Sunday, September 11, 2011

20 Mile Training run for St. George

Hurray! Let the celebrations begin! This Saturday McKesha and I completed our final long run in our training program for the St. George Marathon.  We have spent weeks upping our mileage and have had long runs consisting of two 15 milers, three 16 milers, two 18 milers, and one big 20 miler! Now we heave the sign of relief that the hard work is done, and let the taper begin!  Now we just have one more 12 miler, and a 8 miler for our Saturday long runs, SO NICE! And now, rest becomes more important than the training, oh how it feels great to be on the downhill slope, the hay is in the barn, and the race is just around the corner.

We headed out to West Mountain to do our big 20 miler.  We were really getting sick of the Provo River trail and the other routes that we ran all the time and we wanted something different.  I did my last 20 miler out there with Cameron when we were training for Utah Valley and we loved it.  On your right you have the Utah Lake South Shore and on your left you have the towering West Mountain.  There are numerous fruit orchards out there and a bird refuge with lots of varieties of birds to keep your eyes entertained. 

Like usual, Kesha and I started running in the dark before the sun is up to beat the heat.  Things started off normal it was a gorgeous morning with the stars and city lights reflecting off the lake. Suddenly we started hearing a weird deep humming in the distance.  Then we started hitting thousands of bugs.  Big bugs, little bugs, brown bugs, black bugs, green bugs, yellow bugs, bugs that bit, bugs that stuck in your hair, bugs that flew in your ears, bugs that you inhaled every breath, bugs that liked getting in your eyes, bugs that were taking up every square inch of the planet. . . or so it seemed.  We were being tormented and infested no matter how slow or fast we ran with that constant loud humming of the swarm equal to the Egyptain Plague. . . or so it seemed.  We covered our face with our shirts, tucked our chins deep into our chest, and just kept running through them.  I wanted to cry the whole time, we didn't know if we should turn back or not.  Would the rising sun make the bugs worse or clear them out? Would the lake shore road stay this close to the lake the whole time?  All I wanted to do was dig a hole to get away from the bugs, that probably would not have worked though, they were probably hatching eggs in the ground. All we knew was we could not run the entire 20 miles in this infestation.

We just kept running, it felt like hours, we wanted to turn back, but the thought of going back through them was torture.  The sun was slowly bringing light to the road, making us more able to actually see how many swarms of bugs there really were, it was more depressing.  We just kept hoping they would clear up as the sun rose, or that it would start raining, or that winter would come and freeze them all, or that a flock of seagulls would rise up and eat them all, anything.  I was praying so hard for them to go away. Finally and slowly the bugs began to clear.  We were only about 5 miles into our run and emotionally we were tired, but we just kept trudging along.  Slowly the bugs melted away and we got distracted by the nice scenery and the joys of the run. 

I was so grateful we hadn't turned back when the swarms of death decended upon us, the rest of the run went really well.  Just another tender mercy extended to Kesha and I.  Think about all of the gospel analogies in that story as well! We pushed ourselves out 10 miles and then back to the car.  2:42 to run 20.  No greater feeling that finishing that last long run, knowing you have prepared yourself for race day, and that the taper can begin!

1 comment:

Tera said...

Yep, your crazy, plum crazy! Good luck, your going to do awesome.