Distance Prescription

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. My weekend involved less running than last weekend and more eating! Here is the evidence (thanks for our Saturday breakfast, Chef Shack):

Yesterday, I ran my 16-mile long run solo. Since I normally run with a partner, just getting out the door was a little challenging. Before (and during) the run, I felt like I had the option to cut down my mileage to a shorter run (I just rolled my eyes at myself).

Running with a partner helps keep me accountable, helps me stay motivated, and makes me push myself harder than I would running alone. Yesterday, I had to get through it on my own. Ultimately, I didn’t end up cutting the run short – I knew I had to push through it because I have to be prepared for my race in October. On race day, you never know how things will go. You might start the race with a partner and then need to part ways. You have to be prepared for anything!

Like I mentioned last week, if you plan your route ahead of time, you will usually end up with a much nicer route than one you might pick if you have already left the house and are pressed to come up with something last-minute. Is that what I did? Of course not. I ran the silliest route. First I ran the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, and then added on bits and pieces to splice together the mileage I needed. Not only was it hard to run alone when I’m used to running with others, but I also listened to Lady Gaga almost the entire way. For 12 miles, it made me pumped. Towards the end, it was a little crazy-making, so I turned it off and listened to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Dramatic? :)

The best part of my run was when I saw a deer run across the road to Lake Calhoun. Initially, I thought it was a greyhound (I have a distance prescription, but I never run in my glasses) that had jumped out of a guys quad cab pickup! A few seconds later, I saw a mama and two baby deer, taking a dip in the lake. It was pretty precious (I was a little worried about them getting back across the street). I shared the story on Twitter and a friend was amused by the double meaning of “distance prescription.”

Despite it being hard to motivate myself through my run yesterday, I felt pretty good. I’m battling some pretty crazy blisters from the Newton’s. I’m still holding out and bought some thicker socks, on the recommendation of one of the lovely sales people at TC Running Company (I love that place).

Lacey, my running partner, decided to throw in the towel and bought some new shoes to replace her Newton’s. A friend told me about this article from this April’s Runner’s World, which talks about the benefits of Newton’s. For me, the jury is out. I’ll need to make a final decision very soon, though, because of training for Chicago Marathon (it’s in less than two months).

Questions:

If you run with a running partner normally, do you find it hard to run alone? How do you get through it?

What is your favorite music to run to?

Any Newton runners out there and if so, what’s your advice about acclimating to them?

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11 thoughts on “Distance Prescription

  1. Summer S says:

    when i first started running- it was with a partner- but we preferred different running times and once I got hurt and was out for a month- she continued running and increased her pace- i’m still really slow and actually do a bit of walking w/ my running. I have since ran alone- I have to agree that having a route planned out makes a HUGE difference!! I find when I do get the chance to run w/ someone I push my self much harder, which is good, but I also get tired sooner. I have come to enjoy running on my own… it’s my “me time”/ therapy! I love it!

    Did you see the Olympic commercials w/ Ryan Hall running to an audio book? what do you think of that? I have been thinking about this for the last week and don’t know if it is something i would like (get totally zoned into and not focus on my distance) or get annoyed and maybe be slower because I don’t have fast music pushing me… Just a thought.

    • I totally get what you mean about “therapy time.” It’s nice to be able to think (or not) and not be obligated to or distracted by anything but running.

      The closest thing I’ve tried to an audio book was listening to a podcast once. I went back to music because I felt like having a beat (usually a faster one) helps me run faster and keeps me mentally in the game.

      I think if I listened to a book or a podcast while running I might pay too much attention to it, where with music I can zone out. Give it a shot and tell me what you think! I’m interested to hear. :)

  2. Summer S says:

    and i see you finally tried the mini donuts….AWESOME!!

  3. Jean says:

    Your Saturday breakfast looks insanely good. Yum! Great job on your long run, and very cool sighting of the deer (the little ones are so precious!). And, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of the greatest songs ever (particularly Jeff Buckley’s haunting rendition, which is amazing).

    I almost always run alone, and I don’t find it difficult at all. I enjoy the quiet time to ponder, think, and absorb the surroundings. That being said, I still do enjoy running with others! It is often just easier to do it on my own time.

    • Have you had Chef Shack before? If not, I’d highly recommend it. I’ve been spoiled by being in close proximity to two amazing farmers markets, so I get to have their food a lot!

      Agree about “Hallelujah” – I like the Jeff Buckley version too!

      I like what you said about “absorb(ing) the surroundings.” That is a definitely perk of a solo run and something that I seek to do on my runs. It seems like you are always seeing amazing things while running! Are you keeping a tally? :)

      • Jean says:

        I have not tried the Chef Shack, but I looked at their menu on their website. Looks incredible and very creative! I might need to venture into Minneapolis some weekend to visit those farmers markets and check out the Chef Shack!

        I do keep a spreadsheet to document my runs, and I do actually keep track of the various things I see! :) It is kind of fun to look back on, and it is a good resource. Especially in the spring when I can look up year to year when certain birds arrived or flowers bloomed. Fun stuff!

      • I love that you keep a spreadsheet! It’s so cool that running helps you be more connected to nature.

  4. hyedi says:

    Thanks for the follow. I LOVE your blog layout — it looks awesome!

    Lately, my running has changed to where I don’t mind running along — and without music. I used to HAVE to run with a partner and music was a necessity. It’s funny how things can change :)

    • Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by! :)

      I get what you mean about changing up running styles (which I’ve done too). It’s nice to know you can try different things and still have a good run or that things always change over time.

  5. Erica M says:

    I prefer to run alone. I get hung up on whether I’m going “fast enough” when I run with someone else (because I’m slow).

    I almost always listen to podcasts while I run. But I haven’t been doing a lot of workouts that require me to push the pace; if/when I do, I might try music instead.

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