Today's run was pretty good overall. Not everything went exactly as planned but it all seemed to work out somehow. I was going to get to the park gate a little bit early and then run 2 miles, then run 13 with Keith and Dixie, then do 5 miles on my own. When I got to the gate it was pretty clearly marked for no parking. So, I ended up waiting there until just before 6:00, then Keith showed up and then Dixie. But the gate was not unlocked yet. Just after 6:00 the park worker showed up, unlocked the gate and then locked it behind him. He came back about 15 minutes later and then unlocked the gate. So, we went in and got ready for our run. Keith and Dixie were planning on 13 but I talked them into 14. The morning was a typical Florida August morning with 81° temp and 87% humidity. I also realized today that I had been writing down the wrong humidity for my notes. I had been looking at the humidity at the time I wrote my blog instead of when I ran. I realized today that the humidity rapidly drops each morning when the sun comes up. Probably a fact that was obvious to everyone else.
We took off running at an easy pace of 8:45 for the first mile. There were several nasty flies buzzing around us for the second mile. Their bites can be pretty nasty so we seemed to pick up the pace a little bit. The outside part of my shins felt tight which often happens to me on a training run. It's not painful, just bothersome and uncomfortable. After just over 4 miles the started feeling better. At seven miles we turned around to head back. The weather was decent at that point with the sun still low and the humidity down slightly. All of the water stops were filled full with very chilly water. We stopped a lot for refills. I did not bring my water belt but just carried a 16 oz bottle of water. The good part was I didn't have the water belt, the bad part was I had to carry a bottle of water for 14 miles.
At 11 miles we ran into Eudair who was just heading out. We talked her into running back with us. Keith started to get some calf cramps so he slowed down a bit and Dixie stayed with him. At one point Eudair and I had picked things up and we did mile 12 at 7:08 pace, next mile was 7:44. We got back to the parking lot where we stopped for a short time and I finished off my Accelerade. Then we headed back to the trail for the last 6 miles. It was getting hotter and hotter with the sun up higher now. Finally, at 3 miles we turned around and headed back. The heat was pretty bad at this point but we kept going, and kept about an 8:15 pace. Then finally it was over. My second ever 20 mile run.
The average pace was 8:24. I would have liked 8:19 but considering the conditions I was pretty happy with the pace.
It was extremely fortunate that Keith and Dixie ran with me for most of the first 14 miles, and also very lucky that we ran into Eudair. For the last 6 miles I was going to listen to my ipod shuffle but it decided to die on me.