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The Spiritual Miles of the Longest Runs

Great weather today for a long run.  It was in the low 60’s here and cloudy.  Rain was threatening but kept to the South.

I met up with my sister Dolores at her house around 6 am.  Above is a picture of her that I took last fall.  After we went for a walk in her neighborhood.

We rode out to the trail together.  She took her bike and I had my running shoes and Camelbak.  As we passed mile 3 I could hear a lot of gunfire.  Not feeling too secure as I ran on the trail.  Got past that and moved on.

As we neared Hartsburg, a rain storm was threatening so we stopped there to wait.  Dad used to tell us not to be on the trail in heavy rain.  It could be treacherous.  Water rushes down off the bluffs in some areas and gullies fill fast.


We sat outside of Dotty’s Cafe and listened to the string band that was performing inside.  Pretty cool.  Hartsburg is a great place.

I ran with a brace on my left knee for support.  I think the problem was my IT Band but the brace did help too.  I have been rolling this bar over the IT Band a lot yesterday and today.   Also worked on it while we stopped at Dotty’s.  It hurts to do it but it helps make the band more flexible – not quite so tight.

Also, I picked up a large roller and using it 3x a day – 3 rolls on each side.

I’ve graduated up into the miles where anything that rubs on the skin can cause it to look burned, scraped or even bleed.  I have some places that will probably heal up pretty fast.

Today’s run took a little more than 4 hours if you eliminate the stop we made.

I didn’t use the Map My Run App instead used Dolores’s pedometer to count miles.  The first 10.5 were 12 minute miles.

Dolores was so thoughtful, she rode ahead (an extra 2 miles bringing her total to 21 miles) after I hit mile 17 so she could get the car and bring it to the mile 19 point.  There is a road that intersects with the trail there.  I’m glad because it was time to hit the bathroom.

This was the first day I wasn’t soaking wet with sweat when I finished.  The air was so cool.   Wonderful!

I only have one more really long run left.  It’s in 2 weeks.  Then I begin to taper.  I am so glad.  Will be living on Ibuprofen for a few days.

Click below and then read on.  I love this song and I think it describes the state of mind I feel when I am pushing beyond my limits.

Why do I run?

For many reasons…

The challenge.  The sacrifice.  To be the best I can be.

More than that, for the spiritual aspects.  When you push your body to such limits you experience things that you normally wouldn’t and  it puts you in a state of mind similar to meditation.

Running along that trail causes me to feel my Father’s spirit.  He loved riding his bike there.  I look up at the bluffs and think of when he was with me looking at them too.  It was his voice I heard in my head after Dolores said storms were coming.  His voice saying, “Don’t be on the trail during heavy rain…it could be treacherous.”

When I ran my first half marathon and I was so cold and wet for so long,  I was in the Northern section of Central Park.  Feeling isolated and alone – a little scared and unsure, I felt the presence of my parents.  That was the first time I experienced this feeling.

Praying during a run for me?  It’s natural.  It goes hand in hand with long distance running.  That’s my favorite part.  Being at the ends of what I think I can tolerate, in a prayerful state and then…pushing beyond that.

That is what I run for.  I can’t get to that point doing anything else.  So thankful I’m able to do it and have the support of others to help me see it through.

19 Mile Run

Today’s run as well as all of them – offered up for all those on  my prayer list.  If you want to be added to it, let me know.

This has been a long journey that began about 10 years ago.  I dreamed of running a marathon.  I started in 2010 with a half (13.1 miles) and since then have finished 4 half marathons.  Now, in a month, I will run a full marathon (26.2 miles).  Once I pass mile 20, reaching beyond anything I’ve ever done before, know that I will be praying non-stop till I finish and my parents…will be at my side, running with me.

12 comments on “The Spiritual Miles of the Longest Runs

  1. Dolores says:

    Great job today Anne! Time was much better, faster pace, shows you can do it! You WILL be ready for the October Marathon. “I can do all things through God who strenthens me.”

    1. Anne says:

      Thanks Dolores! Couldn’t have done it without you.

  2. George says:

    Running is a spiritual as well as a physical experience. Reach for the stars. George

    1. Anne says:

      Thanks George. I think so too.

  3. I especially find that trail running is extremely meditative. I find myself focusing so much on the trail, trying to avoid obstacles, that my focus becomes laser-like and the miles fly by. It’s one of the many reasons I love it so much.

  4. Jim Brennan says:

    Oh, the long run. You had to remind me. If you finished a 17 mile run, you are in pretty secure territory, but yes, I’d add a few on. I ran a half last Sunday and knew when I finished that I didn’t have another half left in the tank. I’m hoping to find a 30K to run before my marathon in November. Love your prayer list, what a great idea. I actually carry one of those one-decade rosaries in my pocket during a marathon, not that I’m a huge prayer, but I always find myself saying it at least once during the course of 26.2 miles. My 90 year-old mom is in a nursing home and if you get on their prayer list, well, I’d just call it divine intervention. Let me know the date of your marathon. I’ll say one for you. You will be fine!

    1. Anne says:

      Blessings to you Jim! I will add you and your Mom to my prayer list. My marathon is October 21 in St. Louis. Give me your marathon date too. Runners have something in common a strong connection for sure. Stay in touch.

  5. pwhent says:

    What a great description of your run and your feelings. I ran my first marathon in April of this year (London Marathon). Your comment about running into the unknown after mile 20 is very true. It sounds like you are ready and will stand on the start line well prepared. The confidence that gives you makes the difference. I had all kinds of mental plans prepared for coping with the last 6 miles. In the end it was my 10-year old daughter’s voice in my head that lifted me through it. Her’s was the first familiar face I saw after I crossed the finish line. I wish you the best of luck on the day. You will be fine and you will have an experience to look back on and cherish for the rest of your life. I promise you that the 100s of training miles are all worth it!! If it helps you here is an account of my Marathon:

    1. Anne says:

      Thank you for the comment and support. I believe all long distance runners feel a strong connection. Stay in touch and I’ll let you know how it goes.
      All the best to you and Matilda! Have a great day!

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