Monday, September 27, 2021

Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon & Half Marathon

Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon & Half Marathon
Leah Connor

This weekend I was thinking about everything I've done for the running community in Charlottesville. I've designed logos, medals, t-shirts, and so much more, but I am most proud of the creation of the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon & Half Marathon.

I have long wanted to do a Barkleys Marathon style documentary about my race because there are so many amazing stories from this event. From an unexpected DQ in 2014 to my identical twin sister winning in 2016 to holding 4 events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2015 I met Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon race director, and told him about the 50% BQ rate for our inaugural event.

​Back then I never imagined what the race would become and all the lives that have been touched by it. It's rather humbling especially to have such a wonderful and dedicated group of volunteers including Ryan Looney, who's helped at each event and plans to finally run it in December. Go Ryan Go!

I've set a goal of getting this "movie" project done by September 2024 which will be the 10th anniversary of the inaugural race and when the race certification expires. :)

Then I counted up the past and upcoming races and realized that December 5th will be the 10th running of the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon (and the 3rd edition for the half). Wow!

So if you've run the race or registered for the events this fall, expect an email from me. I would love to interview you via Zoom for my documentary!

Also, we could still use some volunteers for the fall races. THANK YOU!

A Peaceful Resolution

A Peaceful Resolution

"To find peace, sometimes you have to be willing to lose your communication with people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life."

Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 4:38 PM
"I'll pass."

Mon, Sep 20, 2021 at 12:31 PM
"This needs to stop."

Fourteen months ago when I was in the middle of a mental health crisis and had to take FMLA in an effort to get healthy and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I reached out to a therapist with whom I had a longstanding relationship. He replied right away and offered me an appointment in person. I struggled with what to do, but when I asked if we could meet virtually instead because of COVID-19, he responded with "I'll pass."

At the time I thought that was the most hurtful and dismissive email I could ever receive from anyone. It took courage to reach out, ask for help, and put the necessary boundaries to protect my health in my request. When I was rejected from a professional who I had a 13 year relationship with I was devastated.

It took me 40 days to write a reply and report him to the Department of Health Professionals for the unethical behavior he exhibited over the course of my "treatment." Although I spoke with an investigator on September 17, 2020 regarding DHP Case #206870, I'm still waiting for resolution.

I was on the phone with someone very important in my life when I got that email from the therapist. I burst into tears and could barely speak. He was so supportive and I will never forget that. It meant everything to me.

For the past 6 months I've been struggling with another decision, whether or not to leave the Charlottesville Track Club, an organization that I have dedicated my passion and talents to for 13 years. I won't describe in detail what lead to my choice to step away, but the people closest to me know the story.

I had already started separating myself from my CTC responsibilities and shared access to various resources I created before I received the "This has to stop." email, but to say I was gutted when I realized I no longer had the support from the person who was there for me when I was rejected from the therapist was heart-wrenching. Once again, I felt abandoned after sending an email with the subject line HELP.

I've struggled so much over the past 14 months. I have experienced the huge loss of both friends and positions that I had clung to define my identity. Even though it was incredibly painful, I feel like I'm finding peace now because finally I have my best friend, my twin sister with me to share both the burdens and pleasures of life.

Tonight we are going to our first concert together in Charlottesville. Ani DiFranco's music has been in my life since college and has gotten me through some very difficult times. I'm so grateful that I now own a home (with FRAN!) that I can welcome Malinda Ann into so we can be spinster twinsters together and create beautiful memories and art with Twins Run and A Good Group.
Listen to my latest playlist created during this difficult transition: FUNGE ME. (Yes, I'm OBSESSED with HBO's Succession!)

Date: Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 6:03 AM
Subject: My apologies and my thanks

This will be my last message regarding my departure from the CTC, so please bear with me.

First of all, I am encouraging all of you to attend the CTC Membership Meeting on Thursday at 7pm. Join the CTC Board Elections Membership Meeting via Zoom

Secondly, I give my eternal, sincere, and heartful thanks to everyone who has called, texted, or talked with me about my struggles in making the decision to step away from the CTC. I know it's the right decision and the healthy choice for me, but it's been unbearably hard .... I only wish I left CTC before I started this new position so I wouldn't put this amazing opportunity in jeopardy.

Finally and most importantly, I am so very sorry for any discomfort, stress, or anxiety that this situation has caused anyone else. If any of you are feeling just 1/100th of the pain I am and it's because of my words or actions, I promise I will make it up to you. Please let me know how.

I am an open book. My life is on social media and my website. I am brutally and sometimes abrasively honest about my struggles with mental health, asking for help, and quitting. This has been the most difficult year of my entire life, but I have survived and I will continue to knowing I've made it this far.

Thanks again,