Monday, March 26, 2012

In the Long Run: A Matter of Time

Another installment of the ongoing discussion of mine and Triple T's Long Runs.

My Long Run this week wasn't like Triple T's - it didn't have a purpose.

Right now I'm "in between" runs - my Half Marathon is done, and I have a 15km race this weekend - so I'm not following any type of dedicated training plan. (Going to start a maintenance plan until my training for my fall Half (or Full) Marathon starts.)

But because I had to compete with the 3 hour, 50 minute monstrosity that Triple T was running, I busted out a 10 miler this weekend.

When TTT and I were talking after, she mentioned her pre run routine - and as alike as we are as runners, THIS is an area in which we differ.

She stretches, rolls, straps on, attaches, clips, ties, and puts things on before she runs.

Me? I get up, make sure to put clean underwear on, (Mom always said to) get shorts, shirt, shoes, hat, Nike+, shake out any kinks and run.

It helps that:

a) I'm a guy. Not to make this gender related, but Triple T says no matter what, she brushes her hair and maybe puts mascara on. The ball cap and stubble that I sport not only saves time, but it adds to my macho appearance.

b) I don't listen to music when I run. No iPod, no headphones, no searching for the right playlist. Once again, precious seconds saved.

c) I don't stretch. (Gasp! I know.) That's kind of a lie, because I do take the time to make sure my right calf and PF muscle are feeling good. So like, 3 minutes, tops. I do my stretching afterwards - if I have time. If you ever go into a grocery store and see the Dairy Guy stretching out his Hip Flexor, you know you're in my workplace.

d) I don't carry any ID or cash when I run. I'm in a small enough town that I can either turn around and go back, or I'll see someone I know who can lend me money or identify my body, whichever is needed at the time.

e) I don't pack any water or gels or anything else when I run. I drink a cup of water before I head out the door, and I hydrate when I get back. Not having to pack/prepare all of that means I'm out the door quicker.

(In reading what I've typed so far, I've realized that I ignore half of what the running books tell you about getting ready for a run. It's amazing I'm still putting one foot in front of the other.)

So for me to get ready takes all of 15 minutes, maybe 25 if you count the bathroom break before I hit the road. (We are alike in that - the fear of shitting oneself is great.) My thought when she told me what she does before a run made me think "If I had to go to that much effort to get ready for a run, I wouldn't make it out the door."

You have to admire that kind of dedication.

Sure, she has me beat in the fact that after her Long Run she can maybe catch a nap or crash, and I usually have to go work 8 hours on my feet, but I make up for it in the ability to hit the road before my body knows what's happening to it - I'm at least a mile in before I'm fully awake. That has to count for something.

My way of looking at it is that no matter what we do pre- or post-run, the important part is that the majority of the time is spent running - and that is a metric fuckton better than just sitting on the couch.**


*I came up with the title while listening to the Foo Fighters. 'Cause they rock, and so do we.
** Holy shit that sentence makes me sound badass. Like some macho Running God.