Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Long Run: Ugh! I mean, I love the long run

my long run park - Bergen County NJ
Ah, the long run is back.

The long run (for me) is any run that requires me to run an hour and a half or more so for me, that's pretty much anything over 7-8 miles (though as training starts to become serious - I look forward to 8 milers because they are easier than 16 or 20!)

Anyhoo.

I hate to admit it but I often (well almost always) dread the long run.

Ironically, I always feel good after the long run but finding the oomph to get ready for it before hand… Well, that's where and when a lot of the crappiest excuses to get out of a run start ebbing it's way in.

As I embark on marathon training, I'm trying to get my motivation up for these long run days and will fake this til I make it. I have a new mantra for every time a dreaded long run thought seeps into my mind. It's not particularly clever or creative but I figure its easy and to the point. I LOVE THE LONG RUN.

I'm also comprising a list of reasons why the long run ROCKS! (Yes, read that with gusto! Feels more real that way…)

So here's my list of why the long run rocks!

1.  FOOD I love to eat. Even with all this running, I have to be careful with my food. And while I'm eating relatively clean, running (especially long runs) allows me eat a little bit more peanut butter, avocado or even an extra glass of wine without sweating it.  My long run of 8 miles yesterday yielded me 15 WW points!

2.  TUNES I love music but don't get to carve much listening time out. So running is my time to catch up on tunes and jam to my favorite songs. I enjoy exploring and finding new music for these runs and have special playlists just for long runs.

3.  TIME Ah… an hour (or two, or three) that are entirely mine. No phones, no Email, no answering to anyone. Just me, my thoughts and my music. This time is completely a gift.

4.  NATURE Aside from the occasional treadmill long run, my long runs are through a beautiful park in Northern NJ. There's no better way to experience the change of seasons then running through that park. It's a really nice way to 'smell the roses' and get outside.

5.  ACCOMPLISHMENT OK the best part of my long run is when I'm finished. But not because all that hard work is simply over. There is no bigger feeling of accomplishment or pride then thinking about all those miles you just stared down and tackled. I've never ran a long run and shrugged it off as no big deal. Every long run means something significant in my journey to me.  And lets face it, every long run is bringing you one step closer to marathon success.

So those are my reasons why I LOVE THE LONG RUN - tell me why you love the long run. Or share your mantra. I need all the help I can get for when the "Ugh, I don't feel like running for a million hours" voice tries to get in the way of my mantra!

XO

Jen

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