Mmmmmmmmm. I’m sipping a “rich milk chocolate” carnation instant breakfast and it is soooo tasty. I’m not the biggest chocolate fan but there’s something about long run days that make these shakes sooooo yummy!
Hahaha guess that was a random way to start my post but leads to the perfect segue into my long run today (because those guys taste sooo good for some reason on a long run day). To be 100% honest I wasn’t sure if I was up to it this morning. The lack of sleeping really has started to build up and despite getting 8 hours last night I was still very groggy! As I was getting caught up in 24 and Psych I could feel my eyes being really heavy.
I did some stretching to loosen up my calves and hamstrings while I watched because they, yet again, were WICKED tight when I got up. I think it was a result of having very intense speed workout sessions this week (plus dealing with the shin thing) It felt good though and before I knew it the time had come for me to set out on the long run.
And LONG was right. Kind of the trend for the day seeing that it’s already so late and I’m looking at a long night. Where does the time go?
But back to the run. I was slightly less worried about bathroom issues this week because, even though I knew they would happen, last week was amazing in going 20 miles without having to stop. So I knew that come race day I’d likely be good too which takes the pressure and worry off. And sure enough my bladder was full quickly into the run. How quickly? About a half mile. For real. Gahhh. But I told myself that it was mental at that point and plowed on.
Well it wasn’t because the feeling stayed for the first 11 or so miles until I came to a DD. The funny/interesting thing is that I tried to distract myself from my bladder but all I could think about was drinking water, the rain that we were supposed to get (and obviously didn’t. NONE. Not that I’m really complaining here but c-mon weatherpeople!), milk in cereal, the soda that I was going to enjoy post-run. Anything liquid and it was on my mind. Obviously didn’t help the cause.
And it slowed me down HARDCORE. This was the same loop that I had run two weeks ago (and had to stop at the same DD) and I was about 6 minutes slower than the previous time. But I knew that the slowness was related to bladder, tight muscles, lack of sleep, amazing intervals AND tempo etc. so while I’m loathe to make excuses (and I don’t see myself listing that stuff as such) I wasn’t really all that upset over the slowness. Because I knew what to expect there and I definitely wasn’t feeling fast. Doesn’t mean I liked it but I understood.
After the bathroom break the pace picked up too. Maybe relief from my bladder, maybe a subconscious effort to salvage the pace. Because, while I try to practice the whole don’t-judge-my-pace thing, I suck at being non-judgmental of myself.
So when I finished the first loop and saw how slow I was, I was really disgusted with myself. Terrible, right? I realize now how silly it was to feel that way but I want this blog to be honest and that’s honestly how I felt. Even after saying I understood why I was slow it still stung a bit.
For the second loop I knew I wanted to push the pace for real. My plan had actually called for a race this weekend so I figured that if my legs could give a race effort for the last 6-7 miles then I should try and do that.
And it worked. Kind of. I’m not quite sure what kind of race pace I was suppose to give (still don’t in fact haha) but it ended up being GMP. So I’m quite pleased that I was able to end on a strong and happy note. My legs ached in that amazing way: the you-gave-it-all-you-had. So I think that the pace ended up being appropriate for the length I was doing.
Here are the stats to let the numbers speak for themselves:
- Loop 1: 12.7 miles. 121.58 minutes. 9:36 pace
- Loop 2: 6.6 miles. 53.07 minutes. 8:00 pace (YAY! GMP!)
- Total distance: 19.3 miles
- Total time: 175:05 minutes
- Average pace: 9:04
So clearly I was able to salvage the overall pace. And as a numbers person that will likely always be very important to me. Making it a bit displeasing that the first loop was really slow for me. That’s recovery range not LR. But overall I was able to make this workout a workout. I was able to pick it up and finish strong. And that’s important to me. I didn’t just accept that I was running slow and resign myself to it. I lit a fire under my ass and charged.
And I know that the factors I listed above (tight muscles, lack of sleep, bladder, 2 amazing quality workouts already this week) surely played a role but I have to ponder my motivation for the long run. It used to be my favorite run of the week. A chance where I could see how far I could run. I would get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. No more though.
I think as a result of me running so many miles I’ve become jaded with the long run. I know that I could bang out a 15 mile run tomorrow no problem. I wouldn’t even have to think about it. So no butterflies because I know I’m capable and I trust that I can because I’ve been doing it for so long. It’s not hard or a challenge anymore. I don’t even have to bat an eye. (And please don’t eye roll and think What a tough problem to have haha 😛 )
Totally different from my interval and tempo sessions. I get VERY nervous for those suckers. I have less of a trust that my body can be pushed faster and faster. So the butterflies are there. And we’re talking some big ass suckers. But I think that it’s part of the reason I’m starting to like my speed work more than the LR. Because I “dread” it more. Hahaha
Yeah so I don’t really know where I’m going with that train of thought. It’s obviously not very well flushed out but it was something I was thinking about. I don’t really know if there’s a solution per se or, for that matter, if it’s really a problem. I don’t hate the LR by any means. And after having such a great one for the past two weeks, and even ending today the way I did, clearly I get pumped up by it. But only after the fact. I guess I’m just getting jaded. Any tips or games I can play with my LR to make them go back to the way they were?
Wow. Kind of a deep topic for a Saturday night. And a long post too (I always say to myself that I’m not going to write a novel but then I go ahead and do. Oops!). Guess that’s what happens when I need a break for a physics lab. I don’t even know if people read my blog over the weekend! (And I can see the stats and the readership does drop off from Friday to Sunday haha). But I’ll just throw it out there, think about it more and come back later I suppose 🙂
On a lighter note: check out the giveaway from Tricia. Great stuff.