First let me say that I am proud of today's run. I am proud of all my runs and 'races' but I take special note of today. After ten days off - my last run was five miles on Tuesday Sept 22 then I was overtaken by a cold/flu thing and didn't have the energy - I finished today's workout.
I knew it would not be easy after the long layoff. So I chunked it up into 5 mile pieces 5+5+5+3. I would run five miles miles taking an electrolyte pill at about 3.5-4 and at mile 5 I would walk for the time it takes me to down a GU and water chaser; probably about 60-90 seconds. Just enough to rest the muscles before picking up the pace to running again. And repeat for the next 5 miles and so on. That was my plan and I was able to stick to it very nicely for the first 10 miles. The good news is that my brain and my energy held up beatifully the entire run. My legs though were feeling the effects of the layoff. After about mile 11 I took numerous stretch breaks and walked pieces of the final miles. No shame whatsoever.... this was going to be a tough run by definition.
Still when it was all over I was happy, alert and still had energy. That was so important.
Upon returning to our meeting spot I discovered that we actually covered 20 miles!!!! There are spots on our route that are not measured and the guestimate was off. I actually suspected when I was chunking the run up in my mind last night but I assumed I was misjudging the unchartered spots and adjusted them accordingly. Apparantly I was not. The runners in our group who have running watches all came in at 20 miles + or -. On any given run the watches will record a range on either side of the target but not by more than a few tenths. It depends on who took a detour to a bathroom or who zig zagged etc. But not a difference of 2 miles; and not on so many watches for sure. Sooooooo today we ran the longest 18 miler ever.......... until we screw up the measurements again that is! LOL