Showing posts from July, 2012

Just one more Day: Days 205 - 211

Day 205 – July 23, 2012 Ok. I have to admit it. When I get involved in a project, it’s hard to take the time to run. I've been consumed with an upholstery project for my son, Caleb. Then, when I finally headed out the door to run at dusk, the bugs were so bad they kept getting in my eyes, up my nose, in my ears, and plastered all over the front of me. I tried to keep my mouth closed so as to keep the protein intake at a minimum. It was so frustrating, I bagged it at 2.5 miles. But at least I ran fast. Total – 2.5 road miles Day 206 – July 24, 2012 Project day again. This time, I got out the door at 10:00 p.m. but I am so glad I did. A warm breeze was blowing, reminiscent of the kind you get at the beach. Stars were out and the country roads empty. Beautiful! I am so thankful I am able to run and enjoy it! Total – 4 road miles Day 207 – July 25, 2012 Another run at dusk but the bugs were not quite as bad as the other night. I suppose it would be better to r

"God, are you sure about this?"

Emily Hill I received news this morning that one of my runners has been injured, along with her dad, in a motorcycle accident. What was supposed to be a relaxing ride on the Harley during a week at the beach turned into the unexpected. Out of nowhere, a Jeep ran a stop sign, not even slowing, causing the motorcycle to ran into the side of the vehicle. The results are never good when that happens. Frantic calls, ambulance rides to the hospital, a messed-up bike, and lots of pain and suffering. Did God really want this to happen to His people? If we believe in God's sovereignty, the answer has to be "yes." But that can be as hard to accept as being asked to eat nails for breakfast. Sometimes, however, in His mercy, God allows us a glimpse into the answer behind the "why." Poor Harley Christy Hill wrote the following email this morning in the aftermath of the accident. I was delighted when she said I had permission to share it with you. Some of you

All things new

Caleb was right. His new (to him) Catalina sailboat was a great bargain, even if the interior decor was retro plaid and the accent deck colors baby blue. But it was retro because it was truly retro. It was manufactured in the 1970's when tealy-blue was a hot color. (I should know. I lived that color back then.) But not so now. The light-colored woodwork on the deck has already been restained and sealed in a dark cherry hue. The hull is slated to become black with accents of gold, the deck a light gray, remnants of the cabin's blue carpet will disappear, and the boat will take on a manly, sophisticated look. At least, that's the plan. I happen to be part of the plan. The last time he was down at the boat, Caleb stuffed his car full of cushions in need of a make-over. He presented them to me, along with that shy grin of his, when he got home. They filled my sewing room to capacity and taunted me for a do-over. With a general idea of what Caleb wanted, my mission became fi

Just one more day: Days 198 - 204

Day 198 – July 16, 2012 After a reprieve from journaling my daily runs right before, during, and in the aftermath of the Tour de Virginia, I am back on track. Not that anyone had lost sleep over my absence. It’s just that this keeps me honest. I’ve been running in the evenings for the last week after supper. It’s a nice way to end the day although the bugs at dusk has added a little protein to my diet. Tonight was a standard 6-miler that felt pretty good. I am running in INOV 233s, a lightweight road shoe, that I am loving! Total – 6 road miles Day 199 – July 17 This was an evening run with my team and it served to tell us all that we are NOT ready to run fast or hard yet. The distance was short but was comprised of short bursts either downhill (on the way out) or uphill, all the way back. Whew. We are out of shape for this kind of hill workout! Everyone was sucking wind. Total – 2.5 gravel road miles Day 200 – July 18, 2012 I love my evening runs followed

Just one more day: The hiatus ends

Just so you know. . .though I have not blogged about my daily runs the last several weeks (before, during, and in the aftermath of the Tour de Virginia), I am back on track and will be posting again at the end of this week. I must confess that I actually missed two days: the two days after I dropped from the Tour. I thought about abandoning the everyday run challenge, but decided that despite missing two days, I would try to get in 363 days this year; a feat I've never come close to. Stay tuned. I am still running.

Tour de Virginia: Anecdotes and final thoughts

A few days ago, runners Eric Grossman, Troy Shellhamer, and Anne Lundblad finished the Tour de Virginia in Harpers Ferry, all 568 miles of it. None of the three found it easy. All suffered a lot, especially in the closing days. But they finished and must be congratulated for this tremendous undertaking. I'm glad they finished on several levels. First, they are my friends and friends want friends to be successful. They worked hard, put in the time and miles, suffered like they had never suffered before, and arrived at the finish line. Cudos to them. Well done. But secondly, I'm glad they finished so I can stop thinking about it and move on. Rob French concurs. Rob developed Achilles problems and pulled from the race the day after I left. He called me on Day 14 to commiserate. We have both had a good dose of quitters remorse and wish to put the Tour behind us but in perspective. Hence, I offer my last thoughts on the matter. Gary picked me up on the morning of Stage 6 and b

Tour de Virginia: Recap Day 5

Well, we all know what happened on day 5. It was the first thing I blogged about when returning home not even midway through the Tour. ( Catch up here if you missed it. ) As the days go by, there is little I can think about other than the events that transpired. I keep contemplating that I could have been, no, should be with the three remaining runners as they head for the finish in Harpers Ferry today. But alas, I am not. Honestly, I can't wait to congratulate them for their outstanding performances. So impressive! Yet, at the same time, I am hoping their finishes will allow me to put things in perspective and move on. Here is what I've been thinking. It's the honest, brutal truth. I've been trying to weigh the reasons for the decision I made to quit against reasons why I should not dropped. Bare with me as I try to make sense of it all, in no particular order. Reasons why I dropped: 1. I was emotionally spent, crying often during the day. 2. I felt l

Tour de Virginia: Recap Day 4

"James," I asked the night before. "Do you think I could con you into taking down my tent in the morning and throwing it in my bin? I need to get up even earlier than I have been to get a jump on the others. Our tents are so close together I don't want to wake them." "Sure. No problem." Sweet James. It was a little awkward to ask for special help. Up to this point, we were supposed to take care of everything ourselves. In fact, originally, Eric had the idea that we would each have to cook for ourselves in the the evenings. Thank goodness he decided to bring along his brother James, a professional chef. On my previous adventures, I was blessed to have crew to deal with all the logistical details of setting up and taking down camp, helping to prepare packs, and worry about all the other details. It was all I could do to just get up and run. But this time around, I was finding it difficult to take care of everything. My non-running hours were so few,

Tour de Virginia: Recap Day 3

If it's not one thing, it's another--But God is faithful. Even as I started across the field and followed the wooded trail under cover of darkness, I felt the slimy coating of sweat begin to form on my skin. The humidity was oppressive, even in those early morning hours. With temps predicted to hover around 100 degrees later in the day, the combination would certainly be problematic. But for now, other issues presented themselves. My progress was slowed as my internal plumbing decided to awake. A few stops along the way was not the loveliest way to begin the day. However, I continued to pick my way around one blow-down after another, soon realizing that the storm damage in this section was even worse than before. It was endless. Though my legs still felt very much intact despite the miles of the first two days, it was tiring to have to crawl, wiggle, and slither through or around the offending branches. It became so ridiculous that I lost interest in trying to be fast. A

Tour de Virginia: Recap Day 2

After a sleepless, soggy night, I was anxious to get a jump on the 36-mile stage. I was the slowest and hence, was asked to start earlier than the others. That was okay by me. More dark meant less sun. The wet ground muffled my movements as I packed away the sodden hammock and gathered my wet pack. I hoped my light would not wake the others, still nestled in their tents. I wanted to steal away, unnoticed. Usually, I embrace solitude. The trail immediately rose ahead of me as I set in for the long climb. Last night's storm, along with the storm two days prior that had rendered hundreds of thousands without power, wreaked havoc with the trail. As is my habit, I swept aside myriads of branches and limbs laying across the trail, thinking the action as a favor to my friends who would follow in my footsteps. However, after awhile the task proved endless. The damage was extensive and I could barely make a dent in the trail-clearing category. Nevertheless, once the climb ended, the trail

Tour De Virginia. Recap Day 1

The truth and nothing but the truth. Herein lies my account of the 2012 Tour de Virginia, the 568-mile traverse of the Appalachian Trail (AT) with the borders of Virginia. I had anticipated the event for months. Previous adventures lasted for seven days. Tough, to be sure. But this one was a fourteen day undertaking covering nearly 600 trail miles. That's a lot of ground to cover. I was pleased with my training, comfortable with my newly-acquired skill with trekking poles, and looking forward to pushing the limits of what is possible for me, a 55-year old woman who is given to grand ideas despite an aging body. Troy, Eric, Rob, Anne, Me at the TN/VA border Finally, the day came to gather in Damascus. We would be climbing to the TN/VA border on the AT. This round trip of about eight miles actually scared me. I was afraid that my slowness would be all-too obvious to the other runners. I didn't want to embarrass myself so soon. Alas, my fears were unfounded and the gro

Last things first: My failure

My feet hurt but there have been at least three times in the past when they hurt worse. My legs were okay, still obedient when I asked them to run. I never really bonked bad. On good ground, I made decent progress. Problem was, there wasn't much decent ground. The thought of being out there on the trail at snail's pace for sixteen or seventeen hours was revolting, especially knowing the others would likely be in their tents by the time I got through. And, to do this again and again for the next nine days? Well, It's hard to say "I'm done." But I did. I suppose I could start from the beginning, telling you all about every last detail of my short-lived adventure.  (And I will. Only later.) But I am compelled to speak first of the decision day. Day five. The day I said those three (two if you count the contraction) fatal, final words. The fifth day of the Tour de Virginia, the 568-mile brainchild of phenom ultrarunner Eric Grossman, started early, but not as