As I get ready to do my last long run of my 2009 season, I find myself procrastinating the start for a warmer part of the day by reflecting upon my long runs of the past as well as my future long runs. I starting thinking a lot about running this weekend after following the NYC Marathon and following friends who were running the marathon. Not only was I psyched to see some awesome performances from my friends who were running, but I had the pleasure of helping to coach an athlete to a very successful first marathon! What a thrill!
Ironically, RockStar Tri wrote a blog about "the long run yesterday. Check out, "When is a long run long?" on RockStar Tri's Blog: http://rockstartri.blogspot.com/2009/11/when-is-long-run-long.html. I commented that I think a run is long when it reaches 12 miles. To me anything 12 and over seems long. I also commented that I do all of my long runs alone and without an IPOD as I learned that he, along with others wear an IPOD and do all long runs with company. I can only remember a few long runs that I did with others. I have been running my long runs solo since I started running in 1998 and I am so familiar with a solo long run, that it would be quite an adjustment to run with company.
After graduating College in 1998 I decided to enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon. Upon my return from spending a summer backpacking in the Arctic of Alaska, I found out I had gotten into the the marathon! I had 2+ months to train and I can tell you that my body was in shock as it was used to swimming many hours a day, but was certainly not used to the pounding of running! I can also remember training for Boston for the first time in 1999 and running SOLELY on the treadmill in my gym! I did every run, including my 3 hour runs on the treadmill that year! Now, I cant even stand running a half hour on the treadmill! A few years ago, I did all of my long runs at SUNY Old Westbury. That was really tough, but awesome prep as I believe running there makes you VERY strong!
As I try and map out where I will run today, I realize that I'm tired of the same old routes. For my last long run, a 20 miler, I ran from here at my home in West Islip to my parents house in Blue Point! My dad drove me back home after having a nice lunch post-run. To my surprise, I had to run up and down some blocks in Bayport and Blue Point to reach my 20 mile goal...it was worth it though...the one-way run was a fun little journey and a great way to mix it up! My friend Kathy did her last 18 Miler this Sunday. She's smart...she had friends meet her a different points in her run to keep her company and break it up. I think I may need to take advice from her next year! I'm thinking that if I had company with me today, I probably wouldn't be procrastinating (somewhat dreading?) this one quite as much as I am! No matter how many long runs I have done, the thought of running 18+ miles is absolutely daunting. The thought of running that distance never ceases to amaze me!
Reflecting has helped me to appreciate all of the runs I have done in the past as well as reminds me of the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment after completing a long run. I started running late in my life (I started at the age of 21...which isn't necessarily "later in life" but always seemed like it to me). Because of this, I never considered myself to be a "runner"... I still have a hard time calling myself a runner, but I guess I am. When I think about it, running has been a big part of my life... Running is so great because you can do it anywhere... Thinking about it, Ive run in so many great places and had such great memories. Ive run in Spain, France, Chile, Costa Rica , all over the US, the Bahamas...everywhere I travel to, I bring my running shoes. Maybe I'll reflect upon that today as I run long...