This past week’s workouts were remarkably better than the week before. I think that going into the week with a plan helped tremendously. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was if I was going to sign up for a half-marathon on Saturday. I ended up not doing the race, but doing my own 13.1 mile run kind of unexpectedly.
I used to just go out and do long runs all year round, whether or not I was training for a race. So it’s been weird for me that I haven’t been doing runs longer than 7-8 miles most of this spring/winter (well, since my marathon in November). I think a part of me wondered if I would get back to that or not. Assuming I do another marathon, at that point I will do more long runs of course, but I wondered if I would find myself just heading out for a 2 hour run just because that’s what felt good on that day.
This week, that finally happened. I had structured my week so that my legs were prepared to possibly run in a half-marathon on Saturday (not really “race” it, but run a decent pace) so I think that helped prep me for my long run. However, I didn’t sleep well on Friday night and just ate a 1/2 of a banana and a honey stringer before heading out for my run, without nearly enough water, and had no idea how long I would run for.
I was thinking 11 would be a good progression from the 10 I did two weeks ago, but felt tired starting out. I totally zoned out and barely thought about where I was going. I turned around at 5.5 miles but then took a different way back, which tacked on some extra distance. When you are at 12.5 miles, why not just make it a half-marathon?
So I ran a very comfortable long run, for no purpose other than because it’s what I felt like doing. I had zero interest in pace, no fuel with me, struggled up some huge hills, but finished and felt amazing. (And then later on, really tired and hungry).
It’s strange because I think of myself as a distance runner, but when you stop running long distances, does that change at some point? This run reminded me that my endurance is still there, and I am a distant runner at heart. Who knows if I will continue doing those kinds of long runs (quiet weekends with no plans helps!) but it’s nice to know that I can if I want to.
Now, for a quick recap of the week:
Monday: 6 miles with 6 hill repeats, core and hip exercises
Tuesday: Strength training and 3 easy miles, PM: 20 minutes yoga
Wednesday: 5.4 miles (I think…I stopped my watch accidentally) with 3 miles at 7:45 pace
Thursday: 3.3 easy miles, core and glute exercises
Saturday: 13.1 miles
Sunday: 4.2 miles followed by this core workout
Total: 35 miles
Walked: 17 Push-ups: 4 days
Yearly Total: 854/2016
How do you define yourself as a runner (distance or otherwise)?
Have you ever done a long run completely unexpectedly?