Marathon Training, Running

The Heroics of the Weekend Long Run

Races are glamorous. When you first start running, training seems glamorous. The social media cheer, the text messages, the likes and tweets and sweet messages give you boosts and encouragement to lace up your shoes.

What happens after you’ve logged 3,494 miles over the last 6 years? No pomp and circumstance. Mostly just crazed looks from people when you mutter under your breath your weekend plans. And that’s okay, because it’s become a way of life – a new normal. It’s something for you to enjoy on your own, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a few running buddies that will commiserate with you.

My Stranger Things 2 marathon was brought to you by my Rock n Roll San Antonio marathon training, my weekend 17-miler. I had actually procrastinated the weekend before my half marathon, so this was something I definitely couldn’t get out of this time around. I’ve had it on my calendar for awhile and have been giving it the stink eye. I told one non-running person about it (it was my limit!) to help keep me accountable. That way, if she asked me about it come Monday morning, it would be completely shameful if I hadn’t completed it.

Friday night, I didn’t stay out too late, but I did have a glass of wine which gave me a headache.

Board games and wine with friends ❤️

A post shared by Amara Hulslander (@amaravp) on

I took some ibuprofen and went to bed. I woke up as usual on Saturday morning without much planned. We were planning on spending the day looking at condos from our couch and marathoning Stranger Things 2. Our long runs were planned for Sunday, but he had to work for a bit before we got the party started. He was still asleep when I woke up. I figured it would be a long while until he was ready to begin the watching party, so I decided I’d sneak down for my run. (4 miles Saturday + 17 miles Sunday.)

I was feeling pretty restless and bored, so I took my headphones down and some gels. Just in case I’d spend more time there. Just in case 4 miles wasn’t enough. (I was trying not to psych myself out.)

If I didn’t do all 17 all at once, that was okay, right? Like, if I got 21 miles in for the weekend, I’d be good, right? I began doing the math in my head and tried to see how many different ways I could break it down. By the time I put on all my clothes and gizmos I was well on my way out the door and lost in the math.

Once I got on the treadmill, I decided to just begin running and to stop whenever I felt like I should. I had all my gels in case I felt like going to 17, but I didn’t feel like I should pressure myself to stay.

The first hour came and went. 4 miles down. So a half marathon to go. Another hour passes and now all I’ve got is about 10 miles left. That’s not too bad. I continue to count down the miles until I hit 15. And that’s when things start getting really tough.

Two miles doesn’t seem too bad though. I’m taking plenty of breaks and going super slow. There isn’t much of a rush, to be honest. I’m just trying to get some time on my feet. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone this far.

I had a few things keep me company. My husband came down for 4 of those miles and ran beside me. We chatted for a bit. The rest of the time I was completely engrossed in my newest favorite podcast, Not Real Runners. You should check it out. Otherwise, when I’m not listening to podcasts, I’m listening to audiobooks, usually on Audible. (If you want a free book with trial membership, you can use this sponsored link here: Audible Membership). I also had plenty of Nuun and Clif gels to help power me through my session.

And, before I knew it, I’d hit 17 miles. It was a little under 5 hours but my HR monitor and my syncing apps all caught the tail end of it. No biggie.

There wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare or excitement, but that’s fine. I’m happy that I got in the miles. I’m proud that I was able to do it.

This coming weekend I have the Rock n Roll Las Vegas half marathon. I’m also running the 5K – my first (and probably last!) remix challenge! That’ll be race #14 for me. San Antonio will be my 15th and will round out my 2017 tour. What a wild ride it will have definitely been.

So, in short, here’s what I used to keep me going this weekend (affiliate links, btw). These were all things I used during my long run!

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About Amara Poolswasdi Hulslander