I am happy to report that for once, when I woke up at 2:50 am there was no text message from Lazy Runner mere hours before requesting two wake up calls. One wonders if he's finally starting to take this running/training for a marathon thing seriously... (yeah right) Any way, I got up and around and headed on over to the UCF area to meet up with LR for our planned 18 Miler. We met at the Starbucks (not to be confused with 4Bucks which I seriously googled not realizing he meant that as a joke... I don't drink coffee so I don't know these things!!!!) and headed out for our dysfunctional run.
First off let me just set the scene by stating that LR shows up wearing his ex-girlfriends running shorts... I know this because he told me so I feel no sympathy for him as I repeat this. Homeboy was wearing chick shorts! You can just imagine the thigh-age going on... Then I decided to take a tip from Frayed Laces and use my sports bra as a pocket to pack my Gu... (which worked surprisingly well and eliminated having to wear my spibelt that I have recently decided I hate) We def started the run out with more than a few laughs.
Anyway there we are pitch dark, running all around the greater UCF area, have not the faintest clue our route but the first 9 miles were fairly uneventful. Lots of running down dark roads, swapping stories and trying to find where he tossed the waters in the bushes. But come Mile 9, as we're running along some random dark road LR stops and goes, "Morgan turn here." "Here" was a bunch of bushes and trees. Um yeah not so much... "No really, we're turning here." Um yeah not so much... "No really, we're turning here. Just um... duck under and then we have to climb over this thing and there's a trail!" LR and his trails. (Insert annoyed frustration sound here.)
As I stare at the bushes I wonder why I have to "duck" until I see this gigantic spider web with accompanying gigantic spider. I HATE SPIDERS. We actually had an entire conversation about spiders earlier in the run and how I would NOT go anywhere that had spiders... go figure here's a giant spider... As I continue to stall and refuse (Read: Temper Tantrum) about going, LR disappears into the foliage. Mother Effer! Did I mention it's still pitch black dark out? Did I mention I'm scared of the dark? Did I mention I'm on the side of some unidentified road staring at a giant spider web?!?!? I had no choice... I ducked hopefully under the spider web, screeching like a girl the entire time, and then attempted to climb over a road block that came about hip high before falling over it "gracefully." (Read: Like a sack of potatoes. You try scaling a road block when you're a midget that's been running 9 miles already!) Once I regained my composure (Read: Danced around screeching like an idiot swatting my entire body to make sure no spiders where on me) I gazed over at LR and "the trail." "The Trail" is an overgrown, muddy dirt road. Awesome... notsomuch.
For the next mile I dodged mud puddles as best I could in the pitch dark while praying I didn't twist an ankle as I attempted to keep up with LR so the scary boogie monsters of the night wouldn't get me. When we finally stumbled out of "the trail" into a parking lot I was easily capable of murder. If looks could kill LR would be dead. My BRAND NEW shoes were so water bogged I had to wring out my socks. I was covered in mud and dirt and bugs. I wanted to scream. Sure I'm up for an adventure but that was ridiculous. I don't think I spoke two words to him for a good 10 minutes after that little detour. I am now the proud owner of several blisters on several toes because of this. UCF "Trails" = FAIL!
Back in civilization we headed towards the nearest open facility, a La Quinta Inn, to use the facilities and fill up my handheld. While I'm refueling LR does some refueling of his own... I walk out of the restroom to find him drinking a cup of coffee. 11 miles into an 18 mile run and this kid is drinking a cup of coffee. He is not human I tell you. Who does this?!??!?
We headed back over to the UCF campus to finish our run and that's when the real dysfunction started kicking in. First off my knee had been nagging me the entire run, it was still bothering me from Mondays track session and after all that puddle jumping added to that the fact that my shoes are sloshing away at each step, it was not feeling the run anymore. Furthermore I had been using the nuun the entire run and not drinking enough plain water so my tummy was starting to feel sloshy, something that's never happened before. And to top it off Superman over here is finally getting his just deserves and his knee is bothering him enough to actually request a few walking stops. In short we were falling apart.
Our spirits were still high, lack of energy wasn't an issue, so we trudged on. LR decided to take us down another random trail which I agreed to only because it was light out but after a good quarter mile of puddle jumping I was over it. LR decided not to fight me on the matter and we headed back to the campus route and finished out the loop. I didn't go to UCF for college but I lived minutes from it my entire Florida residency so it was neat to check out the campus and see all the different areas.
With 2 miles to go we were near the car and it was getting hotter out so LR suggested we hit a nice shaded, wood-chip trail behind some office buildings he knew of. I was weary of more "trail" running but he assured me it wouldn't be so bad so we trekked over and it wasn't... the shade was nice and the terrain was quite comfy on the knees... but I was falling off bad by this point. My sloshy tummy was turning into an all out need to puke. I begged a walk break at Mile 17 to regain my composure and that's when LR's knee threw in the towel on him. He headed towards the cars and I finished out the last mile solo. I run up the trail a good quarter mile or so and then headed back to the parking lot to meet up with him walking towards the cars. I picked up the pace and finished it up strong. Another 18 milers struck off the training plan!
When I compared the stats to our last 18 miler (aka the crazy Friday night hill running of Clermont adventure) I was a bit disappointed to find that we had only shaved off one minute in comparison but I attribute that to the craptastic "trails" we ran and the fact that we both had some nagging knee issues. I won't call it a bad run, it wasn't, the overall pace was 9:06 which is still decent but I had really hoped to see some great progress like I did with last weeks 16 Miler. Oh well, they can't always be so glamorous. I'd give you more stats but for some reason my iPod is not syncing up to my computer so I'm in the dark as to what the splits are. Stupid iPod! Grrr!
After the run I hit up the store for two bags of ice and proceeded into the most painfully cold ice bath imaginable... but it helped. I'm feeling like a million bucks and even had a great recovery run this evening with Deputy S over on the Econ Trail. The 5 miles breezed by with at a nice easy 9:40 pace. Probably should've taken it slower but the legs felt great and we were just chatting away. It's been forever since I've caught up with him and I think we're going to start running Sunday nights after I get off the night gig together.
Well besides all that running I hit West Palm to visit Baby Maya again, it's been a few months since I last seen her and just check her out... she's getting so big!!! Don't you just want to eat her up!!!
Well that's that, another weekend done, another week closer to Chicago.
7 more weeks!!!