I decided to go ahead and get my 14 miles in on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday. Last night, I laid out all my running mess: clothes, socks, shoes, fuel/water belt, iPod (with new running playlist!), charged Garmin, GUs, and spare key. It is kind of ridiculous how much junk I require to get through a long run.
The beauty is, however, that once I go out the door, I can run for 2.5 hours without having to stop or loop back to the house. And since I had 14 miles to get in, I could just wander wherever I wanted. And, since it was 7:30 on a Saturday morning, I could even go to the semi-sketchy areas that I wouldn't go in the evening!
I ended up looping around town, including my typical 5 mile route out to Lowes and back, and then headed out to the Farmers Market. We're considering a new route for the Farmers Market Run/Walk this year. Last year, runners had to cross this semi-busy bridge and then ran around town and then back over the bridge. I found this little side road, though, right near the Farmers Market that is exactly the perfect length. It's basically someone's driveway because there's only one house- it goes past all these fields and pastures and then ends by a pond and old barn. The only problem is that it's gravel most of the way and I'm not sure how runners/walkers would like that.
Anyway, after 8 miles, I was out that way, and decided to run down this road to try it out. I was starting to get a little tired and hot and was almost about to walk for a second since I was out on this desolate gravel road all by myself. Then, in the distance, I saw another runner coming towards me. It actually occurred to me that I might be seeing a mirage because it was so uncanny that anybody else would be out running on this road. When he got closer, though, I saw it was a family friend who is a runner too. He seemed just as surprised to see me, but we were too busy being "serious" runners to talk more than a hello in passing.
That inspired me to keep trucking though. My only other moment of weakness was running over that semi-busy bridge I previously mentioned. Bridges make me very nervous. I'm always scared that I'm going to trip on something funny, topple over the edge, and land on the interstate below. Really optimistic, right? I even have that weird fear that I would purposely jump. (Not that I want to hurt myself- just the fear that I would just lose control of myself.) I don't even trust myself to do math correctly after 10 miles (that's what the Garmin is for) so it makes me nervous trusting myself to get over a scary bridge. I may have whimpered.
Also, I lost the little rubbery thing off one of my earbuds when I took it out to say hi to my runner friend (and was too cool to stop and look for it), so I spent the last 5 miles with only 1 ear of music. Which is actually fine because that's probably what I should be doing anyway so I can hear approaching cars. The only thing that was bad was that I could then also hear myself- which turned out to be embarrassing. I did not realize that I emit this kind of maniacal laugh when I see I have one mile left or that I sometimes say things like "just a 1/2 mile left" aloud when I think I'm just saying it in my head.
Overall, it was a great run! Next week, is a "rest" week with my longest run being a 10K and then I'll head 16 the weekend after that. I'll actually hit 100 miles in April (and knock that off my 101 in 1001 list) if I follow my training plan, so make sure I follow through!