Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Long Run at Long Last

According to Pete Pfitzinger, long runs are at least 17 miles. Therefore I did my first long run of the marathon training today. I had to get up at a ridiculously early hour. I set the alarm for 5am, but at 4:45 Lola cried that her bed covers had come off. That’s the third night in a row, and it’s the same issue at exactly the same time of night. I tried to tell her that at 4-and-a-half she is big enough to pull up the covers herself, but no luck so far. Anyway, against better judgment I did go back to bed, but only dozed there for 5 minutes and got up again. Mindful of the long run ahead of me, I had half a banana as well as my usual wheat cereal, and left out a gel with some water on the driveway for later on.
Last night had been very stormy, in fact the wind kept me from falling asleep for an hour (which isn’t good, when you’re only hoping for less than 7-and-a-half hours anyway), and I was worried if I would be able to do my run in those conditions. Luckily, by 5 o’clock the storm had calmed down, though it was still quite windy. I decided to do some laps in the woods, where the road is more sheltered from the elements. I planned on a 6 mile loop along a hill called the Devil’s elbow, then a 5 mile loop to Ard na Sidhe, and another 6 mile loop to make it 17 altogether. It turns out that the 5 mile loop is a tad longer than 5 miles (either that, or I ran the middle loop a good bit slower than the other two, but I don’t think so), so I called it 17.2 miles all in all. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a bit more or less – it’s only a training run.
My left hamstring started acting up at mile 6 and was hurting for 3 or 4 miles after that. I’m still not sure what it is. It’s not a cramp, and it gets better if I shorten my stride. It’s just a little bit worrying, but not enough to stop me from running. At mile 16 I got a coughing fit – not nice at all, and for the next 2 or 3 minutes after that I felt like my chest was restricted. That went away as well though, and I finished the run still feeling very strong.
All in all, I’m pleased with today’s workout.

21 Dec: 17.2 miles, 2:30, 8:43 pace


  1. Look up piriformis syndrome.
    I'm a low milage runner, went out for a longer than usual run two weekends ago and had the same pain in what I thought was my right hamstring. It started as a tightness at the top of my thigh, where it enters your cheek.
    My thought was that I'd work out of it, it was a cold night, I did not.
    If I shortened my stride, it wasn't as painful. Next morning it hurt just to bring that leg forward at a walk.By night fall I had pain higher in my butt.
    Bummer for sure.
    Took 5 days off, did stretching, started on the pain in my butt by sitting on a tennis ball all day,rolling it around the area that hurt( it helps alot) and was begining to feel alittle better.
    Went to run a short 2 miles two nights ago and only made 8 minutes. I should have stopped at 4.
    Now I am taking 2 weeks off to stretch and heal.
    Your in training for a marathon, so I'm sure your do not want to take time off..."but", I do suggest paying attention to what your body is telling you.
    Good luck!
    I enjoy your blog.

  2. well according to me a long run is 10 miles...hah!

    but well done on getting out of bed at such an unearthly hour. I admire that more than anything!

  3. Oh, no! You mean they don't grow out of needing their mama/daddy to pull their covers up?! Ash is three, and I've been working on convincing him that he is big enough to pull up his covers himself...another year and a half?!?!?!

    Good job on the long run! Sounds like you have some awesome places to run. Do you have any pictures?

  4. Nice job on the long run. My daughter is 5 and when she wakes up in the middle of the night she comes and climbs in bed with Mom and Dad and Tyler (our 1 yr. old). We don't mind though. We could use a bigger bed however.

  5. In my opinion a run is long when it is over the half marathon mark. Very good workout, I think that you will finish the marathon with an "important" time. Yes we will enter a similar event in the same day!

  6. Here's my two cents: Stretch your hamstring. If it starts nagging you during a run - stop and stretch. Ice. Aleve.

    (Thanks for scaring me about the Cortisone shot....ugh.)

  7. Hi Thomas!
    Sorry to mouth off so much about my pain in the arse! I just did not pay attention to mine when I should have and it got worse, and I did not want that to happen to you :)
    May I suggest you look up
    They have a forum you can look through and it covers alot of runners issues.
    The book they sell, "The Pain Free Triathlete", is a great resoruce.
    I bought it a few weeks ago but lent it right away to another runner friend who was was having issues with his calf. He is back to running full steam ahead.
    Got the book back this morning, and instead of my piriformis, am working on my psoas, as sugested by Julie from the Julstro site.
    Good luck with your running!
    Happy Holiday!

  8. A nice long run at a strong pace. What more could you ask? Well, I guess no coughing and no pain. But still, good for you!

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Nice job on your long run! I'm with Angie. Would love to see some pictures of your favorite places to run. It sounds really beautiful.

  11. Well done on the long run. For some a long run would be to the nearest bus stop and for ultra marathoners it might be 30 miles plus.

    For me and my current running diary a long run is anything over an hour.