Not letting the “long run” take over my life

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SIL and I were talking on Saturday night about our mutual long runs-SIL ran 12, I ran 20. I grilled her for EVERY single detail. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a new runner hitting those new distances, and hearing how she feels about each and every run is one of my favorite things. I literally asked her 85 questions because i was so curious!

SIL did her long run with her team- The Dana Farber runners. Next week she starts training along the actual Boston course!! I’m really excited for her! When i think back to my first marathons, I really wish that i had done the long runs with my own team-I think its a fantastic way to stay motivated and make new running friends! (When I started running for my Children’s Hospital team, i had to work every Saturday…which was when they did their long runs, so i used to do mine on Sundays. )

Anyway, we obviously were talking about our different sore muscles, foam rolling, stretching, etc. We talked about how she felt a lot better and more confident on this team run than she did on her first. She really is learning mind over matter-it’s SO exciting to hear about all of her advancements! She also said how she thinks of her own 20 miler (Which won’t be until March) and the distance just seems SO far compared to what she is running now.

One thing I’ve learned in all of my years of running is not to let the long run take over my life/weekend. If you let it rule you-it will. I’ve learned the balance between handling the long run and life. Some days, its a fine line between “I’m exhausted” and “Yeah, I can push myself some more today.”

OF COURSE I am sore when I’m done my long run. I an remember, quite a few years ago, when i would do my longer – long runs (like 17-20 miles) and I wouldn’t make plans the rest of the day. I would mostly just veg out on the couch. You know the drill..finish run..shower…put on clothes…eat all the food…collapse on couch….and stay there til bed! 

THAT gets old. FAST. And that makes life BORING! Now, i LOVE running, but i love “LIFE” just as much. I don’t care HOW tired I am–> I do not let a long run rule my life. When we threw our Christmas party a few weeks ago, I did my long run that morning. Yesterday, I did a long run before my family came over. There were times over this past summer where I ran a half marathon race and then went about my day like nothing had happened that morning! I went to baby showers, weddings, birthday parties..all post long run. Its kind of not even a “big deal” to my friends anymore. They all just think I’m a weirdo it’s funny and are thoughtful in asking “Did you run today? And how many? 20?” And then they laugh, and move on. My BFF likes to tell people how i ran 13 on my wedding day (i did! I would’ve been a bundle of nerves had I not!)

I’m not telling you all that so you think I’m a bad ass because I’m really not. I’m telling you this because I know what its like…to just want to sleep or sit in a hot tub until tomorrow and not really do anything at all. I made the decision not to let myself be “too tired for fun” after a long run. You just can’t! If you find yourself too exhausted to move, week after week, then its time to reevaluate something in your plan, or your running! I completely understand being “tired” but being “too tired to move or do things” every week isn’t healthy either. Running and life are a balance act. One that you have to work at..but you shouldn’t let “running” get in the way of things like spending time with your family, or missing out on something really awesome.
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SIL is doing fantastic at the balancing thing. She is a mom/wife/teacher/photography genius—> so she kind of already had a pretty sweet juggling routine going on before she added “marathoner in training” to that list. She’s great at taking her kiddos places on weekends, even with those tired legs, because she doesn’t want to miss “the moments” that life presents.

These are my tips for making the rest of your day, post- long run a little bit easier:

-Have a plan for your long run! Make it a routine. Knowing that i want to be done my run before my husband gets home from work motivates me to get going early in the day!

-Have food ready for you when you get home. I can’t cook for myself immediately following a long run..I’m wayy too HANGRY. So i usually think about what I’m going to have immediately after, and have it ready. Sometimes its leftovers from the night before, sometimes its soup from my daddio…i just know that i will *NEED* food, and having a post run food plan makes me and my belly so happy!

-Get out cha compression socks. Wear them. it is winter time-NOBODY WILL KNOW they are on under your clothes because lets be serious, you need 8 layers to be outside functioning anyway!!

-If your thing is an epsom salt bath, or an ice bath…get your ice BEFORE you run. Nobody wants to go to the store after finishing a long run!

-Do a little stretching IMMEDIATELY after finishing while your muscles are still loose and warm. This helps sooooo much. And, added bonus: when you are in the shower and drop the soap..you will actually be ABLE to bend over and pick it up.

-this is a night before the long run tip, but make sure your toenails are clipped. Nobody likes having, or even SEEING a black toe. Nobody.

I hope these tips help you out!

What’s your post long run routine?

Have you ever felt like the long run was taking over your whole day?

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28 thoughts on “Not letting the “long run” take over my life

  1. Good post. I do some of mine before work that way I’m forced to keep active all day.
    Except for a little lunchtime power nap of course. 🙂

  2. I actually enjoy letting it take over my life and weekend, but to each her own! 🙂 (plus, I don’t have as much energy as you do, I think! though I’d love more)

    Post long run I eat, read running stuff online, settle in my chair to read paper running stuff and relax. Massage is either Sat (LR day) or Sun. As dinnertime approaches, DH and I choose from our limited dinner options, eat and maybe watch a movie or DVR’d TV show. Sunday is run, breakfast, prep for the week.

    Those “on the Boston course” long training runs with the group – do you think if I flew up there, they’d let me tag along and run the course? Or are there other groups that do it? I’d prefer Sat to Sunday. It’s kind of a wild idea and I may not be able to pull it off due to cost, time, etc. but I am considering it.

    • I’m sure if you found a group who wasn’t involved in a charity run would let you run with them-In my experience, the charity runs are pretty strict with who they will allow into their runs to due health concerns& liabilities and the fact that they have volunteers who are there solely for the teams. I think its a great idea but i would definitely look into finding a group you could run with first!! 🙂

  3. My experience is similar to Charissa’s above – I’ve never let long runs ruin the rest of my Saturday/weekend, but it does affect my Friday night. I always feel like I’m being anti social when I tell people I can’t stay out late or drink much because I have to get up to run at 5:30. But I don’t like to stay out late on Fridays anyway, and besides I still have Saturday night to be social!

    I’ve always been out and about after my long runs, even the 20 milers! Active recovery is good for you. Plus, who doesn’t have a million things to do on any given weekend and can afford to sit around and do nothing the rest of the day? Not me!!

  4. i love to get my long runs done on friday evenings so i can enjoy the weekend in full! but most of my runs do happen on saturdays, so immediately post-run i stop at whole foods and pick up choco milk, sandwich and chips. go home, eat. hot shower. then i watch tv for a bit if i have time, or just carry on with my day! i usually have plans for saturday afternoon or evening so that keeps me accountable for making sure i keep moving!

  5. I thought the long runs would kill me – but it turns out, I have a 2 year old…vegging out just wasn’t an option. This year the distances aren’t new, so I’m hoping they will be just like any other day.

    My favorite thing to do post run is eat, foam roll, and later that day take an epsom salt bath. Then I’m ready to go the next day (like it never happened!)

  6. I love hearing people’s first time run stories too! And I’m always impressed by anyone who can run 20 miles like it’s no big deal! I tend to dwell a bit on how my long run days take away from my family time or I feel guilty that I’m taking hours out of a weekend morning every single weekend. My long-term solution to that is to become a faster runner! (I’m super slow)

  7. I usually take a bath (ice or epsom salt) after my long run, but after I get out….I need to be ON. We’ve got 2 little boys who are so active. There is no time for lying around and not making plans!

  8. If I am lucky my long runs are early in the morning. I then take 30 minute to stretch with my daughters (2 and 4 yrs), shower, eat and then play with them. If my husband is home we do something as a family. If he is not home – I do my long run on the treadmill after our girls go to bed (usually around 8pm).

  9. This is a great post! I agree, you shouldn’t let the long run run your life 🙂 I’ve never had a hard time about having fun AFTER my long run actually, but in terms of preparation the night before – I think that’s when it can get more in my way. Most of my friends still love to go out or hang out late at night and I can’t really stay out late if I’m planning to wake up at 5:30/6 am for a long run the next day. But, for special occasions, there’s always room for a compromise (aka switching running days, running later in the day, etc.) 🙂

  10. This is so true! While its important to get the long run in, its also important to not let it take over your life. I try to move things around so if I have a really busy weekend or a late night or something I dont have to do a 20 miler that weekend. I remember a couple years ago running 20 miles and then going to a wedding and it think it seriously delayed my recovery. Obviously i wasn’t going to skip the wedding for the long run but I maybe could have done a 13 mile run and done a 20 miler a different weekend.
    I usually like to give myself a few hours after the run is over to lay around and then I try to get moving!

    • I think I have gone to weddings after long runs too, and i remember how stressed out i was getting ready post run because i was mooving soooo slowlyyyyy, its like time had stopped! I am like you..I try to move a long run around for a Big event too!!

  11. Hey girl! Great post!! You two are both beauties! I love your pictures together- both of you look SO happy! I absolutely LOVE it! So cool you talk about training, too- that’s amazing! 🙂
    I love this post and you’re right, long runs can really make you not enthused for the rest of the day. I definitely find that to be true. You were also right when you said that getting out and living after your runs is so important. I’ve gotten better about that, too. I try to make a plan before my long run and stick to it, even if I’m really sore and tired! Have a fab day! XOXO

  12. There have been long runs that I felt like took over the whole day, but that is usually because they didn’t go well, and not for other reasons. I like to make sure that I do something later on in the day so that I can keep moving (which is better for you anyway!). A nap is lovely, though 😀

  13. I admittedly get anxious if I know I have a busy day planned following a long run (like 15 or more) especially one that involves kids birthday parties or other things that require me to be “on.” I’d be happy just eating and hanging out all day but it rarely happens. Whatever I’m doing though I wind up stretching all day, no matter where I am 🙂

  14. I can relate 100%. I would always just pass out lol but as the years go by I’ve gotten better at moving along post long run. I think if you’re a beginner it’s tough to get up after a 20 miler!! Rest is important too but so is the rest of our lives lol great tips!! I always hated cooking post run. I’d usually whip up an egg sandwhich or PB&J

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