Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Weekend Long Run ...

Yesterday I tweeked my right knee and am not really sure how it even happened.  I finished up my Saturday morning ride and the knee just tightened up along with some shooting pain around the kneecap?  Anyway, so I am at home yesterday icing the knee and I read KC's post and the same exact thing happened to her right knee?  WTF?  She describes it much better!  Send her some of your positive blogger vibes!

So with the knee feeling tender I was unsure if I should do my scheduled 1 hour and 40 minute long run this morning?  I decided to get in a nice, long foam roller session last night and hit the sack early and see how it felt in the morning.  The alarm went off at 5am and the knee felt a little tight but after a few quick stretches it loosened so I decided to do the run.

On to the topic of this post:  The weekly long run.  As a triathlete or a runner in the midsts of a training plan the long run is always very crucial to hitting you weekly mileage goals and also to build fitness for your upcoming race.  You can miss an occasional shorter mid-week workout and not lose any fitness (heck, the extra rest may even help sometimes), but the long run is essential to effective training. It not only helps to build your fitness but it instills the confidence in you to know that you can do the distance.  Which on race day is more valuable than words can express!

The funny things about the long run to me is that it has become rather ritualistic.  During my shorter weekday runs it is out the front door of the house with my Garmin 310xt and Brooks Running shoes - simple.

Now on long run day it is a completely different scenario.  I drive a couple miles up the road and park at a Walgreens.  This is centrally located to my running route.  For some reason running in my neighborhood on long run day is unacceptable -- not sure why, it just is?  I use the car as a "rest station" by keeping a cooler and towels in the back seat. The night before I prepare my hydration and nutrition and lay out my clothes on the dresser.  On cooler days (< 90 degrees) I will plan my route to stop back at the car after 8 miles so I can refill my nathan's hydration pack.  On warmer days, like today, the route become 6 miles to refill.  I always spend the first hour on the main roads of Kingwood because with the morning humidity the open space doesn't feel as stifling as the trails.  But once the sun comes up and burns all the morning haze away I hit the shaded greenbelt trails for relief from the heat.  What are the Green Belt Trails you ask?

They are a series of interconnect paved trails of about 75 total miles that weave through the forest of Kingwood. Usually you only come across the occasional runner or dog walker and it is an extremely peaceful place to run.  The cool part for me is that these trails are so wooded that they completely screw up my sense of direction. I am one of those weirdos with a built in compass who always knows which direction I am heading, but not on the Greenbelt trails, sort of refreshing actually.  I usually find an entrance and just run in the direction the trail takes me.  I eventually find a road I know but have had times when a planned 10-miler has turned into a 14-miler.  This little "sense of adventure" always keeps things fresh and when I do actually come out on the trails in an area that was expected it is a little disappointing.

So how does everyone else prepare for the Long Run Day?  Is it different for you or am I just a freak?

-  Oh, the knee held up fine during the run and I didn't even notice it once. However, it is a little tender right now.  Hopefully an easy 2500 yards in the 68 degree indoor pool this afternoon will help with the stiffness.

- Over that last couple of years I have dedicate quite a few posts to one of my favorite shows, "24".  So, when a friend sent me this video of the Unaired "24" Pilot from 1994 I had to share.  This is hysterical:

Thanks for Reading,



  1. At my age a long run is 10 miles. And then I will only do 2 of them leading up to the IM. Typical long weekly run is 6 or 7.5.

    I wish we had the Kingwood trails. We do have KCs Flatwoods, but I have to drive 10 miles to get there. Arnie does it, me... not so much.

    Take time off your knee and add the mileage in little increments when you get going again.

    You can't make the finish line if you don't make it to the starting line... and you don't know it yet, but you have all you need in the running dept to make the finish line.

  2. I hope the knee is nothing serious and heals quickly!

    I love the video!

  3. Aaww, thx for the good vibes! I was tempted to run today but decided not to even though i haven't heard a peep out of that sassy right knee. Maybe tomorrow AM i'll test it out. So happy that you were able to get your long run in. You are right about the long run giving you a big mental boost. I really don't have any different ritual on long run day. Pretty much the same as short run days. Easy for me since home is usually never far away.

  4. Man, you have your workout down to a science!!! HAHA!

    My long runs, take my fuel belt with 2 bottles, run on our towpath where they have rest stops (potties and fountains) every 3-5 miles. Stop when I have to and go when I don't.

    Pack a few gels in my pouch too. Nothing too crazy, still easier to do a long run than a long bike. Long bike takes a long time to prepare :)

    Bought H and I the bontragger bottle cage with the screw in CO2 holders I think you have. Haven't mounted it yet but I am hoping this frees up some space!!! They were on deep discount sales.

    Careful with the body man, you are tackling an aggressive program!

  5. I feel like I'm getting ready for a race when I do my long run prep, which starts the night before. Sunscreen, gu, nuun, waterbottles, glide, the right outfit, even my toothbrush, go in the downstairs bathroom so I don't wake the family up when I head out. We plan a route that has a bathroom/place to buy water if needed. But without a plan, the run would suck.

    hope your knee is okay!

  6. Hi Jeff,
    I am sorry to hear about your knee...glad it seems like it is okay:) Wow, you have this whole long run thing all figured out! I do agree, that it is so much easier just to head out the door for a short run. The long run days need more attention. I went out today on a longer run too. I took my hydration belt and fuel with but needed to stop at home after mile nine for more water and a quick shower:) I know that sounds stupid but I was dripping and my shirt was rubbing against me where my fuel belt was and my skin was starting to get raw. Refuel, dry clothes and a shower....Just seven minutes later I was out hitting the pavement again:)

    Nice work on all of your training Jeff! You are so dedicated to the of the things that I admire about you!

  7. I hope your knee pulls up fine. Take lots of care. But glad to hear you had a fun run.

  8. Hope your knee is feeling better. Mine was giving me some trouble earlier this week after a ride. Maybe it's the heat? I love the long runs, but I'm not so adventurous. I either run a 2 mile loop around my neighborhood multiple times or head out to the Texas Motor Speedway - it's a 5 mile loop around the outside of the track. Always convenient for long rides followed by long runs. It just makes it easy for keeping water bottles handy and if anything else goes wrong. Keep up the great work!

  9. Long runs always require a little extra preparation. I think it's only natural.

    I'm sorry to hear about your knee - I hope with some rest and icing the pain goes away and doesn't return.

  10. someone has to say it, your just a freak

  11. Ha ha...BDD's comment cracked me up! I'm sorry about your knee..I hope it gets better soon!
    For my long runs I usually just get things together 10min. before I leave. I usually take my Nathan speed 4 belt with me instead of my handheld. I put more thought into what I wear b/c it has to be comfortable over a long period of time. And, I also plan out where I'll run rather than just wing it like I do for my short runs.

  12. Great news on the knee! Great long run...I also use the Nathan's ...

    Was totally laughing last night assembling the Mother F excuse my language ikea thing....was lol as step 62 called for me to use the 7cent wrench they supplied hahahahaha