The Lonely Long Run?

I have been spoiled lucky to have the option to run with Team in Training.  Actually, most of my long runs (anything over 14 miles) have been with TNT because I have only run marathons with the organization.  I am currently training on my own for the Wineglass Marathon in October and also training for the Goofy Challenge with TNT in January.  So right now my TNT runs on Saturday are shorter mileage runs (3-6) and I need to get in more than that for Wineglass.  Since we started Goofy training I have been running Friday long runs and Saturday shorter recovery type runs and it has worked out nicely.  I was lucky to have two 1/2s during this time and I had my friend Lisa run the 18 with me and hadn’t needed to do any of the runs on my own.

But this past Friday I was stuck.  I found out my regular running buddies were all busy.  I even put it out on Facebook and asked if anyone was interested in running just a few miles with me along the way.  No such luck.

I set my alarm for 5:45 and was out the door not soon after.  I brought my debit card and water bottle with a few nuun tablets and knew that would keep me covered for fluids.  I wasn’t sure initially what my route would be, other than get to Piedmont Park for a few loops before the sun came up.  I started doing the math and realized I could run the Peachtree course out and back.  With the loops around the park and back home it would be right around 20 miles.

Maybe I just needed a mental break, who knows.  But this run was actually really nice.  I typically enjoy the group run and catching up with my friends but this was refreshing.  A nice change of pace.

I had plenty to watch visually-a homeless man dropped his pants and changed, bootcampers getting schooled at the park, 2 more homeless men getting ready for the day and brushing their teeth in the fountain, and of course, Atlanta hustle, bustle, and traffic.

I stopped at the CVS around mile 9-10 to get more water and powerade and hid it in the bushes for the run back.  I was feeling great.  Almost to the turnaround I came upon the college bars and found a spot where a young one had a little too much to drink near a bench..ewww….

Mile 16 kinda sucked-it was up the infamous cardiac hill of the Peachtree and I was tired and the sun was starting to beat down.  I managed to get through it all.  A few TNT friends even saw me along the course and gave me a honk or two.  And right around the 20 mile mark, I found a dollar.  A great way to end the run 🙂

I somehow got through it.  It actually went by relatively fast.  I have no idea how.  Maybe it was the new tunes, maybe it was just a stress relief run from a long week of work.  But either way I felt great.  Accomplished.  Excited that I could do the run on my own.

Here are my stats:

Pretty happy with the splits.  Hoping this will lead to a sub 4 marathon!

I may have to attempt this run again in 2 weeks.  I am hoping it is this easy again (and a little cooler)…

I want to know how you do it? Do you do your long runs by yourself?  Or do you prefer a group? What keeps you going? Entertained?  Do you attempt them on the treadmill?

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Elizabeth

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3 Comments

  • I do ALL my runs by myself unfortunately. I'm starting to branch out and meeting up w/ TN Ragnar teammates, and soon bloggers around me. Running is my ME time. All day long I listen to other peoples problems and excuses so when it comes to running- its just me and my own excuses haha- but really, its relaxing.

  • Almost all of my runs are solo efforts (and without music). My longest outside of a race was just shy of 22 miles out in the country. The route was hilly but the scenery and sound track were awesome.

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