Victory over my long run day – Finally

It seems that all the pondering yesterday of my long run day did in fact help.  As I wrote, my long run days have been quite difficult.  Not just the mileage, because even at mile 3 I can feel awful.  Also I cannot seem to run them even close to my average time.  Somewhat I understand that, because it is a longer day and I don’t want to push too much, but considering I ran my half marathon under 8:00 pace and I cannot even run 10 miles under 9:00, it is frustrating to say the least.

What did I do differently yesterday?  Quite a lot.  Unfortunately, when you change multiple things at one time, you don’t really know what helped and what didn’t. I admit I was desperate to figure this out, so here is what I did differently.

  • I got up and drank 32oz of water as soon as my feet hit the floor.
  • I drank a cup of coffee (as I do most of other mornings)
  • I took a shower (I normally don’t take a shower until after my runs if I run early in the morning)
  • Right before my run I walked a quarter mile and ran very slowly another quarter mile.

So something in this mix helped me tremendously.  I felt great when I started my run and, in fact, felt good for most of it.  My hip began to hurt around mile 7, which was annoying, but I did well overall until mile 11.  Now you need to know that I haven’t run over 10 miles since February when we did our half marathon, and I wanted to run 12 miles yesterday.  Mile 11 was just hard.  I felt like I had nothing left.  However, when I got to mile 12, I thought, if this was a race, I would find something inside to pick up the pace, so that is what I did.  In fact the only mile I ran over a 9:00 pace yesterday was mile 11.

I finished my run, drank my chocolate milk and looked at my time.  I ran the 12 miles at a 8:38 pace!!!  Other than the half marathon, I have never run a long run in our neighborhood under 8:55 and it has been a long time since I have been under 9:00.

So, now I look at the 4 things I did differently and wonder…  which one helped, or was it just TJ’s advice to not over think the run.  Either way, I know myself, now each Sunday I will have to do those 4 things to make sure I am covered.  I know I’ll have good runs and bad, but yesterday made running fun again.

Today is our traditional off day, but TJ and I are going to run very slowly for a few miles.  Just for fun 🙂

8 thoughts on “Victory over my long run day – Finally

  1. Good blog, Tom. Thinking about it, I wonder if the water (hydrating yourself) and the warm-up weren’t the two most important things you did. Glad you did well. Keep it up!

  2. All are probably important with the exception of the shower, (don’t understand that one). To me the warm up walk/jog is probably the most significant. I find some pre-run warm up usually is a big help. Congratulation!

    • Thanks! Yeah, the shower was just one of the things I did differently. I wasn’t saying it made me run better, but perhaps it helped wake me up?? The jog was helpful. I think that and the water were the biggest boost.

  3. You had better not add too many more changes. I am imagining the minutes ticking by as you try to complete an elaborate preparation routine, and then realising there is not enough time left to run! It’s making me smile!

    • 🙂 I understand what you mean. The issue could be feeling like you need to do all these things each time for a long run. I think I’ve narrowed it down to water and warmup. I’ll try that this weekend and see how it goes.

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