Like most training programs, what is scheduled and what actually happens tend to be very different. Hell, most of life is that way…
I am somewhere in the middle of training for the 2022 Flying Monkey Marathon which will happen on November 20th. Thursdays are scheduled to be my “Long Run” days since those days will have the least impact on my schedule. The backup plan if I don’t get to run on Thursday is (the more traditional) Saturday. So this past Saturday was one of those backup days.
But to complicate things, because that’s what Life does, I needed to adjust the length of my Long Run. Ideally, you layout your Training Program, follow your Training Program, and show up to Race Day ready to Run. In reality, unless you are the Master of Time & Space, you will have a few “changes” to make in your schedule. When I was a novice runner, this would stress me out! I had the “I can’t change my schedule, it is written in “stone”.
Now, after a more “learned” runner, this stresses me out for different reasons. Reasons that are less “The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling” and more like “Okay, wow that sucks, I’m impacted but let’s see how I make this work.” Sure I still get upset, angry, and pouty when I have to pivot but I feel better about it… a little… on the inside.
So back to Saturday, I had to move my Long Run from Thursday to Saturday. It was also prudent of me to change the distance as well! I didn’t have as a much time to run, I was starting later in the morning and I didn’t want to be out in the sun longer than I need to. I also realized that I didn’t buy and carb gels to eat during my run. Sigh. I saw the sign, it opened up my eyes and told me that I wasn’t going to run very long that day.
And the cherry on top of this big piece of Training Run schedule piece of mess, what route was I going to take for this run? Day, Distance, Route (I couldn’t think of a third “D”) Oh My!
So on Saturday morning, when I ready to start my run, I had finally decided that I would run somewhere between 13-14 miles. It would “be long enough” but not too long because I didn’t have extra food to bring. I still had to decide, what route was I going to take.
Our local library has a park attached to it. I pass by the park on a number of routes that I have, but none of those routes have me starting/finishing at the park. I’ve resisted stopping on my way home from work at the park to even do a short run. It’s convenient score ranks up near “No Brainer” but I would always dismiss it, coming up with some reason to run from home or somewhere else.
Since I was already out on Saturday, I would have to drive somewhere anyway. Driving home would be a death sentence to running as I would find something else to do than what I needed to be doing. So I ended up going to the park and using that as the start/finish to my long run. So now that I knew where I was going to start, I had to figure out what route to take.
Thankfully, with some recreational math, this wasn’t as tough as I thought. I had a recent 19mi route from earlier this month fairly fresh in my head. If I loosely followed that route, but subtracted the part of the route that I wouldn’t be running because I was starting at the library and not my house, I ballparked that I wouldn’t be running about 7.5 miles of that route which would estimate the route to be 12.5ish miles.
So following the route with not cutting too many corners and taking the slightly longer route around the block when I could, I ended up finishing my Long Run at 13.3 miles. And since I give the majority of my running routes names, I think I’ll call this one, The Farragut Flag.