This past weekend at the Healthy Living Summit I did something I knew I needed to do, but wasn’t planning on doing, but I am so glad I did it!
I bet you can guess what I did from the title of this post!
You guessed right, I ran farther than I have ever ran before – 16 miles on beautiful Lake Michigan.
After doing a mini run (is it weird to call 6 miles a mini run??) on the Lake on Friday morning with some bloggy friends, I soon learned that there was a handful of other runners who had 16 miles on their plate for the week.
I must admit I had planned on doing this long run before I even left for Chicago but then I ran out of time. Then I planned on doing it on Monday when I got back, but it would have been another lonely run by myself in the heat!
When I heard chat about running 16 with a group I knew I was going to partake in the run. Any chance I get to run with a group or with another person I am all about it.
I feel running with others, especially runners who are faster than you, can only make you a better runner too!
The sad part was I was unprepared. I didn’t pack my Garmin, my CamelBak, I didn’t even have a real sports bra, just some yoga tops with built in bra’s, so I was hoping I could get through this run with the help of my new blog friends!
I started to think of the run as just an 8 mile run out and then a separate 8 mile run back. We wanted to stick to the Lake path because it was easily accessible to our hotel and we didn’t want to chance getting lost.
I had so much fun running with Meghann and the other bloggers. We chatted it up the entire way and before we knew it the first half of our running journey was done and it was time to head back to complete the final 8 miles, which didn’t sound so bad to me anymore!
The running path was full of beautiful views of Chicago and its surrounding areas. It was clean and I think it was even a little cooler for us just because we were next to the lake running along the water.
Gorgeous scenery, right?
We even passed a few beaches. I wanted to jump in!
It was such fun passing all the mile markers and feeling myself getting closer and closer to a new PDR (personal distance record)
It was great to run with this amazing group. A few of us were new to marathon training so we were chatting it up with those who have a few under their belts. It was so awesome to be talking about our upcoming races while completing a longer training run.
Evan just came along and ran 16 miles for the fun of it! He’s a machine!
One of the best parts of the trail we were on were all the water fountains. Those who were slightly unprepared (specifically, yours truly) really appreciated the H20!
After our turnaround point it was nice to be running back towards the city, back at that beautiful skyline.
We had a group shot taken about halfway back.
It was so awesome that we were all able to run together for this long distance! I was so proud of everyone!
In terms of the actual distance itself, 16 miles is tough. We started early enough in the morning that it wasn’t too hot for the first half of the run but then the second half the heat was starting to creep up on us, which is never fun!
I was feeling fabulous and having a great time until we hit the half marathon/14 mile marker. At that point I was really starting to feel it in my legs, they were getting tired!
I powered through and had a strong finish and was proud of my accomplishment. I believe we did around 9:30/9:45 minute miles the whole time, not including water break stops, which I think it pretty impressive for a large group that has never run together before!
I was so happy that I used my superhuman powers of persuasion to convince Beck to run with us too! She is a rocking runner (and roommate!)
That last two miles, to get through my pain, I decided to focus on what I wanted to eat when we finished the run. I decided that after a few random cravings (coke/Gatorade), that I really wanted a massive fruit smoothie.
We finished the miles and made our way (aka – slightly limping) to the nearest Jamba Juice. It was the perfect way to complete our morning of reaching new miles!
What’s your favorite snack post running? Do you have a go-to treat that satisfies a craving?