Long Run: 22 Muddy Miles

Start of the 22-Mile RunStart of the 22-mile Run

Last week I was convinced that  long runs were  challenging beasts designed to tear us up and make us  feel miserable for hours and hours. Now I want to get up on a soap box and yell to the masses that long runs are wonderful. Long runs are gorgeous. Long runs have the power to make you feel like a million bucks.

I bet you’re wondering what’s wrong with me.

You’d say, “Heather, 22 miles may be many things, but it’s still a long, long, long way to run, right?


You’re  right, of course. You’re always right. Twenty-two miles IS quite a distance to cover, and the distance is not made easier if you might be recovering from a night of too many drinks, too little sleep and if you decide at the last minute that the long run might not be such a bad time to break in a pair of new trail shoes.

So imagine my surprise when my 22-mile long run on Sunday, even with all those potential setbacks, got better and better with each muddy mile. It’s true. It was just about a perfect run. Here’s why:

1. I ran with two triathletes.

2. I did not embarrass myself in front of the triathletes. Because quite a few of my long runs involve tripping, falling or debilitating stomach cramps, the fact that none of these happened while in their presence felt like a major personal victory.

3.  I started slow. You know what they say in the training guides isn’t half bad. You shouldn’t start out too fast on a long run.  I didn’t and it paid off, because I was able to blast through the last two miles like a very muddy rocket.

4. I felt incredibly light on my feet. So often long runs make feel like I’m plodding along, but not on this run. Somehow I just felt good and I felt like I could run forever. (I might be a passionate runner, but that almost never happens to me)

5. I ran strong, controlled and happy. Really, is there any better feeling than attacking a challenging distance and feeling successful and proud at the end?

There isn’t.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
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5 Responses to Long Run: 22 Muddy Miles

  1. Ana-Maria says:

    Awesome run! I find that long runs are much easier when I run with other people. Chatting away makes the miles go by faster! Ana-Maria

  2. Very nice! It sounds so much like my long run last weekend. I totally hear you about starting slow and powering through the last miles. It’s a great feeling when you have so many energy still left at the end of 22 miles. Awesome story.

    I’m glad running and you made up well.

  3. Melissa says:

    great job, gorgeous photo. I miss nature and lush greenery!

  4. Aileen says:

    I agree completely…my distance last weekend wasn’t that long, and the run was pretty hard due to the wind, but it felt SO good when I completed it. Good work!!!

  5. Mike G says:

    3 great things about this blog:

    1. it’s well written
    2. it involves oregon
    3. long runs get some respect

    must go on my reader

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