Sunday, August 29, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 13 (Aug 29) Charlottesville to Lynchburg (Leg 1)

It was the 13th day of the run, so if things were going to go wrong, then today was the day. Last night when we returned from a great time of fellowship with the members of Hinton Ave. United Methodist Church, the truck began overheating and we weren't able to get it to cool down. This was after Steve had driven to NC and back. He was hoping that if the thermostat was in an easy place to reach, he could fix it himself. But it was in the worst possible place, needing tools that we didn't have with us. So now, we had to figure out how I could get my run done. We decided that I would go ahead and start, and he would go rent a car for a day. Then tomorrow morning when repair shops were open, he could get it fix. That meant that I would be running for several miles without any crew support. I decided to wear my Nathan hydration vest because it could hold a lot more water and I could carry blocks and sports beans as well. Finally, an hour behind schedule I was ready to go.

I took off and left them looking at the steam coming off the engine. The first two miles were in the city, and then there was a nice trail that took me the rest of the way out of town. After that, the road narrowed into a winding, hilly country road. The morning was still cool, and the road was shaded so I was able to keep a good pace. Since I knew it was probably going to take at least two hours for them to get a rental car, I decided to make a game of it. My goal was to make it to 10 miles before they caught up with me. I realized how dependent I had been on having a crew to give me drink or whatever I needed every 2-3 miles. Now it was like a normal long run where I would be unsupported.

Ten miles came and went, with no crew. I had been steadily running except for a couple of walking breaks up the steeper hills. Now I was trying to get to the half-way point before they showed up. The problem was it was getting hot. 11 miles, then 12 miles went by. I came to an intersection and was pretty sure I had to go right but was starting to want to verify it against the map. I ran down the hill and saw the route number (Rt 631) of the road I was running on turn to the left. Something didn't look right, so I tried to call Steve to verify this was the road I was supposed to take. No cell phone signal. I ran up a long hill and as I started to run down the other side, I noticed grass was growing in the middle of the road. This doesn't look like a well traveled route. The road narrows further and soon a sign appears "End State Maintenance." This can't be the way! So I turn around, run back over the hill and back down to the paved road. A one mile detour. Traveling down the road a little farther, I see the road I need to take. Now it is mile 15, mile 16 and still no crew. I really needed to make a pit stop but was worried if I ducked into the woods I would miss them. But nature was calling, so I took my chance. As soon as I returned to the road, there they were! Whew! It turns out they went by me while I was on my little detour. It was nice to take the pack off and just use the smaller water bottle.

I got fueled up and told them to go on ahead a few miles. After all, if I had run 16 without support, I could run a few more. Plus, it was getting hotter and I was getting grumpy. I was getting tired of hills and hills. At about 18.5 miles I ended up at Route 29. By this time I was a little snippy with my crew. But I knew that I was meeting Robin in a mile and a half. That was what was keeping me going.

As we passed the Covesville post office, there she was! Yay! I knew that having someone to run with would chase the grumpies away and it worked. First we had to run on 29 for a little while. The shoulder got narrow and large trucks were popping over the hill at 65 miles an hour. Robin had me run in front because I had the orange vest on (so she says). Finally, we get to Rt. 632 and are able to run and talk, when we weren't huffing and puffing up hills. We were running in about 85 degree temperature but the humidity was 95% and it felt hot. We were both grateful for the crew stops where we could get ice cold water.

Knowing that I was running with Robin kept me motivated to keep moving during mile 15-20 when I was hot and grumpy, and once she was with me, the company made the last 6 miles go
by really fast. She didn't even have to say a word. When I saw her smiling face I knew it was going to be okay. Soon we were done and walking the 1/2 mile together with Lindsey.

Robin treated to a wonderful dinner of chili, let us swim in her pool, and I'm typing this blog on her computer. It again reminds me, that this is not just my journey, but it is the journey of all of you who have met me on the way or been with me in spirit. I can't believe it's almost over.


  1. Boy, you had a tough day overall. But you obviously dug deep and overcame all that was thrown at you. This will be a good day to highlight in your motivation speeches. Your strength and will power amazes me. Great job today.


  2. You're almost there SuSu! Amazing Warrior Princess :) Robin is too funny making you run in front with the orange vest! Hoping the last few days go smoothly and quickly for you.