I woke up this morning faced with both an 18 mile training run and a drizzly sky. I’ve come to expect it. The past 4 times I’ve run outside it has been
craptastic less than stellar weather. I feel like the weather Gods are against me!
George let me know that he was impressed with my dedication to get out there today. I’ll admit I was a little impressed with myself. I never thought in a million years, I Susan Tirch, would run 18 miles in the cold rain.
Julie had 8 miles on her training plan and she and I started out together.
Wrapping my head around 18 miles proved to be just too much so I broke it down. I had 8 miles to do (with Julie), 5 miles to do (out), and then 5 miles more (back). Breaking it down that way felt SO much better. Luckily I’m not too bright and trickery such as this works!
The first 8 miles absolutely flew by. Julie and I leave not one second of silence between the two of us. At the end of about mile 4 I decided to use my first Gu Gel. The plan was to Gu every 45 minutes or so. I’d never used Gu Gels before so when I took in the vanilla bean flavor I actually gagged. I’m not sure if I was scared of the flavor or consistency but I just immediately rejected it being in my mouth. I had to laugh at myself, fortunately Julie was kind enough to not laugh too.
Vanilla bean is definitely NOT my favorite. I Gu’d again at miles 8 and 13 with chocolate and strawberry/banana, respectively. The chocolate was BY FAR my favorite and I have to get more!
Even though the vanilla bean and strawberry/banana did not sit well with me I still liked the Gu Gel A LOT. This is definitely my “fuel” of choice for long runs.
Alas mile 8 arrived and Julie left me to my own devices. I had 10 to go and I wasn’t scared. Nothing eventful happened for the next 4 miles or so. I was feeling just mediocre; neither good nor bad.
At mile 12 I started feeling fabulous. I hit a stride and was running about a 10:40 pace. I was thinking to myself that the stars had aligned and I was about to kick this run’s boo-tay. Um no! Around mile 12.25 (haha) my big toe started to hurt so badly. I could tell the blister was rearing it’s ugly, and I mean ugly, head.
By mile 15 I felt like I really needed some encouragement so I started Facebooking. I knew that my friends would come through and encourage me. They did NOT disappoint.
The suffering between miles 16 and 17 got pretty bad. I felt like I had nothing left but I read Ron’s comment about kicking it in. I thought I can do it; I could kick for 1 mile. (Thanks Ron!!!!!)
I hit a 10:02 pace at one point but my body pulled the reigns right on back. I still finished that last mile in 10:48; my fastest mile.
18 Mile Run:
- Mile 1: 12:29
- Mile 2: 12:25
- Mile 3: 12:33
- Mile 4: 12:37 -----> First Gu
- Mile 5: 12:28
- Mile 6: 12:23
- Mile 7: 12:26
- Mile 8: 12:03 -----> Second Gu and Julie leaves me alone
- Mile 9: 11:21
- Mile 10: 11:17
- Mile 11: 11:19
- Mile 12: 11:43
- Mile 13: 11:15 -----> Third and final Gu
- Mile 14: 11:45
- Mile 15: 11:56
- Mile 16: 11:29
- Mile 17: 11:40
- Mile 18: 10:48 -----> Gave it EVERYTHING I had
I was beyond happy to be finished and think I even shed a tear (then I got a grip, I’ve still got 8.2 miles until I can cry). This picture just doesn’t do it justice but my shoe was FULL of blood. This wasn’t from my blister either but from one of my toenails rubbing my other toe. I even cut my toenails before this run. I blame the rain, this only happens to me when it rains.
Yes there were blood, sweat and tears on this run, but I still ended it with a smile and without an ounce of regret.
Bring it 20! Just don’t bring the rain.