Getting in those long runs

Posted: February 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Photo I felt like sharing: “The changing of the guard” – my twice-yearly introduction of new running shoes.

Well, between this weekend and last one, I’ve already matched the number of long runs I did last time I trained for a marathon. Granted, that only means I’ve done two, but I guess it shows I’m putting a little more priority on these things.

Last Sunday, I got in a solid 19 at 7:12/mile pace (I decided afterward that I’m only going to use “long run” to describe runs 20 miles or longer, but I’ll let this one slide). I got out the door around 8:50 am. The plan was to run a while, then meet a friend at 10 am for 6-8 miles. And the plan went perfectly. I did the usual 10 mile route (five out, five back), then met Eric at a parking lot and we did the Packers Falls/Mill Rd/Route 155A loop, which was right around six miles. He finished at his car and I ran a couple miles more, wrapping things up at my dorm after 19 miles. I thought things went pretty well.

Yesterday, I was without the mid-run partner, but still managed to motivate myself for 20.25 miles at 6:54 pace. I left about an hour later in the morning after waiting for things to warm up a bit and did the Packers Falls loop followed by Route 155/Madbury loop followed by the usual 10 miler. Once again, I was pretty pleased with the pace.

The hope for this weekend was actually to run double long runs, ie- the one yesterday followed by another today. However, a solid spout of rain yesterday froze pretty much all over the roads and sidewalks and I knew before I went to sleep yesterday that today’s wouldn’t be happening. I’ve never done back-to-back long runs before, which was the primary draw of it, and I was on-campus the whole weekend, which made it doable (I’m planning a day of Nordic skiing for the next three weekends). But it didn’t happen this time.

Nevertheless, it’s been good to get out for a solid 2+ hours of steady running. Temps for both runs were in the 15-30 range, so pretty much just long sleeves and gloves weather. There’s lots of snow up here, so everything has been on the roads. Luckily, there’s not much traffic around Durham on weekend mornings.

It’s two weeks until the half marathon, which has come up pretty fast. Last year, all the front-runners commented that it was a tune-up for Boston, and that’ll be my intentions as well this year. I’m looking forward to a bunch more long runs before April 19, though.

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