Dear 18-miler: I OWN YOU

Whoo-hoo! Left the house at quarter of 6 this morning to meet a group of friends for an 18-mile run. While last week's nasty humidity lingered in the air, skies were overcast and the temperature was a pleasing 76 degrees which helped immensely. I've had some bad runs lately and have been feeling down about my times. But I had a great tempo run on Thursday night and came in 11 seconds per mile faster on this long run than I was scheduled for, so I'm feeling great. 

It helps to run with friends. I did the first 7 miles with Marshall, Josh, and Thad. Marshall had to be somewhere that morning and had to cut his run a bit short, but our remaining three ran out the 18 miles.

Making it more impressive is that Josh, a neighbor of mine, did most of his run barefoot. I've been reading about running barefoot and it really does seem the way to go. Watching Josh run, he is exceptionally light in his step with a fast turnover. Research is now showing that all the fancy-schmancy shoes we runners wear is contributing to all our knee and foot problems. Cheap shoes, Vibram Five Finger, or Barefoot seems to be the way to go. Don't know if I'll ever try it, but fascinating to read about.

At the moment, I'm basking in the glory of having completed an 18-miler with Thad. Thad is the speedy guy in our running group and the only reason I was able to pace with him is because he is killing himself in workouts 5 days a week as he works toward obtaining some insanely hard trainer certification. So he came to the run on severely over-taxed muscles. I'll take it. Thad writes a blog called Runnerdude that is something like the 6th most popular running blog on the entire Internet. He blogged about our run today

I might start burning my clothes at the end of a run. I literally rang out my running skirt at every water stop we made. It infuriates me how some women run hard and barely sweat (Lisa, are you hearing me?) and look adorable when they stop while I resemble the lead role from The Swamp Thing. 

I've got a frightening interval workout scheduled for Tuesday. And I also haven't done a push-up this week since my stress test on Tuesday. My trainer had me doing heavy-duty flies and other arm exercises that made me curse his name and the arms were just plain tuckered out. Ready to hit it on Monday though. 

Until then, I'll be recovering on the couch.