First, I do NOT know what I was thinking when I decided to run my long run this morning and then sit in a car for 2 hours. Let me spare you the details... but my legs were aching. I hope I win some Recovery Socks in case it happens again.
This morning, I set out to do my longest run ever. My plan was to run for 2 hours... as far as I could. Here is what I looked like before I headed out. The sun was just starting to rise - it was 6:21 am. And it was FREEZING!
I decided to run the Rockville Millennium Trail and prayed that I did not get lost.
Mile 1: 10:14
Mile 2: 10:05
Mile 3: 10:35
Mile 4: 9:55
Mile 5: 9:45
Mile 6: 9:35
Mile 7: 10:25
Mile 8: 9:47
Mile 9: 9:48
Mile 10: 11:04
Mile 11.8: 15:54
I was just amazed at my time. I am not sure why I ran faster in the middle. There were hills there too. I finished in 1:55.
But something strange happened around mile 7. History: I do not run with music because I want to be safe. Currently, I do not have a running partner or actually anyone to run with. To pass time, I sing hymns in my head. New ones from the radio, old ones that I grew up with, some children's music from VBSes the kids attended... etc. At mile 7, "Love Lifted Me" came into my head. This song is very sentimental to me because my brother Kenny really liked that song because at the chorus, he liked everyone to get up on their toes - get it - "love LIFTED me...". And at his funeral, we did it.
More history: my brother Kenny died shortly after completing a half-ironman triathlon. According to the doctors, it did not have anything to do with the race - he suffered a brain aneurysm about 10 minutes after he finished. I believe that God took him then - because the pain was just too much for him. About 2 days later, surrounded by family, the life support machines were turned off and his body died. (I am sure I am messing up some of the facts here, but nevertheless, Kenny is in Heaven with Jesus and his funeral was a celebration of his life here on earth).
I used to listen to an old gospel group sing this song after Kenny's funeral, but had not heard that hymn in years. It was strange that it came into my head... but I just kept running.
At mile 11, the emotions were super strong. I felt like I was talking with Kenny. I started to cry and as I finished mile 11, I was in full blown tears. It was strange and comforting at the same time. I just had this overwhelming feeling that I really missed him. I started to wonder what life would be like if he was here on earth with me. I just began talking to him. (I am getting choked up just writing this). I said it was strange because I was not super close to him but it was like he was running with me. He lived in Arkansas and was in the Air Force. Before Arkansas he lived in Germany and before that California. We spent time together at the holidays and during some summers (I stayed with him and his wife, Kirsten, when I went to Germany for a while too), but maybe since I have a twin sister and he was my brother, I never really got to know him well. But I do know that he loved Kirsten and LOVES the Lord.
I cannot explain it in words, but Kenny carried me home the last 8th of the mile. When I stopped, I was no longer crying... I was rejoicing and thanking the Lord for that time. I walked half of a mile home and felt great. Here is the picture right after I got home.
The only other time I felt Kenny's presence like this was when I was in the 14th hour of labor with my daughter - he gave me peace and comfort. I decided to get the epidural... and 9 hours and 58 minutes later, Kiera was born. We selected a "K" name to honor Kenny's memory.
As I write this hours after my run, I am wondering where miles 12+ will take me. Each time, I was pushing my body beyond normal limits. Maybe I got delirious... but either way, I'll take it as an opportunity. It was super special to me.
I know some of you raced today and others race tomorrow... I am praying for injury free races for you.
I leave for the cruise tomorrow morning. I am mostly packed.... hubby needs to give me his things and then we are completely ready! Bon voyage!