While I was on retreat, I kept to my training schedule. Except for the simple facts that I had no idea of distances and that I lost my watch some time before I left. Thankfully my mp3 player has a stopwatch on it, so I estimated distances by amount of time.
On Monday I ran to New Bedford. It took me around 22 1/2 minutes to run there, so I figured that was just about 2 1/2 miles. Turns out I was right on the money. There was one large hill to run up (Valley View Inn is on top of a hill), and as I got near the top, Chris Tomlin's song "You Do All Things Well" came on. What are the first lyrics of that song? "Mountain Maker..." Just after I arrived back at the Inn, my batteries ran out. Hmmm.
On Tuesday I was scheduled to run 6 miles. I decided to run a different route - actually, I saw what looked like a little white church out in the distance, so I wanted to see it up close. This route took me onto a gravel road through some incredible scenery. Dense trees, farms, hills... I thought I was out hiking in the Smoky Mountains! The "church" turned out to be an Amish school (yes, the kids were at recess, and they were playing baseball). Some of the younger kids watched me with interest - I guess I don't look like them. Clean shaven, wearing a bright yellow shirt, shorts, mp3 player, and with a t-shirt on my head as a hat... There were hills on this route that were somewhat akin to Steel Hill of the Hocking Hills Indian Run. Wow. I did walk up one of them for a while. Pretty bad, to have to walk in a six mile run! As it was, I ran out a little over 26 minutes (yes, I'd brought spare batteries on the trip). I managed to accidentally stop the timer on the way back, so I don't know my final count. I'm pretty sure it was around 6 miles, though. As I came up the same hill as yesterday, guess what lyrics I heard again? If you guessed "Mountain Maker..." you're right. At the same place, on the same hill...
Wednesday I braved the spitting rain for another 5 miler to New Bedford and back. Later we went for a drive and I found that it was exactly a 5 mile O/B trip. I guess that's what comes from doing a lot of running - you start to be able to guess distances.
Friday after we returned, I switched days around a little so I could run the long run in good weather. It was sunny and 50, a great day for a run. I went out into the wind 3 miles and turned and ran 3 more miles on the canal path, a really pleasant run on soft ground and grass. Then I turned back and made an even 12 miler out of it. On this run, I had a good talk with God, including me asking God if the "Mountain Maker" lyric repitition was just to remind me that God's in control and is a whole lot bigger than anything going on. Then, to verify, I said, "if that's what you were trying to tell me, could you make it so that song plays next?" You want to guess what the next song that played was?
(as a note, I have some 5 CDs on shuffle on my mp3 player, and only one copy of said song)
Saturday... they've said that a picture says a thousand words... snow and sleet coming across almost horizontally. Yikes. I worked in the morning (that's when I get my best work done), and I tried to wait out the weather in the afternoon. I then decided I'd run at the YMCA instead, but I wanted to wait until after the boys went to bed. Fine, except that the Y closes at 5 on weekends. So I finally sucked it up and ran outside in the snow.
I made Tara take this picture when I got done with the run. You might not be able to see the "falling" snow in the picture - but possibly if you look carefully at my pants you'll see it.
Now that was a fun one. I hope the weather is slightly better than this for the marathon on the 28th!