Remembering the long run

December 4th. That is the date of my next marathon. According to my calculations that is six weeks away which means only four more weeks of ramping up before tapering. Somehow that hit me this week and lit a fire under my tush. Part of me realized that I needed to get back onto my long run or this marathon would be a nightmare. I know that there are individuals that can run a marathon after only training to 14 miles (I’ve seen it happen), but I don’t want to take that risk.

I haven’t created a strict training regimen, I just knew that I needed to step up my game. Although I had three hours of work to finish, I took Saturday morning off from the office and focused on my needs. And what did I need? A fifteen mile run. I’m not sure where I pulled that number from (probably my tush), but I settled on it.

Unfortunately there aren’t many loops in the area that amount to more than 6 miles, so I had to seek out a longer route. The running club suggested a hillier than necessary 12 mile loop and I couldn’t find any other options. (There is a 5 mile loop on campus, but the likelihood of me completing three laps is very low.) The description of this route indicates that there are some “small inclines” and that it elevates so slowly that you won’t notice you are climbing a mountain until you reach the top. Yeah, apparently they haven’t met me. I notice all changes in grade.

After the first three miles I realized that I would have to start infiltrating the bike lane, right on the street. (Sorry bikers!) I ran past the entrance ramps onto the highway and started going up-up-and-away. I have been considering taking a Galloway approach, but I did my best to get up the hills with limited walk breaks. I shocked myself slightly with the effort I managed to put in to each hill. I’ll admit that I took a few walk breaks on my way up the mountain, but they were few and far between.

On my way down the hill (miles 9.5 through 14) I managed to pick up the pace (as one would expect). Although after three miles of downhill my legs started to get upset. My breathing was normal, my endurance was there, but my legs were ready for a serious stretch. Since I’ve been having calf issues recently I took the proper precautions, in fact I even bought a foam roller and I can’t wait to work these bad boys out.

At the end of my run I examined my Garmin data and found out that I was going at a decent pace (for me). It wasn’t as quick as I’d like, but it definitely surprised me after being on long run hiatus for the past several months. I’m overjoyed to know that my body can still handle the distance.

What’s next? Heck if I know. I’m hoping to get an 18 mile run in this weekend while I’m in Ohio for a Halloween themed wedding reception. Hopefully this will be the start of training properly (a girl can dream, right?). I’m not positive that I’ll make it to 20 miles before the big day, but at this rate anything is possible!

How do you motivate yourself for a long run after a hiatus? What are you going to be for Halloween? (I’m a little behind on creating a costume.)


About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Life, Running. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. That is some serious elevation – I’m so impressed! If you can handle that you’re going to do great at your marathon! :)

    • Thanks Carly, I sure hope so! My marathon is 90% downhill (they call it the fastest marathon in the west), so I need to figure out how to train for the declines rather than the hills.

  2. You are coming back to Ohio for the weekend? I’m guessing you are too busy to meet up, but if not, let me know!

    • I will indeed be in town. To be honest, I haven’t actually made a schedule for the weekend so I don’t know if/when I’ll be free…. (I just asked a friend yesterday if I could crash on their couch, I think I’m a bit behind on this whole planning thing.)

  3. You are just like a super hero!! You go with your big bad self!!!!

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