also a very busy week, where I only ran 13.5 miles all together (the other, really short, run was with a group I volunteer with)

The highlight of the week, however, was that I got a new pair of running shoes! At the height of my fitness, I was running about 150 miles a month, and had to get a new pair of shoes once every 3 months or so (who said running was cheap?). As I am now ramping up, I think this pair, or maybe one more, will be all I need to prepare for July. Looking forward to seeing more and more people on the trails now that it's warm!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Mighty McKenzie

There was recently a substantial amount of rain in Oregon, and my mom took the opportunity to go check out the high water levels of the McKenzie. Her dog Missy seemed pretty excited about all the sound and fury of the river!


video

Seeing like this is a pretty stark change from the image of lazily tubing down the river, like Tim liked to do in the summer, and it definitely is a reminder to respect the power of the river, and the importance of McKenzie River Trust's protection of river land and floodplains (and the beach). If you want to help, and support my fundraising in Tim's memory, make sure to check out the DONATIONS page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smile, dammit!

Something that sticks with me to this very day was Timmy telling me over and over to 'smile dammit!'

Especially on hot days (read: 100+ outside, plus humidity that brings the heat index to 110+, plus it being at least 10 degrees hotter in the trailer, which is basically a steel oven), when we were working (you know, moving furniture), at the first sign of my distress, he never hesitated to stop me (outside of earshot of our customers) and shout 'smile, dammit!' Sometimes, he even added a 'if you can't smile while working, then you should just go sit in the tractor, turn on the A/C, and wait for us to finish.

I would always smile, and keep working. And then forget about smiling because it something was particularly heavy, and because damn it was hot, and because I couldn't concentrate on ANYTHING for more than five minutes (a trait that I still have to do this day), and he would catch me and tell me 'smile, dammit!'

Nowadays my job is (physically) much easier. No matter what stress lands on my head, it's fairly easy to remember to smile, DAMMIT! It's one of the many lessons about working hard and taking pride in that work that Timmy taught me. I only regret that there aren't more lessons to come.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Current Progress and Plans

My last marathon was run in 3:39. At that time I weighed 160 pounds and felt pretty indestructible. I was aiming for a 3:10, but had a cold (which turned out to be pneumonia), and didn't quite make my goal. 3:39, however, was more than an hour faster than my only other marathon, which I ran in 4:45 after failing to consider that training might be important.

After Tim passed, two things happened. First, my exercise went out the window. Second, I ate everything I could find. Eating really helped me to not think. By November, I crossed the 200 lb mark. It was at this point that I started earnestly thinking that I needed some motivation to get back on track, and that's when the idea of running a marathon took shape.

I ran a few times in November and December, while battling the eating that accompanies the holidays, and got down to 195 by January 1st. Then, I started to ramp up the running. I ran about 75 all purpose miles in January, and got down below 180. My best run of the month was my first 10k distance. It was my first run of more than 5 miles since re-starting, and it was my fastest pace of the entire month! It felt really good to have time and distance records combined into one run! I look forward to sharing more about my February runs and progress toward my pace goals in future posts!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Introduction.

I lost my stepfather on July 9, 2011. He died after a sudden and short illness that included liver failure and cancer. Although I live in Washington DC and he lived in Eugene, OR, I was able to spend much of his final two months with him. Throughout that time, he was sometimes in better condition than others, he seemed to come into and out of awareness. He was only 52 years old. The highlight of the last few weeks with him, if such a thing could exist, was the 4th of July. Most of his family visited, we spent time together, there were fireworks, and he seemed genuinely happy. It was one of the last times he would seem to be in a normal mental state, aware of the situation and also able to talk to each of us.

This year, on the 4th of July, I will be running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon. When I signed up, I knew I wanted to raise money for something in his honor and memory, but it wasn't immediately clear what that would be. After some soul searching about Tim, I decided that his love for the McKenzie River would guide my choice, and I reached out to the McKenzie River Trust. After sharing our story, the trust agreed to accept any donations I could generate as a tribute donation in Tim's memory.

I have two major goals: The first is to raise $1,000 in memory of Tim for the McKenzie River Trust. I think their work to conserve the beauty surrounding the river is a cause that Tim would have supported with all of his heart. The second is to run a personal record marathon time. Actually, to shatter my current record of 3 hours and 39 minutes, running closer to 3 hours flat, and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. This blog will be my way to track both goals, and interim goals as I progress. Please check out the links to the McKenzie River Trust and my donation page on the left, and thanks for any support you can give.

-Steven

Tim at Sahalie Falls with Missy