Tuesday, August 24, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 8 (Aug 24) - Fredericksburg to Richmond (leg 2)

Before I begin today's journey, I just have to mention what a great husband I have. When we got back to the campsite, he went out to the store, bought some groceries, came back, cooked dinner and then did the laundry. I really couldn't have started on this run without his behind the scene handling of logistics, making press contacts and arranging speaking engagements. Now that we are on the road, my job is just to run. Steve and Lindsey have been so wonderful about catering to my needs. Something like this will either draw you closer together or have you at each other's throat by the end of the 15 days. With support like that, I can only see our bond of love as husband and wife, and as a family grow. Another blessing I had last night is that while I was laying there with my legs propped up, the camper across the way was serenading me on his dulcimer. He ended by playing "How Great Thou Art." What could be more appropriate.

Sleep was harder last night, compounded by the rain that pounded on our canvas roof, and the fact that sometimes it's hard to get my legs comfortable. I've been trying to avoid OTC pain medication because I don't want to stress my internal organs, so with Emu oil, biofreeze and other creams I've been managing the aches that come after a long day's run. I woke up in the morning, thinking that someone was shaking me and saying "Get up!" but when I opened my eyes, no one was there. Must have been a dream! We were a little slow getting started but since we only had to drive to the entrance of the State Park, and since nobody was running with me today, I let myself get an extra half hour of sleep.

At the entrance, we took photos and I was ready to go! But wait! My Garmin had to locate a satelite. With all the cloud cover, it took a long time. Okay, now we were off. The run started on a nice downhill slope, for which I was grateful because it allowed me to loosen my legs up. There was a lot of traffic, including school busses taking students to their first day of school, but fortunately it was going the same direction as me (since I was running on the left facing traffic). After the first stop, Steve and Lindsey went to get things at the store, so I had an extended period of running before I met up with them again. I didn't have any person run with me, but I did have a few cows run the distance of their field as I passed by.

I was running on back roads today to try and avoid traffic. I think that is impossible. I was thinking, at least I won't have the big trucks, but that wasn't true either! There is a lot of logging going on in the area and those big logging trucks can come flying around a corner at any minute.

The first 7-8 miles went pretty well, but fatigue sat in early today. By the time I made 10 miles, I was just so tired and still had 16 miles to go. How in the world was I going to make it? I didn't feel bad, and my legs were holding up okay, but I was unmotivated to run. Lindsey was really dragging too, and we decided to let her take it easy for most of the day. Because of the cooler weather and cloud cover, being sprayed and staying hydrated was less of a concern. I decided to push to the half way point, and if I needed to walk the rest of the way, that's what I would do.

Crossing the halfway point was significant, because it was also the halfway point of the entire 15in15. It just happened to be across from a beautiful pond. I decided to take it one mile at a time, walk when needed and just keep moving forward. Again, the terrain was gently rolling hills, so I had as many long downhills as I had uphills. This kept my legs moving, and while my pace was slower, I was still running.

Today was the day for dogs. The first dog was a mutt, and he was pretty much all bark. The second dog was a large doberman pincher who was in the road when I came around the corner. I startled him and fortunately, he ran back into the yard and barked furiously until his owner called him into the house. Next, was the scariest encounter of the dogs. Two pitbulls came charging out at me from a yard where no one seemed to be home. The female dog just barked, but the larger male dog came right up to me in an aggressive maneuver. I stopped running and walked slowly past their house, talking to him the whole way. He didn't bite me but he barked and jumped on the back of my legs until I passed by. Whew! Next a large brown dog comes bounding out, but he quickly retreats when his owner calls "Rocco! Come here!"At least I knew his name. Then, a german shepherd comes barking down the driveway. I turn to him and say, "Listen buster, I've had enough of you guys for one day. I'm not in the mood for this so you just turn around and go home." He gave one last bark, and did just that.

This route had no stores or gas stations until mile 21. There the only potty option was an overused port-of-john. I think I would rather go in the woods. But just down the road was a large Baptist church. It was amazing to see such a big church stuck in the middle of nowhere. At first they thought we just wanted to get a donation, but relaxed when we said that really all we wanted was to use the bathrooms!

Now the miles were ticking down pretty steadily. It's interesting that at some point you look at how far you've run, and all the miles you still have to go and you think you'll never get done, but before you know it, if you keep pushing forward you're down to the last couple of miles.

We made one final crew stop at about 1/2 mile from the end, and Lindsey walked the rest of the way with me. We ended at a Rescue Squad Station! They had an ambulance for sale, we thought it would be neat to buy it and convert it into the crew mobile.

What really struck me as I was running, is that in front of a small house was a motor boat for sale. The price tag was $47,000! For something to entertain a few on a weekend here and there. We're trying to raise $25,000 and the effect of that money spent will be put to far greater effect - the training up of a multitude of youth, reaching into new communities, and serving the homeless and the poor. The sad thing is, someone will buy that boat, and walk past a homeless person without giving him a second glance. What would Jesus do? That's what motivates me to keep running.


  1. Keep going SuSu! Remember one thing; those that keep others in their concern and think positive like you will always get great returns. Keep running!

  2. You know you have us all crying every morning reading your previous day's blog, SuSu! So relieved your dog encounters ended the way they did and LOL on your remarks to "Buster." Remember the marathoners are with you in spirit always, in the flesh when we can be. You embody our slogan for you truly are Courageous, Amazing, Powerful, Strong! Sending you good run vibes for Day 9!!

  3. God is keeping you safe and strong and you will reach your goal. You are an amazing person!

    I will continue to pray for your safety and strenght.

  4. God is with you every step of the way and I am with you in spirit.