Eighteen is my favorite number. It might have something to do with my birthday being on the 18th of October, but I also just like that an "8" is nice and symmetrical and goes on and on like the infinity symbol and who doesn't like the number one? My parent's anniversary is on the 18th of May and my brother's birthday is April 9th (half of 18). Our house number growing up was 18 (or 118?) before our town got 911 and our address changed. And I'd always make sure I wore number 18 for my warmup suits in track and cross-country.
On Sunday, Jen and I ran 18 miles. Holy moly! How did I already get up to running 18 miles? I remember not so long ago (last year) when six miles seemed long! I wasn't really freaking out about the distance beforehand, but let me tell you, I was certainly proud of myself afterward especially since it was a tough one.
We started from Jen's house and planned on doing a loop through Richmond, but quickly aborted that route due to the swarms of deer flies on the wooded back roads. Instead, we ran into downtown Gardiner and jumped on the Rail Trail for an out-and-back. And it was so hot, about 70 when we started before 6 AM and over 80 when we finished. It was so humid that I had to use the windshield wipers on the drive over to keep the window clear!
The run started fine with a gradual hill down Route 201 and a steep one down to the Rail Trail and I tried not to think about the fact that we would have to come up them at the end. We made a quick pit stop before hitting the trail and discovered port-o-potties with real toilets inside! The shaded parts of the trail were very welcome and felt just a little bit cooler. Around 5.5 miles we stopped for a fuel break, but it just seemed to feel hotter when we stopped. I guess we were running so fast, the wind was cooling us down! Ha!
Poor Jen was having some tummy troubles and we made another stop by the tracks. I had to pee anyway and honestly, I was thankful for the little breaks. We got to nine miles and turned around...halfway there! We made pit stop number three and carried on. It was getting hotter and hotter and harder to breathe, the air was so thick and soupy.
We got back to the "nice" port-o-potties and made one final stop before trudging up the steep hill. There was no way we were going to run up this hill. We are 14.5 miles into the run and it was hard enough just walking up it. I was wishing there was a handrail or a rope that I could use to pull myself up! At this point our pace dropped to about a 19-minute mile and I did not care. This run wasn't about time and we just wanted to get it done.
We started running again when we got to the park and started up the long gradual hill of 201. One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right, left, right, when is this hill going to end? Oh, never? Great. We did finally reach the top and turned onto Jen's road with just about two miles to go. My right foot/ankle started to really ache at this point. My form was atrocious. It's at this point where self-doubt creeps in about being able to run a marathon. I could see the top of Jen's barn and picked up the pace. There's the mailbox! We did it! 18 miles in 3:04. Our pace was just over 10 minute miles (awesome, with all the walking we did) and was actually a bit faster than when we did 16 miles the week before, and this being on a tougher route on a hotter day!
The best part of ending a run at Jen's house is that her husband, Ward, makes us scones. Mmmm....so good. And they made me coffee and a vanilla latte protein shake to go! I am so spoiled. And not to mention that I forgot to buy running fuel and Jen hooked me up with some before our run. She is so awesome! I "heart" her.
I did decide to wear my new Mizuno Wave Precisions for this run. I think I am in love. Seriously, these shoes rock. Other than my aching right foot, which I don't think has anything to do with the shoes...I think I've been dealing with a little self-diagnosed tendonitis for the last few weeks, they performed marvelously! And I think they have healing powers. I got no blisters and the ones that I had from before, seemed to just disappear. Even my callouses on my big toes seem smaller! I just might be changing my plans and wear these for the marathon.
Here we are post-run, absolutely sweaty messes, but happy that we got it done.
|I want her legs...and her tan.|
I love that we both wore our Tommie Copper compression shorts.