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Never underestimate the power of friendship

August 29, 2009

4am came quick this morning but I managed to crawl out of bed by 4:10am. Carl had plans to go kayaking this morning and got up with me but as I was about to eat breakfast he decided to go back to sleep, ha! Since I learned from my 16 miler that I needed to eat a bigger breakfast, I decided to have something a little bit heavier and decided to have one of the leftover frozen waffle made from our Hodgston Mills mix with some almond butter and half of this banana.

I made it out of the house a little after 5am and set off to get some miles in my neighborhood. I decided to run this part using my Nathan handheld that I got last week so I wouldn’t have to run with my Camelbak. It was really nice to be able to get water without having my big pack! After about an hour I headed back home to pick up my Camelbak, use the bathroom and stretch. Since I’d been so sore on my last few long runs I decided that this time I would do a lot more stretching BEFORE I started to hurt (what a concept!).

Yesterday afternoon I talked to a friend at work, Brian, about my run and he recommended the “shuffle” so I’d have less impact on my knees since they get really sore on my long runs. I figured it was worth a shot so I tried that and also focused on running a bit slower so I could walk faster during my 1 min. walk “breaks”.

I left my neighborhood and was happy to have my little flashlight as I made my way to the main road. I had plans to meet a friend, Meghan, from work at 7am and I wanted to get as many miles in as I could before I got to her at Publix. She’s done two marathons, including the Disney Marathon and one local to our area, and this summer she offered to ride her bike with me while I did my long runs. I took her up on the offer because I knew how difficult 16 was and figured that 18 would be even more so. I was a little bit behind once I got out of the other neighborhood that I run in so I sent her a text letting her know where I was and she rode her bike to meet me. I had in about 7 miles so we only had 11 more to go! I ran and she rode for a little while before she decided to ditch her bike and just run with me.

We stopped into McDonalds so I could splash some water on my face and go to the bathroom then off we went. We went part of my normal route and then down to the new high school that was built two years ago that I’d never seen. I had to take quite a few walk breaks from this point on, but we never walked over .5 miles (it was probably closer to .25 mile breaks). It started getting pretty warm and I’m so thankful that Meghan stashed some water before we met up because boy did we need them! We talked quite a bit and it was a wonderful, very welcomed distraction. I continued to stretch while I ran and luckily had very little pain in my hamstrings and glutes, but I was getting pretty sore in my quads and calves so I could tell that I was actually running differently (go shuffle!). While my knees were getting a little sore it wasn’t nearly as bad as it normally is! I got a new pair of shoes on Wednesday and it always takes a bit of getting used to with how they feel/how tight they need to be, so the balls of my feet were cramping a bit. I loosened the laces and stretched and they felt a bit better. There was a point where I thought I would start crying because I was getting tired and just wanted to be FINISHED and Meghan just kept talking to me, telling me funny stories and I felt so comfortable there with her that I got caught up in her stories and the hard stuff would pass.

We ran so far that we came back onto the main road by Publix at 17 miles. Meghan ran to her car to get an extra water bottle that was with her bike and we went into another neighborhood to get out the last mile and it was getting HOT out and I started to feel a little nauseous. I’ve never gotten sick while running so I wasn’t super excited about the prospect of it, especially in front of Meghan! We ran near McDonalds and even though we only had .5 mile I needed some air conditioning and to rinse off my face. We hoofed it back to Meghan’s car and once my watched hit 18.00 I hit “stop” and Meghan and I both threw up our arms and said “YES!” (or maybe it was just me raising my arms, I can’t remember). We did it! We ran 18 miles!

Meghan and I after we finished

Meghan offered to drive me home so I hopped into her car and off we went. I was already feeling a little nauseous and the ride along my curvy road sent me over the edge so when we got to my house I thanked Meghan quickly and walked really fast to get into my house. Unfortunately I did get sick but felt much better afterward. Apparently all the water that I’d consumed in the last 2-3 miles of our run combined with the heat was just too much. Ah well, now I know!

I’m so thankful that Meghan was there with me today! I know the run would have been much more difficult if I had to do it alone and she ended up running 11 miles with me. Now that’s an amazing friend! THANK YOU MEGHAN!

Carl fixed up my sign and added some tape to the 16 mile sign that I used two weeks ago. Lovely, isn’t it?

18 down and only one more super long run of 20 miles in two weeks. I asked Meghan if she’d be able to run with me again and she’s going to check her schedule so fingers crossed that she’ll be able to. It’s amazing how quickly a run can go by when you have amazing company and great conversation. Never underestimate the power of friendship!

Distance – 18 miles
Time – 4:21:47
Pace – 14:32’/mi
Best pace – 10:39’/mi

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