A Tale of Two Long Runs

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

I recently wrote about my running funk, and how I’ve been dreading each and every run. While the internal temper tantrums have abated, I’m still not entirely enthusiastic about my training. I definitely want December 14th to come and go so that I can take some time* off from the 5 days a week, 30ish+ miles, 13.1 training regiment.

One bright spot in my running is my daughter’s decision to actually follow through (so far) on her interest to run a 5k with me. We’ve picked one out for January. I put the Couch to 5k app back on my phone, and we’ve done two short, easy, but very enthusiastic and chatty training runs so far.  More about that in another post…

What I really want to write about are my 2 most recent long runs.

I hate long runs. I mean, I hate long runs. I hate thinking about them 24 hours prior. I hate carefully monitoring my Friday eating (which includes no yay-I-survived-the-week cocktails) so that I don’t have GI issues on Saturday morning. I hate getting up early on a Saturday morning, when I work so hard all week. I hate spending 2+ hours of my precious weekend, running. I hate feeling utterly spent the entire rest of the day, so even though I’m technically done running by 9am or so, running really calls the shots for pretty much the entire day.

I hate long runs. Which begs the question why I choose, as an adult with free will, to run half marathons. Meh.

But. Let me tell you about my 2 most recent long runs.

Two Saturdays ago (Nov 1st), my training plan called for a 13 mile run. Have I mentioned I hate training for a half marathon? I don’t mind the actual race. But having to run half marathons prior to the half marathon, that don’t even count, with no medal at the end?! Wrong.

Anyway, I set out, resentfully, begrudgingly. I was in an especially cranky mood because I had to work my school’s open house later in the day, so essentially, my Saturday was one long stretch of obligation, with very little fun. Mood: dark. Weather: even darker (and cold).

I ran. And ran. I tried to zone out. I chatted with my Mom on the phone for a few of the miles (well, mostly she chatted. I listened. It’s hard to run and chat). I really didn’t pay much attention to my Runkeeper until around mile 11, when I realized that I was going along at a good clip. I pushed a bit, to see what I could finish in.

Time for a 13.06 mile run: 2:29:45.

For reference, my PR (okay, 1 of only 2 races. But still, my current PR) is a 2:28:06. My other half (the one in Colorado at altitude and heat) was a 2:35:26.

Huh.

So, when my training plan called for another 13 mile run this past Saturday (shakes fist at running gods), I decided to see if I could step it up a bit.  If I could do that well on a training run when I wasn’t even trying, what could I do on a training run where I actually tried the entire run?

Splits:

  • Mile 1: 11:19
  • Mile 2: 11:10
  • Mile 3: 11:14
  • Mile 4: 11:13
  • Mile 5: 11:15
  • Mile 6: 11:28 (can you tell this was my fueling mile?)
  • Mile 7: 11:15
  • Mile 8: 11:10
  • Mile 9: 11:15
  • Mile 10: 11:36 (clearly I need to practice fueling faster)
  • Mile 11: 11:17
  • Mile 12: 11:32 (tired)
  • Mile 13: 10:54
  • Mile 14 (okay, or .1 mile): 10:14

Time for 13.1 run: 2:27:40

Who has two thumbs and is ready to PR on December 14th? This girl.

Note: I still hate long runs.

*wherein “time” consists of roughly 1 week before I need to train for my March Rock n Roll half.

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2 responses to “A Tale of Two Long Runs

  1. Ha, long runs are rough. I wouldn’t be surprised if you start to hate them less as you keep going. Once they seem less like long runs and more the norm they end up being easier mentally. I certainly have gotten to that point. It is also totally normal to be mentally ready for training to be over and done with. It happens to all of us!

  2. I agree with Sarah! I used to hate training runs of 10+ miles because- ugh, WHY?! But now that I am training for the full monty, I actually get excited when my training run is *only* 8-12 miles. My new best friend for these long runs are podcasts and the I Heart Radio app!

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