Sunday was the Melrose Running Club’s 6th long run of 2020.
My weekly miles have been pretty low so far and my longest run this year was The Great Stew Chase at 15K or 9.53 miles for me.
The full long run this Sunday was 16.2 and I decided that 12 miles would be enough for me. You really don’t want your weekly long run to by twice as long as any of your previous week’s runs.
I’ve read that the long run should be no more than six miles longer than your longest week day training run. I find that a tough rule to follow.
At shorter distances you can get away with increasing your long run to 150% of your longest weekly run.
So you could go from running 6 mile training runs to a 9 mile long run. You can definitely go from running fours to a 6 mile long run.
The key is to take the long run easier than your shorter week day runs. Most of us would not run a half marathon at our 5K pace. The same thing applies to your weekly long run.
Longest Run of 2020
When I reviewed the 16.2 mile route I figured that I could cut it back to twelve miles easily.
At about 5.5 miles I took a right and the long run people turned left. My plan was working.
I made my way back to the water stop and had two cups of Gatorade/water and headed out. One of the long runners left the water stop just ahead of me and I followed him. I knew there was a turn coming up that I always miss.
I made the turn and Mike Sikkema caught up and passed me. I managed to keep Mike in sight long enough to see him take the right turn onto Main Street/ Rt. 28 in Stoneham.
This took us along the back side of Spot Pond. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I wanted to go straight and run the front side of the pond.
That was my crucial error.
I was now running by my self but knew where I was and all of the turns.
Soon after the wrong turn my watch chimed in for mile eight.
After I left the long run group I decided that ten miles was a better idea than twelve.
This route is very hilly and my quads were beginning to feel it.
When my watch hit eight miles on the back side of Spot Pond, I knew I was in trouble. There was no way to turn this run into 10 miles from this point in the run.
I had left my phone in my car and only had $5 in my pocket. There was no way to bail on this one.
A Bridge Too Far
As my watch hit nine miles I went under a Rt. 93 bridge. It was definitely a bridge too far.
My pace was still pretty good at 9:24 but I was fading fast.
The next turn was a left onto Elm Street in Medford and another hill. I then took a right onto Highland Ave at the rotary by Flynn Ice Rink. I thought there was a water stop there, but I didn’t recognize the car.
I avoid trying to open trunks of unknown cars.
It was a cold day, so it was okay.
As I continued down Highland I knew the next turn would put me on East Border Road. This is another hilly section which would dump me onto the freakin Fellsway East.
When I got to the second rise in the hill on East Border Road I decided to walk. I hit mile 11 just after cresting that hill and began to run down to the intersection.
Mile eleven came in at 10:34. At this point I wasn’t too concerned with my pace. I was more concerned with surviving to run another day.
I wasn’t cold or depleted but my left knee was beginning to act up. My body just wasn’t prepared for this many miles.
I took the left onto The Fellsway and cursed my self for not turning left at the rotary instead of right. With that turn I would have run about twelve miles and avoided these bloody hills!
I walked some of these hills and ran the down hills as best I could. While running down the last Fells hill I hit mile twelve. That was my stretch goal for the day and I knew I had at least another mile and half to go!
I ran to the intersection with West Wyoming Street and was able to cross the street quickly. Traffic was light and people let me go.
I was now on the home stretch and my knee was telling me to stop.
After mile thirteen I decided to walk. I was beyond anything I had planned and who cared anyway?
As a runner approached I waved and they didn’t even acknowledge me. I guess you don’t look like a fellow runner when you are walking.
As I neared the rail road tracks I started running and kept on until I turned the corner onto Main Street. My ankle and knee were both killing me. Than I “ran” in the last bit to the finish but didn’t have the juice to round it out to 13.75.
13.72 miles was quite enough, thank you!
Hydration and recovery
I went into Brueggers, got an ice coffee and sat with friends for about ten minutes before heading home. As I sat there I could feel both calves getting ready to cramp.
On the way I drank a BodyArmor sport drink which has electrolytes and a variety of vitamins.
After a nice hot shower I applied some arnica gel to both knees and slipped my Body Helix knee compression sleeve onto my left knee.
I recently reviewed the Body Helix compression wraps. I’ve been using the knee wrap for a few weeks as needed and it seems to help.
I don’t get a commission, but you can get 10% off any Body Helix Compression Wraps you buy with code BH10RUN.
I hope you had a good long run this weekend and one that went according to plan.
Run well my Friends!