The 18-Mile ADVENTURE.

Today I ran 18 miles. Eighteen. Very. Long. Miles.

I woke up at 4:30 and slowly but surely got myself together. I ate breakfast – greek yogurt and cereal – got my nifty compression socks on (later, after the run was over, I would notice that I put them on the wrong feet), made sure I had my fuel belt and my keys and I was off.

The first mile sucked – I’m pretty sure it took me 20 minutes. My calf was being an immediate bitch, and the pain shifted from my shin to my calf and back again. Needless to say, I was PISSED. I started to worry that if the first mile was like this, how was I ever supposed to do 17 more? Once I got to the lakefront, I stretched a bit, continued onto the second mile and stretched a bit more, and made it – relatively without incident – to mile 5.

My friend came over to be my personal aid station; once I met up with her, I had water and used The Stick on my calf. She also made me a sign that said, Run, Amanda! Run! I didn’t stay and chat very long because I’m not sure I would have been able to move otherwise, but it definitely gave me a much needed boost.

I was feeling pretty good until almost the 10th mile, when I realized that running on an angle (the path downtown has a gradual horizontal incline) was bending my ankle in a way that it should not have been bent. I got down to more level ground quickly, but then had to deal with 10 billion other people trying to do the same thing. The waves were choppy today on the lake, so every now and then, someone got splashed – and despite (presumably) people knowing that this happens in this city – it caused major disruption.

I tried to ignore that until I went over the overpass by Navy Pier, when a whole fleet of segways crusaded by. Around that area, it’s pretty safe to say I did a lot of walking.

I hit a major slump around the 12-16 mile markers, walking more than I ran. Quite simply, I had had enough of the running, and the people, and the bathrooms with spiders in them (did I mention a spider landed on my head, and then recoiled at the sight of my neon-colored wardrobe?).

I had to push myself the last two miles, and I can’t say I feel particularly good about the results time-wise. But if someone wants to give me a medal based on mental toughness alone, I will gladly take it.

Have a good night, everyone.

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