For the second week in a row, I have had the most perfect, wonderful, exhilarating long run I’ve ever experienced. I’ve gotten to my planned distance, barely feeling like I have broken a sweat and that I could run forever. I’ve been smart about it, though, and stopped when I should, but finishing a new distance strong never fails to make me feel like a rockstar.
I say new distance – while technically I’ve run up to 13.1 miles, I haven’t done anything longer than 7 miles since June so that is where I am basing my fitness off of!
Yesterday afternoon I was not feeling the greatest. I had a sluggish morning at work and then proceeded to eat ALL THE THINGS over lunch to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. When I set off for 8 miles around 4pm, my bed was much more inviting than my running shoes.
Even these beauties!
But I still went! Out of curiosity, I decided to use my Garmin to see what my long run paces were like. The plan was not to check until the end, so as to not get discouraged, but have some form of baseline as to half marathon goals.
Well wouldn’t you imagine my surprise when I check my watch feeling like I’ve ran ~3 miles (although my head knew where I was and knew it was farther) to see that I was already at 7! Throughout the ugly part of my run I was distracted by Jillian in my ear, and then through the pretty part I was busy marvelling at, well, the prettiness!
There was definitely about a half mile of sprinting switchbacks at a traffic light…I always look that crazy, it’s fine. I ended up tacking an extra 0.5 mile onto the end because I have actually never ran this far in Vancouver, so I got lost! Plus I really didn’t want to stop.
Once I got myself oriented, though, I forced myself to put on the brakes. I could have gone for at least ten miles though, no problem.
Out of the two fantastic long runs I’ve had, plus a couple other memorable ones from half marathon training, I’ve started to realize the same things usually go on beforehand to make them great! They are:
1. Lots of food (carbs) beforehand. I used to think I was that person that ran better on a small snack immediately upon waking, but apparently that is the opposite of the truth. If I can have a solid breakfast and lunch, running about 3 hours after my last meal leaves me feeling strong and fuelled. I also get to be lazy for the rest of the day (evening) and feel zero guilt.
2. Easy running throughout the week. Since I’m not exactly training to break any records, I don’t really run fast these days. Janae just wrote a post on how important it is to vary our training to improve, and while that is 100% true, I feel so so much better on long runs when they are my only tough workout of the week.
3. Just freaking recover already! I cringe at how I used to run 5 miles, get dressed, and then immediately sit in class all day, often going hours without eating because I wasn’t hungry. KAJSDAJSHD. I had this weird idea in my head that “running recovery” was really only important if you were looking to break records…but apparently when you treat your body well, you FEEL well.
I’ve already gone into a lot of detail about my running recovery (during my better days), so check that out here if you are interested!
4. No pressure. I always get nervous before long runs, I don’t know when that will ever change. But the fact that I have no race hanging over my head (that I have registered for) means that I can run 1 mile or 10, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. The same goes for speed, which is why I’ve been training by time instead of distance until I regained fitness. 8 or 11 minute miles, nobody will ever know!
Welp, I’m off to eat a ton of food. The only meal I ate after my run last night was dinner around 8pm, so the extreme runger is in full force today! Hope you all go rock your weekend. 🙂
What is your pre-run/workout meal? I need some more options!
Best run/workout recently?