I completed my longest run yet this morning---8.5 miles in 1:28:56. I averaged a 10:27 pace, which for me is smokin' for such a long distance. I felt pretty good throughout, but definitely "done" at the end.
I have decided that the PROBLEM with running long distances like this one is the post-run nasties. (This only happens to me in runs 6+ miles.) I feel good immediately after the run, then chills set in right after cool down and stretching and get progressively worse. I thought changing into dry clothes at home would help, but it didn't. I even crawled into bed in my fleece jacket under a thick comforter and I was still cold. Then, the post-run stomach cramps set in, too. I tried Powerade this time instead of Gatorade, but had the same results. Every time I go on a long run, I end up with stomach cramps for several hours after the run (plus the chills). Add to that mix fatigue and achy knees and you get the "post-run nasties." Chills, stomach cramps, aches, and extreme fatigue----it's like having a three-hour case of the flu.
So, my question is ---- IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?
Update: About three hours after the run, I took a hot shower that eliminated the chills, had a cup of coffee with lots of sugar for energy, and took the kids bowling for two hours. Looks like I'll survive.