A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Slowing down to run long & A day at the POOL!

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Lately, I have been feeling like I don't run "long" anymore. True, I don't have a reason to. I am not training for any races. I guess my only reason for running long once every few weeks would simply be to maintain a base. I think ever since I ran my first marathon in 2006, I had a base mileage of about 13 miles that I could easily just whip out and run whenever I felt like it.

Last night, I was reflecting on the last time I truly ran long. I think it was in the beginning of the summer when I did an 18 mile run on the Appalachian Trail. Since then, I know I did at least one 11 miler and two or three 10 milers... but that's it!

Of course that made me wonder, do I still have what it takes? Can I still bust out a long run just for the hell of it? 

The answer: Yes, if I SLOW DOWN.

A year and a half ago, I could have easily run 12-15 miles at an 8 minute pace. That's with hills. I can't do that now. If I wanted to run long and not have it suck or be sore after, I was going to have to slow my pace down a bit. So yesterday, that is what I set out to do!

First step: FUEL! I was depending on this breakfast to fuel me for the next hour and forty-five minutes!


Frosted Mini Wheats mixed with Shredded Wheat, topped with blueberries and skim milk!


I sort of had it in my mind that I would do 10 miles, which is kind of stupid because I wanted to push myself distance wise (not pace wise), and I had just done 10 miles last week at a pretty decent clip. But that's what I had in my head, so I set out around my neighborhood with no water. I planned to hit up a water fountain at a nearby park when I needed hydration. I don't know why I didn't bring water. It was a SCORCHER!

I started out at a pace in the 8:20s, but forced myself to slow down. As the run progressed, I hovered between 8:40-9:00, which is exactly what I envisioned for this run. At mile 7.5 I decided I would do 11 miles. At mile 8.5, I decided I would complete 12 miles.

My leg felt strong the whole time because I wore my brace. I guess I am back to wearing my brace... Hey, whatever works?

I only stopped for water twice, which I don't understand because it was really hot out. I did get pretty thirsty the last two miles, but at that point I was heading home so I figured I would suck it up.

The verdict...



Wahoo! I would call this run a success, and my ego is properly intact. I may not be running long often these days, but it is nice to know I can whip out a long run if I need to, so long as I ease up on the pace.

After my run, I was so thirsty but not quite ready to have solid food. Enter.... water and apple juice!


I love diluting apple juice with some water after a long, hot run. My muscles get some immediate sugar and the water hydrates me. Don't worry, I had a super huge turkey sandwich and 2 peaches after my shower. Then I felt completely refueled!


After my run, Paul and I went to a nearby community pool! The best part? Right when we were about so hot that we couldn't stand it anymore, they called an ADULT SWIM! That meant we could swim without any whipper snappers bothering us! I know when you're a kid, adult swim is the worst thing in the world. But when you are an adult, it is the BEST thing in the world! The water felt awesome on my legs.



This is my secret weapon to getting tan, not burned.


The view from my chair.


An even better view from my chair... yummmmm....


I started reading this book. I really like it so far!


It was the perfect random summer Tuesday!
Do you have a base mileage you like to keep?
Do you belong to a pool or have a pool?
Have you read Gone Girl?

27 comments:

  1. AWESOME!! That is really great news to know you can still "whip out" a long run.
    It is because you are strong and maintain an excellent base with running + weights!
    I have read Gone Girl (loved it and can't wait to see the movie). I belong to my rec center where I do my early morning swims (or runs around the track in the winter) and also have a punch pass at our high school pool which is open for adult lap swim each day from 11am - 1pm. This is a great option if I feel like I want a mid day swim. Not to mention its 2 blocks from my house which I love.

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    1. It's going to be a movie!? I can't wait!!! I a am 2/3 of the way done with it.... read for 5 hours last night and finally had to call it a night! As soon as my piano lessons are over I am going to plow through the rest!

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  2. I love the liquids after a long run too...especially when the thought of food makes me nauseous. Slow flat long runs are the key for me to not get injured I've discovered. Hills hate me!!! Awesome run! :)

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    1. I am glad I came to the conclusion to just slow the eff down a little bit!

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  3. I use that sunscreen at the pool too :)

    I use this banana boat stick on my face for runs, but man does it burn if it actually gets in your eyes despite being specifically made for the face. Do you use a certain type of sunscreen for running? Or just deal with the occasional burning from it running into your eyeballs?

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    1. I don't wear sunscreen when I run. :( I know it is bad but I have never gotten burned, I just slowly develop a base tan somehow.

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  4. I love random days :)
    Great job on your long run!
    I am really curious to see how I will feel about distance after my marathon! lol!

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    1. I think you will love the long distances. :)

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  5. Great job on the 12 mile run!! I'm the same way - I have to force myself to slow down because I know that I'm doing more harm than good if I push the pace on every run.
    I read Gone Girl and a couple other books by Gillian Flynn - intriguing and the kind of books that always hold my interest!!

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    1. I can't wait to read her other books too. I read Gone Girl for 5 straight hours last night and didn't want to put it down but I had to because it was 2am!!

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  6. I adore you. I am also incredibly jealous. An 8:45 pace is my "big goal" for this race and it kills me that you slowed down to that! Haha! Can we pull a freaky friday just once so I can get a taste of what that feels like?!

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    1. Also, I think I am the only person who hated Gone Girl and Gillian Flynn in general. :/

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    2. Remember- I am running at sea level!!!! :) But seriously, everyone has their own pace and blah blah blah this is just mine right now. I had never heard of Gillian Flynn but I got on amazon to buy my brother some books. I clicked on it, read a little of the synopsis and bought it for my bro cause I thought it sounded good. So then I picked it up at the library a week later to read myself and I am HOOKED. It is totally the type of plot I enjoy and I picture that newscaster Ellen Abbot being written after Nancy Grace! So tell me, why did you hate it?

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    3. Ha! Even at sea level, I'm slow. 8:46 is a serious challenge. I'm hoping that the hill training up here will help me come October? I am cheating and racing a half this weekend. It's all downhill. Buahahaha! If I don't PR at that, I'll be sad. ;)

      As to the book. I found it boring. I will leave it at that until you finish it.

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    4. I am sure hill training will help! Finished. :) We can chat privately about it if you want since I don't want to accidentally spoil the ending for someone else.

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  7. I just started carrying water with me this year. When I was in training last summer I would run all 13 miles without water ( bad I know). I bought a hand held water bottle last October and I have taken it with me on all my runs this summer!
    I cleaned our swimming pool yesterday because I knew I wanted to jump in after my run today but we ended up getting a storm last night and now it is all full of leaves! Uggh!

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    1. Good job hydrating properly! I normally do, I don't know what was wrong with me yesterday... wrong that I didn't bring water and wrong that normally I would have needed it more than the two times I stopped!

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  8. I read Gone Girl in one day. Then I read the rest of her books, all in one day. I like that they are so easy to read and keep my interest page after page.

    The person I've been running with lately is a seasoned runner. Like, has been running for 20 years, was on track, has run several extremely fast marathons and an ultra. The only time they run fast is when they're doing speed work. They've been really working on me slowing down my pace so that I can go farther. On Monday, we said the Pledge of Allegiance approximately 19 times because apparently, you want to be able to say it in 3 breaths. That's how you know you're running at a comfortable pace. If you say it in more, you need to slow down, if you say it in less, you should speed up. I'm really learning a lot from this person. They also point out when my form is failing and that helps A LOT.

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    1. That is so cool that you are running with someone that knows their stuff so well!!

      It only took me a day for Gone Girl too. :) Do you think I will like he rest of her books? Like are they mystery-twisty-type stuff? (I love murders and police cases)

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  9. Sounds like a fun day and what a great run! That pace isn't slow at all with the heat, but I hear you that it's slower than in the past. Nothing like a fun relaxing day after a long run :)

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    1. I need to re-read your post about ditching the garmin and not worrying about pace, Michele :)

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  10. I'm always relieved to disocver I can run long distances as long as I slow down...long runs are supposed to be slower anyway, right?!

    I liked GG but I prefered Sharp Objects, her earlier novel.

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    1. Well then I can't wait for Sharp Objects! Yes, long runs are supposed to be slower. I just need to get it through my brain that it is OKAY to slow down. I mean I KNOW that, and I'm okay with that, I just need to DO IT and not try to be a hero.

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  11. It took me years to get myself to slow down on long runs. I've learned that for me, when I'm training for a marathon, 8-minute pace (what I always used to run) is pointless -- too fast for easy runs and too slow for speedwork. Greg McMillan calls it "no-man's land" and I think that's a good way to describe it.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for that insight. I am going to read more about this. I think my main prob is I'm not training for anything, so my running has no direction as far as intensity! It's just how I feel on a given day. But even though I am not training for anything I still want to become a better runner. Maybe I should PRETEND to train for something lol.

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  12. Your easy pace would kill me :) I have to tell myself the same thing- slow down and you can go longer. I'd like to be able to keep about a 10 mile base, but after August I'll evaluate and see where I am at.

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    1. 10 mile base is good! I know the summer heat is not helping...

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