WE SHALL OVERCOME!!!
hahaha! You will not believe today. It's only noon, and I feel like I've been delivered through a week's worth of obstacles already today. THANK YOU, LORD! Seriously, I don't know how this all worked out aside from grace. But it was SO worth it. Here's the morning:
6:00 a.m. - Alarm goes off. Great start to the day. I packed most of what I needed for the 20-miler down in Independence last night, so I was good to go. I sipped a cup of coffee while I made a post-run smoothie, got dressed for a great trail run with Jackie in the snow and headed out the door.
6:35 a.m. - I leave my apartment only to find out that my weather check had been wrong. It wasn't snowing, it was freezing rain. And I mean BIG time. My car was buried in at least a quarter inch of ice. So, I spent 5 minutes cleaning it off, dreading the whole time the drive to Independence. I knew the roads would stink, and my car doesn't do well in winter weather.
6:48 a.m. - I'm barely out of my apartment complex parking lot and my driver's side windshield wiper blade breaks. haha! HOLY cow! I can't drive in freezing rain without a wiper! Plus, I'm already slipping and sliding around dangerously on the uncleared roads. It's unbelievably treacherous! In fact, if it was any normal occasion, I would 100% without a doubt turned around. In fact, I almost did here. I called Jackie from a stop light and told her that the roads were unreal and that my wiper blade was busted. I was ready to admit defeat and head back to the complex and hop on our treadmill. But once I heard her voice, I knew I had to press on. She was driving up from down south and said that it was only rain down there. No ice. Okay, maybe we could do this. If I could just make it out of the bad stuff up north. . .
6:58 a.m. - I'm fishtailing down 291, gripping the steering wheel with all my might, peering through my grace-covered windshield that never caused a problem (thank YOU, Lord!). Jackie calls from Independence and says that she's there and it's raining. She'll be in the workout room of our old complex waiting for me.
7:05 a.m. - Jackie calls again. The roads there are ice-covered too and she's in the complex. "We have a bit of an issue," she says. "One of the two treadmills is broken." hahaha! Okay, what do we do? We can't run outside. We can't run on the treadmills. I'm just HOPING to make it there alive. My car wipers are going to cause a serious problem if this gets any worse. "Okay, I have an idea. My 24 Hour Fitness membership doesn't expire for one more week. Let's go there and get on some of their machines." (There's a club about two miles from our old place.) We agree to meet there and pay the one-day charge if Jackie has to.
7:15 a.m. - We both get to the gym. Hallelujah! We walk in, and I tell the woman at the front desk that I don't have my card. She looks me up. It says my membership expired already. Great. Well, now what? But, wait! She's going to give us favor!! Since it JUST expired, she says, "Eh, no big deal. Just go ahead and go in." AND, get this! She gives Jackie a guest pass with me FOR FREE!!! That's killer!!
7:33 a.m. - We are FINALLY running. And it's amazing. I'm used to running on apartment complex treadmills, so the gym ones are like Corvettes. I'm in heaven! We start out slowly (thank God for Jackie's wisdom and experience) and do the first 6.5 at an 8:40 pace. Felt AWESOME. No pain from the knee, adductor or plantar fascia.
8:30 a.m. - We finish our first 6.5 and have to restart our treadmills, which only run for one hour at a time. We stretch for a moment and then start up for our next 6.5 at an 8:20 pace. Feeling good. And we're SO thankful to be doing this with a buddy.
9:26 a.m. - We finish the next 6.5 and brace ourselves for the final 7 at an 8-flat pace, giving each other pep talks and encouragement for the task ahead. And, by this time, praise God, the vulgar movie on TBS was finally over. It was some raunchy mind-junk with men dressed like women and Cuba Gooding Jr. dancing scandalously on a cruise ship. Awful. But at least they had SportsCenter and Fox News on, too.
10:10 a.m. - We crank up the speed to 7:47 for mile 18. Feel good there. Then kick it up to 7:30-7:19 for the last mile. AWESOME!!! WE DID IT!!! The only issue was a flare of the plantar fascia in the right foot. That was cranky after I got done. But it's feeling good now after some ice and massage.
10:45 a.m. - After some foam rolling and stretching at the club, I head out to drive home. "By this time, they HAVE to have 291 in good shape. It's so much less distance than taking the interstate. I'll just chance it." Oh, Jill...
10: 55 a.m. - Independence wasn't bad. It was just wet and slushy by then. Liberty, amazingly enough, was a MILLION worlds different. By the time I'd made it about 6-7 miles north, the roads were COVERED in ice. The precipitation was hard freezing rain again, and there was only one lane that was even drivable. I was, again. clutching the steering wheel like Cruella DeVille and praying constantly. (It wasn't very intelligible. Just pretty much a constant stream of, "Help me, Lord. Help me, Lord. Help me, Lord.")
11:10 a.m. - I'm still driving s.l.o.w.l.y. People are fishtailing all over the place. There are cars in the ditches. Stoplights are freaking me out because I don't want to stop my momentum. My car would spin and spin just trying to get moving again when I did.
11: 20 a.m. - I'm finally turning onto my street, which, of course, is not clear and uphill. This was one of the worst 4-minute stretches of my life. My car had ZERO control as I crept and spun up the hill. I finally made it, but still had to turn into the complex. I don't know how my car got through. It was God, for sure. I slipped and spun through the turn, up the hill into the complex and around to my apartment.
11:25 a.m. - I'm finally home. And I vow never to drive again. hahaha! :)
Every night before a long run, I will dream about not being able to complete the run. Last night I dreamed that I was abducted by drug dealers just as I was heading out to run. I didn't care if I lived or died, but I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do my run. I think I even begged them to let me finish it before they took me away. haha! But all that to say, it's always worked out. Those dreams are just crap. But today was the first day that I think I really came close to not being able to do it. With all the obstacles from injuries, to roads, to wiper blades, to ice-covered trails, to broken treadmills, to expired memberships...It was like the longest series of unfortunate events. But let's talk about how big God is and how small we are. I'm back at my apartment, and the facts are these: I ran 20 miles today without pain and injury, and got to do it with a good friend. Thank You, Lord.
Today, I totally encourage you to walk in faith and in the knowledge that, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
-For good recovery from the 20.
-For the healing of the plantar fascia and the protection of the knee and adductor.
-For great rest for my body today and tonight.
-For Military Ministry and their provision and reach to our FABULOUS military men and women.
-For the upcoming dessert/coffee event in McPherson--that we would raise AWESOME awareness and funds.
-For OUR TROOPS!! What I experienced today is NOTHING compared to serving a deployment in Afghanistan away from my family. Pray for them today to be blessed by the love of our Father.
Okay, I'm starving. Gonna go make lunch!