Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Dreaded Long Run

So normally, during my training, I would do my long run on Saturdays or Sundays for the week. However, with my work schedule I have to make a few changes to the ol' training schedule, in order to fit in runs. Since somedays I work from 930 in the morning to 930 at night, it doesn't really leave much time for running on those days.

My day off was today so I decided that this would be the best day to get in my long run. Today I was scheduled to do a 12-miler. I spent about an hour on google this morning trying to figure out the best route to run on. I had found a nice trail right outside of my house, but the furthest it went was about 4 miles, and I really wanted to do an out and back course.

After much researching I found the perfect spot to start. It was a trail called "Cherry Creek Trail" and it was about 26 miles long! I decided that the best thing to do would be to park the car, run 6 miles away and then 6 miles back. I like doing this the best because there is no way for me to talk myself into doing less mileage. If I run 6 miles, then I have no choice than to run 6 miles back!

Todays long run was a was really HOT (I went around 11 in the afternoon, so you can imagine), I hadn't hydrated myself properly, and the trail had little to no shade! The pictures that I looked at of the trail before the run looked something like this:

and this....

pretty nice huh?

Well, I must have ran in the wrong direction or something, because in reality it looked a little like this:

yeah, dry and dead and NO SHADE! I'm pretty sure that the temperature was around 85 degrees, so I was DYING! Also, the top things off I got stung by a bee on the face AND a spider landed in my hair!! I think next time I will be going elsewhere to run! But I ran 6 miles away from car, limped 6 miles back and my 12-miler was complete! :)

I was reading up on some tips to get through the long run and here are some that I came up with (from reading and personal experience):

  1. Don't focus on the whole run. Set small goals for yourself as you go along. I like to talk to myself ALOT while I am running. is that weird? I will tell myself, "just get to 8 miles and then you only have 4 to go!".
  2. Also, going along with that, self talk always helps me get through a long run. I tell myself that I can do this, I have dont it before, I can do it now!
  4. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that you now can get you through hours of running. I can not tell you how many times I have been thrown off from a workout by clothing malfunctions!
  5. stretch, stretch, stretch! this is something that I really struggle with, because I will just go out with guns blazing! But I have found that my legs and body feel SO MUCH BETTER when I stretch properly before and after a long run.

What gets you through long runs? What advice would you add for getting through those long run days?

Well kids, now that I have completed my 12 miles, and I have the whole day off...its time for some relaxation by the pool!


  1. A bee stung you in the face?! That's ridiculous! And it's totally normal to talk yourself through runs. I do all sorts of things to get myself through them, ESPECIALLY talking to myself.

  2. Way to push through your tough run! Phew, sounds like a HOT one!!

  3. OMG you had some crazy stuff happen on your run! I was running the other night and alot of bugs were out and kept hitting me in the eyes and mouth, I probably looked crazy constantly swatting them out of my face! But way to go on 12 miles, good for you!

  4. Oh my goodness, what bad luck! no shade and a spider in the hair would be bad enough - but a bee sting in the face! Geez, you totally deserve pool time after that!!

  5. Today was so dry here too, but then it rained. Gotta love it. I usually try to get my long runs in early morning or at night becuase they are so much more calming. I agree with you all the way on going half then distance then turning around. I know if I didnt do that I would deffiently cut off some of my run.

  6. Hey Emily--

    I found your blog through Skinny Runner and I live in Denver too. I've got some good suggestions for where to run (training for my second marathon at the moment). But my favorite of all, especially for long runs, is the Highline Canal. It's pretty long too, but the section I love the most is from Belleview to Arapahoe. My favorite place to access the trail is at Orchard (there is a parking lot between Quebec and University). You can park there, and run one direction and then the other, or just pick one way and go out and back. The best thing about it is there are lots of big trees for shade and it's right next to a canal, so the water makes it cooler, even on a hot day. Best of all, the surface is packed dirt--the absolute best surface for running those really long runs, especially if your feet are already tired from wearing heels.

    I don't know where you live, but despite being pretty far south of town (I live in North Denver), it's worth it. I have lots of other suggestions too, so email me!

  7. Hot runs are the worst! I try to run later at night if possible to avoid the worst of the humidity here in NW Ohio (I am not a morning runner) but the other thing is to HYDRATE!

  8. hullo! saw you on skinnyrunner ... this post sounds lke something that would happen to me! i thought i was the only one in the history of the world to get stung by a bee while running .. the bee landed on my neck but when i brushed away, what i thought was hair, turns out it was a bee and then i got stung in the thumb! another time i ran 5 miles and got home to discover a dead cockroach smushed up in my shoe!! GROSS!! hahaha! have a great day!!