One Great Long Run = One Happy Me

I know you probably can’t believe your eyes because I’m actually writing a blog midweek but I just had to share with you about my run yesterday!

As you know, I’ve run a lot shorter runs lately. Some days it’s been because I had to go to the track, other days I was short on time, the heat has been a reason and then there were days that I just wanted to only run 3 or 4 miles. I’ve really been missing my long runs. Those are the runs that I can get into a comfortable pace and just cruise along and enjoy myself. I know this may sound silly but since I haven’t gone for a long run lately, I did have that question in the back of my mind of just how comfortable it may or may not be. (March 3rd was the last time I ran farther than 7 miles! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!)

Before I left, I decided I was going to do something that I read about the other day: “visualization”.  As I drove, I visualized not starting out feeling like I had concrete in my shoes (many of my runs start out feeling that way), visualized feeling strong, standing upright (not slumped and looking down), and enjoying the sun instead of dreading it. Now, I can’t say that this is why my run was so great but I can’t say that it didn’t help! (I also was properly hydrated, dressed for the temps and had eaten correctly too.)

When I began my run, I felt energetic and my usual concrete shoes had been left behind. My pace wasn’t as fast as my 5k pace but that’s the nice thing about those long runs…I have the freedom of speeding up and slowing down with no pressure. I did something else different with my Nike+ too. Instead of setting it to 7 miles or 8 miles, I just set it to “basic”. I’ve rarely ever done this and it was very liberating. As I approached my turnaround point, I felt stronger than I did when I started out. Taking in deep breaths has never been so enjoyable as yesterday when I would inhale the wonderful aromas of the honeysuckles and other flowers in bloom! It was warm but not unbearable. In fact, I got chills 3 different times during my run….there’s nothing like a runner’s high! 🙂

I ended up going 7.7 miles yesterday and if I could have, I would have gone even farther. It was the best run I’ve had in a really long time (long or short). Yes, I’ve had some great 5k races lately but at the end of those I wasn’t thinking, “You know I’d really love to just keep going right now”.  On those days it was more like, “Finish line please!!! Ok, now where’s the Powerade?”

Thursday will be my hill day since we have no race this weekend and I think my oldest son will be joining me because he’s planning on racing in the Okatoma Festival 5k. If you don’t practice on hills for that race, things could get ugly fast. It’s one of those races that can be an eye-opener if you aren’t prepared. *Speaking from experience.* I may try to add a speed day in on Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday.

I hope that if you’ve worked your way up to a 5k distance, at some point you will start adding a day in the week for a little longer distance. Don’t push yourself (run at least 2 mins slower than you could normally run) and by all means, don’t do it unless you’re ready. When you are ready for it, long runs can be so enjoyable. (A side note is that when you run/walk longer than 45 min at a nice slow pace, you’ll be burning mostly fat instead of glycogen!)

I hope I’ll be able to get a chance to blog again in the next day or so. I’ve had several people ask me about good things to eat and supplements to take while training or before a race. I’m planning on sharing some of the things we’ve found that have helped us.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" Erica E. Hirsch

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