A Good Long Run – MT WK1 D6

Today was scheduled to be my first long run of my marathon training cycle. It is also the first longer run that I have done since I strained my right hamstring, so I was a little concerned about how it would go. While my planned 8.0 miles doesn’t sound like all that far, it is far enough, when the temps are around 70*F and windy as hell out of the NW.

Let’s back up a little first. Mary and I did a 2.5 mile walk with Bennie down back, when on the way back Greg G was riding his bike and stopped to talk for a minute. We commiserated injuries we are both rehabbing and talked about going to Quarry Road on Tuesday night for the 3K over there. It was good to see Greg and it will be even more fun to start the Quarry Road trail series and see a lot of the local runners again.

Right after we got back, I changed up to get going on my long run. I wanted to make sure that I wore my compression calf sleeves, toe socks and wrapped my right hamstring with my 4″ elastic bandage. The leg is not ready to go running without some external support.

When I left the house I was planning on something in the 9:20-9:30 pace range, since that is pretty much what I have been running lately, since it didn’t bother the hamstring at that pace. However, I got through the first mile a bit faster than that and while I purposely slowed down a bit, it wasn’t THAT much.

I was pleasantly surprised with how good my leg felt and since it didn’t bother too much I just ran comfortably. Although I did focus on keeping my cadence up and stride shorter to ensure that I landed under my hips versus my usual over-striding and a slight forward lean. Maybe having this hamstring strain, will finally force me to fix a few things about my wonderful running form.

The run was good, although the Middle Road and Junction Roads were both wind tunnels, with Junction Road being a rocky mess for that last mile. I think that the conditions of Junction Road slowed me down more than the stiff breeze, but as long as I paid attention to where my feet were landing, it wasn’t that big n issue.

Otherwise I felt quite strong throughout and the hamstring didn’t affect the run at all. Hopefully, I am on the other side of this injury – now to just keep running conservatively.

One thing I learned today was that my Topo Ultra Fly’s were just about perfect for this route. They were smooth on tar, had good grip when I had to run on dirt/grass road shoulders (when a vehicle went by) and protective on the dirt/rocks. While they will never be a so-called “fast” shoes, they hopefully will continue to be comfortable shoes that I can do my daily training runs in.

Although I did exactly what I didn’t want to do this morning for my long run, doing it after a 30,000 step day. I gotta get my schedule straightened out so that I am not doing big yard work the day before a long run. Today it worked out pretty well, but as the distances get longer, doing too much the day before my long run is going to not be a good thing.

Also I have to remember not to put my compression calf sleeves under my socks. I accidentally put the bottom of the calf sleeves under my socks and the seam at the bottom pressed in too much against the Achilles and shoes. I just had them too low and while it didn’t really bother during the run, after I stopped I could tell that they were a little sore from where I had them.

A much better run than I expected and the Ultra Fly’s performed the way that I want my running shoes to work, especially since it was my first long run in them and only the second run overall. The best part was that I was under 9:00 minute pace for the entire run without pushing that hard. It is pretty good when your scheduled long run is also your fastest run of the week so far.

Yep, a pretty good day.

Even so I was glad to see Clifford coming down the road to pick me up.