Long Run Again

Today’s Run

Time – 2:17:45
Distance – 12.7 miles
Pace – 10:50 min/mi
Elevation – 276 ft.

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Nice sized long run today. Got up early and out the door about 7 AM. It was a long day, and I found a great route that I enjoyed in the early part of the morning. I ran out of calories and water with about 2 miles to go, which hurt. I slowed for coming back in because of it. I’ll need to adjust the food/water intake a little bit, but that’s what training is for…to figure these things out.

The Best Part of Long Runs

The best part of the long run is the reward afterwards. I’ll probably regret all the food I ate today, but it was worth it. I still ended up underneath my calorie counts for the day, which is great.

I’m really, REALLY tired, though. Hitting a 10K PR on the way to 12.7 miles will do that…

This will be a short blog tonight. I’m needing to hit the hay.

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More Running In The Dark

Today’s Run

Time – 1:01:51
Distance – 5.5 miles
Pace – 11:13 min/mi
Elevation – 155 ft.

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Lookout for the October harvest moon tonight!

Used Strava tonight instead of Runkeeper. It worked just fine for the run. My phone/watch combo wouldn’t change the volume on my music right, but that could have been a different problem. Time will tell. All in all, though, the run was fine. I tried to go a little longer for this comfortable run. That will be the goal going forward. Add mileage on mileage days, and keep time-based runs to the same types of schedules. That means that I can make the midweek runs of 4–5 miles more of a 5–6 or 6–7 mile kind of run, but the easy runs of 40–50 minutes will stay 40–50 minutes. I’ll just go a little farther as I get faster.

Running in the Dark

Running in the dark is a weird feeling. I wear the reflective vest to be seen, but it doesn’t make the roadway any brighter. It’s an interesting feeling to run when you can’t see much. It’s like floating through the night. Especially when the legs feel good. I’m surprised that they did, with all the mileage (for me, at least) I’ve been doing this week. Having said that, I’m glad it was an easier day. I don’t know if I’d be feeling as good if I’d pushed hard tonight.

I can tell that the workouts and the mileage are having an effect. There’s a hill that I take to get home whenever I go out to the north. It’s the only way to get back that doesn’t involve adding 2–3 more miles. Plus, it’s a good workout hill, and, as I found out tonight, an indicator of fitness.

Running up the hill is MUCH easier than it used to be. I can go up the hill in the 145–150 bpm range at an easy clip, whereas a month ago the same “easy” feeling would have sprung my heart rate above 160. It’s good to know that all this running is building something that I’ll be able to use in April.

Maybe I should find a 5K for this fall…

Partly Inspiration, Partly To Blame

Today’s Run

Time – 50:13
Distance – 5.01 miles
Pace – 10:01 min/mi
Elevation – N/A (This app is getting worse)

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Group run with Runwell tonight. It was a new trail that I hadn’t run before, and it got DARK quick! Since it was a trail, though, no need for the vest. I probably am going to have to get a headlamp in order to keep up with the miles for this winter. Either that, or get over the spirit-draining existence that is treadmill running. Not a big deal, I know, but running outside is 90% of the inspiration. Sun, air, temperature, and sounds all come together. It’s why they say that time outside is good for you, according to the health experts at Harvard.

Fun Stuff Found Online

We’re not full-blown cord cutters here, but we do watch a lot of Netflix, iTunes season passes, and YouTube through our AppleTV’s. They are easy to use, and simple to manage subscriptions, so I like having them as our devices of choice.

This leads to a lot of discoveries and interesting watchings through YouTube because we get suggestions based on viewing history. Of course, we like Casey Neistat, Wranglerstar, Sage Canady, and others, but one that I found at the beginning of this running journey is Billy Yang. He’s a filmmaker and YouTuber living in L.A. He’s actually part of the inspiration for my desire to run Western States.

I guess you could say that makes him partly to blame. Sorry, Billy…

Check out the film that started it for me here:

Take A Step In Anger

Today’s Run

Time – 29:31
Distance – 3.15 miles
Pace – 9:21 min/mi
Elevation – N/A (Guess why not?)

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I went out after updating the watch to WatchOS 4 and the phone to iOS 11. I figured I would just see what would happen on this run instead of planning a specific workout because it was later than usual, and I had to run in the dark. I got a new yellow reflective vest and ran on campus, so it was a well-lit evening. Good run. I was able to push hard. Fastest run so far.

I Just Wanted to Go Running

It was a long day at work today. Lots to do, not a lot of time, but still fulfilling in a lot of ways. I worked hard today. When I left, I was about an hour behind schedule, which was great for my commute, as most people had finished their drive home. The not-so-great part was that I got home after sunset. Quick costume change, grabbed the new safety vest, and out the door I went.

I figured that my watch and the app would be a problem after the upgrade. I was a little grumpy about getting out to run in the dark. I knew that I was stressed, and that I had taken yesterday off and eaten my way back to my old weight (not quite, but it was definitely not on-plan), so I was ready to just run. The audio cues for the run did not work in my headphones, so I didn’t have a regular reminder of how fast or far I had gone.

Instead, I just went running. I don’t have a specific plan or schedule to hit right now (that starts in January for the marathon), so I knew that I could run however I wanted tonight and not mess anything up too badly. I started with a quick turnover and decided to just keep going. After a while, I got faster. And faster. And then I was able to just keep running at that pace.

5K later and I chose to end the run and walk in the last three-quarters of a mile (the numbers above don’t reflect the walk). It was a pretty good feeling. I knew that I had run fast. Sub–30 minutes for the 5K! I’m not setting records, but this is FAST for me. The heartrate was high, but not out of the park. I probably had a little more speed left in the tank, which is good to know.

Phil Liggett, of Tour de France television fame, would say I ran the first steps in anger of the day (to paraphrase). Maybe I had some things to get out of my system. I’m looking forward to a slightly slower run tomorrow. I like going for an hour or so. It feels good to move that long and that far.

But, sometimes, it’s just fun to go out for a run.

Thinking About All the Tomorrows

Today’s Run

Time – 52:36
Distance – 4.60 miles
Pace – 11:26 min/mi
Elevation – 191 ft.

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What’s around the corner?

Kept the heart rate really low (like 130 and below) and just shuffled around for about an hour. Nothing special after the long day yesterday. Days like today are the miles that build on yesterday’s long run, and tomorrow’s potential rest day (or speed work, no decision yet), and Tuesday’s run, and Wednesday’s run, and so on. Lots of miles make legs strong, easy days build blood flow and economy, and I get the mental boost of running 4.6 miles without a single hard breath. That’s pretty crazy to think from a guy that used to look like this:

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Me and Little Buddy Before (Click HERE for After)

Considerations of the future…

The marathon is scheduled. I’ve got a plan for the 100-miler for next year. Sign-ups for 2018 will open after this year’s qualifying race in November. But I find myself thinking about what’s next.

I know that sounds crazy. “How much more do you need?” the Wife would say. This running thing happens because it has a plan. That’s how my brain works. I like the direction and THE GOAL. I’ve talked about other ideas in the works. There’s things to think about.

The picture above was from tonight’s run. It’s how I feel about running. The road is uphill to be sure, but only slightly. Certainly it is doable. But it’s also got a curve which I can’t see around yet. I’m not sure what I’ll find when I get there, or where I’ll be going next. It’s sunny up there, though.

Running brings the daylight into my life and makes me feel better about everything. It puts sunshine into the dark corners and illuminates the cobwebs so that they can be swept out of my mind.

Running is, as has been said before, a metaphor for life. This image is another metaphor. We can’t know what’s around the bend, and there’s always a bit of a hill now and then. Putting one foot in front of the other will get us where we need to go.

Plus, running lets me have cookies, which, as we all know, are KEY to getting it done…

So This Happened…

Today’s Run

Time – 2:04:45
Distance – 11.44 miles
Pace – 10:54 min/mi
Elevation – 358 ft.

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Another long run today puts the mileage above 35 for the week on Runkeeper because I did a long run on Sunday and another today (Saturday). Next week will be down because of it, but I am due to slow down for a week here soon, and if it happen next week, so be it.

The run felt great…except…I got an uncomfortable cramp in the outside of my right foot about mile 8. Had to stop and stretch for a minute, and then I was able to go again. I finished with a little bit of tenderness there, but I’ll ease off tomorrow, and then make this week a little less hectic.

Eleven and a half miles felt good. I was actually really picking up the pace at the end. I could probably run a half marathon a little faster than this pace, but I don’t need to right now.

Let the training begin…as soon as I find a plan

I’m signed up for my first marathon. It’ll be here in the spring. April 8th, to be exact. I’m excited to give the distance a try. I’m not nervous about it, though. I’ve got a 100-miler on the radar beyond Go! St. Louis, so I’m thinking that the marathon will just be a function of adding distance over the winter and building up a nutrition/fluids/recovery plan between now and then. I’ve got plenty of time to prepare for it, and I feel really comfortable at about half the distance right now. If I just keep adding and avoid injury, I should be able to finish, no issues.

In terms of speed, however, I’m wanting to make a push. I’d like to come up with a good, tough goal. I think that a 10:00/mile pace isn’t out of the question. A marathon at today’s running pace (10:54), though, is 4:45. A 10:00/mile pace is about 4:22. Breaking 4 hours is better than a 9:10/mile pace for 26.2 miles. That’s WAY faster than I run right now. But I did that kind of speed on and off for the last 2 miles of today’s run. I know I have it somewhere. I just need to find it and make it my endurance pace.

A 4:20 marathon is an even 9:55/mile pace. That’s probably the goal at this point. Now to work for it. Can I add twice the distance of my long runs and cut off a minute per mile? They say you shouldn’t add speed and distance together. I have a little over 5 months between now and then.

Time to research training plans…

Running from the Monster

Today’s Run

Time – 43:46
Distance – 4.30 miles
Pace – 10:10 min/mi
Elevation – 183 ft.

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Got to run outside in the dark today on campus. The local university is reasonably well lit and there’s enough sideways/roadways/bike paths to make any run relatively safe. Glad to get outside again, as I realize I haven’t run on roads since Sunday’s 10 miles.

Running in the Dark

I spent a lot of years being afraid of the dark. I still get nervous when the lights are off and I come up the basement stairs. This the result of an overactive imagination and years spent trying to avoid horror movies but being unable to look away fast enough.

I’ve lived with a lot of crazy, and creepy, images in my head for a long time. This is only relevant because I now find myself running in the dark. I’m not running from the dark anymore, though. I don’t have to hide, because I’m too busy moving.

Tonight’s run ending with long strides and strong legs. I powered up the last hill to the house fast. Strava says it was my 3rd best mile time ever, and at the end of a 4 mile run.

Getting stronger is fun…and it means I can outrun the monsters…