today was my first 18 miler. someone told me recently on twitter that the first 18 miler seems more nerve wracking that the first 20 miler. i agree. something about 18 and over that just stirs the mind. the flip side is that when you're finished, what a feeling! any of you who do this often know EXACTLY what i'm talking about. you might feel sick, tired, pain, or something else, but you feel an incredible feeling of accomplishment to have overcome something big that day. today, there were several things.
stalkers - don't be alarmed, i'm fine. vicki was running 13 of me 18 with me, but she was coming after i had completed that extra 5. i hate finishing alone if i'm running with someone so i always do my extra miles first. we ran off the trail, on the bonhomie loop, so i went out early, dropped water and then parked. i didn't run down bonhomie at 5:40 cause it is DARK. i kept it on the roads where there are lights...running between highway 11 and 49. it worked out nicely, except for this car i saw about 4 times. it was probably nothing, but i was thinking i had a stalker, the entire time. this caused me to run a bit faster than i needed to that early in the run, but i wasn't playing around either. i was armed with pepper spray, but i took it mostly for the dogs! which is a good segway into my next obstacle.
dogs - the last time i ran the bonhomie loop was back in may, with jim and ginny. we made the turn that day onto jervis mims and were ambushed by two mid-size dogs. i was the one who kept jogging along, not worried about them, and i was the one who got bit! still got the scar. so, vicki and i met and headed out down bonhomie after a couple miles in the other direction. we were both quiet, which isn't a great sign usually. you see, it was HUMID and on the warm side. i didn't list that as one of my major obstacles cause it's always an obstacle if you run in the south. vicki knew of my dog attack, so she grabbed a stick a few mile down the road. we weren't expecting to see two little dogs on bonhomie, but we got ambushed early! these dogs were small, but aggressive and had sharp looking teeth along with a pretty nasty snarl! i sprayed, vicki swatched. we were spared. i was mostly ticked off by the owner in the yard laughing! so we pushed on. the site of my attack was quiet, to my relief. on the way back by, we saw my attacker, but apparently he had been napping so wasn't ready for an attack. he just barked and looked at us from under a bush. i remember that one as the one who left my scar. we turned back on bonhomie several miles later came back across our previous ankle biters. just as aggressive. vicki was hilarious. i heard her growl, 'go on you little bastard' and she was DETERMINED to make contact. she about knocked herself on the ground trying to get a hit. we were in the last few miles so that perked us up a little, and as usual, we shared some laughs.
bathroom breaks - i apologize for anyone not reading this who isn't a runner. runners are very open with each other about most things while running, bathroom issues being one. you know where i'm going. and you know that because i wasn't on the longleaf trace that there were no restrooms. i'm from the country so i'm not scared to do what i have to do. and i did, 3 times! i have no shame, and feel like what needs to be done must be done. long hard runs are tough on the body and....well, it happens. vicki was proud of the last bathroom spot she found for me. it was a good one...good leaves too. ok, enough.
football - not an obstacle, but a challenge. we had a good run, tiring, slower than i wanted, but overall good. it was warm, muggy, dogs, bathroom issues, but we lived. i basically came straight home, showered, swallowed a couple of pop tarts, and left to go to work. i had to be there for noon. we are doing some membership promotions so i had to help manage the people hired to man the membership tables in the football stadium. part of the job was assisting them in set-up, on the upper and lower levels. the only way to get there? walking stairs!!! i think i went up and the stadium steps 5 times, not to mention the walking back and forth to my seat, the office, etc. each time was harder, sweatier, and increased the pounding in my head. it wasn't great for my recovery because i'm sore today, and i know it's mostly from the walking. however, the game was UHHMAZING! i got to hang with some great friends and lose my voice!
so far this week, 39 miles running, 3 spin classes, and 1 yoga class. if i get out of bed anytime soon, i'll try to get some walking and maybe a mile of running to get an even 40. good to rest today. tomorrow, back at it!
run for your life!!!