Linda’s Long Run Review

25 Sep Linda’s Long Run Review

With a stifling, hot day forecasted for Saturday, I was determined to beat the heat. Up early, coffee, water, oatmeal/banana for fuel, and I was on track to get out the door into the predawn.

It inspired me knowing that 2 running buddies would be doing the same thing albeit in different locales.  ‘Early bird gets the worm’ one of them told me. No birds for Linda, but just out the door I spied a little red fox scurrying toward the beach. Lucky him. Maybe me later.

In the 6 a.m. darkness I could already feel the heaviness of air. Couldn’t see it though as I was sporting my fav amber-tinted Tifosis. (The world always looks better through my rose-coloured glasses, even when it’s dark.) Easy 2 miles to start in the direction of The Square.

The Town Square, a place with water fountain & washroom seemed like a good plan. First 2 miles, then 9 miles @target pace (according to my coach Rick Mannen). Wasn’t feeling too confident about hitting this pace…this day…in any way. Did I want to? Yes. Needed a plan. Like the sun rising in the sky, it dawned on me! I could run loops of the Town Square, just like the Dam Hill Race. (In the ‘Dam Hill’ runners do 2.5K loops completing 10K to Ultra distances–their choice. It is certified and a Boston Qualifier event.) Today it was my choice. 

Did the math = 30+ loops. No long scenic route over hill and over dale, just the distance. Decided–30+ loops of The Square using the Town Hall for ‘Start’. “Here I go Loopty Loo Here I go Loopty Li, Here I go round & round, The Town Hall passing by.” My own Dam Square.

What Worked:

Zoned into Feeling of Pace. One of my goals is to fine-tune my sense of how various paces and efforts feel. Perfect opportunity to practice right then and there. Did that. Liked that, a lot.

Counted up and then counted down. The pyramid approach works whether it is miles or kilometres in a race, kettlebell swings, or Loopty Loops of a square. Up, down, finished and all on pace!

Narrowed my visual focus on something ahead. Sometimes the corner stop sign, sometimes the microwave tower’s red light. Psychologists suggest that limiting the peripherals helps limit our sensation of exhaustion. Placebo? Who cares.

Mantras. My running friends know I love mantras, songs, poems, limericks, and chants (most of which I make up).  ‘Landing lightly eggshells roll, Fast feet Fast feet, in control.’ ‘Breathe it out, Breathe it in, Keep relaxed and then again.’ ‘One more loop, One more to do, One more loop, You’re loose a screw’. 🙆

Visions of Sugarplums danced..? Not really but visions of animals did. Dr. Leith Drury is a fan of the positive effects animal imagery provides performance. You think I was running solo? Not in my head. Most of the time I imagined being alongside those fleet-footed deer, scampering chipmunks, and galloping gazelles.

Fan Support. Upon my request one of the women setting up the day’s events at the Town Hall agreed to cheer me on with ‘keep running’. Helped a lot to have at least one occasional cheering 😀fan.

What Worked Best? Starting early helped but honestly on Saturday I had to dig deep and unearth my sheer determination. A trait of stubbornness, annoyingly exhibited as a kid, has fortunately morphed into a personality trait that proves to be useful, at times.

I Can and I Will  (2 miles Easy + 9 miles @target pace + 2 miles Easy)  I DID. 

End of Story.

Epilogue: Sunday Recovery

  • Inspiration~ watched the amazing 2017 Berlin Marathon
  • Recuperation~Easy 3-miler
  • Relaxation~feet up in a boat, out afloat, on a calm & wind-less lake

Cheerios, Always enjoy your comments and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts ~Linda

Special thanks to my coach– Rick Mannen: Sub 2:20 marathoner, coach. Personal running coach for all levels from true beginners to the elite level including Canadian National Team Members at Pan Am Games, Olympic Games & World Championships. Completing more than 50 marathons, winning 7 including Skylon 1984, Toronto 1986, Hong Kong 1987, Buffalo 1991, London, Niagara, Massey, PR of 2:19:00 while competing for Canada at the World Cup Marathon in Seoul, South Korea 1987, also represented Canada at the Pan Pacific marathon Championships in Long Beach, CA.


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