Saturday, August 21, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 5 (Aug 21) - DC to Woodbridge

We stayed at Aunt Joan Jennings' house last night and had a wonderful dinner at The Village Wharf. Again, it had been years since we had seen her, and there was a lot of catching up to do. But for some reason, I had a really restless night. My legs ached a bit and I decided to take some aspirin, so I got up and rummaged around trying to find the right bag. Then I went in the bathroom and rubbed my special emu oil and bio-freeze on them. I get back to bed and Steve who has slept through all that is breathing heavy. Normally it doesn't bother me, but last night it did. I tried the tricks of bouncing the bed to get him to turn but that didn't help, so I got up again and went into the next room where there was a couch. I snuggled down on that, thought it was real comfortable and tried to sleep. "Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!" that was the loudest clock. I decided that heavy breathing was more bearable so I go back into the bedroom, after going into the bathroom to grab some toilet paper to shove in my ears. I'm laying there praying desperately "Please God, help me go to sleep!" and eventually I drift off.

When we drove to the Lincoln Memorial, we missed the turn that let's you take the bridge across and ended up having to go all the way to Spout Run before we could turn around. Finally, we got to the starting point and I was met by Heidi Vogelsong. The other runners, Melissa Roy, Vanessa Peterman, and her husband Jeff started from the airport and were going to meet up with us. After a few pictures we were off.

Heidi and I ran for a few miles before her phone rang, and we realized that we had somehow missed everyone else. Melissa ran hard to catch us and began running with us. We arrived at the end of the airport where there was port-o-johns and eventually the whole group got together. We realized that we were running at slightly different paces. I ended up running mostly with Melissa and we would make sure everyone was back together by the next crew stop. Everyone loved the crew! We were sprayed, given ice water and gatorade as needed. I think everyone got spoiled and wanted this to occur on all their long runs. Yay for the crew!

The heat was hard on everyone. While running, I was maintaining the goal pace, in fact from miles 10-17 we were running under goal pace, but the breaks were pretty long. Vanessa was struggling with the heat, in fact, we were concerned when she stopped sweating and was feeling shaky. She and Heidi decided to walk until Jeff, who had run back to the car, came and picked them up. I was so happy they could be a part of the journey. Melissa ran with me until Mt. Vernon. The hills were starting to get me and I ended up walking up many of the last ones. Melissa came back and tried to "pull" me up one of the hills with an imaginary rope.

After Mt. Vernon, I was on my own, but only had 9 miles to go. The trail continued on for a while, but eventually disappeared right before Route 1. When we hit Route 1, the first thing I had to do was climb a huge hill. Good thing I ate that Expresso Love gel Vanessa gave me before I attempted it! The shoulder got so narrow by the guard rail, that I ended up climbing over the railing and walking in the weeds until I could get to a better spot. This was going to be a long 5 miles. It reminded me of my Route 50 trip - at least this part was shorter. I walked the long uphills and ran the downhills. In another section where the shoulder disappeared, I had to peak around bushes, see if any traffic was coming, then sprint until I got out of the nasty zone.Finally, there was a paved trail to run on. At mile 25, Lindsey and Reba got out and walked the last 1.2 miles with me. We almost lost Reba, who told us to go ahead and have someone come get her, but after walking a little further we turned around (when we heard an icecream truck - rats no money!) and here she was trudging up the hill. So the three of us made it together. The Garmin and the car odometer obviously had different measurements because I ended up going 26.3 miles! The last 1/10th of a mile is sometimes the hardest.

We then were stuck in traffic on 95 forever, as we made our way to Hopewell where I will be speaking tomorrow. We had another enjoyable evening with our host family Pastor (and TOP board member) Mike Browder and his wife Susan. We also met the youth leader, Jesse, who might run with me on Wednesday.

Today was a beautiful but hot run by the river. Another day where the support of friends made the going easier. I was spent, but blessed, and maybe that's where we see God work the most.

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