Hey guys! I’m happy to report that I ended up having a great long run yesterday!
As I mentioned Tuesday, I was debating whether to do my long run Wednesday or Thursday (we leave really early Friday morning for a weekend trip so I wanted to get it out of the way), and I was also nervous about my right leg since it’s been bothering me. (Last week, I cut my long run to 8 miles because of it.) The weather was looking a bit rainy for Thursday and I also knew Thursday would be busy with meetings starting early, so I decided Wednesday was my best bet, and hoped my leg would hold up since I just did a track workout the day before.
Lucky for me, my friend Chelsea was interested in a short early run – I’ll take all the company I can get! It also meant I got out of bed and out the door before it got too crazy hot. We met up at 6:45 – beautiful sunrise!
Chelsea and I ran 4 VERY hilly miles together, chatting away as usual. It was nice to have the company since I knew I’d be running the rest of my miles solo, although the hills made this part of the run feel very tough!
I’m wearing: hydration vest, Garmin 910XT, UpRise Crossback sports bra (the best), Chaser 5” Running shorts (I’ve worn these for all my long runs – no chafing or moving at all), Brooks Ravenna 7 shoes, old fave tank from Brooks
After saying farewell to Chelsea, I stuck in some headphones (these are my favorite headphones – they actually stay put) and carried on my way! Last time I ran solo (for the hottest 10 miler ever) I listened to a podcast, but this time I decided to fire up Pandora and rock out to some tunes instead. My favorite is the “Wagon Wheel” channel – fun country pop!
My coach had me aiming to do between 12 and 16 miles for this run depending how my leg felt. Knowing that compression sleeves always help me a ton on long runs, I put those on for the first time this training season (it’s been too hot to wear them). I’m so glad I did – between those and the one low dose ibuprofen I took before leaving the house my leg felt 100% fine – I didn’t even feel it. Whew!! It feels okay today, too. Apparently I need to wear compression sleeves for all my long runs from here on out… (I wear compression socks around the house after runs, but I prefer sleeves when actually running since then I can wear my normal socks – and get a tiny breeze at the ankles!)
There was a relatively cool breeze and lower humidity out there yesterday morning but the run still felt pretty tough – I mean, it’s a long run, of course it feels tough, right?
Rather than focusing on how hard the run was, though, I tried to work on cultivating gratitude. I know that sounds super cheesy, but it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking “this sucks this sucks this sucks I’m tired I want to stop ahhhhhhhhhh” the whole time you’re out there – and if you think something is sucking, it will, and it does. So instead of that, I tried to focus on how lucky I was to be out there. It was a warm but beautiful morning, and I had the luxury of going out and doing a solo long run with stunning views. How lucky was I? I know there are tons of people who would love to be able to run – either physically, or schedule-wise, or whatever. I tried to remember how lucky I was to be out there – how lucky I am that my body can carry me so far, how lucky I am to get to run (and live) in such a stunning city, how lucky I am to have a flexible enough schedule that allows for Wednesday morning long runs.
When I made it about 6 or so miles in and my leg was feeling good I decided I should just go for it and do the longer option – between 14 and 16 miles. I did a big out and back so I couldn’t change my mind! I allowed myself to take a stretching/fuel break (I had two margarita shot bloks and four nut butter stuffed salty dates over the course of the run) every few miles which helped me to keep going in the heat – and meant I could snap some extremely sweaty and unflattering photos to share with you guys. 😉 Just keepin’ it real as usual over here!
I was originally planning to end my run in Rosslyn (at mile 14) so I didn’t have to run the massive hill from Rosslyn to Courthouse (and then a couple more miles of hills from there), but in the end I decided I was feeling strong and I wanted to challenge myself to tackle the big hill! I used to run that Rosslyn to Courthouse hill all the time – it’s a full mile long, and quite steep – but hadn’t in ages. I figure I need to start doing hillier long runs, though, because the Marine Corps Marathon isn’t exactly flat! My goal for the hill was to go as slow as I wanted but not to stop and walk at all. And I made it! I decided once I was at the top of the hill to run the extra 0.5 miles to my favorite local coffee shop, Java Shack, and end my run there (and just take an Uber home). 15.5 miles – so proud I did that because it was not easy!
I treated myself to a whole milk latte and a big ice water (I drank my entire 2 liter hydration vest on the run – whoa!) and cooled down while waiting a few minutes for the pet store next door to open – I had to buy Zara some more food and was multitasking with this pit stop!
I actually felt surprisingly good after this long run – better than I have after the other ones I’ve done so far this summer. Maybe it was because it was a tiny bit cooler? Or maybe the training has just been paying off! 🙂
My recovery was a great session with Paul from Capital Energy Training – we usually do our sessions on Wednesdays and normally I don’t work out before them, but it was actually great to have our session after a long run. We focused on light stretching and working out the kinks – felt really good! Matt had a session with Paul last night too (as you know, I’m getting my sessions for free as a blog/training exchange, but we started paying for Matt to work with him too because I liked our sessions so much that Matt got jealous)! Thanks for keeping me up and running (literally) Paul – and for my local DC runner readers, I highly recommend working with him – thanks to our strength and mobility work my hip and lower back don’t bother me at all anymore. Awesome! Love that he travels to you, too – so convenient.
Time to get back to work – busy day today wrapping up work before the long weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a Labor Day inspired BBQ/grilling recipe round up – stay tuned!
Do you listen to music or books/podcasts while you run? Or do you prefer silence? Since I almost always run with other people I’m usually chatting, but it was nice to mix it up with some music yesterday! Definitely made the miles go by more quickly.
Faves from around the web:
- Eat: Tex-Mex Breakfast Egg Tostada // Blackened Salmon Tacos // Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip // 3 Herb 3 Cheese Egg Pie // Pineapple Mint Sangria // Tart Cherry Cider // Spicy Hummus Black Bean Veggie Burger // Sicilian Caponata // How to Pack the Adult Lunchable // Cheese & Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos // Gluten Free Zucchini Bread with Maple Oat Crumble // Horchata Ice Pops
- Move: Marathon Long Runs: How Long and How Fast? // Train for a Half Marathon in Half the Time? // 3 Key Workouts to Improve Your Half/Full Marathon Time
- Think: How to Survive a Diet-Obsessed World // 11 Podcasts You Need to Know
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