A Long Run and a Short Week!

Welcome to Christmas week! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Happy to report that my 20 mile run on Saturday morning went well! It was a sunny but chilly morning, about 30 degrees with the wind. I felt prepared in my layers, including Brooks running tights, long sleeve and Brooks shell, and gloves. I fueled with Honey Stinger chews right before the run and had an entire packet throughout the run, as well as a vanilla bean GU (my new favorite flavor!). I could have taken one more GU, but felt that my nutrition worked well overall. I also ran with my handheld water bottle.

IMG_1563Passing through Boston Common on the long run!

During the run, I listened to podcasts, including “Stuff you missed in history class”, “Serial” podcast episode 2, season 2, and “Runners Connect: Run to the Top” podcast. If you haven’t listened to “Run to the Top”, I’d recommend listening to host Tina Muir’s latest podcast, “Why It Is Important to Welcome the Bad Runs” with Tom Foreman. The episode is incredibly motivating and inspired me to continue to battle the elements by running outside! We spend so much of our day inside yet there are tremendous mental benefits to being outside, surrounded by nature. Check out this NYT article if you’re curious about these benefits.

IMG_1566

The long run pace was just under 9 minute miles overall, and I attempted to run marathon pace miles 15-18. I only managed to run MP in 2 of the 5 miles, slightly slower than MP for the others. This was the first time in months that I had pushed to this distance, so I was pretty happy with my performance.

IMG_1565Boston is beautiful!

Five things helped me get through that tough 20 miler:

  1. I ran the first two miles slowly, as my coaches advised, in order to warm up my legs and get my body acclimated to the cooler temperatures.
  2. I took in water and fuel often, which helped me maintain a solid energy level throughout the run.
  3. Instead of feeling sorry for myself for being out there for a few hours and having the perception that everyone else was having more fun, I mentally kept my head in the run and the ultimate goal of running fast in Phoenix. Thinking of how good I would feel finishing the race physically prepared from all of the training kept me motivated. Visualization really works!
  4. I kept thinking about the fun plans I had later in the day with friends, thought about Christmas, and about an upcoming trip with Mark. Mental distraction of happy thoughts is key!
  5. Running away from home in a point-to-point course made it more difficult to swing by home and stop!

These are just some of the mental and physical methods that worked for me this weekend. What do you think about when you run a long run?

IMG_1561Saturday night sites: blurry dancing, party desserts (how cute?), and a beautiful Christmas tree!

The rest of the weekend included a holiday party/turned crazy fun dance party at my good friend’s place, catching up on sleep/heading out for an easy hour-long run on Sunday (it was a bit warmer than Saturday!), and finishing up the Christmas shopping. I should be done shopping before Christmas eve this year! Oh yeah, and I saw the new Star Wars movie and it was amazing. I won’t say anything more, just that it was very entertaining and I recommend anyone to see it, even if you aren’t a huge fan!

IMG_1573Love my wine night gals!

Short week at work this week but some intense workouts ahead! Have a happy Monday and catch you soon!

Plans for the week? Upcoming vacations/runcations?

What are some things you think about during a long run? 

Anyone else listen to podcasts while running? Any recommendations? 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “A Long Run and a Short Week!”

  1. Well, you made my 8 miler yesterday seem a bit short. Nice 20! Staying home for the holidays, but heading to Charleston in a few weeks to race, then out to Vegas on vacation in about a month. Merry Christmas!

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  2. Great job on your long run! I have no idea what I think about during my long runs. I don’t listen to podcasts or music or anything… so I have no idea what occupies my brain. I think I kind of get into a “space out” mode where I’m just cruising along not thinking about anything. The perks of being boring, I guess. :P

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    1. There’s nothing wrong with heading out free of any distractions! Most elites run that way :) If I am running solo, I find it easier to run home if I don’t have a steady stream of distractions!

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  3. That’s a pretty running route.
    You’re right. Running away from home can be the best way to get a long run in – when you’re really ready to go home, you’re still just halfway and now you’ve gotta run back.

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  4. Congrats on a great 20 miler! You make it sound so easy, although I know you train hard to get to have a great long run like that. I would like to start getting around to Podcasts on my run, I just need to get around to downloading them (and finding my old iPhone)! I’m looking forward to some warmer weather this week so I can run around my hometown that I just moved back to. It’s much prettier (and hillier) than where I was going to grad school!

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  5. Nicely done! You make it sound exactly like it is: lot’s of enjoyable toil.

    I am all over the place with my thoughts during along run, or any run for that matter. I have learned to let my thoughts come and go and experience them as they are.

    I don’t do podcasts or music while I run. I prefer to not to have any external influence on those thoughts clouds I mentioned. Though for a while I did listen to Run! Zombies. A fun storyline app where you have to run and pick up supplies and even sprint in order to get away.

    My last couple runs have been rough. Sunday I ran 3 miles up a foothill into the wind. I felt as though in a wind-tunnel. I was being literally pushed side to side. This am was a dark run in the arroyo. The snow/ice and the washed out terrain slowed me down a lot, but I was outside!

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  6. Nice on the 20! I ran my rescheduled 20 this past Sunday too, and mostly hit my goal but my splits weren’t very consistent – my training loops are very much rolling hills for the first 11-12 miles and I just cant maintain a constant pace going up and down. I have tried the podcasts on my treadmill workouts – I think I got the idea from one of your posts and am enjoying the change up, though I stuck with music on the long run yesterday as I didn’t have the podcasts queued up and didn’t want to stop to fuss with my phone.

    This week is a pretty big volume week for me with my longest run of this cycle scheduled for next weekend at a slow pace. I should pass the 1000 mile marker by Christmas, or close to it :) Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks for your note, and congrats on getting through your 20! I know your next marathon is around the corner, so great job getting in the long run. When does the taper start? And congrats on the overall mileage, that is so impressive!!
      Yes, sometimes it’s easier to listen to music, but I highly recommend changing it up with a distracting podcast. If you haven’t listened to it already, try Serial, season 1. It’s a gripping series of episodes that will truly help you get through any run! Good luck and have fun!

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      1. Thanks Jane! Definitely enjoying the podcast change up so will look up that one. A final high volume weekend coming up and then happy taper time!

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    1. Thanks Tina, and congrats on your 18! I saw that you ate fig newtons during your long run– is that what you normally do? I haven’t tried that so am curious how you like them. Do you eat anything else while you run? Thanks for your insight!

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  7. Start off by saying we are different. I am fat adapted rather than Gu adapted, run 20s but dont use ear buds, ever. I listen to podcasts in the car however. My favourites; Phedippidations, Marathon Training Academy and lastly, from the UK Marathon Talk. Happy running, Runwelshman

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  8. I’ve never thought of listening to podcasts on a run before, great idea, I will try it.
    Its interesting that you think everyone is having a better time than you when you are on a long run and you want distractions from it. I use my long run’s for the opposite – to quieten my mind and escape. I can’t think of anything better to do that while away several hours in solitude just looking at the landscape…I try to think about what is distinct to that particular run on a given day (weather, animals, season, beautiful sky e.t.c and I often take a photo to represent the run) it sort of focuses your mind on the beautiful places we run and makes me observe my surroundings while my body just gets on with the running bit.

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  9. I like the photos of Boston – it’s a nice knowing I’ll be running there next April :) I listen to the “No such thing as a fish” podcast – even though it makes me laugh out loud & I get funny looks from people as I run by!

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  10. I used to listen to Meet Me Halfway Across the Sky when I would run from the OVER THE TOP soundtrack. That would get me going pretty well. I felt motivated but not rushed with that song. What do I think about on long runs? Usually I can only think for so long, and then the thought is, How close is the finish? How close is the finish? How close is the finish? etc. But before that I usually look at splits and try to keep getting negative splits negative splits negative splits. Always a little faster every mile. I loved finishing a 9.6 mile with a sub-6 minute mile. That always felt really good. I usually ran road workouts, but where I grew up it was all flat. Finally I did go down to the river to run in sand in sand and gravel bars. Loops in sand and gravel bars were very good workouts. I could really feel the burn. On really long runs in the moments I could still think I would mostly think about the flow I felt and how I didn’t notice or feel my legs but that I just flowed naturally over the ground without thought and almost without effort. I would also think about things like, Champions work like champions. Things like that. I would try to free myself from most thoughts that were common throughout the day and just focus on the freedom that I felt moving uninhibited through space. I loved running in the dark. I always felt I was moving so fast, like I could outrun light itself. I suppose I also would latch onto some verse of Bible or scripture of some kind and chew on it over and over as I ran. Things seemed to make more sense to me when I was in locomotion than sitting or standing. I would always make sure I ran before a big exam, because I felt that the running activity supercharged my brain for better thinking power. I love running, but at the same time, I think I love being able to run more than the running itself, anymore. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

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