What a weekend!

I had an awesome weekend! First thing Friday morning I left town with Steph and 4 other friends. We headed north to a State Park for some camping, canoeing and relaxation. Lets just say that after 2 full days of drinking with friends I found myself in pretty good shape Sunday morning, ready for my long run for the week. This week scared me a little, 16...something about that 14 mark seams reachable (being only 0.9 milers farther then a half marry). But 16 seemed long. I helped some of the friends pack up sunday morning, did a little reading for school and took a nice nap. :-) Then woke up, ate lunch and got ready to run. I'd say I was off and running a little after 1'ish. The plan was to get in 16 miles however I could. The first few miles felt great. After about 30-40 min of running I noticed the slight breeze died down and the air got humid and stale. Everything seemed hotter. At 4.8 miles I reached a small beach, I grabbed some water to refill my Fuel Belt and ate a small Rice Crispy Bar. Side bar...some how I forgot the nutrition I purposely bought to bring along...whoops! So the "snacks" we brought with had to do. I decided to ditch the trail through the woods and run on the road now. It helped. There was a little more air movement on the road but it really wrapped through the woods well and stretches that were lined with trees on both sides just seemed to have that stale hot air.

Eventually, I reached the road that led into the camp ground and saw Steph...driving out to bring me water. She noticed just sitting at the camp site that the air got stale and humid. She must really love me to jump in her car and drive around hoping to offer me more water! I was actually ok for water at the moment and declined. I made my way back to camp, re-fueled and went out for a little out and back stretch to try and get up to 13 miles. Looking back that stretch, from the campsite (10 miles) to 13 miles (back at the camp site) was ROUGH! I was thinking about throwing in the towel. My Fuel Belt chaffed, my thighs chaffed...I could feel the heat from my legs rubbing with nearly every stride. Back at camp I refueled and hydrated again. Steph was waiting, ready to join me for one last out and back...3 miles...less than a 5k.

As soon as we started I noticed I was getting tight. Steph asked me before we started, "How are you doing?" And my simple response was, "I'm running low & hot." It was nice to have someone with me, we didn't say much and that was ok. On the out stretch I managed to eat bugs #1 and #2 for the day...GROSS! I gaged and only wanted something to drink. Normally this is where I reach back and just take a swig from the Fuel Belt... I left it at the camp site. I figured on these two out and back stretches I didn't need the weight and could like for 3 miles without water. Eventually I tried not to think about water and just kept looking at my watch to see when I could turn around. Steph and I hit the turn around, she kept going for a little bit..just to the next sign and I took that as a short walk break. 1.5 miles to go...and we're off. Gradually I lifted the pace, unconsciously that is. I didn't realize it until I heard Steph breathing harder and harder. I looked down at the Garmin and we went from 10:30's to 9:30's...then 9:15's. It was nice to know I still had a kick at the end of 16 miles but man, I really was just running for high quality H2O.

I made it home and finished the all 16 miles. I drank a crap ton of water and threw ice under a hat, held ice on my neck & thighs. That was really good! I got in a nice stretch and then Steph treated me to an ice cream sandwich at the little store near our camp site. Mmmmm....

Recapping the run, it felt ok. It was a little slow but that is just fine with me. I've moved on from trying to beat last year's time. Today I just want to finish and finish being able to say, "That is as hard as I can run 26.2 miles today." That is all I want. I'll take whatever Mother Nature throws at me on 10/4 and just run with it...pun intended! :-)

Monday I felt pretty good, just stiff and sore. I am a little shocked that I feel this good. Today I'm headed out for a 3 mile easy run and I'm actually looking forward to the 18 miler that looms for this hot weekend they are forecasting for us in MN.

X-Country2  – (August 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM)  

Very nice long run! And that Steph is a total sweetie. You better hang onto her. :o)

M  – (August 5, 2009 at 5:20 PM)  

Nice job sticking with it - it sounds like it got really icky out there, weather-wise. It also sounds like yuo maintained a really positive attitude throughout the run, which is fantastic - and Steph is a sweetie!

Colleen  – (August 5, 2009 at 9:44 PM)  

Great job getting through it - sounds like each mile was a little more brutal than the one before. At least Steph helped out - she's a keeper! :) Best of luck this coming weekend!

Steve Stenzel  – (August 6, 2009 at 2:03 PM)  

Nice job hitting 16! I TOTALLY am with you with the "14 is not bad, 16 is LONG" idea.

Good luck with my wife on Sunday!! Maybe I'll have to plan a bike check-in at some point with you guys to see how you're doing. Maybe I can have a backpack full of things you might possibly need. (Hey, that sounds familiar....)


Rainmaker  – (August 8, 2009 at 11:53 PM)  

Nice run! I'm looking forward to doing some variant of camping next weekend. Can't wait!

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