Seriously, who says that, and worse yet, who does that? Apparently me and my mentally deranged friend and her sister who we have managed to turn into a running vigilante, who will run a few laps in the backyard of her friend so that her GPS will flip over to “14”.
Ahhh the joys of the “long run”. Leah informed me this week at work one day that she had a route planned out for our long run this weekend. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been the best at marathon training in my history. Somehow I imagine that those 4 milers, with a occasional 8 is going to carry me through 26.2. I learned my lesson and decided that for this next marathon I was sticking to a training schedule and I have…kinda… I mean pretty much….ok so I haven’t been the best at long runs.
So Leah tells me rain or shine we are running to Gordon this Saturday morning. Heck I’m game. It’s a 14 mile route. We left her house at 8:30 this morning. As we made our way down the streets of Irwinton, Bonnie, the running machine, casually mentioned that there may be a few hills, and by mile 2 we hit the first one. I guess God made Wilkinson county girls a little tougher than the rest of us, because they were breezing up the hill as semi trucks whizzed past. I was trying to keep one eye on the road, one eye closed to prevent rainspray from passing trucks and just to be honest, I was in prayer for both my safety and the safety of my running sisters who lacked the sense to be scared of trucks or to get winded. No worries girls, run on, I’ve covered you in prayer!
By the time we cruised past Wilkinson County High School, I was in my zone, feeling good, and it was a slow downhill for a bit. I enjoyed listening to Joyce Meyer on my ipod. She was telling me all about spiritual warfare and to command Satan to leave you alone with a loud “NO”. I smiled as I listened, unaware that as we rounded the corner, satanic influence would be present in the form of a dog who snarled and growled and proceeded to run out after us. Perhaps you don’t know that my sweet friend Leah was bitten by a dog and now carries a fair amount of dog anxiety. She proceeded to grab my arm and with a strange pulling, pinching motion my arm got my attention. Well, being the good friend I am, I calmly talked her off the ledge so to speak, and fearlessly commanded the satanic influence of this demon dog to leave us be. Ya’ll think I’m joking….I’m not. Not at all!
This road brought us around a bend that opened up into the most beautiful field I have ever seen. I almost had to stop to take it in. And per my usual habit, I made everyone look at the beauty. And we ran on, oblivious that the reason for the striking beauty was the dark sky with ominous clouds that would soon open up on us.
After a water stop, courtesy of Bonnie and Leah’s sweet friends who drove out to some country roads to bring us water, we started the second half and honestly all remarked we were feeling really good at mile 7.
At mile 8 or 9 I’m not sure, we noticed some distant thunder, a rumble and then we smelled it, that old familiar smell of rain. And then it did. Boy did it. A downpour. I love to run in the rain. It mixes with your sweat, and on a morning like today, it cooled us off. But then it popped thunder and I realized that I was on a back country road in Wilkinson County, it is pouring rain and popping thunder and these two girls I’m with are laughing. And I am suddenly aware that I am in fact a complete idiot.
Well, we didn’t get struck, and the rain lightened up and to be honest, the rest of the run was pretty enjoyable. By mile 11, my old friend, nausea came by to say hello, and Leah distracted me from stopping by urging me to run just to the sign,then the top of the hill, and so forth until yet another mile was under our belt. I walked at mile 12 when nausea started to sweep over and it did the trick. I spent that walking half mile trying to figure out the why and how of avoiding nausea on my next long run. By the end of the road I turned and found that I was in fact, on the streets of beautiful Gordon Ga. I had made it. I took in the feeling of knowing it takes a strong woman to run 14 miles. I watched Leah and Bonnie ahead of me. Thankful for friends who keep you going. Thankful for a soft rain on a Saturday morning. Thankful for new friends who gave me fruit and water at the end of a long run.
And after walking off powerful leg cramps, I crawled into the truck with the girls and we headed home. It was a good long run, full of adventure, new scenery and wet feet.
So yes, Leah, let’s do run to Gordon, it sounds like a fun thing to do on a rainy Saturday morning.