I felt like a lucky duck to have the pleasure of running with several pals today including two DM friends – Otto and Andrea (hi guys!!)  Some pals of ours were introducing me to a new running path that I hadn’t tried out before that ended up looking very familiar after a few miles – since in fact, it connected to the path I recently did my half marathon on!  It was a beautiful path with lots of trees right along the Boise River. The company was even better. I had a chance to spend a bit of time with each of my 6 running pals today. My best pacer in the group turned out to be my pal, Otto. I admit that I have a tendency to run faster when I chatter and by the 8 mile point, I realized we’d been running about a 10:05 pace. Pretty stinking good considering the heat today! I went an extra mile out, while my pal headed back (this was his furthest distance to date – doing a 16 miler – so three cheers for a new distance PR for that accomplishment!) I quickly realized that without someone to chatter to, the heaviness of the heat and the quicker pace started to get to me. I sweat it had felt effortless before and was kind of fun to fly along — but once I realized I was suddenly 9 miles from my ride home, I decided to make a game of it. I took my gu and then decided that despite the heat (and my newly sloshy stomach from the GU and water) that I’d push the pace just a hair until the half marathon distance just for the heck of it. I ended up right at 2:12 when I hit 13.11 today and thought that wasn’t half bad for a training run (especially since I’d stopped to use the bathroom early one and left the Garmin on!)

Not long after the turnaround, I bumped into my sweet DM pal Andrea! She was flying!!!! I was so proud of her and happy to see her smiling face. We jogged along together and chatted until I was ready to settle back into pace and she needed something to fuel up with. Though I’d brought along my mp3 player today, I never pulled it out of my Camelbak. I just enjoyed the sounds of nature instead and found that very soothing.

It was HOT and continued to get warmer as I ran. The temperature reached 83 and I started to feel kind of woozy. I’d added an electrolyte lemonade supplement to my 70 oz of water before the run and realized almost immediately it was a mistake. My stomach didn’t like it and it tasted terrible — but it was all I had, so I avoided it as much as possible and the heat was starting to really get to me since I wasn’t drinking freely.

I bumped into another running pal about mile 14 or so. He was out for a mere 40+ mile run for the day as prep for one of his upcoming 24 hour races! He offered to join me for the rest of my run and I was happy for the company. This turned out be to a nice help, since I twice nearly lost my way back on the new path and my buddy pointed me in the right direction. Good thing too or I might still be out there. ha ha

Just about a mile before the end, one of my friends who’d been just behind me, darted past my other pal and I as we walked. That helped get me in gear again and I thanked my pal and said “bye” and tried to catch up. Now my friend is the proud owner of a pair of feet that have a really sweet kick! She held that pace (about 8:30) for that final mile while I tried to hold on and ride it out with her. Although I was hot and dehydrated and feeling a little ill, it was a nice treat to get to push at the end like that.  We ran like that, me just a hair back by her elbow right until her watch beeped at 18 miles. I still had about a mintue left before mine sang that same sweet song signaling that I’d done my 18 miles for the day.  A great ending!

I was thrilled to pieces to find that the park where our cars were left also had a water fountain! I slurped to my heart’s content while my pals stretched and rehashed the run. It was a good time. Not long after that, my DM pal Andrea came running across the grass towards us — finishing strong and impressing my socks off with her longest run ever as well!! Way to go to BOTH Otto and Andrea today for kicking some butt on new distances! You guys rock!!!

I’m home now and smell like well — a stinky runner who really could use a shower – so I’ll see to that next.  I’m so glad I got to join my pals for a very challenging, very enjoyable run today!

Stats: Temp (69 at start – 83 at finish.) Total Ascent: 2072 (it seemed flat but that’s by Idaho standards – it was hilly and it added up over 18 miles. ha.) My legs feel pretty beat. I think they’ve been a little too babied on the trail runs lately and this was good practice for my upcoming marathon.

Total miles: 18. Ave pace: 10:42. Time: 3:12. HOT HOT HOT!

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