Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Ran 16 Miles and Hated/Loved It

I’m pretty convinced that if we wait until we really FEEL like doing something, very little would ever get done. Well, maybe lots of potato chips would get eaten, but that’s about it.

People wonder how you are supposed to get motivated to work out, to train for a race, to lose weight. There is a very secret key to motivation, drive and determination, but it might not be what you think.

You see, I think lots of us hang out waiting to FEEL like we want to run or go to the gym. Then when that feeling of really wanting to do it never comes, we bag the workout or ditch the run. My belief is you need to turn off your brain – to not engage it about whether it wants to do something or not. The trick is to just start and your motivation will follow.

I’m going to be honest. Yesterday I had a 16 mile run planned. I knew I would do it, because I don’t miss training runs unless I am injured or sick. But, I have to tell you – my heart wasn’t in it. I woke up to grey skies and cold temperatures. Wah, wah, whine, whine (wait! Did someone say “wine”?).

IMAG1308

The thought of being out there running for 2-3 hours just didn’t give me a boner. Even when Ken agreed to run the first 8 miles with me, I just felt incredibly BLAH and unmotivated. Anyone who tells you that they love every minute of marathon training is probably lying or high. Yes, I am healthy and CAN run. I don't take that for granted. But that doesn’t mean I’m always going to feel like doing it.

We drove to the halfway mark to leave Ken’s truck and my refueling supplies. As we drove west towards the mountains, I saw the sun peek up into my rear view mirror. It was a ball of fire – so bright and full of light…

IMAG1301

Too bad I didn’t care that much. Still dragging, wishing I was in bed.

As we started we were headed into a strong and nipply headwind. This did not help my mood. I was freezing. ¾ mile down, 15 ¼ to go. I turned off my brain. I stopped the chatter. I chanted “relentless forward motion.” And I went. Step by step.

We didn’t talk much. I’m not sure Ken was totally in the mood to be out there either. I stopped to crap once, because that’s what I do. Ken decided I should run with a toilet paper roll around my wrist (great running invention! Tell Mark Cuban). Genius except that you would have to have stick figure arms to make this work.

IMAG1313

At a bit more than halfway Ken was all bundled up in his warm truck listening to Howard Stern while I fueled with a gel and topped off my water. I headed out for the last 8 miles, realizing my motivation and energy was creeping back in. Damn endorphins! I came up on a couple, probably in their 60s, having the time of their lives running 11 miles and training for a trail race. Seeing them out there smiling, their noses running and spittle gathered at the corners of their mouths, I noticed they were just glad to be out there. And all of a sudden, so was I.

The last mile was a bit of a torture fest – my hamstring started to hurt and I was just ready to be done. I once again thought about how if you set out to run 16 miles, then your body only wants to go 16 miles. If you set out to run 20 miles, your body can go 20 miles that day. So, so mental. I swear I don’t think I could have run 26.2 miles yesterday. See – I look like death warmed over:

IMAG1305

16 down, 18 to go next week. I guess the point is not that I didn’t want to do it, but the fact that I did it anyway and eventually found my groove. Need more motivation tips – go HERE.

What’s the longest training run you’ve ever done? Me –> 20 miles

What are your tips to getting through a long run? I listen to music during the last half. I also try to not focus on the whole distance, but just increments like 5 miles, then halfway, then only 2 miles to go, etc. I think a lot about post run rewards like a huge cup of coffee and a donut (with bacon on top?). Having a friend/spouse join me for part of the run helps a ton too.

SUAR

50 comments:

  1. My longest training run was a hilly 22-mile trail run, 13 of which was a half marathon race. I figured if I could survive that, then I'd most definitely be able to survive a flat-ish marathon. As for motivation... I agree with your strategy about breaking it down into smaller increments. I also try my best not to think about "how much longer" until the last 2 miles or so. Having a good podcast, audiobook, or running buddy can make a huge difference too!

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  2. I did 11 this morning, training for a half in May. I ran at a local park that has 1.86 mile loop, and did 5 loops. Running into the wind, out of the NE was brutal, but the reward was having the wind at my back. Even though I'm fighting a cold, it was good..my legs felt fresh for most of it. I listened to music the whole time. It was sweet. Some days are like this. My longest training run was a 20 miler that was similar to this. You just have to go with what the day brings you, don't you? I hope I feel this good on race day!

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  3. Longest run pre-26.2? About 15 miles. I'm foolish like that. Pre-13.1? About 15 miles. At least I'm consistent.

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  4. Since I've only run a half (so far) my longest training run has been 12 miles. I rocked through it and thought I was going to kill my half. Not so fast my friend. Puking midway through does not equal a good race. Anyway, I try to get through long runs by being in the mile I'm in. I try not to think about the previous miles or the future miles.

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  5. Longest training run was supposed to be 30 K and I never made it. I think it topped out at a half marathon. I like lots of scenery, and it really helps to do an out and back. If you want to get home you have to keep going. The problem is making it all the way to the planned turnaround. The big advantage of doing loops is that you don't have to carry so much crap. I try not to think about it, just run.

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  6. Longest training run has been 22 miles. I usually break down a long run into sections of 4-5 miles and make sure I put a gas station on my route at about mile 10 for a bathroom and doughnut!!

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  7. It took me 3 hours to push myself out the door this morning for my long run (9 miles)... Told myself I would only do half of what I supposed to do, but of course, once I was out there, it felt good and I finished the full distance. GAH! I annoy myself.

    To get through it today, I listened to the radio on my Ipod (nice change). Planning a special breakfast/lunch afterwards helps a lot too.

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  8. Lately, I'm LOVING listening to podcasts instead of music, running-centric (ultras and trail running too). Breaking it down into increments helps. Right with you about the food - I plan and replan what I'm going to eat post-run and for the rest of the day - and then I notice cravings that come up either because of something mentioned on a podcast (two I'm now going to have to try are dill pickle potato chips, pb and Ruffles sandwiches) or ones that randomly float into my mind - almond milk mixed w/ cake batter Muscle Milk topping a bowl of rice chex is one example (it's good by the way!). I know there's a pattern to the food cravings but haven't figured it out yet - when during a run do I think something dripping in honey or maple syrup sounds phenomenal, when do I think full-fat full-salt chips are the best idea ever? (not saying I eat any or all, just the cravings)

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  9. Why is it that the last mile of nearly every long run feels like it's the last mile you could ever handle. It's so odd how the brain works in that way.

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  10. Wow, I had the same type of day today! I had a whole host of excuses (was deathly ill last week, missed a long run, am I healthy enough to resume, blah blah) but when I finally stopped my chatter and stopped thinking about it, I too went out and did what I set out to do. It was cold & windy here, but sunny w/ a gorgeous blue sky.

    Check!

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  11. 13.1 is the longest I have ever run. I will train in June for the Chicago Marathon...my first EVER....I will need some tips to get through it....also do you take the toilet paper with you or leave it?? I always carry some but have not had to use it yet....

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  12. My longest training run was 1 mile X 14. I always run by concentrating on 1 mile at a time. I have my Garmin set up to give me current and average pace for that particular mile and find that I can easily lose track of how many miles I have already gone or have to go. Actually, I usually lose the ability to do simple math after 5 or 6 miles (lol!)
    I also like to listen to music and the Zombies, Run! app on my phone.

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  13. Longest training run = 22 miles.

    Today was my first good run in about 3 weeks. My dad passed away on March 5th and I just haven't cared about running. Today I turned up the tunes and just SUAR!! I felt great afterwards.

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  14. 20 and change. You are so right about motivation. My former roommate would only run if it's above 30 degrees, below 80, not raining, not snowing, if he's not constipated, if he didn't run yesterday, if he wasn't woken up for any reason the night before, and if he has time to do at least three miles. So he pretty much ran less than once a week! I never feel like it 100% but I know I want it done so I do it and then at some point I am glad I did it.

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  15. My longest training run was 25 miles, but it was on beautiful trails with awesome people, so that's my prescription for enjoying a long training run. When I don't get to have company, I keep an ultrarunning podcast on to inspire, entertain and otherwise distract me during the hard parts of the run. But running in a beautiful place is usually enough to change my mood when I'm not wanting to run.

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  16. After about 17 miles I start thinking about cold club soda, which is all I want after a long run (well, ok, later I want food, but at first I just want club soda). I have sprinted at mile 19 to get to my club soda.

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  17. Longest training run was 20 miles (longest run was 26.2... not a step more). I had to do the whole 20 by myself, and about mile 18 I broke down sobbing. I kept running, but just snot cried as I went. It actually helped a lot... it released something, and I felt a lot better.

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  18. My longest (and most memorable) run was 33 miles back in 1984 when I was an official pacer for my friend Peter at the Western States 100. He started at 5 a.m. in Squaw Valley and I met him at 6:53 p.m. at the 67-mile mark. We forded the American River at sunset and ran the last 20 miles with flashlights (no headlamps back in those days). 250 runners finished finished under the 30-hour cut-off time. My friend finished in 72nd place in 22:23, good enough to earn the coveted belt buckle given to runners who complete the course in under 24 hours. I believe that the course ascends 17,000 feet and descends 22,000 feet. Anyway, years later, Peter ran the Leadville 100 in Colorado. I declined his invitation to pace him. I asked him how it compared to Western States and he replied, "Leadville makes Western States seem like an easy jog in the park."

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  19. My longest training run = 20 miles. I've done 2 already this training round and I'm thanking goodness next weekend is only 13. To get me through a long run I focus on pace and fueling and thinking how good it will feel when I finish the distance! And I draw energy from the other people on the trail just as you did - I got a "Go girl!" from a cyclist on Saturday and I just wish I could tell her somehow how wonderful that made me feel!

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  20. My longest training run was last Friday at 18 miles. I love this post ... and I agree. I can't imagine every runner, those of us who really do like endurance running, always want to be running the long miles cheerily. I have that range of mileage I love to run, it is usually around 8 miles. Just long enough to feel "long" yet short enough to not be a huge ordeal. Going beyond starts getting into that territory where I need to figure out fueling strategy, wear compression, start figuring out potty stops, etc. :)

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  21. I love this post. I completely agree that the last couple miles always are mentally tiring, no matter what the distance is. And so many times once you are out the door and moving you feel so much better. I actually just told a friend this who is just starting to train for her first marathon.

    My longest training run was 22 miles. I do most of my running on my own, but I like the time to free my brain from thinking for a while.

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  22. It's not often I WANT to go get on the treadmill. I just do it. I tell people all the time, it isn't motivation, it's habit. It's knowing you feel guilty when you don't work out and kick ass when you do. The first step is always the hardest!

    And OMG, my kiddo had a soccer game in Broomfield yesterday, and I was sick this weekend, and wrapped in a blanket freezing. That wind was brutal. Running in it would have been f-f-f-freezing.

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  23. Thank you for speaking right to me today. My motivation has checked out for a while and I've been looking for it. Maybe this is what I need to get over myself and just get out.

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  24. The "turn off your brain and just go" advice is soooo appropriate - and true. It's amazing how stupid our brains are to fall for that trick every. single. time. (at least, mine does!)

    My tricks for getting through? Remind myself that I'll be happier and calmer once it's done (basically, for the rest of the weekend). Bribe friends to join me for portions. I usually prefer the second portion, because then I can get cranky at them while I'm tired and they are skipping about on fresh legs. Finally, for the first half, I only count down to the halfway point. Then, I count down to the finish. See above, "stupid brain"...

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  25. I ran almost 21 on Wed and it was really tough at the end. I ran by myself and I had a huge battle with my brain constantly!! I think when we persevere something like that, that which we really don't want to do, it make us a little bit stronger mentally!! You can do the 18 next weekend, I know you can. And if you'd rather ride and bitch and moan with Tara and I, you are always welcome to join us any Saturday. We laugh so much we hardly get any biking done!

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  26. I always try to get in one training for a marathon of 22 miles.
    I ran 13.6 on Saturday.
    This coming Saturday I am doing a double. Running my half marathon and then going to at least 7 after.
    friends know I love running, but those long runs training for a marathon turn into work.

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  27. 23 miles is the longest training run I've ever done. Mentally works out well for me. (usually)
    I, too, like to break long runs into smaller increments. Also, I must really have my mind wrapped around my long runs for at least 24 hours before. If something gets changed due to weather or my schedule it almost never works out well at all.

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  28. 23 miles is the longest training run I've ever done. Mentally works out well for me. (usually)
    I, too, like to break long runs into smaller increments. Also, I must really have my mind wrapped around my long runs for at least 24 hours before. If something gets changed due to weather or my schedule it almost never works out well at all.

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  29. Nice job on the run. I knew you would do it too! You don't look like death warmed over but I am wondering what's up with your mouth?! The blonde looks good training for a marathon. LOVE!

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  30. This is absolutely on point - people often wait for the attitude before working on the habit, but most of the time behaviors drive attitudes, as you described here. Great advice.

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  31. Great job - sometimes I think the best runs are the ones we are least excited about.
    I did 22 Saturday - since it was on the treadmill, I kept myself entertained with some DVRed shows I wanted to watch.

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  32. I SOOOO needed to hear this this morning! It took EVERY OUNCE of my being to get not just out of bed but out the door this morning. I need to know and be reminded that other people JUST DO IT too. Even when they feel like not doing it. Also my longest training run was 26 miles. I had to mentally do it before my first marathon (sounds stupid to me now) but on my first it was "all in my head"! I would never train run that long againg though!

    Thanks again for the incredible incouragement!

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  33. My longest training run was 20 miles - only did it once pre-marathon. But I can't count the marathon as a "run" I ran the first 20 miles (slowly) and then crawled the last 2.6! But there's still a finisher's medal hanging on my wall!

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  34. I always think that too, anyone who says they enjoy all of their marathon training is lying. If they do, I'm super jealous. I don't. I dread a lot of my runs towards the peak of the training cycle. My long runs tend to be around 18 miles. I've done 9 marathons and in all that training only like 5 20 mile runs (didn't do the first one until my 5th marathon). I've never trained beyond 20 though.

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  35. This was exactly how I felt all weekend. The only difference is I didn't do a damn thing about it. Instead, I stayed in and watched college basketball, because that's obviously the next best option to running. (I keep telling myself that "tomorrow's a new day".) I'm training for a 10K right now, and my farthest run as been 7 miles. The only thing that got me through it was the treadmill TV tuned to ESPN. I am longing for the day I can run outside again - this Nebraska winter is really getting old!

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  36. Longest training run I've ever done is 22 miles. I did that during my last training cycle. I have to pick a route where I can't cut it short. I love running the Res for those 20+ ones because you have to finish the loop. Fast paced music and a goodie waiting at the end help.

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  37. The weather has been yucky this weekend so not surprised you felt blah about it. I have a calf strain so that's my excuse for not running this weekend. Good job getting it done.

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  38. I've only done half marathons so far, so longest training run was just a measly 11 miles. :)

    I do the same thing--break it down into increments and just focus on the next section. It's very much a mental battle; I remember the first time I ran 20 minutes doing C25K, I wanted to stop and walk long before it was time. I had to go through a mental checklist (legs okay? breathing okay? anything physically wrong? then KEEP GOING!) to make it past that point; after that, it was a matter of continuing to stretch out the distance until I could do HMs. Can't always count on motivation to get me out the door for training runs, I just have to turn off my brain and do it.

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  39. I ran 7 miles yesterday and it was the best run I've had in a long time!! I so needed it too since the run before that was 4 miles and I hated every step of it. I just kept telling myself that if I quit that run I might as well quit running... I finished but hated it. Anyway, thanks for your blog... it does motivate me.

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  40. Great post! I out-think or over-think (you can choose) my runs a lot. I've read you can train your motivation just like you can train a muscle group and I totally believe it. Currently my muscles groups are pretty weak, just like my motivation. Thanks for the boost and the reminder to turn off my brain in this instance!

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  41. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I'll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I'm quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!

    Good luck for the next!

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  42. My longest training run has been 21.6 miles training for last year's (canceled) NYC marathon. I'll be out doing it again this fall. I try not to focus on how much I have to go, but how much I've done, i.e., "3 miles down" vs. "15 more to go." It's not always easy!

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  43. We drove to the halfway mark from Ken's truck, I gas supply. As we drove to the mountains to the west, I see the sun peek into my rear view mirror. This is a ball of fire, so bright and full of light...

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  45. Did 11miles total last night. As a new runner having done 8miles4-5 times I told my brain we were doing 12. At about 9 I walked for 2min then at 9.5 my mind couldnt keep me moving, turned around and went home, tried to run but the last mile was almost all walking. but I did go 11.

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  46. ارقام الاثاث المستعمل جدة
    حقين المستعمل بجدة
    ارقام الاثاث المستعمل
    شراء اثاث مستعمل
    شراء الاثاث المستعمل
    شراء اثاث
    حقين الاثاث المستعمل
    حقين المستعمل بجدة
    شراء اثاث مستعمل جدة
    عزيزي العميل اينما كنت سنعمل على توفير افضل مجموعة من افضل انواع الاثاث المستعمل والذي نوفره لك على اعلى مستوى من التميز والرقي كانه جديد تماما وذلك لكافة انواع الاثاث الكلاسيك والمودرن فقط اطلب ما تريد ونحن نهمل على عرض العديد من المنتجات والانواع المختلفة للاثاث امامك والتي يمكنك الاختيار من بينها وتتوفر لدينا خدمات شحن مميزة في جميع انحاء العالم وطرق الشحن لدينا تحافظ على الاثاث من اى مشكلات سواء كسر او اتربة او غيره نضمن لك وصول الاثاث كما رايته تماما بدون اى مشكلات وباسعار مميزة ولدينا فريق عمل قادر على التواصل معكم في اى وقت لتلبية جميع رغباتكم ومتطلباتكم المختلفة

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  47. شراء الاثاث المستعمل بالمدينة المنورة
    محلات الاثاث المستعمل بالمدينة المنورة
    ارقام الاثاث المستعمل بالمدينة المنورة
    حقين الاثاث المستعمل بالجبيل
    محلات الاثاث المستعمل بالخبر
    ارقام الاثاث المستعمل بالدمام
    شركة المستقبل لشراء اثاث مستعمل
    هناك الكثيرين من الاشخاص من يريدون شراء اثاث ولكن الميزانية لا تسمح لشراء اثاث جديد وتعتبر عملية شراء الاثاث المستعمل صعبه ومخاطرة كبيرة لهم ولكن شراء الاثاث المستعمل بالدمام توفر عليك كل الجهد والتعب وتقدم لك قطع اثاث مستعملة بحالة جيدة وباسعار معقولة حيث تقدم هذة الشركة بعرض والتسويق لقطع اثاث كثيرة وحالتها جيدة وتعمل الشركة بمصدقية وامانه كبيرة ويمكن للعميل التأكد بنفسه من الخدمة فكل علة العميل هو التوصل مع شراء الاثاث المستعمل بالخبر بالاتصال أو ارسال لها رسالة على الصفحة الرسمية لها أو على الواتس
    الطريقة الصحيحة لشراء أثاث مستعمل
    ينظر بعض الاشخاص ان عملية شراء الأثاث المستخدم من محلات شراء اثاث مستعمل هو مضيعة للوقت لان هذة العملية مكلفة في نظرهم ان الاثاث المستعمل يحتاج الى بعض الاصلاحات و لكن هناك اشخاص يفضلون شراء الاثاث المستعمل خصوصا من ليس لديهم اموال لشراء اثاث جديد وتعتبر عملية شراء الاثاث المستعمل بالجبيل ليست مضيعة للمال والوقت فى حالة معرفة الشخص على طريقة شراء الاثاث المستعمل

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