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At what point does a distance start to get intimidating? For me right now I think it seems to be about 18 miles. Up to 13 I do all the time, even when I’m not training for anything I will run around 10-12 miles every weekend. It’s always nice to be ready to run a half at any time. 14, 15, 16 seem like only a tiny bit more – no big deal. But 18? 18 miles took me 3.5 hours this past weekend. 18 requires serious planning. I need make sure I have enough gus, water, sports drink etc. I know I need to think more carefully about what I do the day before. A lot can go wrong in 18 miles. You want to make sure you end up where you started at the right point. Plan wrong and you have to run even farther because you aren’t home or by your car. Or you have to run past your car to get another mile or two in at the end. And that is hard. Then comes 20 the following week… I did my 18 as 3 loops of Forest Park in St. Louis. I usually see people I know beyond the Team in Training people I usually meet. First loop was easy and with a TNT friend all the way, but she just did a marathon a couple weeks ago and not running any farther. The next 2 loops were on my own. I did see other people, included Doug who took my picture. It was an unusually good running picture. For one thing I actually look like I’m running and I at least look like I’m enjoying myself. It was only mile 9 so I wasn’t too tired at that point. The rest of the second loop wasn’t bad except for the thought I had to do it all again! Once I got going on the third lap it was better because I could think to myself, I don’t have to run past this spot again and I had enough miles I didn’t have to add the extra bit to make the loop an actual 6 miles. It was a nice day, but I was worn out by the end. My legs and feet ached the rest of the day. But by Sunday morning I felt fine. No soreness is good. I haven’t been taking ice baths and it is supposed to be cold on Saturday so I doubt I’ll want to then either, but maybe I’ll take an Epsom salt bath in the evening. Scientifically it may not be proven to do much, but it feels good and I can enjoy the placebo effect. Tomorrow night I’m going to a Halloween party, I’ve got my costume together, it’s a retro Hawaiian tourist complete with authentic 70s era dress, camera from anytime from the 50s to the 70s and free leis all from running expos I think. The biggest problem is that it is going to be cold. I’m not going to want to spend a lot of time outside by the fire. And since I’m running 20 miles the next day starting by 7am I won’t be having more than 1 drink (probably none, and since I almost never have more than 1 anyway, I guess it’s not that big of a loss) and I’ll be leaving early. I made chocolate chip cookie brownies and I’m taking crackers and dip as well. There will be all kinds of food that isn’t ideal for before a long run. I’m going to eat it anyway, but try to limit the amount. Usually I’m fine as long as whatever I eat isn’t super heavy (like a lot of pizza or a huge burger). The 20 is looking pretty intimidating, but maybe less so than it might because although the group itself isn’t meeting officially, I have people who have all promised to run part of the 20 with me and they will cover the whole thing if it works out right. So I’ll actually have a lot more company than I have had on my long runs so far. I’m glad. The late miles have been challenging. Long miles are more enjoyable when you share them.