The race is finally just a few days away! I’m not fully recovered and was still sick through the weekend, so that impacted my training. I went running on Monday for about an hour, and it felt alright all things considered. I’m feeling a little less confident, but I think I’m good to go. At this stage, I’m as ready as I’m going to be.

I realized that race day will be the first time I’m going to do a truly hard run while physically alone. Matt and Erick are just faster than I am. They wait patiently for me at cross trails when we’re training, but won’t wait on race day. I’ll have many people in spirit cheering me on, including Matt and Erick, but this will be the first time doing the race independently. I’m trying to figure out the details but it is making me anxious.

To prepare, I’ve been focusing on logistics and some of the biggest concerns are around sustenance and hydration. You’re supposed to eat several hundred calories every hour, and when you’re training you have to carry everything ‐ water, electrolytes, salt tablets and food. That’s heavy and it slows you down. On race day there will be aid stations every five to six miles, with food and water and first aid if you need it. We are also allowed drop bags, so I plan on leaving a bag at one of the stations with replenishments. Still, there are so many questions running through my head. How much food do I carry? What food do I carry that will give me sustenance but not upset my stomach? What about water? How dependent should I be on the aid stations?

There is such a clear life lesson here and a parallel to our clients’ experiences. If you carry too much of the burden alone, your bag will be too heavy and you may not make it to the finish line. Sometimes you need to ask for help. At the same time, if you’re too reliant on help from others, without the internal resources to carry you through, you might not have the energy and fortitude to make it from aid station to aid station. This race, and life in general, requires a balance between self‐sufficiency and a willingness to seek help when you need it. Finding this balance is always an important component of the treatment process with our children and families – identifying internal strengths and utilizing external resources.

It’s all about balance. And this Saturday during the race, I hope to find and utilize my own personal balance, with the help of your words of encouragement. Thank you again for reading and for all of your continued support. I look forward to updating you next week on how I did! Wish me luck…I might need it!


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Patricia Costales, LCSW