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.
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?