Long Runs

The days where you have nothing to do but run are the easy ones. When you can clear your schedule, eat your meals around your run time, run in the optimal hours of the day and hit the road with nothing you have to hurry back to.

Needless to say, that’s a pretty rare confluence of events. In reality, work, meals, weather, and sunlight are all indifferent to your plans to knock out a few miles.

Over the past two weeks, my weeknight runs have been coming from a hidden fountain of energy unleashed by cooler weather, and a little bit because of my falling off of a weight plateau. For months I’ve been oscillating within a pound or two of 240, and over the past two weeks I’ve dropped down to 235, and below. That progress made me want to get miles in, and those miles made me make progress. My weeknight runs of 4+ miles suddenly became 5-6 miles. The perfect late summer Michigan weather really matched up with it, and I would find myself walking out the door to do “some miles” and coming back from 6 with a smile on my face.

As if to remind me to appreciate such ease, my 11 mile run this Sunday was scheduled around meal plans with a visitor, happened later than I’d like because I stayed up late playing video games with that visitor (I regret nothing!!!), and perfectly straddled what I like to refer to, unambiguously, as NOON IN AUGUST.

Oh was it hot! I ran out in the cool morning, and trudged back in the heat of the noonday sun. I planned to run an hour away, and then run back as fast as I could, hopefully making it home in that same hour. At about 10 miles, my back, possibly in collusion with a broad-based grassroots movement representing all my other organs, seized up and was adamant that I should slow down.

I made it home before the hour expired, but just barely. Standing in the living room, I begged for Aleve and chocolate milk to wash it down. Then, perhaps ill-advised, I wanted some gatorade. With that attractive sounding mixture in my gut, I seriously considered throwing up. From there, the story is much less interesting, unless you like reading about me showering.

This must sound familiar to some of you; the weather is beautiful when you head out, but dark/cold/hot/raining/hailing/etc when you get back; the run feels fine until some critical turning point; the run ends with desperate clawing at any and all of your recovery cure-alls, resulting in the sour tummy.

I will say though, that it didn’t kill my desire to run at all. In fact, I’m heading out right now.

It’s not about to rain, is it?

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3 responses to “Long Runs

  1. I am anxious about my marathon training, The group runs at 7 pm 2x a week (so it will be 9-10 by the time I get home) and 8:30 am sundays (I usually start at 6 am) which means eventually I will be getting home at like 1 pm on sundays. Plus it will be winter in Ontario…lovely

    • Don’t be anxious! I was thinking about looking around for a group training for a half marathon in the spring. The benefits of a group seem like they’ll outweigh the restrictions on your training schedule.

      Will you run outdoors all winter?

  2. I think this halfway good run phenomenon has happened to all of us, I certainly “get” what you are saying! I can remember a few runs where I have tried to call my husband to come pick me up halfway through. Fortunately, there are enough of those glorious runs where you suddenly realize that you ran farther and faster than planned that I keep at it.

    I haven’t tried to tackle a long run since March, but sometimes it seems as if life does its best to get in the way of even my shortest runs. For the past three weeks my work and meal schedules have forced me to make a commitment to myself that running was in fact important and worth squeezing in. If only life’s schedule could be fit around optimal running hours.

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