Last Saturday was one of the top 3 worst attempts at a long run. I forgot to lay out—everything—the night before. So I was up at 7:00am trying to make decisions. Clothes, food, what to bring, where to run, music playlist, you name it, I was not prepared at all.
Once I finally got everything together an hour later I drove to the hilly trails where I figured would be a great place to conquer a long run. I walked out of my car, started warming up my legs, took about 5 jogging steps toward the trail and it hit me. A migraine. The blurry vision, throbs with every step headache. My logic was to continue and see if it subsided (i had just taken some allergy medicine and a lot of water) because I really really needed to fit the run in. (Also-I just dumped almond milk on me as i’m typing, i think this long run has some bad juju attached to it.)
Anywho, to make the long run story short, I did just that. I cut my run short. I tried so hard to continue and make it through, but it was one of those days where every little thing about running wasn’t comfortable. My left shin was tight, I didn’t like the shoes I was wearing (they gave me a blister–more on that later), I had chaffed a few days before and the spot was still sore, I HATED the music i was listening to, i’m not a fan of carrying a water bottle, it was humid and hot, I forgot sunglasses.. i mean the list goes on.
I battled with myself about cutting the run short. What if I always stopped when it gets hard? What if the marathon hits a place where it’s unbearable? I realized that doing 6.5m in complete mental and physical agony (with the headache getting worse) I was allowed to call it a day. It goes to show you that there are always terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run days.
The thing you learn from the bad runs, is that usually means there’s an awesome run around the corner. It Just so happened to be the very next morning. Sunday I had my shit together and was out the door in half the time as the day before. I chose to tackle the same trail, cause i had to prove to myself the day before was a fluke. The weather was a lot cooler which always helps, I had a pack of Honey Stinger chews in my pocket and a left the water bottle in the car, hoping i’d stumble on a water fountain. Which I did, cause hello, this was the awesome run!
All the things that were irritating from the day before were fixed or better. I wore my new Saucony Mayhem’s which feel like light clouds, I stayed at a decent 8:43/pace (don’t forget i’m running hills!), I hit a brand new trail, that I realized heads right into DC, and I ended up feeling so good that I did an extra mile to make it 15 for the day.
What I’ve learned from doing long marathon training runs is that you have to prepare for them like you do for race day:
-Lay out your clothes the night before
-Plug in all your electronics you’re taking
-Have food/coffee/water ready to go
-Pick out the location for your run
-Prepare your music or running playlist
Marathon is just around the corner.. i’m excited to see what happens!
Last Weeks Roundup!
Monday: 5.2 easy 8:19/pace
Tuesday: 4.1m easy 8:40/pace, 20 biceps
Wednesday: 7m tempo 7:30/pace, 15 min glutes
Thursday: 4.5m easy 9:00/pace, 30min legs/shoulders
Saturday: 6.6m easy (but not really) 10:00/pace
Sunday: 15m 8:43/pace easy, long
Total Miles: 42.4
What are your tips for long run training?
When do you call it quits on a run that isn’t going well?