Long Trail Run Review

My left bicep is recovering nicely following that punishing 21-mile trail run. Of all my body parts that take a daily beating from running,I wouldn’t have guessed that my left bicep would be the first to give.

My conclusion is that my left bicep is a victim of being under trained and then pushed beyond its biceply limits.

You see, while I am left handed I usually carry things in my right hand and over my right shoulder. When I shoulder my backpack, it’s always my right shoulder. When I carry a handheld water bottle, I use my right hand. When I need to take out the trash, you guessed it, it’s always my right hand. Apparently, I am rather one-sided!

So no wonder my left bicep threw a hissy fit on that last run. She just wasn’t up to the task. Poor girl!

On the other hand (I couldn’t resist a little hand pun) I should point out that besides the bicep cramp, Sunday’s run was a complete success – or as much of a success as a long run can be. Because honestly, long runs are always kind of a challenge, right? I mean, I have yet to meet a runner who has a string of perfect long runs.

Sometimes there is a physical challenge – my legs feel like lead or my stomach cramps.

Sometimes it’s a mental challenge – the miles just seem to DRAG on and on and on.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the run just doesn’t go well and I feel obligated to finish, not for the love of running, but just so I can be done and on with my life.

I’ve experienced all those challenges, but they have seemed so much less dramatic in recent weeks. I suppose with my recent string of 20+mile runs and my high mileage (60mpw) weeks, I’m becoming desensitized to the whole long run process. I used to get nervous before a long run and a litany of questions would come up. What if I bonk? What if I go out too fast? What if I get stomach cramps? What should I eat for breakfast? When should I leave? Where should I run… The list goes on and on.

But somehow I’ve stopped being so anxious. So what if I bonk? What’s the big deal if I go out too fast and then crash? Who cares if it sucks?

Believing that it might indeed suck a little bit diffused my anxiety just a tad. I don’t have to have a perfect long run. In fact, maybe it’s better that I don’t – because if every run was perfect what would I have to blog about?


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
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4 Responses to Long Trail Run Review

  1. Never having actually run more than 10 Miles, I think your argument for being totally relaxed about a no-so-perfect long run sounds absolutely sensible.

    Great post, very helpful for those that are hoping to some day reach the level of 60 mpw weeks – for me at least.

  2. heatherdaniel says:

    Thanks for the feeback, Count! And really, the difference between 10 and 20 miles is like the difference between watching a TV show and watching a movie. They are very similar in format, just one takes longer… 🙂

  3. Ana-Maria says:

    Nice post. I’d take it a step further and say that those tough unpleasant long runs are making one a stronger runner! Glad you bicep is “feeling” better!

  4. Stephanie says:

    They have those nice flat water bottles that fit into hydration belts (Nathan makes them). I just stick one of those under the back of my sports bra when I want to run hands free. 🙂

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