We had a great run this morning! We met at the trail entrance, bright and early (4:30 am) and got out head lamps on. Yes, it was still pitch black out! However, the rain had stopped and the temps were great - about 45 degrees or so. There were 4 of us that set out on out planned 4 hour run. It was hard going because of the dark and I was a casualty of that darkness. There was a nasty little tree root that jumped out of the darkness and grabbed my foot - actually I just plain kicked it and went for a tumble. My toes/feet are always a BIG concern for me because of the big bunions I have on both feet so I knew I was in trouble as soon as I hit that root. I managed to roll a bit on the way down but I still hit my left knee pretty hard. So there I am, feeling quite embarrassed, with a sore right toe and a sore left knee. The good part was that I didn't rip my pants (they're my favorite pair)!
After the fall we did pretty well. We were all feeling pretty good and making good time - slower than a normal run but good because of the darkness and the hills (the trail we run is REALLY hilly). Two of us had pretty good lights but the other two were struggling with their lights so we did a bit of rearranging in our running order which helped a lot. However, soon after that, one of our runners starting having a lot of trouble with her cold. She was struggling to breathe any time we pushed up a hill and we started doing a lot of walking. As soon as it was light enough to see, the other 2 runners decided that they could make it back on their own and wanted to go at a slower pace. I think we were at about mile 10 at this point and feeling pretty good so Lori and I kept going at our own pace. As the next couple of miles went by, we could slowly feel the trail taking its toll (and my knee and toe were starting to stiffen up too) but we kept pushing until about mile 14 and then we walked for a bit. Walking NEVER FELT SO GOOD!! I'm not really sure how far/long we walked but the body was definitely starting to give out. I was to the point where ever step was really starting to hurt but I wanted to keep going - our goal was 4 hours and our hope was 18 miles (didn't think we'd make that). We ended up stopping at about 3 hours and 48 minutes and ran 17.5 miles. We probably could have gone the extra 1/2 miles but we were both ready to STOP!
My legs, no make that my body, was pretty sore all day. I made sure to ice my knee and foot many times throughout the day to help get rid of the pain. It has worked a bit but I think tomorrow it is still going to be a bit sore and stiff. I can't meet the group to run tomorrow and I don't know if I'll try to run on my own or ride the bike. That will probably depend on how my knee feels.
Off to do a bit of reading and then to bed - I'm really looking forward to the bed part! Keep on runnin'!