Never easy, always earned — or something like that. For some reason that is how I end up classifying my long runs. It’s a rare occasion that I have a “really great” long run. Don’t get me wrong. I have ones that definitely feel better than others, but I never finish and think “oh my gosh, that was, like, the best run EVER!” For some reason in my imagination after a great run, I turn into a “valley girl.” So be it.
Over the past few weeks, my long runs have been getting higher and higher in mileage. I had a terrible 16 mile run, a decent 17 mile run last weekend and I just finished an 18 mile run on Sunday. That’s three weeks in a row with less than ideal long-distance runs. That may speak to the fact that I have been putting in some serious mileage over the past month and putting in more track work. Ideally, the long runs would “feel” better, but overall the weeks have been looking better than they feel.
What is it about the long run?
Does anyone look forward to them? I stare at it most of the week and think “I really don’t want to do that.” I’m just being honest. Most of the time, my motivation in getting in my long run boils down to the fact that I know I HAVE to do it. Sure, there is the motivation of getting faster, stronger, breaking 3:30, Boston, and all that, but did I want to run 18 miles on Sunday? Nope. But I knew that if I didn’t do it Sunday, then I would have to do it Monday and my schedule was already piling up for the week. Better now than later.
The out and back dilemma
It’s a really easy way to get in your distance. Run X miles out, turn around and run it back. But doesn’t the “out” seem like it takes forever? It’s as if your body is like, don’t run too far because we have to run it back… and every block you go further out, is another block you have to run back. On my 18 miles the splits were pretty even, but the first 9 miles felt twice as long as the run back. Same distance, close to the same time, two different experiences.
Anything to make it interesting
I’ve been playing with my playlists for the past couple months. I recently changed my entire iPod shuffle from a predetermined playlist to a shuffle of the entire Jay Z catalog. I then changed it to the entire Nas catalog and that lasted about a week. I went back to the Jay Z catalog, but this time added in the Kanye West catalog and that is where it stands now.
The other move is to completely match my outfit like I’m on a runway, or to grab random things so that it looks like I got dressed in the dark blindfolded. Both seem to work out well in keeping ME entertained, but the jury is out on how it affects my splits, as well as how I am ridiculed by people who drive by and think “WTF.”
You gotta do what you gotta do.
How do you get through your long runs?