This last week, Matt, Erick, and I trained on our own since we couldn’t find a mutual time to get together. On Sunday, I did a 20 mile run on the actual course. While I’ve done this route before, I was feeling pretty discouraged because all I could think of was how steep the trail was. When I checked my time after I finished, I know I was fast enough that if I kept up with that same pace for the entire race, I’d finish in under 10 hours. I did better than I thought, but I didn’t feel good about it.

Later that night, I started feeling sick and have been sick all week. The race is a week from tomorrow, so in my head I’m thinking the worst. I feel like I’m not going to finish because I got so sick and haven’t been able to train.

I keep reminding myself that I’ve been training an average of 30 miles a week for the past 12 weeks, so one week off probably won’t matter that much, but that’s not how I wanted to finish. You want to finish strong, not recovering from a sickness.

This unexpected setback mirrors situations of the families we serve. Crises can arise in their lives due to unforeseen circumstances like poverty, family chaos, and community violence. In treatment we work very hard on coping skills when a crisis occurs so it doesn’t disrupt them from their healing process. A child can have a crisis towards the end of their treatment, but we remind them that ‘you’ve got this’ and ‘you know how to handle this.’ We review with families everything they’ve learned and talk through how they can overcome this crisis without being thrown off‐course.

Although I feel quite discouraged by this setback, I’m trying to reassure myself that 12 weeks of training won’t get erased in one week. Hopefully I’ve gained enough strength to get through my current crisis. I will again be turning to our families for inspiration in getting me through this last leg of training.

Looking forward, my team and I are planning to run on Sunday. We will probably do half the race, which is 15.5 miles, and this will be our last training before the big race on February 6. Then I really need to strategize and talk through nutrition and hydration for race day.

Thank you again for your support in following my journey. Looking forward to a stronger and healthier weekend to finish the training!


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Patricia Costales, LCSW