"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Long Haul. 8 Hours of running.

5 days ago I finished Woodstock 50k. I did pretty good. Pretty good as in I stayed upright, I never tripped, dipped or flipped and I had a great time.
But the fun didn't end at 31.8 miles.

Running Woodstock was just a training run. It was a much more fun training run compared to what I would have to run today.

I had an 8 hour training run. Not focusing on the gruesome miles I would accumulate, just enduring the time on my puny little legs.
When you have NOTHING Left. Not a Smile, Not a cheer, and hardly a breath.

Last Friday, I got a message from Bill that my Jenny Ultra Vest had arrived for pick up at Baumans.
I was driving 80 miles an hour trying to get from Clarkston to Flint before they closed. Like a kid with a new toy I couldn't wait to get it, touch it, play with it and of course RUN with IT!
Psalm 138:7 " Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me."

I loaded my Ultimate Direction vest with my nutrition, my iPod, my phone, extra chargers and my phone.

I headed out of the house at 7:20am. The temps were in my favor at 58 degrees. I dressed in my favorite light weight tank top and some super airy shorts. As I ran down Falk rd., I caught a glimpse of myself.
I was BLUE, shoes, shorts, and vest. I looked like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Barely a mile into my run I saw something moving Very FAST, much faster than I was running across the road. It was a coyote. Seriously, it was! I need to see a lot more of them to desensitize me for Cloudsplitter.
I wondered what 8 hours of running would be like with a brand new vest on. I knew I was going to have some damage, I just didn't know the extent.

I remained very hopeful as I headed to Holly Recreation to meet Rachel. My legs felt fresh. I felt optimistic and positive about my all day run.
My vest felt fabulous. It hugged my like a chubby grandma. The front of the vest held 2 soft water containers. I kept touching them as they felt like breasts. "Hmm, so this is what it would be like to have boobies."
As I ran, my new boobies lightly bounced with me. I couldn't help laughing. Especially when I reached my head down and drank out of the bright red nipples.

It was a little over 5 miles when I saw Rachel in her matching ORANGE shirt and visor. She looked like she could be a model for a running magazine.

Still feeling good we headed down McGinnis Rd towards the trail.
All smiles, we headed into the trail. The humidity was not as friendly as Rachel was. The rain left the lower foliage wet. It wasn't long before our socks were squishy. "Anita, I have an extra shirt and socks for you if you need."
It was more than enough that she came out to help me with this 8 hour run but Rachel even brought me gear. Her thoughtfulness meant so much to me.

We were able to get to the trail head just as Kris arrived to play with us!
I had a CREW! Love all around.
These girls changed their Thursday run day to Wednesday to help me. Neither one of them had a race to train for, nope, they came out to help me with my goal.

Together we would run between 17-20 miles together. Kris would get spider webs wrapped around her face as she lead us through the trail. The girls would be sweating, peeing in the woods, slipping on the muddy trail and breathing heavy up the inclines for me. They would sacrifice time with their kids, give up that second cup of coffee and essentially put their life on hold for 5 hours just to help me.
I knew I would be running 8 hours, I didn't know I would be running over 20 miles in the trails. Panic set in as the girls said they gave their day up to run with me. This meant I would be running a tough route. I needed tough, but I was scared the trails would tear me up and I wouldn't be able to finish. Or that my recovering body would become angry and inflict unimaginable pain.
One loop, two loop, three loops and I was beginning to get loopy. Rachel split off not without foundling my backpack and squeezing my jugs. We laughed a lot and really had fun.

Kris stayed with me trying to get 20 miles in herself. My vest was not as cuddly as it was 3 hours earlier. Now it felt more like Freddie Krueger wrapping his claws around my rib cage. I moved the straps up and down, I loosened the grip and I drank plenty of water to lighten the load. Before Rachel left she helped remove my food I had in my front pockets and place it in the back.

The girls confirmed what I knew to be true. I had to run, walk and crawl with this vest every time I went out to get used to it for Cloudsplitter in 3 weeks.

I was getting very confused on the trail. I asked Kris to run me to the road where I would separate from her. I thought we would be running just a couple miles, but it seemed longer and I was getting more lost. Every tree looked like a mirage. As many times as I had run this trail nothing seemed familiar. And every incline looked like a mountain. Not to mention my sore ribs felt like I was a gun shot victim.
Kris was concerned for my mental health. She could tell I was tuckering out. I told her I would call her when I finished and headed back towards Dixie Hwy.

I didn't get very far before I needed a walk break. My belly felt like it could tolerate some food. My peanut butter and jelly roll up didn't agree with me earlier so I was hoping my grapes would be more refreshing.
And they were. They were like Mana from Heaven.

With my music in my ears, food in my belly, I suddenly was overcome with emotion. My hands began to shake, my thoat tightened, and my lips quivered. I had the overwhelming urge to cry. I had NO idea why. I could feel the tears coming.

I barely choked back the tears when I saw a familiar car quickly pull over. It was LACEY!
She came to bring me in the last 2 1/2 hours.

We drove to the park and ride, dropped her car off and headed down Grange Hall rd. She had a very special treat for me in her cooler. A cup full of ICE! Lacey knows I love to chew on ice.

Poor Lacey. She got the last leg. My leftovers.
The sun came out to add torture to me. Lacey became more of a babysitter than a pacer. She kept making sure I was fueled, drinking and moving forward. She was determined to not let me quit.
"Just make it to the garbage can Nita."
"Ok,ok I will try."
I had 30 miles in and had Lacey leading me.
I would run until I couldn't run anymore. Lacey would pick out mailboxes or garbage cans to give me something to run to.

I had to run too 3:20pm to run 8 hours. Laceys loop we discovered was going to put us over.
With about 3 miles back home and about 20 minutes over our time Lacey says "You want to quit?"
I heard QUIT.
"NO, Lacey, I am not going to quit.."
HECK YA I wanted to QUIT. I wanted to walk. I wanted to lie down in the grass. I wanted to cry all over again.
But it was NOT an option. I didn't start this to quit. I was capable. Nobody said it was going to be easy. And I wouldn't be running 8 hours if it was going to be easy. You pick goals that are just slightly out of reach. It makes the prize better. You don't willy nilly it. You press on.

Lacey gave me the option. "Why don't you walk the hill back home?" I liked that idea.
And even though I had run FARTHER than I had run any training run I knew I still had a little something left in the tank.
I didn't barrel up that hill towards home, but I didn't walk it in either.
We pulled into my driveway and I was empty. Nothing left. I bent over in exhaustion thrilled with my accomplishment of NOT QUITTING.
Lacey looked fresh and ready to start actually running. She got 12 miles in in just over 2 hours. It may have been the most painful run but it meant the world to me.

Distance: 39.5
Pace: 12:24
Time: 8h10

I feel blessed and highly favored by my crew today. I would have loved to come home and nap my day away. Even eat Bon Bons on the couch. But I had a kitchen to clean, dinner to fold and laundry that is still waiting!
My Recovery Smoothie.

These ladies sacrificed their day as well. I am one blessed girl!



  1. You're amazing!!!!! What great friends to help with that run!

    1. Michelle, seriously. I felt so fortunate.
      BTW..Darn it, I thought you won the contest but Rachel posted 6:17..Almost spot on!