Long Run Wisdom

During our Sunday Long Run season, we get weekly words of wisdom from Jim.

Jim has been organizing our Sunday Long Runs for 10 years and does a great job. He creates the routes, organizes the volunteers and makes sure we have enough supplies for the water stops.

Today I am posting Jim’s words of wisdom for our 20-miler. Good advice for all runners who are training for a marathon or doing a very long training run.

marathon training, running, sunday long run wisdom

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Magical Mystic Valley Run

Our Sunday Long Run was 20 miles this week

This type of distance is sometimes referred to as an LSD run: Long Slow Distance. The idea is to go out and run slower than marathon pace with the goal of getting your body used to running for 3-4 hours.

There was nothing mystical about Sunday’s run. On Saturday I went all in for my 5K

marathon training, magical mystic valley run
Mystic Lakes 20 Mile Sunday Long Run map

race in Salisbury. This probably was not a good idea as my legs needed recovery time on Sunday, not the Magical Mystic Valley Run!

By the time I got to our last pit stop my quads were shredded. I had planned on doing the run/walk routine to give it a try, but I forgot. Instead after our last stop, I gave myself permission to walk when I damned well felt like it.

Our SLR Director, Rev. Jim, told us that this weekend was a good test run for Marathon weekend. Eat what you plan to eat, wear your cool new stuff and try out any new foods, gels etc. Wednesday I’ll post Jim’s sage advice for a LSD run. It’s all great advice for runners: novice, journeyman or master.

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Boston Marathon Training 2014

Thursday night I finally sat down and updated my Boston Marathon Training work sheet.

I was doing okay with the training ramp up until my treadmill/knee incident on January 19th. My goal miles for January were 122.3 but I only managed 81.09. A lot of those miles were on the treadmill so I could avoid the cold weather and stay healthy.

Due to my injury, I took the week from January 19th through January 28th off completely. This was my heavy ibuprofen and icing phase. On medical advice I did not run at all. I even DNS the Derry 16 Miler. I couldn’t even give the number away! It’s a tough race right on the Merrimack river. So it’s cold and windy. On the 28th I finally started using the elliptical.

If it weren’t for the elliptical I would not have had any miles for almost a month. The elliptical took a bit of getting used to. One of the positives that I’m taking away from my injury is that I finally learned how to use an elliptical. This machine does work different muscles, so it will be good for cross training, and it does give you a good cardio workout.

On February 16th I finally went for a Sunday run with the MRC. Since it was my first real run since my injury, I cut my run short and only did 7.91 miles. Just about everyone else did 16 miles that day. Mine was not a #SLR.

I managed to pick up a flu bug and was sick on Monday and Tuesday. Monday was Presidents Day, a holiday. Getting off of the sofa for a glass of water felt like running in the last 0.2 miles of a marathon. Less painful, but just as draining. Tuesday was better but I did not have the energy to go to work. Wednesday was better, but I did not run all week.

Saturday I ran The Half at the Hamptons. I must have been the best rested runner that day. No running for a week! I managed to come in under 2 hours. Under the circumstances that is pretty good. My knee never bothered my the entire race. My hips bothered me for the last few miles. I need to work on that.

My goal miles for February were 142.8. I ended up with 42.47! I am screwed! My goal miles for March are 189.2. There is no way I can more than triple my miles this month. Well, maybe.

The New Deal

Eastern States 20 mile, Boston Marathon training

I have a 5K, a Half Marathon and a 20-Miler in March. I also have four Sunday Long Runs of 18.1, 20, 17.8 and 20. Those will get me over 110 miles if I can finish all of those long runs. I have to finish the races, but I can cut the SLRs short. I may hit 150 miles this month if I am careful and take it easy on my long runs.

April miles are 88.2, including the Boston Marathon. I’ll probably fall a little short in April also. I traded a 14.8 SLR for the Over the Rainbow 5K, part of the LOCO series.

I love races and I’ll get to hang out with friends and drink beer while all of my other friends are out running The Great Bay Half. I think trading the Half for a 5K was a good move. Great Bay is one of the toughest half marathons I have ever run. With only two weeks to Boston, I wasn’t going to race at all. A friend talked me into the 5K and beer drinking. Gotta love friends!

Any thoughts of a PR at Boston are out the window at this point. This year it is about

Boston Marathon training

more than just running. Not having any pressure to have certain times at certain points of the race will allow me to enjoy the festivities more. It’s always a great time, even when it hurts. It’s Boston. What’s not to love?

Run well my Friends.


My First DNS

After speaking with a medical professional on Tuesday, I’ve decided not to run the Derry 16 Miler this Sunday.

My first DNS

As I said in a previous post – what ever it takes to get to Boylston Street. Right now that means giving my knee time to get better. If it doesn’t get better, then I may not get to Boylston Street. I need to give the healing process the time it needs and see what happens.

I’m still a runner, even though I can’t run. I’m still thinking about how I’m going to get back on track. I’m still thinking about the races I’ve signed up for. Mostly I’m thinking about getting an ice pack on my knee several times a day and making sure I don’t OD on ibuprofen.

It is difficult to know I’ll be sitting at home when my friends and thousands of other runners will be running a race I paid for. The not running part will be the most difficult part.

Being Flexible

For me it’s more important to get to the start line in Hopkinton than it is to run any other race. Boston is a goal for so many runners and I have yet another opportunity to run the race that is a dream for so many runners. Why would I put that in jeopardy by being foolish?

Sometimes what ever it takes means doing nothing. I cannot race and I have to significantly alter my training plan. I can’t just push through the pain and expect everything to be alright.

A DNS is a small price to pay to run the Boston Marathon.

I’m still a runner!

Run a mile for me my friends!


The Road to Boston Continues

Today was Sunday Long Run (SLR) number three.

Yesterday we had a modest snow fall of about 2-3 inches in our area. It was the heavy wet stuff and left a coating of water that produced a glaze of ice on the roads over night. The MRC always has a SLR no matter the weather and we always have a good turn out. I usually do not let the weather deter me from my running, but this week I made alternate plans.

road to boston, sunday long run
Melrose Running Club SLR Program – join us!

I did my SLR on the treadmill at the gym. Our treadmills have LCD TVs so you can watch the news. If you are smart and bring head phones you can also hear the news. I ended up looking at the news and eventually just shut the TV off.

Crazy Guy Hogging the Treadmill

I’m sure many people who walked by, or who ran next to me, thought I was crazy spending over two hours on the treadmill without a TV, iPod or iPhone stuck in my ear. How can you run two treadmill sessions in a row and not have entertainment?

As I ran I thought about this a few times. The only thing on the screen in front of me for most of two hours was my own reflection; from my shoulders down to my belly. How interesting could that be? Does this guy think he looks that good?

Most of the time I went to the place that many runners go to when they are on a long run or running by themselves: deep inside that bucket of neurons sitting on my shoulders. You can get lost in that bucket!

I always get a lot of good thinking done during a solo long run. You have the time to realize that a thought process is a dead end and that you need to think of another path or solution. Today was no different. As I mentioned the other day, I have a 14 item “to do” list. Two items are done, two are started and the rest are still on the list.

Running for two hours gave me time to think through some of the items on my list. I reevaluated what I thought would be solutions, thought of alternatives and thought of more things that need to be done.


I managed to run 12.8 miles in 2 hours and 4 minutes. The treadmill only goes up to 60 minutes, so I had to shut the system down completely and re-start to get the 2nd half of my run in. The system automatically gives a 5 minute cool down period after 60 minutes. I cut these cool downs to 2 minutes each and then spent 10 minutes doing a good stretching routine when I was done running.

It’s definitely more fun to run with the crew outside. Since I am in training for a major marathon and have committed to an aggressive time, I need to stay focused on staying healthy. Last year I had two weeks where I did not run or ran less than 10 miles during my training for Baystate. My goal for Boston is to avoid injury and illness and not miss any weeks.

What ever it takes to get to Boylston Street at 3:45, I’m going to do it.

Run well my friends.

© 2014 anagelin

Janathon Day 13 Boston

Today I start a week of training at work.

With formal training I have less control over my schedule than usual. I can’t get up and walk out of a presentation at 1PM because it’s time to run 10K. I’m going to try to run before work since training starts at 9:30 and I don’t need to eat a bucket of pastries for breakfast (8AM) – because that’s the way I like ’em!

If traffic is bad, I’ll show up at work with my suit in a bag and my hair in a mess. Hopefully I wont have time just to grab a quick shower in the gym and sneak into training late. That’s never good.

The Road to Boston continues!

This little beauty showed up in the mail a few days ago! Whooo-hoo!

BAA, marathon
My 2014 Boston Marathon application has been accepted!

I realized last week that I was in week 2 of my Boston Marathon training program, and woefully behind in my miles. Now it is week three and I have training all week. Focus and discipline are required. I get that pre-race feeling in my gut just thinking about it.

Have you ever had that dream where you are in school and walking into a classroom to take a final? But you’ve never been to the class, or never read the book? I know I have weeks to go, but I get that feeling sometimes.

I need to get my spreadsheet going and register for some races.

Do you have a spring marathon yet? How is your training going? Is it difficult for you to get out of the holiday lazy mode and back into disciplined training?

Run well my Friends!


© 2014 andrew nagelin