Tuesday, August 17, 2010

15 in 15 Day 1 - Winchester to Front Royal

After staying up late to get things ready, we were frantically running around the house in the morning, which meant that we were going to forget something. When we got to Winchester, we realized it was the water! Fortunately, Reba, my faithful crew member had brought water. Running with me was Rachel Carson who is heading off to college tomorrow and three cross country team members from James Wood High School. Also running with me was Kristin Bloodworth, from Braddock United Methodist Church. After the necessary pictures, we start running and make it a 1/4 mile before I needed to use the bathroom. So, first stop! We chatted and ran a nice easy pace. My crew had gone ahead to Sheetz to get gas and so we figured if we didn't need to stop we would just wave as we passed by, which we did. They are supposed to stop every 1 or 2 miles. Well we ran 3 miles, then 4 and the girls need to get taken back to their cars soon and no crew. Finally, they call. "We can't find you." Did I mention that all six of us were wearing bright orange safety vests? And there were five of them supposed to be looking for us running by? And they can't find us? At mile five, we finally get connected. Kristin continues on with me for another 3 miles. Once we turn off Valley Ave. and onto Springdale Lane the road is wonderful, hardly any traffic. But now we get the hills. Some of them were pretty steep. I remember passing a road to the left with no road sign and thinking - that sort of looks like the road we're supposed to turn onto. But because it isn't marked I figure it's a private lane.  Steve takes Kristin back to her car and goes to a meeting. Here is where we learn Lesson 1 - make sure you have everything you need when the crew cars get separated. I'm running and running. We're supposed to hit Stephens City at mile 10.5. Well, we've passed that  and now it's mile 11. Finally there's a turn without a road name, just a Route number. Eventually I end up on Germany Road and then hit Marlboro. I think that private lane way back there WAS our turn! So I run into Stephens City with 3 extra miles under my belt on a road that has lots of blind curves. There was a lot of jumping right into the poison ivy on the side of the road! Lesson 2 - make sure you bring the Atlas. I'm also developing some chafing issues, where my arm is rubbing against my shirt and umm, my underwear. But Steve still has the bag with the body glide. He also has the short sleeve shirt I was going to change into. Reba, bless her heart, buys some vaseline and I go into the bathroom of the Exxon station and lube up. Then I ditch the underwear (the tights were meant to be worn without them anyway) I'm feeling much better now. As I cross through the Food Lion parking lot, Reba drives ahead and buys me a t-shirt to change into. Except the first one was an XXL. She then turns around exchanges it for a medium. I just keep running. After a few miles, Steve shows up and with him the Channel 3 TV station. As they get their camera set up, I take time to stretch and rest. After a quick interview, I'm off again. Because of the extra three miles I've already run, I change plans and decide to run straight down 522 into Front Royal. Boy, was that an adventure. The shoulder isn't the greatest, but I could get down in the grass and farther away from the traffic in a lot of places. Trucks and cars whizzed by me, but for the most part pulled into the left lane if they could. On one section there was a hedge that grew out to the edge of the highway. I had  to wait for a break in the traffic, run a few feet, then jump in the hedge when a car would come by. The other interesting thing in this section is that every step I took, 10 or 20 grasshoppers would fly up. "Just call me Grasshopper," was all I could think. Finally, we're on the outskirts of town and the going gets easier. All day, my crew waits for me in such places as a cemetery, a self-storage lot, numerous gas stations, or perched precariously on the side of the road. As I cross the final bridge going into Front Royal, I had already decided that I was going to run all the way to the Gazebo. But the bridge was long and by the time I finished crossing I was at mile 26. It can't be more than a mile... I'm running and running and mile 27 shows up and I'm still not there. Then, squish, I step right into some bubble gum. Ewwy, gooey! At the shell station, Lindsey joins me, then Reba and her granddaughter, Bethany, and we walk the final 1/2 mile to the Gazebo.  27Then we run up the steps while singing the theme from Rocky. I stretch and we wait for the Northern VA Daily reporter to show up with his camera man. After the interview, the camera man wants to take pictures of me...running. So I run three short strides while he gets his pictures. After he's done, it actually felt pretty good, and loosened me up for tomorrow's run! We had a wonderful dinner at the Dodd's home and a beautiful time of worship and testimony at Marlow Heights Baptist Church. They have very generous and giving spirits there. I'm tired, but don't feel too bad. Tomorrow's a new day, and a new adventure!


  1. SuSu, you are such an inspiration! Congratulations on finishing run #1. Have a good run tomorrow, too. Hope you don't get 'lost' again ;)

  2. Wonderful first day SuSu! I hope the road conditions are safer for you today.

  3. Fist day down! You can do it! You are just so amazing!