An 18-er

This past weekend I went downtown for an 18 miler. I actually had friends to run with and a plan rather than heading out my front door and running 1 zillion out and backs around the golf course in my neighborhood.

Now, I didn't ACTUALLY have the plan outside of running with someone else. I was running with one of my local fellow birds, Caroline, and her friends/training group. I will be honest and say that I did not know going in that there was an official group that they were a part of, I just figured they all knew each other from groups over time and just got together to run their long runs. But no, we are definitely going out with a group on their planned run.

So CK's run group is training for Indy. Indy is approximately 4 weeks (I think?) after Chicago, so they only had 11 miles on the schedule. Their group starts at 7:15 (ish?), but we decided to meet at 6:45. We wanted to get a little bit of mileage in before the scheduled run. We were thinking 2-ish miles, and then we would finish up afterward. Unfortunately, I needed to go to the bathroom already. So I got over to CK and her friend Brian a little bit late. Just 2 minutes, but enough. So we ended up only getting in about a mile and a half before the group run started.

And we ran the 11 miles scheduled for the group. I don't think I have ever run MORE bridges. Ha. We ran 7 bridges on this particular day. Here is the route of our 18 miler.
Not sure what that little blue dot is on the map. I started looking at in in strava to see if I could figure it out, but unfortunately, I have no clue what that is.

We had a few middle miles in the low 8s, I was definitely feeling great in those miles, and had I been by myself, would have possibly blown myself out, so I was grateful to be with a group that kept me from doing anything too dumb. Not to mention running with a group you get the benefit of water jugs and gummy bears set up throughout the city! I took one gel (around mile 8) and had about 3 gummy bears at each water station, and honestly, felt like that was enough fuel. I did not carry water (which was super nice!) and was able to get water from the large jugs that the group had out, and in the later miles there were drinking fountains along the river.

We finished the 18 miles at an 8:24 average pace (according to my watch). I am super happy with this, and am feeling READY to run 20 miles tomorrow.

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