18 mile long run today, and an interesting one it was! Things started out great, really. I got to bed early last night, after a good high-carb dinner. I was able to sleep well until about 5am, when I kept waking up and feeling restless. I had set the alarm for 6, planning to leave the house by 7. I would love to be able to start my long runs earlier, but the sun doesn't come up over the mountains until after 7 and it's way too dark, with way to many critters out there for me to feel comfortable. I had planned my route using MapMyRun.com, just so I would have a general idea of where I was headed and when I'd be reaching my midway point to turn around and head home. I still rely on my Garmin for the specifics. My route took me up into a mountainous canyon, leaving from our home, out and back 9 miles each way...at least, that was the plan.
The first half I knew would be mostly uphill, and I was actually happy about that because I'm trying my best to be prepared for the elevation climb at RimRock. I felt really good the first 8.5 miles. My legs felt strong, and even though I was winded most of the time, I didn't feel like I was getting overly tired, especially as I anticipated a nice, downhill run home! Right about then, my husband came by in the car to check on me. He was a little concerned that I may run into a bull moose or something. He also kindly took some pictures of me in the beautiful surroundings I'm blessed to be able to run in. It was also around that time that I started to get some pretty severe stomach cramps. What timing. I tried to keep things in check, but there was no getting around it - I needed to get to a bathroom, fast! I was so ticked; my great run, ruined. At least, thankfully, my husband was there to drive me the almost 9 miles back to our house. I used the bathroom, but still was feeling a little "iffy". I decided to do the second half of my run in a different direction, this time another incline, but even steeper than the first. Big mistake. Not only was my stomach squeezing into tight, little knots, but now my hips and thighs were burning from trying to run 5 miles, straight uphill! There finally came a point when I couldn't take it anymore. I had to walk. I went as far as I could go, which wasn't quite as far as I needed to go to reach 18 miles by the time I got back home, so I knew as I came back down the hill that when I got to my house, I wouldn't have met my goal distance, but I needed to be near a bathroom. My Garmin told me I had gone 16.89 miles as I approached my driveway. I came in the house and finished the last 1.11 miles using the treadmill, that way I had the security of knowing there was a bathroom right down the hall.