"Have you ever danced with the devil under the pale moonlight?" The Joker
I have danced with the devil. And it was fun until it wasn't fun anymore. I got myself in a lot of trouble. I had a lot of fun, but that ends so soon and pain arrives to take its place. The pain hurts far worse than the pleasure lasts.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
In order for me to train for this outrageous elevation I have to run a lot of hills. I think I am going to be dancing with the devil on this race in October.
Yesterdays elevation was only 95 ft gain. It sure felt like I was running in the hills of Kentucky though.
Today I met Kris and Rachel out at Holly Rec to run the Wildwood loop and try to get in 16 miles. It all started out smiles. We laughed, joked and enjoyed each others company for about 3 miles! It was at that point the bugs were nesting on us, the humidity elevated to dread and the heat went from pleasant to appalling.
We all came very prepared. We brought extra water, salt tabs, extra nutrition, bug spray and a good attitude. Being prepared made our run tolerable. We had some quiet stretches on the trails but they didn't last too long.
We ran the loop twice with Rachel to account for 11 miles. Rachel ran it like a beast but decided to end it on a good note. Kris and I decided to go after another loop. If 2 is good then 3 should be better.
3 loops meant we saw the same dead groundhog 3 times. And each time we jumped over it we discovered it was being gnawed on more and more. The last loop its innards were completed erected from its body. Startled by the sight I commented "Better him than me!" I was just glad that I never saw the mystery animal was feasting on him while we were gone.
While we are running you hear mystery critters running, you can hear the snakes slithering, you may catch a glimpse of a deer if you are lucky but they hear you far before you see them. The woods are beautiful, peaceful, quiet to the runners eye, but there is a whole lot more terror going on we never see. Hence this gutted animal being mauled in the middle of our trail.
|Kris and I both running in our Hokas and dirty!|
By the 3rd round, playtime was coming to a quick halt. The walk breaks were being elongated, the breathing was getting heavier, the sweat was saturated in dirt and the laughter was a distant memory. We were ready to be done. It was fun, but not the jolly giddy kind of fun. It was the dig your heals in and persevere kind of fun. The kind of fun that screams tenacity, endurance, courage, strength.
"It's Fun until it just isn't fun anymore" was in the comments of our run that Kris or Rachel had posted. It was true.
After finishing, we laid on the grass in the shade laughing in our perspiration. We chuckled at the dirt all over our legs. We were both very proud of ourselves. We wanted to finish in under 3 hours and it was done. I can not imagine running in the heat of the day. The trails kept us significantly cooler and God blessed us with a very gentle breeze.
Distance: 16 miles
Time 2:58:43Elevation GAIN: 501
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
As we ran through the trails we shared scripture. It was a sweet time. This verse was Rachel's morning devotion. It is a great reminder in my training that no matter what my training looks like, or the elevation is going to be, no matter how many fears are a factor, God is with me wherever I go. And He COMMANDS me to be Strong and Courageous.