I woke up this morning to pouring rain. Not a good sign for a long run so I delayed it a bit. We ended up meeting my parents in Peninsula State Park for a hike in the late morning after the rained have ended and the sun came out. The winds were blowing but temps were good. My parents agreed to watch the kids while I ran back to the hotel they were staying at.
The run was not the way I had planned it before I came up. I actually did 2 things differently. 1.) I ran the course backwards and 2.) I ran mostly on roads and the tree cover was so much that the GPS for my Garmin was in and out quite often not allowing an accurate distance measurement and that happened to come true.
1 mile into the run and I hit the first somewhat big hill. No problem as I cruised up it and kept going. Running in the middle of this park is nice as there few cars that go by and only a few bikers. Only me, the road, and nature. After 2 miles I know the GPS is off as I know I did not run a 10 minute mile there. My first break was right were I started 5 miles into the run. A little water and a Gu and a pebble removal for the shoe and I continue on. I see the others coming back from their hike, say a quick hello, give a quick "air hug" to my kids and off I go. Air hugs are hugs where you do not touch as I was quite sweaty.
I get to the park entrance at close to mile 10 and take break number 2. As I run though the town of Fish Creek (a quaint little touristy town with lots of shops and B&B's), I see 2 of my uncles entering a pub. "Have one for me" I yell to them and I continue on. I get to Hair Pin Turn hill and this goes on for awhile as I turn onto Gibraltar Bluff Road. When will this hill end??? I get to the end of this road and as I turn, I scare up a small deer that darts out of the bushes and jogs around a clump of trees. Beautiful deer. This is about the time I notice my legs are starting to not feel so good. I am about 14 miles in and the hills have taken their toll on my. I knew my pace was slowing but I wasn't sure how much as the GPS was unreliable.
I go down a steep decline to White Cliff road and really feel tired. I keep going but need a break after only 2 miles. I am drained and I know I did not eat enough before hand and the Gu wasn't doing the trick. I also did not get enough rest the night before. I get to Egg Harbor (these towns have interesting names huh) and still have about 2 more miles. I hit a short but steep hill in town and have to walk some. I then keep going and have 1 more big long hill ahead of me. It is the longest and tallest so I dig deep and struggle my way to the top. As I turn the last turn, I get to the entrance to the hotel complex right at 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 56 seconds (yes, i ran 4 more seconds and stopped the watch right at 3 hours even.
I am tired and glad to be done. My ankle is sore but I can still move. I don't know my distance yet but the GPS says 18.68 miles. I know this is off and I did check on line at Gmap-pedometer and clocked it there. I was right, it was way off. I actually ran 19.70 miles. Had I known this, I would have ran 0.3 miles more but I had enough. So my pace ended up at 9:09 per mile, the exact pace for a 4 hour marathon but there was no way I could have kept that up for 6.5 more miles.
I recovered rather quickly by being in the pool as the kids were in there for another 2 1/2 hours. Like I said, they love to swim.
Dinner was nice as most of my cousins and their kids and all my aunt and uncles on my mom's side were up there. Lots of nice conversations, cute little babies to see, and of course, good food. We pack up and leave tomorrow but I think 1 more trip to Wilson's is in order. I am driving my cousin Scott to the Milwaukee airport from here. It will be nice to spend about 3 hours talking to him. He is a scientist at the University of North Carolina and we talk running a lot when we see each other. He used to run but only up to 12 miles at a time, still not bad at all.
This long run obviously did not give me confidence but I know what I did wrong and what to improve on. My ankle is still an issue but as it is adjusted, I am told it will still be sore due to the new positions of the bones. This was the case with my back as well.