19 miles completed on Sunday, and it was a fairly lonely, long run at that!
People sometimes ask me what I think about or do for over 3 hours of running.
Yesterday, I had that unique opportunity. And I hope it doesn't sound like this was a new experience because I have run many, many long miles alone. Just seemed that I hadn't for most of this training session and I found that I really missed that companionship!
First of all, I really do not run with music very often. Thought about it briefly yesterday, but decided it was just one more thing to carry. I already had 4 Gels, glide, chapstick, water belt with 4- 12 oz bottles of water, keys and the Garmin on one wrist and the RoadID on the other.
I do listen to great, energizing songs on the way to the starting point so that those songs go through my mind on the run. Usually there are at least 2, maybe 3 songs that will stick. Then there is all the thinking about route selection and if I need to head all the way out 9 1/2 and the big question of whether I have enough water or not. I depend on a lot of water during a run- I am not a camel! So that keeps my mind occupied for a bit.
Another thing that I do is gauge when to drink the water based a bit on water stops for the upcoming marathon. This time I was going to try to drink at mile 2 and then every 1 1/2 thereafter. Gels I try to take at 45 min intervals. This can break up the run as well. Then there is always the scenery and different landmarks to pass.
Sometimes I try to think about what I have planned for the rest of the day or the upcoming week. About every couple miles I try to really take note of how my body is feeling. Do I need to concentrate more on relaxing different body parts or is the Achilles or IT Band starting to become irritated.
I did end up heading all the way out, mostly perhaps because knowing that coming back to the car and then having to complete another 3-5 miles can be emotionally hard. This way, when I turned it was to head home and be done! The only concern was the water.
I got the first 13 miles in pretty easily. It is amazing how all of a sudden that voice in your head says, wow! 6 more miles! I'm starting to feel tired! What am I going to do for another 6!
So, I would say that at these times it is the most important for me to focus on the task at hand. Knock off 1 mile at a time. Most times I can convince myself that if I get through the next 1/2 mile or so I will have some renewed energy. Just keep moving. Even running slowly is faster than walking. Other things I have to resort to doing is counting strides or seeing landmarks ahead and then just trying to make it to that next one. Oftentimes I go through the alphabet and make up adjectives about myself- yesterday the E was for elephantine fingers! My fingers always swell during long runs. For the most part, they are good, motivating adjectives. Lol:)
And then, there is that moment, maybe with 2 or 3 miles to go when you know you can do it and that the feeling you get with finishing will surpass this present feeling.
Couple funny moments though was with about 4 miles to go, wondering if I could find a faucet out near the road so I could get some water! I ran past a house that had set a water dish out for the dogs that are walked on this road and I chuckled to myself about whether it was clean enough for me to fill up even one water bottle! I decided I could make it without stealing water from the dogs!
What things do you think about while on long runs?