A Saturday and some LSD! Don’t call the police that stands for Long, Slow, Distance!
This is a breakdown of a long training run.from alarm to protein smoothie:
It is Saturday morning my alarm goes off at 0500 playing the Hills of Ireland and I hit the snooze once or twice, it’s time to get up and get in an eleven mile training run. I played around with a couple of routes and I decided to go with a looping route never getting too far from home. I had a different one planned but the KC Marathon is going on and I would be around the crowded streets and on part of the race course. My thoughts are purely psychological, never being too far from the house and on roads I regularly run on. It is in the mid 30’s so I brake out my windbreaker for the first time this year and am taking gloves. I am also experimenting with a new hydration belt which I put my phone and a couple of gels in, it has a single water bottle in the back; I normally use a small handheld water bottle. I have eaten my oatmeal with a cup of coffee and stalled long enough it is time to go. No music and no one to run with, just me and my thoughts.
Ready or not I am getting started at a little after 7:00. The first half mile is always a little rough with my body warming up and working through all the kinks but so far so good. The first three miles go by alright and I am not on a schedule so I settle in for the long haul. Since I have my GPS watch and I know these streets it allows me to call an audible, I am going to run through a park I like and go a couple of streets further and shift the loop (and the park has a porta potty) and since I am experimenting for my half marathon I use a gel about 4 miles in. It also brings me to a section of my route with rolling hills and with the change adds another hill. So far my mood is well and pleased with my pace coming to the halfway point. Sometimes it is good to run by yourself and sometimes it is hard, today it is a little hard.
Continuing on I come to a very long gradual hill which brings me dangerously close to home; I briefly think “I could go down this street and make this a good eight mile run…but I didn’t set out for eight.” At eight miles I take a quick gel and a drink of water to make sure there will be no stomach issues if I find I need to use them during the race. Good so far but now the water bottle is lighter and after I pull my gloves from my belt it loosens up so the bottle falls out in the middle of an intersection and I chase after it and tighten the belt. I begin feeling a twinge in my left Achilles tendon and on the top of my left foot. Nothing too painful but I do a quick assessment and decide it is nothing major but I will pay attention to it. With a little over a mile left, I am past the hills so; “this is what I am doing right now, just keep moving my feet and I am there.” Turning down a street that is usually quiet but today there is an estate sale going on and there are cars and people everywhere. The good thing is I am almost home and this is down hill, gravity do your thing! I finished with 11.11 miles and although I am sore and tired I don’t feel too bad but I will be icing my left foot tonight for sure. Not a lot of negative thoughts to deal with and I have run my longest distance in a while. I am so ready to get off the pavement and run more trails but for now this is what I have available to me. Next week will be at least twelve miles and another week closer to race day. Now it is time for a refreshing smoothie!