Wednesday, August 25, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 9 (Aug25) - Richmond

We started the day running around, late as usual. It's just so hard to get up in the morning. By the time we got to our starting point in Montpelier, it was close to 8am. Meeting us was Josh Orndorff to crew while Steve went to pack up the camper and take it home. Also joining me was Jesse MacLelland, the youth leader at Hopewell UMC,  who was planning on running 5-10 miles with me. Later, Pastor Karen Adams and Reba LaFollette joined us and were able to take Jesse back to his car. I was feeling a little sore and stiff and was wondering it was going to be a slow day.

But with Jesse there, we took off and headed down the road at a good clip. The morning was cool, the road was gently rolling, and with Jesse there to talk to, the first miles went by pretty quickly. We were going two or more miles before catching up to the crew station. It is really neat to talk to so many different people of all ages and backgrounds, both my running partners and my host families. It's a chance to get to know someone on a much deeper level. Jesse has a great heart and I know that the Lord is going to do wonderful things in his life. He decided at the 6.2 mile marker that his legs were done for the day and hitched the ride back to his car.

From then on I ran alone. I was still feeling pretty good and decided to keep pushing it with longer runs before the breaks for as long as I could. Route 33 actually turned out to be a fairly decent road to run on. It had a wide enough shoulder that I didn't have to jump into the weeds.

At one point, I made a quick pit stop in a store along the road. It was a really nice country store, but I didn't have time to browse, my crew was waiting for me. There was also some construction that made the road a little rough to run on. At one point, the crew stopped right next to a Tyson processing facility. I tried not to think about what was going on in there. Apparently a truck load of dead chickens had passed by right before I came up.

We hit the outskirts of Richmond earlier than anticipated. Then I realized that I had started about 3 miles closer than the original plan. When we stopped at the UMC Conference Center, I met Steve Jones, District Superintendent of the Richmond District. He had hoped to run with me, but was going to be tied up in a meeting. He did show us an alternative route that would add the extra miles we need and take us into the city by way of Broad Street, which we hoped would be better. The side road was nice and shaded and had sidewalks. However, when I got to Broad St., all my sidewalks disappeared. I ended up running through the parking lots and on the grass. This got to be tricky because I had to jump up and down on curbs and run on the uneven grass. My legs were tiring and I felt my right thigh really start  to tighten up. But we didn't seem to get any closer! I'd run 1.5-2 miles. Are we close? No, not yet. Then run another 1.5-2miles. It still didn't look like a city! These were the hardest miles of the day.

Finally, I hit a stretch of sidewalk that would carry me into the city.  At one point, the stoplights were catching my crew so often, that I was catching up and passing them. I ran until I hit the 26.2 mark with a running time of 5:05. Then Lindsey and Reba walked with me the rest of the way to Monroe Park. The VCU students were returning to college and some of them had a cooler of Freezie Pops that they were handing out. What a nice treat for the end of the run. Another blessing. When I told them what I was doing, one of them said, "I heard you on the radio!" It made me feel like a celebrity. They said they would love to participate in ministry at Monroe Park.

I don't know why today went so well. Perhaps it was the cooler weather, a good road to run on, and the company of friends, but I felt really strong right up to the end. I know that you all have been praying for me and I could really feel it today. As long as you are praying and running with me in spirit, I know I will make it to the end.


  1. SuSu, you are such an inspiration. God is so good! You have truly blessed so many people with your blog, your running and your life.

    God Bless you again and again!

  2. Will try to join you for part of Friday, Aug 27th, run. Assume you are still starting at 7:30 around Maidens in Goochland. Told my Mother you were passing her home on Rt. 6 and she may be looking for you. At age 85 she still does the annual Richmond 10K Run/Walk.