A Just Walk (run, hike, etc…)

"…to the Rock that is higher…"

Coast to Coast!

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fried chicken, tofu, spinach, and mystery dish for lunch!

The first 90 days of 2011 found me traveling on 47  of them. Traveling in SE Asia – particularly China – ain’t no picnic, in the best conditions. I try to fit in core work whenever I have a chance on a hard tile floor.  The worst is losing  control over my schedule, as well as my diet (not like there’s a salad option on any menu). When I wasn’t traveling in January, the morning temperatures averaged -10 to 20 F. When I got back to Shenyang in March, the training temps were a balmy mid-20s. Kinda hard to do quality speed workouts with freezing muscles and wearing three layers of clothes. It is also not surprising that the week before my Stateside trip, I came down with a nasty head/chest cold, and I’m still trying to shake it.

Traveling in Asia, is not very conducive to marathon training – especially if  you are training for the Boston Marathon. If you are a gunner like me, anything less than a PR is likely to be a disappointment. So if posting these gripes and conditions ahead of Monday’s race sounds to you like I’m making excuses for a potentially disappointing run, well, you would be correct.

What I’m battling to keep in mind is that Boston is a celebration run – something special that I’ve earned through hard work. Sure, it is a  competitive race – all runner competing  there are competitive – we wouldn’t be there if we weren’t. Sometimes, however, winning means something other than beating my time goals.  This time is a reminder that a different perspective my mean different goals, and that I’ll come around to another PR when the conditions are better. My travels, while not conducive to high-performance training, reminds me that I’m not a professional runner. My travels take me to amazing places where people are suffering and serving and that is truly where I belong – right alongside them, wherever that takes me.

I head to Boston tomorrow, then all the way over to Portland, OR, then on down the California coast, ending up in Irvine traveling by train, plane, bus, and car. I fly back to the Midwest going up to Wisconsin and Chicago, and another round in Michigan before landing in the Fort Wayne area again in early June. All along the way speaking at various venues, visiting counter-trafficking projects, meeting interesting folks, and seeing beautiful places.I look forward to meeting many of you along the way!

Traveling in the States loses some of the “surprises” and oddities one can find in Asia, such as fried spiders at a roadway rest-stop in Cambodia. Here are a few examples from my travels, not that I’ll miss any of it!

hair dryer is available - if you don't mind grooming yourself in the hallway next to the elevator

honestly, sometimes I think I could get around faster taking a donkey for all the time waiting for public transportation

the crappiest crapper EVER! (but kinda makes up for the no-holes one I had to use in India)

ubiquitous equipment found in all hotel rooms in China

Heres an alarm to alert people who may be "fried" in a fire!

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2 thoughts on “Coast to Coast!

  1. Blessings to you, Katherine, as you travel (again!) and run. I think you speak much wisdom in looking for different goals in this particular race (and for me, anyway, I find that this sort of “advice” is best when generated from inside of myself, rather than preached at me from elsewhere), so I do hope that you can take it to heart. This is just one leg in the larger race you run. Keep pressing on!

    Also, you see some pretty amazing things in your travels. I’m glad you catch some of these things on film!

    Peace to you, friend.

  2. Hi Katherine. My business partner and I met you in the terminal at O’Hare this past Friday. (He is the tall handsome dude…and I am the vertically challenged, less handsome dude) You were on your way to Boston to run the race.

    I confess that I was intrigued by your story…so I googled what I remembered of your work and was lucky to find you on the web.

    I am truly impressed with the level of commitment and compassion you have and display for others. You are a most admirable human being. “They” always talk about making a difference in the lives of others. WOW…you have raised the bar. You are making a huge difference. Your work and dedication are inspiring.

    Okay that’s the work part. Now….I am even more impressed because you are qualified runner in today’s marathon. Holy crap Batman. You’re killing me. You are the proverbial good deed doer….and you are a superstar athlete. Chica it would be hard to keep up with you. I bet you get up at 5:30 AM….run about 10 miles, then work a 14 hour day!! YOWZA.

    Anyway, I wanted to tip my hat to you. I know you have a strong spiritual side. You are doing God’s work….and you should be very proud.

    Have a great race today.

    More importantly, the world needs more Katherine Welch’s.

    It was truly a pleasure to have met someone as special as you.

    Best wishes.

    Chris

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