Monday, January 7, 2013

Long Runs

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  I sure did but it wasn't very productive.  However, it seems I have finally come down with a bit of a cold (like everyone else on the planet).  It's minor and I hope it stays that way, just a sore throat, slight cough and runny nose.  I have been around sick family, friends and coworkers (without knowing they are sick). My coworker gave me some Vitamin C mix stuff last week and I've started taking my vitamin C pills but probably a bit too late.  Oh well.

On Friday I had decided to run long on Saturday alone.  I have problems running long distances (over 6 miles) by myself.  I get lazy, or tired, or can't think about anything else but how many miles I have to run still.  I'm sure this affects my performance somewhat during races (half marathon distance or longer) because I find it hard to push myself if I'm running alone.  So I figure the first step is to try to run long more often alone.  Plus I could sleep in on Saturday and not have to meet my run groups at 7 am (not necessary all the time during these winter months!).

While I was thinking on Friday about my long run on Saturday, I had originally thought of doing a progressive run.  Sometimes doing something with each mile keeps my mind busy on that particular mile instead of how much I still have left to go.  However, I didn't get home until extremely late on Friday night (I think I said Friday night..."This is the advantage of not training for a marathon like I did last Spring, I can stay up later.").  It was really hard to push myself out of the door on Saturday around 10:00 a.m.  That is why I love meeting my run group early on a Saturday, it's so much easier to get yourself out the door!  I had also decided before I left that morning that I really wasn't into checking my pace and thinking about my time the entire run.  I was a little tired since I got home late (and hadn't been sleeping well for about a week anyway) and thought maybe I could just try to enjoy the run.  "Be one with nature."

I had seen Maggie use the "running blind" method before by hooking her garmin to her shoe so she wasn't tempted to look at it.  I decided to try this...
Excuse the cat hair on my pants...I just noticed that.
I ran the 9+ mile loop near my house which is mostly flat but with a few inclines.  About a half mile in, I realized I forgot my water in the car.  I was debating on going back for it but that would tack on an extra mile to my run that I really didn't want to do.  I decided to skip it (bad idea) and just keep going.  I survived without the water but I did want to ask every person I saw from mile 5 on if I could have some of theirs.  I didn't but I thought about it.  I would give water to a runner if they asked me.  Would you?

I don't know what it is about long runs alone.  My mind doesn't cooperate.  I wanted to stop at mile 2 and be done.  MILE 2!  All I could think about was having over 7 miles left to go (not that 7 miles is THAT long but still...).  I did sneak a peek at my garmin a few times but more so for miles than to see my pace.  Not much else to say about this run.  I managed to get through it.  It was definitely a rough run but those happen sometimes.

We still had no snow in Chicago Saturday.  I say "had" because it snowed some wet snow later that evening which made things incredibly icy for my run the next morning.  I took that run to the grassy area on the side just so I wouldn't slip and hurt myself.

I snapped a few photos during my Saturday run.

At the beginning of the show the lack of snow in Chicago

I love this part of this loop.  I'm a sucker for water.
I'm ok with there being no snow in Chicago.  It's heartbreaking for the kids though.  They are begging for snow!  I don't have kids so it's not bothering me too much.  There were a few really large flakes that fell the other day which were beautiful but that didn't stick.  Can we escape this winter season in Chicago without having a large snowfall?  Do you think it's possible?  I never remember being into January without having very much measurable snow.  And later this week, the temps will be getting into the 40's (and possibly a 50??).

How do you feel about long runs?  Do you run them alone?  With a group?  Are they peaceful for you?  How do you get through them without counting every mile and every step you take?


  1. I am a fan of long runs and I run them alone. I usually try to pick up the pace the last few miles to keep me focused. They are much easier for me in the winter. I feel like I could run all day. Yes, we need some snow! At least one or two good snowfalls would be nice.

  2. I do the CARA training, so i run with a few friends. I don't mind doing the long runs alone, but i prefer that there be other runners around, even if its only a few. I get nervous if there is no one around!

  3. I definitely agree that it is good to get in the habit of running long by yourself. I plan on doing that during this next marathon training cycle! :)

    Sometimes when I'm alone I'll think of things I need to do when I get home, fun stuff that I want to make or do, or I listen to music (if I don't listen to music, sometimes I'll sing quietly to myself to get pumped up).

    Running blind is fun! I did it for a whole month after the misery that was the Chicago Rock N Roll half. It was a great learning experience.

  4. I don't mind doing long runs alone. The hardest thing for me is getting up in the morning to work out. I used to be better at it but not anymore. We've got snow here in Rhode Island. Surprised you don't have any there.

  5. Since I don't run more than a 5k, I have no problem with running alone - but longer distances? Not sure!

    I was just thinking the same thing - I haven't even MOVED our snow blower and the shovels are still in the shed - so crazy this far into winter with no measurable snow fall!

    Hope you are feeling better!