Thursday, August 26, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 10 (Aug 26) Richmond to Charlottesville - (Leg 1)

First, I have to say that we were blessed again. Lauren Holcomb lent us her apartment for two nights while we have been in Richmond. What a gift! (Lindsey liked it because she had DVDs that Lindsey wanted to watch.)

We arrived at Monroe Park shortly before 8 and realized that you couldn't park on the street until after 8. And the meter maid was there giving tickets. So we drove around looking for a legal place to park. Finally, the meter maid had moved on and it was close enough to 8 that we were sure it was okay, so we got everything ready and headed to the center of the park where I was going to start. Some homeless and unemployed people were hanging out and Steve explained what I was getting ready to do, then asked if they wanted to join in the prayer. 4 or 5 of them joined hands with us as we prayed. Well, this is what it is all about - us encouraging the homeless, and them encouraging and praying for me. I got a little emotional as Steve said the prayer. Then I was off.

I ended up running down Monument Ave. which was a really nice section of town to run in. I felt pretty good, and the morning was cool. But after about 3 miles (and I hadn't seen the crew vehicle go by) I began to wonder where they were. And I had to go to the bathroom really bad! Finally at an intersection, I saw a Kroger grocery store off to the right. Thank goodness! So I went "Krogering." By then my crew had caught up with me. They were delayed because Steve had called WPER radio station and they actually talked with one of the ladies who was in the park.

After that stop, I made my way over to Patterson St/Route 6 but as I was going up a hill, tripped and fell hard on the sidewalk. Ouch! My right hand and left knee were both scraped. I lay there a second, wondering if this was going to affect the rest of the run. Finally, I got my legs back under and started back down the road. After a few gimpy steps, the knee felt okay and I continued running.

The next time Steve and Lindsey caught up to me, I was about at mile 7 and had just passed out of the city limits. So far, I had sidewalks to run on, but from here on out it would be shoulder. The road was 4 lanes and for the most part, cars were good about moving into the left lane as they passed.

It was also very hilly. I had at least one 2 mile climb, and several that were a mile or more. Fortunately, there were also some nice long downhills as well. We were stopping about every two miles - I was trying to keep moving. I remember at one point thinking that when this was all done I was going to take up a different sport, like say, croquet!

Once the highway narrowed to two lanes, the shoulder became more difficult to maneuver and I did have to jump off into tall weeds several times. At one point the road narrowed as I crossed a bridge. We stopped right before the bridge and looked it over. I felt I could successfully negotiate it, by staying close to the guard rail, and waiting until there was no traffic to go through the one section. So I was running, and focusing on any cars that might be coming towards me, when a car behind me decides to pass another car and shoots into my lane, nearly clipping my heels as he zooms by. Steve got it all on video. That was the scariest moment.

Another long climb took us into the town of Crozier, then I went by a correctional facility. Steve decided to stop right at their entrance. I was worried someone was going to come out and ask what we were doing. But, if you're ever have to go to jail, request this one - it's out in beautiful country on a farm! I had to climb another long hill and was thinking of walking it, but there were these policemen out training their dogs, whooping and hollering. Well, I couldn't walk there, so I trudged up the hill until I passed them, then took a walk break.

Now it was just a matter of counting down the miles. With 1/2 mile to go, Lindsey gets out and walks the rest of the way in. Somewhere along the way, Steve lost one of the magnetic signs, so we retrace our steps trying to find it. No luck! We also checked out a parallel highway to see if the shoulder was better, but decided to continue on the original planned route. After we got back to the apartment, I cleaned up and then we were treated to a nice dinner at Josh and Michelle's apartment. Michelle fixed a great meal and we enjoyed the company greatly. Another blessing.

As I was running, I was thinking about my daughter and wondering what her impressions were of all this. I know that she is getting pretty tired herself. But I hope I can instill in her that some things are worth going the distance for, even when it gets hard and you want to quit. If that is the lesson she learns from this, than it will make everything  - the ups and downs, the highs and lows  all worthwhile.

The knee is a little stiff and I'm hoping as I sleep tonight it won't bother me over the next five days.


  1. Some scary moments for your day 10 run! Hope your knee is feeling better today. Have a great day 11!

  2. You are such a strong woman and your family support is phenomenom! Continuing praying for a susscessful completion of the 15n15!