Running S-O-L-O


I was reading a post awhile back  from Meals & Miles and I was captivated by Meaghan’s Month before the Marathon advice.  As most of us (“Distance Dreamers”) are coming up on about a month or less before the big day, I found this post to be very helpful for newbies.

One tip still has yet to escape my mind. Tip number #2 – Go on one long run by yourself.

I couldn’t recall a single long run I had done alone the whole time I’ve been training. I’ve been very gung-ho about this whole TEAM effort and was so proud of myself for not missing a single long run with the group. But she was right, I need to know that I could mentally do this race alone.

I honestly think the longest S-O-L-O run to date is maybe a 7 miler.

Well, I took her advice and set out to run alone. Not for any other reason than the fact that I wanted to know I can do it when all is said and done.

The training plan called for 12 miles and that was what I set out to do.

All was rocking, as I set out on my run. For the first time in months I put on my iPod and set out to do a long run S-O-L-O.

I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt and how quick my mile splits seemed at first. Then I began to worry a little about the fact that I was starting off a bit faster than normal but went with it.

I opted to do 9 minute runs with a 1 minute walk as opposed to my normal 6 min to 1 min walk.

The heat started to set in, and I realized starting my run at 11:00 am was probably not the best idea.

I hit mile 4.5 and was stopped by a pack of geese.

After a few pics during my walking break I started back up again. The run felt harder at this point. My legs felt heavy and I was struggling a little bit.

I kept on trucking as I was one-third through.

I popped a gu around mile 6 hoping that would help give me the boost I needed.

My mile splits were slowing and I was dragging even more.

I stopped at a nearby park to stretch out and take a water and Gatorade break.

And started back up again.

I ran until I hit 8.5 miles and felt like I was going to pass out. My head was cloudy and my knees started to get weak – there was no way I could continue on any farther in the heat and forced myself to walk the 1.5 miles home.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t continue on and felt horrible and knew I needed to take it easy at that point.

So I didn’t hit the 12 miles, but I was still proud of myself that I did 8.5 miles alone. But I still didn’t feel like I accomplished the whole doing the long run solo.

But you win some and you lose some I guess.

My run did not go as expected but I am not going to let it affect the rest of my training. Honestly after a long week filled with 12+ hour work days, really really rich hotel food, and running around on my feet non-stop I actually decided this was probably a pretty good run considering.

My Mile Splits:

  • Mile 1: 10:35
  • Mile 2: 10:24
  • Mile 3: 10:56
  • Mile 4: 11:03
  • Mile 5: 12:12
  • Mile 6: 12:21
  • Mile 7: 13:01
  • Mile 8: 13:07
  • Mile 8-8.5: 12: 30/pace

Total Distance:L 8.5 miles ran  | Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

(with a 1.5 miles “cool down” walk home.)

I think the moral of this story is that you shouldn’t let one bad run get you down. Take the good with the bad and keep your eye on the prize. My marathon in 3 weeks away and I am going to rock it!

My body was tired and I pushed it to my limit. And there should be no reason to be down on myself for that. Today is monday, a fresh start to a new week! I’m going to rock my run tonight and finish it off with a little yoga love!

How do you deal with a “bad” run?


15 thoughts on “Running S-O-L-O

  1. You still got in some good mileage! This whole cycle seems to be lots of ups and downs for me. So, I say just move onto the next one and don’t forget to sometimes look back to see how far you’ve already come!

  2. At the stage of running I’m at, I deal with bad runs by not giving up! I’ll do my best and then hopefully the next time aorund will be easier, from experience it usually is. And sometimes you just have a bad run, you just have to accept it and move on.

    With the week you’ve had, 8.5 miles sounds like a pretty long run! And it’s good that you listened to your body and didn’t try to push through and keep going.

    Those geese are pretty cute 😀

  3. Good job Linz. I had a horrible 2.5 mile run last week (lol… it was only 2.5 miles!). I just told myself that not all of the runs will be great and my food choices/lack of sleep/traveling for work/drinking with work pals contributed to the run. Traveling for work=not nearly as much water as I drink on a normal day. I am happy to be back into a routine!

  4. I think all running is bad so I just don’t go ;). You still rocked it and went out there by yourself and came out with a positive attitude so I would call your S-O-L-O run a success. However, I can’t get that song out of my head this morning because of you.

  5. I think it was a really great idea for you to get out there on your own. You never know what may happen on race day and if you get seperated from your partner you’ll be better prepared. I also think it’s smart that you were able to call it quits when you’re body told you it was done. I’m too stubborn and one of these days it’ll lead no where good I’m sure!

  6. Sorry you weren’t able to finish your run, but you’re right you shouldn’t let one bad run get you down. You’ve been doing great with your training, I wouldn’t over think it.
    I’ve actually never done a long run with anyone else.. so I’m in the opposite boat as you are. I can see why having someone with you would push you to keep going, but at the same time I like just spacing off into my own thoughts and setting my own pace

  7. You did great for a solo run in the heat! Hot runs are just hard! And it’s good you got out there on your own!

    I deal with “bad” runs by looking back at all my good runs. And I’m kind of strange. I will have a bad run and 20 mins after it’s over, be looking forward to the next run!

  8. First of all, that song is totally stuck in my head now. Thanks. 😉
    Sorry your run was cut short but I wouldn’t call it a bad run because you got out there and DID run! Keep up the great work!

  9. I think you did great. You had factors against you (heat/late start) but you put everything into it and you still did 8.5 frickin miles all by yourself! AWESOME! You will do just fine on race day. I think that’s quite good advice though to do at least one solo run. Because when it all comes down to it, it’s YOU who you need to count on during a race like that. It’s YOU who has to pull you through. Though the race atmosphere will give you a great spark too. I did a hot run at 11 on Saturday too – though only 3 miles. It was brutal!

  10. Thats a good attitude, Linzi! u still did great. u ran over 8 miles and that in itself is a big accomplishment. congrats!!

    our marathon is creeping up slowly. r u ready!!!???

  11. I’ve had so many bad runs already. I am pissed about it on the day itself but say to myself the next run can’t be worse than that and it has never been.

    I’ve never run with someone else so that would be new for me. What I personally love about running is the fact that I’m alone. I put on my music and get my head clear or get the best ideas during a run. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way than running by myself. Also because when it’s hard I can only depend on myself to move on and when I do I couldn’t be more proud.

    No worries about your marathon, you are going to do great.

  12. Pingback: Reflections through the hills « Destination 26.2

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