The 18 Miler:
I was supposed to do this run last week, but because I was sick, I decided to rest and get well before tackling it. I would rather take 5 days off to get better, then run through it and end up getting even more sick. I did that in January and ended up with nasty bronchitis that would put me in coughing fits lasting over 20 minutes after trying to workout! It was horrible! Let's just say I learned my lesson!
I dropped my boys off at school, came back home, got everything loaded into the car, and headed to my favorite place to run long, the Highline Canal. The weather was in the mid 60s, so it was perfect! I wore my Nathan Speed 4 belt, which carried ~40oz. of liquid. When it's warmer out, this is no way enough liquid to get me through 18 miles, but because it was cooler, I didn't know what I would need. So, my plan was to park in the middle of the trail system and do an out and back to the north, then an out and back to the south. That way I could stop at my car to refill my bottles if I needed to.
I really wanted to focus on staying at the right pace for this run, around 9:30, especially since it was the longest I have ever run and I was sick last week. I definitely did not want to push the pace. In the past I always found it difficult to run "slow" for my long runs. For some reason, I would always try and run just below the pace I was supposed to. I think in my mind, I was trying to "beat" myself, which is absurd! After taking the RRCA class, I really understood the importance of the long, slow run and why we run it at a particular pace. Having that mindset really helped and I found myself running pretty close to where I needed to be!
The Highline canal was absolutely beautiful. The majority of the trees were already changing colors and because there was a breeze, leaves were falling from the trees as I ran. And, it even smelled like fall. The kind of musty, damp smell associated with leaves and rain. It was awesome!
My piriformis on my left side was bothering me a little bit over the last month which was leading to some knee pain. I decided to finally get another sports massage to see if it would help and the lady was AWESOME! She knew exactly where to push and massage to get it feeling better. I was really worried about it hurting during my run, but surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all! I was so happy!
Around mile 13, I started getting kind of bored and it was getting mentally difficult to keep running. I tried not to focus on how many more miles I had to run, but just to enjoy being outside on such a beautiful day. That worked for about a mile...ha ha! The way my route was planned, I passed by my car at the 15.5M mark. That was tough to run past knowing I still had 2.5 miles to go. I was so tired and my legs were feeling pretty fatigued. I could definitely feel the effects of being sick for a week! I just kept telling myself, "You can do it, you can do it." I ran until the 17mile mark, then turned around to head back to my car. That last mile felt sooo slow. I would look at my Garmin and I would be at 17.3, then I would look again, hoping to be almost done, only for it to show 17.4...ugh! Finally, I hit the 18M mark!! I actually put my hands in the air and shouted, "Yay, you did it!" I'm glad no one else was around, because I'm sure I looked pretty silly! I finished my 18miles in 2:48 for a 9:20 avg. pace, which is pretty close to the 9:30 I was shooting for!
The Ice Bath:
I came home, and decided it was time to take my first ice bath! Now, I don't tolerate cold very well, but I was actually excited about it. I made a cup of hot chocolate milk, put on my tri shorts, a long sleeved sweatshirt, and headed to the bath.
After my bath, I took a quick shower and slipped into these:
I LOVE my Zoot compression tights!!
Then, I feasted on a big bowl of yogurt, fruit, and homemade granola! YUM!