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,