Most important thing - I completed my 18 mile long run this weekend and it was great - I'm ready to tackle 20 miles next weekend.
On Saturday, I went for an 8 mile run around my normal 8 mile loop. I ran into a tree that fell across the road on a steep downhill. I'm still pretty bad at running down hills that are at all steep. I assume I'll just get better at this over time. I slowed way down and gingerly jumped over the tree. A small snake in the middle of the road also startled me. One day I'd like to start doing some trail runs but it appears I need some more practice in this area! I'm not normally freaked out by animals, trees, mud, etc., but for some reason when I'm in my groove, anything out of the oridinary startles me.
On Sunday, I woke up and looked outside and it appeared it had just rained. So, I turn on the Weatherscan channel and jump online to check forecasts. According to my expert analysis of the radar, if I left right then, I'd have a 3-hour window without any rain, which would be perfect. I got my G2, GU Chomps and other stuff ready to head out. The first four miles were fairly uneventful but I was feeling good.
I didn't have an exact plan where I was going to run for the 18 miles. I usually just set out and then go wherever I feel like going as I'm running along. After mile 5 I was at a point where I decided to keep heading down the road I was running on and see where it led. I have no idea where the road would have gone but it seemed like I could have stayed on it forever. Eventually, I decided to turn around in a newly built neighborhood between miles 9-10. This road had lots of rolling hills but I knew I was going to struggle on the way back because it seemed like I was going 'down' for quite a long time on the way out. Going back was hard, but not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Anytime I run in a new area, it makes the miles go by faster because I spend so much time looking around me and taking everything in...I find lots of interconnecting back roads this way which I seem to enjoy for some reason.
Anyway, around mile 11 it started to rain slightly which felt absolutely wonderful. It wasn't that hot out on Sunday but was fairly humid so the rain helped with the humidity. I was happy to feel the rain even though this meant my weather analysis skills were less than stellar. The rain continued through mile 15 and I continued to feel good as the miles ticked by. The only problem was that I wasn't wearing a hat so the rain mixed with my salty sweat got into my eyes which irritated my contacts but it passed pretty quickly.
I started heading back and still had a mile to complete in my own neighborhood. My hips were starting to hurt a little bit and knowing that I was nearing the end, I was ready for it to be over but I still felt good at the end. At 18.03 miles, I was at my front door and proceeded to stretch, foam roll, empty all of our ice into the tub and down some chocolate milk.
I felt great the rest of the day. I wasn't tired, no headache, didn't have the urge to nap and felt fine to my stomach as well so I deem this long run my most successful yet. I'm going to stick with the G2 on the runs as well as GU Chomps - this combo seems to work. Looking back, I realized I took a gel last week on the run that didn't go so well. I think that's been consistent on the bad runs - I think they mess up my stomach too much but the GU Chomps and Shot Bloks sit fine with me.