I was talking with a friend and fellow runner today and we got to talking about our long runs and how our perceptions about them have changed over the past year. Personally, I go back and forth a bit…there are only so many times a girl can run 3-5 miles before she starts wanting a little more. But then again, when you get up in to the double digit miles, the mechanics of planning for a simple run tend to change a bit.
When I first started going for longer runs, I loved being out there in the wilderness on my favorite trail…being able to run and watch the sun rise over the river and breaking through the trees. It’s a site to behold, really and truly. I think that for me, the long run always held the promise of some kind of adventure. A time where I could just go exploring new parts of a trail and get lost in the wonder of it all. These days, with life being as it’s been, I haven’t been as focused on running longer. My longest runs have really been around 6 miles, and even those are kinda rare. However, if I’m still going to do the Philly Marathon in November then I need to continue with stepping up the weekly distance.
This past week I managed to cover about 22 miles, and one of those runs was a 10 miler. *whew* I was not ready for that…my legs were already tired from the beating I’d been giving them this week, but added to that there were a couple of things that a long run entails that I’d forgotten about…
- More than 20 oz of water is NECESSARY. Seriously…I had to plan to go back to back to my car for the gatorade and extra water bottle I brought along. Not to mention I had to make a pit stop at Starbucks around mile 6 since I was completely out of H2O – shout out the Starbucks for being runner friendly!
- My technology is not suited for long runs. Namely my cell phone and ipod shuffle…they both died on me around mile 8 or so. Really it was the shuffle that went first, the phone was at least able to hold out until I made it to the car for a quick recharge.
- Running long takes TIME. Running 1 hour is fine. 1.5 hours is cool too…but after 2 hours…If I time it just right, it’s not so bad. Running from 6 am – 8 am is a BIG difference than running from 8 am – 10 am. Weather changes, the world wakes up, and all kind of distractions seem to pop up. Distractions that I’m not the fondest of. So…while running shorter distances allows me to hit the snooze button a few times, or reset the alarm altogether…Long Runs are not as understanding of tardiness.
Am I gonna stop running long? Lol, heavens no. Aside from not having a choice in terms of training, I actually like the freedom of being outside. What I will have to do though, is making sure that I plan my long runs to account for some of the issues mentioned above. I was supposed to do another 10 miler today, but being that my legs just were not up to it, I went for a 4 miler instead. I may start doing two a days on days when I don’t have time to do the full distance though…but today wasn’t one of those days, hehe.
Until next time!!