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Monday, April 20, 2015

Long Run Saturday

Ah, it's been a long time since I could say "long run Saturday"!
Post-long run breakfast: Coffee, muffin, and club soda. Followed shortly thereafter by eggs.
I decided that this Saturday would be a good time to take the distance up another notch. I ran 6.2 two weeks ago, then took a very easy week, with just 3 miles for my long run the following Saturday. This week was pretty easy, too (a few 3 milers and one 5 miler), so I decided I could jump up to 8 miles.
Our running group posts long run routes for the Saturday morning group run, and when I saw that there was an 8 mile option plus the start was at Audubon park near my house, I decided joining them would make sense.
They meet at 6:30, so to avoid an early wake-up I rushed things a bit and got up at 6. I had just enough time to have coffee, get dressed, and do my Myrtles routine before I had to head out. I jogged to the park in a light rain, and met up with the usual 15 or 20 smiling, eager faces.
The water is several inches deep in the backyard, but on the bright side, my plants have never looked more lush. 
Half the runners were already in Boston. The other half didn't want to face the rain (coincidence? I think not. Only tough people BQ, clearly). It was just myself and one other runner! He introduced himself, and said he was looking to do 8 miles, too, so off we went.
Our route headed straight down St. Charles Avenue, and normally we'd run on the soft surface of the street car tracks. But it had rained all week, and the tracks were a soggy mess. We took the sidewalks, instead, but in just a few minutes my feet were soaked from unavoidable puddles. I have no goals except "rehab and avoid injury", so I let my partner set the pace. He started out at a decent clip, probably 7:40, but settled into the 7:50's as the conditions worsened (these are estimates - I didn't wear a Garmin). Right about the time I would have turned around, he said, "Let's go to Lafayette Square for a water stop." That would add over a mile and a half to our run, so I hesitated, but because I can't say no to anyone or anything apparently, I followed him to the fountain. I shouldn't have done that - I should've explained my recent surgery and just told him 'bye there!
After we turned around, we slowed considerably, and I realized my partner was breathing really heavily, so I backed off a bit. It was also pouring at this point, which wasn't helping anything. As we neared the park again, we ran into another runner, who was lost! She was visiting from Seattle and somehow passed up the park. We led her back, and she complained bitterly about the rain: something I found amusing, since she was from Seattle.
When we got to the park, we took a picture for the Facebook page - the running group always posts a picture, and we thought it would be funny to have one of just the two of us.
One of us is taking this a lot more seriously than the other
Then I jogged home, for a scary total of 9.7 miles.
Thoughts from the run:
- The human body is an amazing thing. How does it remember how to run long(ish) distances after a long hiatus? Shouldn't I have bonked or something?
- I have been out of running for so long that I am forgetting the basic rules. One thing I really insist on for myself is at least 16 ounces of water before a double-digit run. This wasn't double digits, but it was close, and no water before = bad stomach pains later. Pre-run hydration is the only way I've learned to avoid this.
- It was stupid to run this far. I distinctly said I didn't want to run ten miles, then I almost did. I should probably avoid groups until I'm further recovered. So far I feel ok, but my left hip continues to stiffen later in the day.
- I felt like I had a lot of power in my stride, and I think I'm doing better maintaining my form.
- Cardiovascularly, I could have gone much farther, which is a good sign.
- Immediately post-run, I did a hip workout. I did not stretch. I have actually been backing off stretching - it's been making my hips feel loose, and that's the exact opposite of what I want. I think my hip capsule needs more time to heel and tighten before I stretch it.
- Right after the above picture went on Facebook, my former "coach" (the guy who ran our track workouts with Varsity) promptly emailed me to chastise me. I deserve it.

How was your long run this weekend?


  1. nice run. I can imagine how it might be scary to run to far so soon after surgery but you seem to be crushing it! I ran 8 miles. A few outside and then the rest on the gym treadmill after it started pouring.

  2. Well, even if it was stupid, it sounds like it went well, so maybe you dodged a bullet. Nice!

  3. Yay for a long run, even if it wasn't the smartest. Sounds like you aren't any worse for it though. :)

  4. Gah!! I'm glad I'm not down there yet (May 4th!). I would have been trailing you two as my body doesn't operate by jumping straight into a 7:40-7:50 pace. Yikes. I've definitely adopted the "start slow, finish fast" approach that my coach advocates. Up to 14 miles this past weekend and knock on wood, feeling healthy.

    Honestly, sounds like that guy was trying to be manly and impress you by pushing the pace. However, if you have to slow way down at the end of your long run, you started out stupid fast.

    1. Honestly - I just felt like he was a bad pacer. Part of that could have been the rain, too.

    2. Yeah, I have noticed that some people are like that with pacing. Now that I think about it, I should probably shut up. Last week my running group turned our "tempo run" (2 X 2 miles) into another track workout and we ended up ditching the last mile of the second set (our coach's advice...) because we were all completely worn out from the first 2 X 2. Not a one of us (4-5 in our pace group) had the discipline to pull back and slow down. It happens!

    3. Yup, And while I often go out too fast in races, I never do when just running: it takes me an incredibly long time to warm up! I'll run my first mile a good 30 sec - 1 min slower than the bulk of the run most of the time.

  5. I'm amazed that you could run nearly ten miles on just coffee. I'd have tripped the running partner and eaten part of his arm by mile 4.

    My long "run" last week was 1.7 part of a c25k run/walk. Running is going to be most terrible when I start again.

    1. I almost never eat before I run - my stomach absolutely rebels. I get very bad cramps! When I was running marathons, I would have to balance how much I ate - just enough to avoid the wall; not enough to have my stomach take me out of the race .

  6. Darn, that is too bad that there weren't more people there and that you got talked into running more miles that you should have... it's tough to not follow what others are doing as we have a sense of pride about what we should be able to do... I hope your hip is still feeling ok! My long run went well. I did 14 miles - some were going further and i was wishing I could hang with them as i was enjoying our conversation but I stuck to my plan. I was glad I did at the end because I was ready to be done when I hit 14!

  7. Yes, it was a stupid thing to do and I probably would have done exactly the same. I'm glad there were no repurcussions