Monday, December 26, 2011

Last Long Run of the year coming up...and the longest yet.

Last night I noticed that I was coming down with a mild (at least at this point) sinus cold, and I woke up with it this morning as well. Nothing serious at this point, but I'm just feeling a bit on the "blah" side with a runny nose. I went ahead and slept in since this week is a holiday for me, then got started on the workout about 7:30.

As I typically do when it is on the cold side outside, I started by spending 20 minutes on the Elliptical machine on Level 8 / Incline 1 for my pre-run warmup, then went out and had a nice run of 4.06 miles @ a 9:05 average pace. I'll have to be sure that when I do my next planned long run that I dial that back to the 9:30 area (or slower).

I didn't really notice any weakness during the run, but more than my normal level of "snot rockets" to keep things cleared out. I'm hopeful that this will pass quickly, since the long run is planned for Thursday morning early. The weather should be perfect for it (predicting low 40's with no rain and very light wind), so I hope this cold doesn't stand in my way.

I do find that the runs longer than 13 miles or so tend to seem intimidating to me leading up to the runs, and this one is no exception. Every time I've attempted on longer, I've just had to stop thinking about it that morning and start out on auto-pilot. I've mapped out a nearly 9 mile loop through my sub-division, and my plan is to "go the distance" for the first time in my life...three loops up to 26.3 miles (26.21875 is "officially the marathon distance, so I plan to just tack on a bit to have it covered).

Although this will be a physical challenge for me, I think it will be a lot more mental. Since I'll be right by the house at or just slightly after 18 miles, and my longest continuous run ever was 21 miles back in the middle of November, I'll be sorely tempted to just "call it good"...I can see that coming. The last time I did a long run it was roughly a 7 mile loop, and every time I passed the house I had to just sort of "zone out" and keep going. I find that if I DON'T think about quitting, that is what has got me through in the past. We'll see how this one works out.

It would actually be a success to cover 24 miles, and I wouldn't be completely bummed out if that is what I'm able to achieve. That being said, I would be really close to a full marathon distance (even if it is in training and not an official race), and it would be cool to be able to complete that distance in 2011.  Maybe I'll try this....

I'll do a very light cycling workout tomorrow (probably on a stationary bike at the gym since it isn't going to be overly warm outside), then nothing on Wednesday.

I've got to say that I really like the challenge of these longer efforts, even if they are sort of intimidating to me at my present level of fitness. I'll do this like the last one, with no support crew or outside aid, carrying my fluids, GU, and electrolyte capsules with me in my running pouch. I'll have 4-10 oz. bottles of Gatordade, six GUs, and 4 electrolyte capsules. I have RunKeeper call out time, distance, and average pace every 1/4 mile (I like the feedback), and I drink about 3 to 4 ounces at every 2 mile mark, take a GU at every 4 mile mark, and an electrolyte capsule at every 6 mile mark. That should exhaust my fluids and everything else at around the 24 mile mark.

Success or not, my plan is to post an update of the effort on Thursday sometime. Until then, happy running everyone !


  1. Hi!
    I've never run a marathon distance in training..(24-ish the max) and you really don't need to do it...but I don't see a problem with that as long as you do it slowly so you can recover quickly.

    I did some walk breaks of a 1 min every 10 min or so for the first 10 miles of my 24 miler to make sure I didn't overdo it...worked really well for me. (still tired at the end but knew I could do another 2.2 miles no problem)

    The more time passes and you have more long runs under your belt the easier they get.

    A lot of marathon mainiacs actually don't train much at all..they just use each marathon as a training run for the next. You can't go your fastest but you can do it...and if you don't run all out you can recover quickly.

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

    Re: your "See Food" diet ..gave me a chuckle..never seen that said before. I used to be on that diet too ;)


  2. Paul,

    Thanks for your helpful words, and for stopping by. I read your blog all the time (especially like the Haiku posts), and your race report from CIM and your fine run there made me feel like I was there and able to celebrate your accomplishment with you.

    I haven't yet introduced the concept of walk breaks during either training runs or races, but I have noticed that quite a lot of people do so to excellent effect. Nice to hear that the long runs WILL get easier over time though. :-)

    Here's to you having a Happy New Year as well, and continued success on the roads (and life in general of course)..!

  3. I've never run over 22 in training, but if want/need to run 26.2, then it's doable, but not necessary. Personally, I think it's kinda cool to be able to hit a "PDR" (personal distance record) in a race, but different strokes for different folks.

    Long runs stop being so intimidating after a while, especially after you have a really good pre run routine. Sure, everyone still has bad runs from time to time, but you don't feel as nervous leading up to the run. I think the bad runs are actually good in that regard because they show you that even in the worst case scenario, you're still fine.

    Good luck!

  4. Good luck with the 26.2! My husband and I haven't started marathon training yet, but when we start in May I think that our longest run is going to be 20 miles. When we training for our half marathon our longest run before the race as 10 miles.

    Just make sure you have everything you need with you and you should be all set! Can't wait to see how it went.

  5. @Kara: Thanks for the encouragement and the visit.

    Your blog is one of my favorite to read, and some of the posts have both my wife and I rolling on the floor laughing...especially the one where faith beaned you with the door that day when everything was going wrong. Too funny !


    Thanks for your encouragement as well. I read about you and Mike all the time, and I love your positive attitude and outgoing spirit. Good luck on your first Freezeroo run !