Last Thursday, I was packing and preparing to leave for the California Gold Rush 100k run up in Folsom.
A 62 mile and very hilly run up in California's Gold Rush country.
The week leading up to this event was very tough for me. The pain that I experience daily in my legs and feet was so bad, I almost cancelled and did not run. It was extremely painful to say the least! I prayed to God all week, listened to my KLOVE radio station, and kept asking Laura what she thought. Laura supported what ever decision I made, but she thought I was nuts to do it. As I prayed, the song "Overcomer" by Mandesa came on the radio. All of a sudden, a Big David Bevilacqua grin came about and I said
No Way!!!!! Gotta Go For it !!!! No what Ifs in life!
Laura called her friends up in Roseville and Orangevale so they could all meet up, while I ran all day! We had someone watch Gabby and Anna, so Laura could relax, sleep in and pamper herself a little.
Laura and I spent Friday together goofing off in Folsom and in the Gold Country. It was great to spend a day and some quality time together.Got to bed by 9:30pm that night, and soon after at all my 3am the alarm clocks were ringing!!
Shower, deodorant, body glide, salt pills, electrolytes, water bottle, and get dressed. I headed out the door at 3:45am and walked to the starting area. I was pretty much the only person there at that time. The race staff was just showing up. I will arrive to my funeral early some day too:)
The event traveled from downtown Folsom, CA to the town of Coloma (approx.. 32 miles away), and then you ran back the same way. I had only trained up to the distance of 31 miles only, and I knew it would be interesting on the way back. It was so, so nice to be able to run part of this event with my friend and running coach Tim Corliss. The day could not have started off better.
It was still the dark of the night when the event began at 5am, so we wore headlights on our hats. Running trails at night with a headlight is a huge challenge for me, because I have major fears of snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, spiders and almost any reptile. They scare to daylights out of me!!!
Mile 0-22 were rolling hills along the right side of Folsom Lake, but at mile 22 we came to The Skunk Hollow Bridge. Let the climbing now begin!!!! The dirt became very red, their were lots of red ants, the grade became very steep, rocks filled the trails and we were now on the trails that gold miners traveled back in 1849. Have you ever seen the movie Paint Your Wagon?
They Call the Wind Maria click here
Paint your Wagon click here
All these songs filled my head as I climbed the next 10 miles. As I ran up those rocky trails, sure enough.............I saw a snake on the trail! Yikes!!!!! I just stayed way back and watched as it finally slithered away. It scared the crap out of me and I was out there alone.
The neuropathy in my legs and feet were horrible, and it felt like a vise was just crushing my feet and toes. My legs felt like concrete and I had a hard time clearing the rocks. I tell ya, this Waldenstrom's Non Hodgkin Lymphoma sucks!!!! All of us with this form blood cancer feel the same pain and cement legs. Taking on this nutty challenge was going to be brutal, but I totally believe that all our dreams our POSSIBLE.
To donate...........click here!
As I came around this one corner, my foot caught a rock and I went flying into a tree. Blood started pouring out of my arm and leg. Shoot!!!! I did not have anything to wipe it with, so I just kept running. When I finally made it to the town of Coloma ( the turn around point ), I saw many runners that decided to take the bus back.
I grabbed a bunch of M&Ms, Oreos, PB&J sandwiches, salty potatoes, and refilled my water bottle. Coach Tim was there, and he said...... get going!!!
That's when I pulled out my secret weapon!!!!!! I have never ran with music before; ever!! I have ran for 53 years, but have never listened to music. I downloaded 42 songs from my favorite KLOVE radio station ( positive and encouraging Christian music) and started heading back!!
Write your Story.........................Francesca Battistelli click here
This is Amazing Grace ..............Phil Wickham click here
Blessed be your Name...... .........Tree63 click here
He IS with us.........Love and the Outcome click here
Back to You.................................Mandisa click here
Overcomer...................................Mandisa click here
All I can do is say Thank-You..... MIKESCHAIR click here
Day by Day Godspell click here
I starting praying to God and I felt Angels all around me as I started flying down that mountain.
Gods not Dead he surely alive by the Newsboys, and We Believe by the Newsboys were playing in my head. This 62 mile journey was turning out to be an AMAZING life experience! As I ran, I thought about my Dad (a lot) , and all of my friends that died from this crappy disease called cancer. I prayed for all the ones that are fighting the battle as I type this.
Why do I run:
I run to raise funds so new cures can be found. I always want a cure available for all of you, so no one dies from this disease. Running in torturous pain is not easy but I will do crazy/nutty things for your donations!
Coach Tim caught up with me at about mile 38, and I said you keep going. I did not want to slow him down, as I worked my way back. I did not want to run to slow either ,due to my fear of running at night with bugs and animals. Blaaaaa!!!
At about 8:12 pm, I finally reached Folsom's Rainbow Bridge. Their was a girl yelling,... Are You David Bevilacqua !!!! She said: come on Rocky!!!!!! Let's go finish this run!!! Her name was Deirdre (wearing her flip flops) and she had been hanging out with Laura and her friends at the finish area. Laura told her how worried she was about me and Deirdre went and found me and cheered me in.
I reached the finish line 15 hours and 20 minutes after the start. Laura was there to give me a big kiss and a hug, and her friends too. I was so pooped out, and lightheaded but,...... so happy to finally finish this amazing challenge. What might have seemed to be an impossible dream was only proved different. Anything in life is possible if you just believe in yourself; have total faith and trust in God and let the Angels lead you down the path.
Deirdre was an Angel to see at the right time! We became Facebook friends and she told me about her sister in law Suzanne that starts chemo therapy next week for her recently diagnosed :
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Suzanne and I are now Facebook friends too!!
I need for all of you to Pray for Suzanne as she begins to fight her battle. Today (May 17th), Deirdre is running a 62 mile event up high in the Mammoth Mountains. The altitude is 7000 to 10,000 feet for this all day event. She is praying as she runs, just as I did.
Lord, Thank-You for looking Deirdre today. May her amazing journey be safe and successful as your spirit fills her heart, ( as it does mine ). Lord , look over Suzanne and keep that wonderful spirit (you blessed her with) so strong as she takes on this cancer challenge.
Matthew 19:2626 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Thank-You God for this unfolding of all our impossible dreams.
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Thank-you all so much for having caring and compassionate hearts
Thanks be to God!