Long Run Friday -Marathon Training Journal: Day 19
My long run. And a real long run, not a short-long run. This is the run that closes my third week of training.
If you read yesterday's post about the aborted hill sprint workout in a bid to save this one, I can tell you that it was worth it. What a fantastic close to the week!
I had to fight off a little bit of apprehension when I headed out today. After yesterday I had to keep an open mind and be realistic about where I am physically today.
It's good to look forward to a run, but can be detrimental to ignore any warning signs so, while I like to ease into a long run and find my cruise mode, I couldn't afford to completely tune out to what my body tells me.
Breaking Up the Tension
My lower legs feel particularly loaded today, which is fairly common for me, but more so after hill work and spending even more time on my toes. My hamstrings also get pretty tight after speed work.
After my warm-up I grabbed my foam roller and spent 15 minutes working my calves and hamstrings and a touched on the IT band area as well. It's amazing how much fresher my legs feel after a bit of rolling.
Plotting a Route
Planning my route for a long run is not always as simple as it is for my other runs. I don't care to do too much in the same area and because I have to be back home for a certain time, I can't afford to repeat my miscalculation errors too often. It happens a lot.
I can't tell you how many times I've had a rough idea of the route I'm going to take for the miles I want that day, only to divert myself to avoid stopping at an intersection or just getting lost in my thoughts and missing a turn. My first 14 mile run ended up being nearly 18 because of that. I didn't die, but I did wish I'd planned better that day as I'd gone out on empty and had to detour even more to access some drinking fountains.
I've never messed it up to that extreme since, but squeezing in an extra few miles takes time and I had to consider it.
One of the things I love about my long runs is the thinking space I get. It's a very generous amount of time where nothing interrupts me. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way suggesting that the patterns my thoughts take have any kind of logic or order, but it's a nice sifting and clearing zone for me and I come back feeling lighter and more mentally refreshed.
My mind drifted to the marathon. I thought about the course, my goals, wondered if I would meet any runners who will become friends … I backtracked and randomly recalled some of the training days of the past few weeks and wondered what it is that makes me remember some so clearly and the rest get lost in a blur.
It's way too early for me to be thinking about the race itself. I do like to have a focus for training and I do have a goal in mind for time. But I will reassess that around week 10 to 12 when I have a better feel for how things are going this time. I'm not afraid to adjust. I would much prefer to hold back on a race day goal and save it for another marathon and make sure that I actually get to (and want to!) run another one. There are more important things to me than the readings from a chip time.
Feeling Good So Far
It's still early, but I feel pretty good with the training up to this point. I slipped very easily back into the routine of training. I'm not quite as good at juggling all the time with the rest of my non-running life as I was before; that is partly because my life away from running has become considerably busier in the last few months.
Keeping priorities in order and putting things in perspective is an ongoing challenge. I manage to mess it up somewhere pretty much every day. I am thankful for a supportive and understanding family. But I'd still like to improve on my time management. A few extra hours in a day (to use for sleeping) would probably do the trick.
Winding Down for the Week
I came back from my run feeling really good.
I could easily go run again this evening, but I won't. The rest is more important than the run and I'm taking the opportunity. I know I need it because I got my foam roller out earlier this evening and spent a good 40 minutes or so on it. Well, that was while I was conscious. Apparently I fell asleep for about half an hour and woke up with my left quad looking like a brick wall. Got to love a trigger point!
I get falling asleep on a comfortable bed, but on a foam roller of all things … that's a sign that it's time for some rest and recovery!
I'm really looking forward to an early night tonight and a day with the family tomorrow. The deeper I get into training, the more I need that mental break from all the running related stuff. I love it, but I am definitely a better person when I don't only do one thing all the time.
No post tomorrow. There will be no 4:15 am alarm. I will be eating corn chips with guacamole and drinking a beer and doing as little as possible.