Run 14 miles @ 10:27
I woke up the morning of this run stiff and sore from the Cardio Sculpt class on Thursday night. It was now day 2 post workout and you know that's when it really settles in. Since the park doesn't open until 6:00 a.m. (along with the sun), Christy and I started at 5:00 a.m. and ran 5 miles to the park and then an additional 9 miles in the park. Equipped with my new headlamp, we were ready to set out in the dark. That is until we got about a 1/4 mile in and I heard this very loud "croak" from the wilderness next to us. Immediately I was uneasy because the thought of any critter near me makes me squeamish. I mentioned to Christy that the big ass frog making that noise better stay put. She hemmed and hawed a bit and then reluctantly told me that it wasn't a frog... it was a gator. Fantastic. So there we were running in the pitch black with only the 10 meter circle of light from my headlamp as visibility, I was so sore I could barely take the next step let alone run for my life if needed and this horrible "croaking" terrorized us for at least 2 miles. Let me tell ya, I have never been so happy to see the sun. It's one thing to be around nature when you can see it from a distance, it's an entirely different situation when it's dark and you won't see it until you're practically on top of it. Me no likey.
Once inside the park, we clicked off the miles pretty quickly. The schedule called for 13 miles and after debating on whether to add another mile or two, we settled on 14. It was a much better run than the last few weeks and I'm really happy to see slow and steady progress. It's hard to see such a slow pace but I need to keep in mind that for now, it's just about increasing the mileage. It was my longest run to date and has officially put me on the other side of the half marathon fence. Despite the wild kingdom moments, I liked the new route. We were done much earlier and mentally, it was nice breaking up the run into three chunks - north 5, in 4, out 4 plus 1 for good measure.
P.S. On the way back to our starting point there was a dead gator in the road. Yes, I should be sad but I'm more concerned that it was heading to/from the path that we were on that morning. The dangers of running take on a whole new meaning down here in the swamp we call Florida - yikes!