20.02 mi, 2:41:28, 8:03 avg
This was a very tough run for me but also a great confidence booster. Since Starkey bike trail and park are getting more and more flooded we ran in Lansbrook nbhd. Met up with Beka, Andrea, Ryan and Jason at the Y down there. They like to start out faster than I usually start out and I felt like I was struggling for the first few miles. It was also 5:00 am, it's a Friday instead of the usual Saturday long run, it's warm and humid and I wasn't sure what route we were taking. Seemed to zig and zag throughout. I've run down here before but it was very dark and it was a new route.
We got back to the parking lot after just under 10 miles for drink refills and to start the second half. Jason was only do 10 so he took off and Beka was really struggling and wanted to run alone for a bit.
So, I followed Ryan and Andrea as we headed across East Lake to another neighborhood where we were going to go straight for 2.5 miles, turn back and then head out again from the parking lot. I felt a little bit better now that it was light and I knew the route but still trailed behind them until we arrived at the turn around, then I was running with them. At 13 miles seemed like a long way to go still, wasn't sure how I'd keep going, but I kept on moving along with our small group.
At 15 miles I was getting ready to make my short speech about how I was going to stop and stretch and drop back for a little bit. Instead, I took my powerbar double latte gel, waited for it to kick in and soon found myself out in front. We had been hovering around an 8:00-8:10 pace, now we were around a 7:40. Altered the route again so we'd be done by the time we got back. Also, as we were returning, saw Beka again who looked like she was back and running strong.
It was a good effort and a valuable mental exercise in keeping on. Hoping for some cooler temps (should be as it will be PA instead of FL) and a little race day magic in two weeks.