We began today with the sad news that Pat's dog had to be put down due to kidney failure. As soon as we got to the starting point, she was on the phone with her husband getting the news. The last time we saw him was at the Veterinarian en route from Concordia.
After we prayed a bit, we began our long run to Tomball. Needless to say, our legs were not feeling very fresh this morning as we waddled out to the truck. After a few steps, or maybe 100, they were quickly reminded that they had to run. The route started out very peacefully on back country roads out of Brenham. One of the highlights was running through Chappell Hill, TX, the "Birthplace of Texas." In fact, I've never spent any time there, but would love to bring the family back for a day to look around.
From Chappel Hill, the only way across the Brazos River that didn't require a 10 mile detour was Highway 290. So we just put our heads down and ran on the shoulder for about 7 miles or so. With the wind and the traffic whizzing by, I assumed it would be the most difficult section to run, but I was wrong.
I looked at my watch, and knew that I had to start running faster already if I wanted to make Tomball by our goal time of 6pm. So, for the first time, I left Pat to finish her 20 miles on her own. I felt bad that it was on the busy freeway, but our trusty support crew was there, so I knew they would take care of her, but according to the pictures below, they were just having fun with the chickens and pigs.
I strapped on my camelpak, grabbed some food and took off. I got a bit lost going through Hempstead, but eventually found my way to Old Houston Road which took me to Waller. Once I passed under Highway 290, I started the long 18 mile trek on 2920 to Tomball. If it wasn't the only direct route, I would have chosen another way. But, I really didn't feel like running 60+ miles today, so I just had to deal with it. Because there was non stop traffic, and there was no real shoulder to run on, the last 17 miles were ran mostly in the ditch.
I had been telling everybody that I love running in the rain, and God granted me that wish. The last 2 hours or so, the rain started picking up and was blowing against me, so that was great. At with about 8 miles to go I started to have a little pity party that lasted a couple minutes. My legs were not liking the cumulative miles, and this running in a wet ditch wasn't helping.
So I started thinking of all the things God has done in my life, and deep sense of gratitude came over me as I thanked Him for each one (out loud over the traffic and rain, which may have sounded a bit nutty but nobody could hear me). I thanked Him for my family, my amazing wife, my three beautiful daughters, my mom and dad, my house, the people I work with, etc. It's amazing how a change in perspective can turn a tough situation into a joyful one.
I finished at the sign for Salem Lutheran Church, and was really glad to be there, but a little disappointed that I didn't hit 50 miles for the day. Total miles were 48.5 and 8 hours of running. We drove to the Kym's house, took a shower, and went to eat at a local smokehouse. I'm still full, but feeling good. Tomorrow, we begin the final leg of the journey to Houston!