Long Run Recap: 21 miles

Confession: I dilly-dally before long runs. Big time.

Oh, I see you other runners out there at 7 AM on a Saturday, hoofing it through Portland, rain or shine, getting in your  miles and sitting down to coffee by 10 AM. Just who do you think you are, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed runner types? And what is your secret? I’d really like to know.

You see, I woke up Saturday morning with every intention of being out the door by 8AM. Plenty of time, I thought, to eat something, drink some coffee and get ready. But no. I seem genetically programmed to loaf around before running big. At about 7:45 I decided that I NEEDED to read the news, then I decided I MUST have a second cup of coffee, then I talked with a friend, drank some water, took a shower, found my favorite pair of socks, changed twice,  switched hats, pondered what route I should take and examined the forecast. And wouldn’t you know, it was 10 AM and I was still inside.

Was all of that really necessary, Heather?

No, of course not. But for whatever reason, I specialize in pre-run putzing.

Finally it seemed that whatever internal power-lounging quota was met, and soon the lethargic feelings I’d awoken with vanished. I was jazzed to run and couldn’t wait to get started.

My first goal for the long run was to nail down the feeling and pace of running long on the road. For the past couple of months, my long runs have been trail-based. That isn’t a bad thing. Trail running makes me a happier stronger runner, but road running can wear you down differently, and I wanted to gauge what kind of pace I could sustain on the road.

My second goal for the run was to start slow, build the pace gradually and finish strong. I decided to wear a heart rate monitor to keep track (I aimed to keep it just around 155 bpm for the first half, and under 165 for the second half)

My third goal wasn’t a goal as much as an experiment: I own a pair of Saucony Fastwichs which I love for track workouts.  If they’re good on the track, they must be stellar on the roads, I reasoned Running 21 mile would be a perfect test to see if my theory was correct. (I’m sure you can see where this faulty logic is going.)

Thus began my long road run.

I will not bore you with the mile-by-mile recap. Let’s just fast-forward to the summary. This long run rocked. It truly did. I stayed conservative in the first half, I drank plenty of water, I ate more electrolyte tabs then I thought neccessary, I GU’d adquauately (if not sufficiently) . I thought postive thoughts. My second half was much faster than the first, and my splits were super exciting.

In fact, my splits were so smile-inducing that I’m afraid to type them and hex myself for the marathon. But let me just say – they were good.

The only unpleasant part of the run was my shoe choice. Somwhere around mile 18 or 19, my feet started to ache. Badly. And if it were possible for the balls of my feet to cramp, I’m sure they would have. No wonder. I had decided to wear racing flats on a 22 mile run. On concrete.  Just what was I thinking? My feet let me know just how displeased they were with my choice:

We are the shoe experts in this operation. We may be calloused. We may be badass, but we need a little love. Just a smidge. These shoes… these shoes do not offer even a smidge of cushion. We could be running in flip-flops…

What I do know is this. At Mile 21, my feet hit the wall. They were done for.

Conclusion: I ran my feet into the ground – and my legs still felt strong. Good job, legs! You ladies rock.

A note about the shoes: The Fastwichs are GREAT shoes. Just maybe not for the marathon.

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About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in Eugene marathon, marathon, portland, running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Long Run Recap: 21 miles

  1. Good job on the 21 miler. How many more long runs are you planning to run before you officially go into taper?
    I envy you for all those endurance workouts. Which electrolytes tablets do you take and how often (time/distance)?

    I have been slacking since Houston marathon in the name of experiment with speed during track workouts. I am now done with track workouts with my 5k PR (19:17) yesterday. Time to hit those long runs, hopefully 🙂

  2. Ana-Maria says:

    If I did not have such a tight timeframe for my long runs (aka 3 y old with playground and such needs) I no doubtly would take my time before runs as well. Nothing wrong with it, particularly if it helps you have a kick ass run! Congrats! As far as the running flats? One needs to experiment, correct? Ana-Maria

  3. aron says:

    If I didn’t have to worry about it getting too warm out I would putz around too… actually thats exactly what I did in Feb/March, never got out to run until like 10 🙂

    awesome job on the 21 miler!!!! I had a great 21 miler too 🙂 hopefully that will be a good sign for us both in Eugene!

  4. Teresa says:

    Discovering new blogs today. I had to laugh reading your post. I am surely a bigger dilly dallier than you before my long runs. I swear I spend half the day talking about and thinking about going outside before I actually do it. Then always as I get out there running ask myself what all the poking around was about. I am glad to know I am not alone. Of course, I haven’t ran 21 miles yet, but one of these days I’ll get there. Great job on your run!

  5. Irish Cream says:

    OH my gosh . . . I used to be the WORST about the putzing around before long runs. Luckily, I somehow tricked myself into getting up early one weekend and the run went well. Since I’m superstitious, I did it the next weekend too . . . and by that time, it had become a habit. But seriously, I wouldn’t worry about it as long as the runs continue to go well for you! GREAT JOB! 🙂

  6. RuntoFinish says:

    you are funny.. I need to get up and out the door so I don’t come up with too many other things to do.

    glad to hear this one was excellent!!

  7. Susan says:

    I always feel funny when I’m driving around putting out my water and people look like they’ve been running for an hour already. But that’s okay, important things get done in pre-run putzing, right?

    Yay for great long runs!!

  8. JimR says:

    I almost picked up a pair of fastwitches 2 weeks ago, ‘cept they didn’t have any in my size. They did have tangents, but they didn’t feel quite right on me, just a touch binding on the bridge and I know this would spell trouble for me.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t take them on a 20 miler training run. Keep it to 15 as a shoe test for the big event and a few smaller runs, but stick to the padded trainers for longs. Unless, you’re like light as the dust on a feather.

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