Long run rehash

Aaaaah, the Sunday long run. I am, bizarrely enough, starting to look forward to you.

Yesterday’s 32k went very well, thanks for asking.

It was a lovely sunny day with a light breeze and a top of 18 degrees. Definitely short shorts and tank top time.

I was my usual organised self* and forgot I’d run out of gels, so I cobbled together a delicious assortment of my daughter’s recess snacks and some spare cash just in case.

IMAG0274

 Those X + O things are yum, just like energy chews!

I wanted to be back in plenty of time for the Richmond vs. Carlton elimination final so I was out of the house before 9:30. It was cool and sunny, the perfect combo for a long run.

I took myself out onto the Main Yarra Trail, via the Outer Circle Railway and Anniversary Trails.

IMAG0275

Main Yarra Trail follows the Yarra River from Warrandyte right on into the city. It’s about 38km long and has some very picturesque views. I highly recommend it.

There’s plenty to see on this popular pathway – I think it was busier on the trail than on the roads! Cyclists, runners, walkers, dogs, kids, footy matches, if you’re a runner who gets bored on their long runs, give Main Yarra a go.

IMAG0278

An Ibis? Let’s just call it a weird bird thing…

I felt really, really good for a lot of this run. I was doing about 6:20 pace even though it felt slower, and I had heaps of those I love running moments. Up until the halfway mark I was on track to finish in about 3:15, which is VERY quick for me.

Unfortunately I was so distracted by the lovely surrounds and taking photos –

IMAG0279At about the halfway point

…that I didn’t realise till it was almost too late that I hadn’t been eating enough. I had gone 16k on one bottle of Gatorade. I quickly stuffed down the muesli bar whilst walking up a massive hill and by the 2 hour mark things were sort of back on track.

I did take quite a few photos today, but unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to snap the old dude on a bike wearing ski goggles. At first I thought he must hate getting bugs in his eyes, but later on when I was swooped for the first time I realised he was probably protecting himself from magpies and the like. They seem extra vicious this season.

Those awful clacky beaks! *shudder*

Manorina_melanocephala_domainThis is the little bugger that got me, the Noisy Miner.

I’ll take him over a magpie any day!

I think I am finally beginning to notice when I need more fuel, rather than letting myself hit the wall THEN trying to fix the problem.

Having said that, I didn’t always manage to get things right. Several times I felt spent. No other word for it. As though I just could not go another step. But I’m a stubborn old cow.

I decided to embrace that hitting the wall feeling. I figured I could use the experience for race day anyway. So I walked, I refueled, I drank some water, and surprise surprise, I could run again within a few minutes. 

It truly is amazing how you can go from feeling on top of the world to like you’re going to die, and then back again – all in one run. 

It is such a powerful feeling – that of continuing on when you feel like you can’t take another step.

Not that it was easy, mind you.

I tried to distract myself by concentrating on my surrounds; the strange little Asian woman digging up dandelion roots by the side of the track, or the galah in a frenzy, munching on the fluffy seed heads – I wish I’d photographed them both, see, I actually did restrain myself from taking too many photos!

IMAG0280

After the 24k point it got a little easier, mentally. And physically I still had a fair bit of strength left. I was run/walking regularly by this stage, although not too much, and had remembered early on to activate my glutes instead of relying on Mr Piriformis, so he wasn’t complaining at all, something I am very happy about.

One thing I do have to concentrate on is fuelling when I am tired. The less you eat the less energy you have, and the less you can be bothered to eat. A vicious circle.

I spurred myself on with the promise of a coke at the BP service station I had stopped at on the way out. The same cashier was still there and he asked how far I was running. When I told him, and said I had a little under 6k to get home he said that I was very fast.

What a nice guy.

I told him that actually I was considered slow , but I must admit, his comment – and the Coke – gave me just the boost I needed to get home!

I didn’t even bother trying to run The Hill, but I ran proportionally a lot more of those last k’s than I usually do on my long runs. AND I felt good afterwards.

IMAG0281

I encounter worse hills on my runs, but this one is so loooong, and so close to home I have to endure it way too often for my taste

After a good foam roll, a long epsom salts bath and a big lunch I was front and centre on the couch by 3:20, ready for a rousing yell at the telly. The result? Well, the less said about that the better I’m afraid. It’s been 24 years since Richmond won a Grand Final, and nothing’s changing any time soon it seems.

*Example #2 of my stellar organisational abilities – I just realised I was supposed to do 30k yesterday, not 32. Woops!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *