Oh, the long run. It is both the bane and the bliss of every runner’s existence. Regardless of what your “long” run distance may consist of, we all go through the same range of emotions leading up to this oh-so-important run. As I prepare for (read: freak out about) my 20 mile run this weekend, I thought about what goes through my mind as I’m prepping for and executing a long run. Here are my five stages of the long run. Can anyone else relate???
- Usually the anxiety starts midday Friday. I start thinking that there is no way I can actually run whatever distance I’m scheduled to run the next day. I get this feeling in my stomach that is half nerves and half a bad reaction to my lunch. This normally subsides about the time I go to bed—you know, at 9pm because I’m really fun on Fridays.
- I always start out a long run just feeling happy to be running with a group. The sun is shining (sometimes), the air is cool (I live in DC, so this is not really accurate, but a girl can dream) and we are moving! It feels great. For the first hour or so…
- I also overestimate how far we’ve gone. I’ll think we’ve run seven miles when it’s only been three. Then I just want to end it. I wear a watch so I’m not sure how I always end up messing it up so badly in my head, but without fail I’ll be so off in my estimation of time. This inevitably leads to number 4…
- I have to have small goals to check off while running long. Usually it goes like this: only 3 miles to the turnaround and then we’re halfway done! Only 2 miles until the water stop and pretzels! Less than a 5k until we are DONE!
- We made it. Now it’s time to eat ALL THE THINGS (usually involving bacon or potentially this frittata). And nap. And shower. Typically in this order: shower, eat all the things and then nap. But sometimes, it’s eat all the things, fall asleep on my bedroom floor and then wake up because I’m so smelly. Then, I shower. #realtalk #runnerscanbegross #dontactlikeimtheonlyone
What stages do you go through on a long run?
A version of this post appeared on Women’s Running magazine.