So, today was another milestone for my longest run: 18 miles. In all, it was a very good run. Though, it was faster than I planned. Last weekend, I logged 17 @ 9:16 pace. My goal was to shoot for that pace.
My course was another lap-type course. The first two "laps" were on my 6.1 mile loop. The a 4 mile loop finishing with a 1.8 mile lap around campus. I borrowed my friends fuel belt again, loading up with 20oz of Powerade and some gummy bears.
I held myself back well the first few miles. The first mile marker came by in 9:28. Towards the end of the first lap, I picked the pace a little bit, finishing it in 56:18 or 9:14 pace. This was a good start pace wise. I took a minute long break to drink some Powerade and eat a few gummy bears.
The second lap started out well, just like the first. Towards the middle of it, I came across a group participating in a benefit walk of some sort. This wasn't the bad part. They were just starting so I passed them quickly. By the time I came up to them on the return (this was an out-and-back section) they had spread out over 3/4 of a mile. So, I ended up running on the grass next to the trail. And, being me, my pace picked up a lot here. My split at the end of this lap was 1:50:00 or 9:01 pace overall. The pace for the lap was 8:48! That was probably too quick for a long run since my MP is 8:40. Sometime between encountering the group, I noticed that two of the toes on my right foot felt odd, as if they were in some kind of liquid. More on that later. Anyway, I took another drink/food break. This is also when my wonderful fiance came out with another 12oz of Powerade for me.
The 4 mile loop went well...almost. During my final mini break, I noticed that part of my shoe was red. At first, I thought nothing of it. My shoes are the white/red GT 2140's. Then I realized that it was a part that use to be white. Then I remembered I had a little blood blister on one of the toes. Needless to say, I finished the run carefully, minding how my foot felt. My total time was 2:42:34 or 9:02 pace.
When I came back to my room, I took my shoe off to find a large red/brown spot. The blister had popped during the run. The sock looked bad and I was a little worried. I took the sock of and was relieved to see minimal dried blood on my toe. I still say this is because I grabbed the wrong pair of socks before I headed out the door! So goes the life of a long distance runner! Tomorrow, zero miles :)