It was a great run to close a great month of running. Tomorrow and Sunday will be days off as we embark on the 1000 mile trip back home. I ended November with 179 logged miles and 1679 miles for 2013. The Good Lord has kept me injury free all year, and I am so grateful. Every step, every mile, every run is only by His grace. Today was another in a year of many wonderful runs.
I normally don't run longer than 20 miles in training runs, but the unchanging elevation here on the east coast of North Carolina made me feel the need to go a little longer today, in the hopes of getting a workout similar in intensity to what I'd be getting back home. The pace shows a little slower than I hoped for, but I never stopped the Garmin, even when I stopped to refuel, restock on water, and for occasional calls of nature.
I parked at an intersection with three dirt roads going different directions and did the run in three legs. To start, I headed south for 3.5 miles and turned around to make a 7 mile leg. After a few minutes at the vehicle to get water and take in a few calories, I took off toward the west for another 7 mile leg. Again, 3.5 out, 3.5 back. Another stop for water and fuel, then off again for the final 8 mile leg. At the turnaround I had 18 miles in, and 4 to go back to the Blazer. I thought about a walk break, but decided against it.
At 19 miles, I decided to try to make it to 20 before I walked. Somewhere in that mile, I realized I had forgotten to apply Body Glide this morning. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. All the places that had previously revealed the need for the anti-chafe product were now screaming at me, "Are you an idiot?!?!?" As much as I run, you'd think I'd know better than to forget it, but not today. Still, I pressed on. (Probably because I was still 2 miles from the vehicle.)
At mile 20 I decided to walk for a tenth of a mile. If you've ever dealt with chafing, especially on a long run, you know how uncomfortable it gets. It just makes you want to quit. In that tenth, a lot of things crossed my mind. Walking on in. Even some really crazy ideas on how to relieve the pain. I only had two more miles, and thought about how much longer it would take to finish if I stated walking. So I prayed for strength and decided to suck it up and run on in.
"The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace." ~ Psalm 29:11
I picked up the pace and was pleasantly surprised when the pain actually subsided. God certainly gave me the strength to speed up and relief from the pain that was plaguing me to bring me peace. While the pain didn't disappear, it most certainly lessened. I was reminded there are a lot of times we try to tough things out, to get through rough spots on our own, never calling on God for help. But He's always there, waiting for and wanting us to call out and ask for just that. To give us strength and peace.
After that tenth of a mile walk, I ran in the rest of the way to finish that 22 miles. That 22nd mile went by in 10:03, my fastest of the entire run! I am so blessed that God not only allows me to run, but uses running demonstrate to me His power, His will, and His control.
Thank you Jesus, for getting me through this run today, and for giving me strength and peace, today and everyday!
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