Long Runs Rock!

So I got over myself and went for a 16 mile run which I totally killed. I ran it faster than I thought I would and felt pretty good until the last two miles. I realized as I get tired I start to curl up in a little ball of pain and probably look a cross between Quasimodo and an injured water buffalo that is dressed in compression gear and wearing a sweat encrusted visor.
ProCompression and Aspaeris shorts, what would I do without you?
 So really what I am saying is as the run goes on I only get prettier. I had to keep reminding myself to straighten up. Apparently I need to do some core work and upper body strength training so I can keep myself upright as I get more and more tired. I can only imagine what happens at mile 18. Do I hit the ground and start crawling??? Regardless of the water buffalo situation I ran 16 miles which is a freakin long way for me and did not die. So that is awesome.

I have a love/hate relationship with long runs.  I love them when they are done, I hate thinking about how long they will take. I can't think about them too much over the week or I psych myself out. I have to causally prepare. Locate fuel, water bottle, compression gear on the DL without alerting my brain to what I am actually going to do. I am in awe of people who regularly crank out 16-20 mile runs like it is no big deal at paces that I can't even tackle during a 5K. That being said I appreciate that every runner is different and instead of feeling frustrated about being slower than others I choose to let them inspire me to train harder and pick up the pace occasionally.

I also love long runs because they are the runs that I don't feel guilty about keeping a pace between 11 to 12 minute miles. If they happen faster that is great but I don't go into them thinking today is the day I do all miles under 9 minutes. Usually I am thinking yay I get to snack while running. All about the food, always.

Fuel of choice: swedish fish & zone bar. Didn't eat the gel.
  Long runs are supposed to be hard. They can be two kinds of hard. Push the pace over long distance hard or be on your feet for a long time hard which I personally think is harder. Either way they are meant to be uncomfortable. In thinking about this I realize that while I am in awe and admire the speed demons who can crank out times I can't even imagine, the people I admire most are those at the back of the pack. People who enter half marathons and marathons knowing that it is going to take them the entire time the course is open. The people I see still running after I have eaten my free bagel, grabbed my t-shirt and am headed for home. Those people are what I love about the sport of running. They do not run to place, they run to finish. They run to push themselves and they run because they can even if it means being uncomfortable for long periods of time.

I had a funny moment that made me realize today why I was running so far today. A gentleman on a bike passed me a few times as I lumbered down the bike trail. The last time he passed he said I was the energizer bunny and asked how many miles I was doing. I answered 16. He replied, "oh are you training for a marathon?" I paused for a minute and thought yes I guess I kind of am. I eventually want to run one and am thinking of doing one in the spring but have none on the schedule currently. Why was I running so dang far today? I answered "No, just want to see if I can." And apparently I can, even if it means being a little bit uncomfortable.

Comments

  1. I love the long run because I'm super weird (or something). You're awesome though! There's no way I'm running 16 miles unless there's a marathon paid for on the schedule!

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    1. Not weird at all. Some people get stronger the longer they go! Plus you get to feel like a total bad ass when you are done;).

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  2. Good for you!!! I'm definitely the same in that I dont really care about times and placings either as much as just completing the distance! Great job! Spa love

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  3. All I want to say is in this link: http://illinoismarathon.com/

    Ok?!!'

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    Replies
    1. So funny. When the guy on the bike asked me about the marathon this is the one I thought of. OK! I say lets do it!!!

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  4. You're a freakin' rock star to run those miles and you're not training for a full mary! I completely relate to what you wrote about the people who take the entire course limit to finish. When I finished Disneyland half, I went back to my room, showered, limped, winced in pain, finally made my way to the park to see 4 people still making their way to the finish line. I got tears in my eyes. They were walking but damn...to walk all that way and not quit..amazing!

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    1. I almost thinking walking 13.1 would be more difficult than running due to the amount of time it takes. That is awesome that they finished!

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  5. I agree that being on your feet that long is the hardest thing! It hurts.

    I LOVE this - and agree time one hundred: 'I am in awe of people who regularly crank out 16-20 mile runs like it is no big deal at paces that I can't even tackle during a 5K'

    As for running that far? Damn straight you can!

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  6. Superstar! I love those shorts, have the same ones!

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  7. Awesome job! I can't fathom running any farther than 13.1 miles ... yet. I want the "long runs rock" feeling back! I lost it somewhere.

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