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18 Miles… No Sweat

by Meghann on May 2, 2009

At 5:15 am this morning I filled up my camelback, laced up my shoes, turned up my Ipod and headed out the door in hopes of setting a new personal distance record by smashing through 18 solid miles of hard core running. I felt like a bad ass. ;)

18 miles?!?! I was nervous when I saw that ridiculous number on my training schedule. I knew I was going to be in Tallahassee celebrating my sister’s graduation and not be able to join my Team in Training group the exact date that number appeared. I had two choices: I could skip the training and party it up or I could take this as a new challenge and run 18 miles without missing a beat.

I chose the ladder. Last week I spent some time mapping out an 18 mile run that would have me starting at the hotel where I was staying with my parents and ending up at my sister’s apartment. When a reader e-mailed me and asked if I was up for running 6 miles with her on Saturday I took it as a welcomed opportunity for some company and took her up on the offer. I had a game plan and I was ready to run.

Despite not making it to bed until close to 1:00am the night before I was still surprisingly able to get out of bed at 5:15am. I think the excitement of knowing I was going to set a new PDR today made it worth it.

Even though the hunger was lacking I did have a new Gatorade Peanut Butter Granola Bar to fuel me for the run.

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I had stolen this bar from our snack table during the Long Beach conference. I really liked the peanut butter chips that were interspersed in the bar. Very yummy!

I set out from my parent’s hotel room around 5:45am. After four years of school and a year of working in Tallahassee, I know the city like the back of hand. The route I created had me starting near I-10, wrapping around my old apartment off Hartsfield, down Ocala, through Campus, from downtown to Lake Ella, multiple laps around Lake Ella and then back to my Sister’s campus by campus. I was ready for it.

I started running in Tallahassee and would always have to give myself prepared walking breaks. After a couple of miles I remembered why… the HILLS!! I have now conformed myself to be central Florida runner, I am used to roads that are flat as a pancakes so these Tallahassee hills were a new challange. But I managed to push through it. I saw my pace suffer significantly, but I look at it as a good thing. It forced me to slow down and conserve my energy. Plus this was great practice for San Diego as my coaches keep warning me there will be hills.

Besides the hills I felt great for the first part of my run. I took it easy and hit most of the landmarks at the predicted time I thought I would. The weather was perfect, I now if I had started out any later I would have died of heat exhaustion.

I made it to Lake Ella about 15 minutes before I had told Sarah I would meet her there. I took the opportunity to have a quick restroom break and fuel up with 2 Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks.

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Sarah and I did 4.5 miles together around Lake Ella. It was really was a great idea meeting up with someone for that mid section of my run. Talking with Sarah was a great distraction and the miles seriously flew by. It’s funny because Sarah is actually lives in Orlando and was in Tallahassee watching her sister graduate as well. Small world.

When my garmin beeped 14 miles I knew I had 4 miles to get to my sister’s apartment, so I said my good byes and was on my way. I also popped in two more Shot Bloks.

I was expecting those final four to be torturous, but they really weren’t bad. The road was almost all downhill so I glided with ease and actually saw my fastest times of the morning. Once I hit 16 miles I had a huge grin on my face as I knew there was only 2 more to go.

The last 2 flew by and once I beeped 18, about 1/2 a mile from my sister’s apartment I started my cool down and began to walk.

I did it!!! I set a new PDR and ran 18 miles!!!! I think I actually shed a tear at this point.

Stats -

Distance: 18 miles

Time: 3:01:34

Avg Pace: 10:05

Avg Heart Rate: 167

Calories Burned: 1768

I got to my sister’s apartment and began to stretch, but began to feel shaky and light headed. My Sister gave me an Orange to eat and I instantly felt better.

When my parent’s arrived we walked to Publix to get breakfast. I started to get lighted headed again so I opened the peanuts and had a handfull.

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I was so happy to finally have a big plate of food to eat when we got back.

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My Sister and her boyfriend made us Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes. I topped mine with Vanilla Oikos, Strawberries and Mangos. I also had a Sausage patty on the side.

It’s amazing how eating that nice meal full or protein, complex carbs, and simple sugars made all the shakiness and weak feeling I had instantly disappear. I felt great afterwards and ready to tackle the rest of my day.

Oddly enough, the rest of the day was spent packing my Sister’s apartment up.

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I tried to help, but instantly discovered running up and down the stairs was not an option after running 18 miles in the AM. I did help pack boxes for them to take

When it was finally time for lunch my family and I had mixed opinions on where to eat, so we compromised and I got what I wanted and vice versa.

I was really craving a Pita Pit Hummus Pita so my parents stopped so I could run and pick one up.

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I got the Hummus on a Wheat Pita with Spinach, Tomato, Cucumber, Jalapenos, Feta, Mushrooms, and Red Onions. It was very yummy and just what I was craving.

My family went with Piteria for lunch. I used to LOVE Piteria in college and could go as much as I could, but their food is very greasy and heavy and I just wanted a light, refreshing pita. I did, however, steal a few Pita Fries from my mom.

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These things are the best! I mean deep fried Pita Strips… where can you go wrong? ;)

We had to go shopping for new gear for the new Alumnus. My Sister and I can now be twins!

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I know everyone says Kelly looks like Caitling ( really I don’t see it) but don’t we look alike just a little?

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