Short version: I ran 10.... one two three four five sixseveneightnine TEN pain free miles!!!!!
Long version: I needed to do a 10 mile run today, mostly to help myself decide if I should even start TA but also to get some strategies figured out. Doug, Kona, and I headed to Raleigh to Falls Lake. The lake is a reservoir serving the area and I think most of Raleigh's drinking water comes from there. As part of the MST (Mountains to Sea Trail), Falls Lake is surrounded by 26 miles of trails. Margaret keeps telling me they're really nice, so that's where we decided to go.
We started off at a fishing area parking lot and did the first mile together as a warm-up. Once we had figured out where we were going (lots of winding around at the beginning) I starting running and Doug and Kona kept on walking. The first few miles weren't anything special, but I decided early on to walk the bigger hills because they still make my IT band feel not so great. Before we left the parking lot I had a fleeting thought that maybe I should pee before we got started. Nah - what's 10 miles feeling like you have to pee? By mile 2, I was sure I needed to go. Right around there was where I also picked up a freaking annoying fly that would not leave me alone. I never got a good look at it, but in my mind was convinced that it was a horse fly. I'm terrified of horse flies. So I tried to outrun it, which didn't work. Then I tried running slower - nope. At this point I really needed to pee, but wasn't gonna stop to give the fly a chance to sting my asss. According to my handy little trail guide there's a bridge at the 2.8 mm. By the time I got there my feet were hot, so I decided to unleash my inner trail runner and I waded through the creek. Ahhh, refreshing.
At the 3.5 mile marker, the trail comes out on a road. Apparently you are NOT supposed to cross the road, just go to the right, walk over a bridge, and find the trailhead at the end of the guardrail. Had I read my handy trail guide I would have known that. Instead, I crossed the street. I saw a spot that looked like a trail head, so into the woods I went. Wait a second....where are the white blazes? Hmm...this isn't a trail. Wait! If this isn't a trail that means my chances of getting caught peeing are slim. Ladies and gentlemen - I peed on the trail for the first time today. You can go ahead and clap, it's a big step. After that I pulled out my trail guide and discovered I had in fact gone the wrong way, and got myself back on track.
After that adventure, I decided that if I could pee on the side of a trail, I could run in just my sports bra and off came the shirt. It was much cooler, but even though it had been quite some time since I had seen anyone, I spent the next half mile obsessing over the thought that someone might see my jiggles, and put my shirt back on. This section of the trail was a lot more rocky than the previous section and I had to walk a lot because I still don't trust myself to avoid turning an ankle on terrain like that. TA is in less than 3 weeks, I can't risk that! Finally, I made it to the five mile point, where I stopped and had some yummy espresso love Gu and turned around.
I spent pretty much the entire second half of the run wondering when I would come across Doug and Kona. I kept thinking I saw them ahead of me, but then they wouldn't be there anymore. Also during this stretch I didn't step high enough over a big tree route and almost fell hard. I managed to catch myself, but I probably should learn to just fall safely because I think I pulled an ab muscle in the process. I carried a bottle with water mixed with elete to keep my electrolytes balanced. It worked great - until I ran out of water with about 2 miles to go...
Finally, with about .75 left I caught up to Doug and Kona. I was very very happy to see them, and Kona seemed very happy to see me. She did her longest walk ever today - 7 miles.