#LRhatersanonymous–The First 20+

“I’m either going to show up for tomorrow’s 21 miler refreshed and back in the game, or without a shot in hell at survival.”

– OUaL, Friday 3/9/12

Spoiler : I survived.

It wasn’t pretty, but given the 4 full days off and cram-session I did at the end of the week to get the week’s miles in, I’m trying not to let a tough long run mess with my head.

I mean, they’re supposed to be hard.  Right?  Kind of?

Ok fine, here’s the story :

Sat-Tues : Work trip to Salt Lake. Lots of fun, food, drinks, and standing all day in heels.  0 miles ran.

Weds : Freak out training is busted, run twice to bandage the plan.  4 easy in AM, 5 speedy in PM.

Thurs : Bail on original plan of 4 long hill repeats ala this workout.  Feel like a giant weenie for pussing out.  Two repeats and a hilly loop.  7.5ish total.

Fri : Easy 4.  Spend all day trying to convince myself to move LR to Sunday.  Realize it won’t work.  Find solace in carbs & compression.  Say a prayer.


Pro Compression Hail Mary.

(Floor is open for debate on which is worse : my photography or my obnoxiously bright Friday night outfit.  Party on, Garth.)

Anyways, Saturday came and I managed to wake up, feed/coffee, and dress myself in a timely enough fashion to get out the door early enough to beat the heat.  (foreshadowing – I love summer in March)


The run itself wasn’t THAT terrible.  I got really lucky with shade along the route and there were a TON of people out which made it fun.  (Hi Laura & friend!)  I’m pain-free, my new socks are sweet, and staying pretty consistent with my target pace.  My fueling still needs some work, but overall I feel like things are coming together pretty well.


There is one piece I’m still struggling with, though.  Kind of important.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Actually I’m pretty sure this is why most people can’t/don’t/hate run(ning) distance.


3 hours is a long time.  For anything.  I can hardly do anything for an hour straight, let alone making my body work consistently for 3 times that long.  Then you add in the mental solitude part and it’s just disaster.  DISASTER.

Boredom, self doubt, confusion, anger, bartering– it’s like a therapy session at a mental institute or AA or something during those LRs.  #LRhatersanonymous

(boredom) “lalala look a rabbit! what should we have for dinner? you should redecorate the bathroom. did you finish that report for work? I wonder when the Indians play today. ohhh wasn’t that race in Cleveland today? how far have I gone? are we done yet?”

(self doubt) “seriously, 9 more miles? HA yeah good luck. your legs are already dead. you took 4 days off. you want to run WHAT in Eugene? you’re out of your mind. this sucks. you suck.”

(confusion) “gel now? are you hungry? is this too fast? is this avg lap pace or actual pace? should I have turned there? is this real life?”


(barter) “you can eat whatever the hell you want and nap all day. just finish this run. the faster you go the faster the IPA gets drank. do not steal that little kids bike. sarah don’t do it.”

Anyways, the final 2-3 miles were HARD, and not in the ‘just gut it out, it’s supposed to be tough!’ kind of way.  More like a, ‘if this car hits me I could have an excuse for cutting the rest of this run short. it’s ok, I’m wearing RoadID…” way.

Real healthy.

So Operation Don’t Hate the LR is still a work in progress.  I’ll get there.  Hopefully.  Otherwise everyone in OC is in a huge amount of danger.  This mental instability is just a small step away from a Criminal Minds plot line.

The good news is I did recover like a champ. Ice, rehydrate, boat, play with dolphins, vitamin D.  Living in SoCal – and having friends with boats – isn’t so bad I guess.




Sarah OUaL

I’m sure you heard already, but half of So Much Cooler Online – Ultra put out a pretty rad showing at the San Diego Half this weekend.  SR, Nicole (HRM), and Pam all with huge PRs.  I am not worthy of my spot on this team.  You ladies rock.  Serious.


Pam, SR, Nicole (from HRM)


38 thoughts on “#LRhatersanonymous–The First 20+

  1. Your internal monologue is awesome…and sounds like my thoughts during the end of the marathon this weekend. No music allowed for 26mi! I was dying.

    Anyways, my running issues are in my head too. When I get all freaked out (or tempted to commit crimes), a chant a mantra. For the last 4mi, I just kept saying “I am ok. I am ok. I am ok.” Other, less boring ones, work too…anything that focuses you on the task at hand versus external stimuli.

    PS: my own sub4ordie was a success! 3:50!


  2. Oh man, I struggle to not get in my head and I have yet to run that long! Not sure if you have tried this yet, but audiobooks really help me. I’m so focused on the story that time flies by and I don’t concentrate on anything else– works way better than music on LR’s! :)


    • Yes! Thank God for audiobooks. I was going to suggest that myself. Nice recovery activities, OUAL! Mine were lay on the couch and watch a movie, lay on the couch and watch DVR’d TV, lay on the couch and eat, lay on the couch and read blogs, lay on the couch and eat some more, go to bed. Boring. I want a SoCal icebath!


  3. Hahahaha! Love this post. I just did my first long run (for me) of 13.4 miles yesterday, and yes, I went through all those notions in my head!!! Squirrels playing, beating myself up, wondering if I should stop to pee or just keep going, [I was running a track around a park and there was a birthday party going] wondering how crazy I look to the people that I ran by like, 13 times……LOL! Then the whole, well, I have burned more calories on this run than I normally eat in one day, so it will be worth it….but my legs are so tired I just want to stop! Oh and not to mention that I got stung not once, but twice, by the same bee on the lips (upper and lower)!!!! But I made it and survived!!! You rock girl! You can do whatever you set your mind to!!!! <3


  4. I think when I start my first marathon training I will be spending a lot of time in anger mode. Followed by “WTF were you thinking, just give up now” mode. Just be careful not to talk out loud to the voices in your head. Although maybe you can fake it out by saying you were doing a talk test. An angry talk test. Yeah – that works.


  5. 21 miles is long freaking way. Just reading your report made me freak out a bit and wonder why I signed up for another marathon too!! But you did it! And very speedily I might add. I want to play with dolphins! How does your shin feel today?


  6. sillypants, BOAT trumps PR any day. you win.

    if you want long run solace, you know where to find me. sitting at home alone reading people.com eating swedish fish. like i said, im super busy these days.


  7. Good job on finishing 21 miles. If it were easy, then everyone would do it right? One of the things I tell myself during the first part of the marathon is to “sleepwalk” through it. Don’t be over eager and don’t think to much. I know this sounds silly but when you are tired of being in your own head go somewhere else. During the last few miles of a long run or marathon, I would tell myself that “in an hour you will be taking a hot shower and drinking a cold beer”. It works wonders..


  8. Love the sock color–blue is my fav.

    Despite a hang-up in your training, you seriously are killing your LR’s. I bet with more and more LR training the “F” will stay the heck out of your head. You got running skillz. Who knew we could run 26.2 miles when 60 feet was once enough!


  9. I think it’s perfectly normal to find the last few miles of a 20+ hard. It it were easy then you’d just go run the marathon no problem, no need to do said 20+ milers.

    Oh, and I have a visual of you in my head, stealing some kid’s bike and him crying. Akin to the Goonies scene “I want my bike, I want my bike”


  10. GEEEEZ, it’s so sad how out-of-perspective my LRs are right now. I need to sign up for another marathon.

    yes, I say that even after reading your stages of LR grief.

    I also need to get me some compression socks. badly. my shins are begging me to.


  11. Hot dang speedster! 21 miles at an 8:49! You are all over Eugene. No doubt.

    I’m a headcase runner so I can totally relate to the convos on long runs. Super proud of you for kicking through. So what if beer and a boat is motivation. Whateva works!

    Thanks for the props my friend!

    P/S If you aren’t worthy I’m not either! So there :)


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  13. You covered 21 miles…you are allowed to eat, sleep and think whatever the heck you want! I always come up with amazing ideas and dialogue when running but I can never remember them by the time I get home, although all of the above mentioned thoughts go down!


  14. Aw thanks for the props Sarah!! I’m so happy to be a part of the RAGNAR team! WE are ALL worthy…silly girl!! :)

    running LOOONG is sometimes so mental… “you got this!” I know you’re going to do great in Eugene! great pace for your 21 miler… perfecto!! I love how you recover too! You had a GREAT weekend! :)


  15. I am running Eugene, too! My mental game is something that I am completely practicing this time around in training (Eugene will be my 3rd marathon). I’ve tried to read up on it, but some stuff is just so dorky. You will survive, you always do, we run marathons because.. plain and simple.. we rock!


  16. Thank you for this post … no matter the distance I set out to run I always feel that my mind is my enemy even when my body feels amazing … I don’t think I have it in my to run more than a half marathon so I admire you … and by the way … I want to ice the SoCal way.


  17. ha:) love the shout out…thanks! see you on the loop again i’m sure…i live next to it and am too lazy to drive anywhere to do my runs.


  18. Haha! I always think that I would be better off if a car hit me when I am struggling…any reason to stop running. In fact, in my half this weekend I thought about telling the cop that was holding traffic to just let them hit me at about mile 11. I have also thought about throwing myself off a bridge in the middle of a long run to make it STOP. J/k… Kinda.


  19. Shit life is hard, I like your recovery plan!

    I love the runners inner dialog. I always laugh at myself how quickly it can go from highs to lows and always thought how crazy people would think I am if they could hear it all.

    Good crazy right?


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