Two thoughts from my long run out to Forest Park today.
Trail running makes me so happy. Especially on a dreary cool fall day, reminds me of all the cross-country miles I’ve run over the years and all the fall marathon miles I’ve put in, especially the Pinebush running I did with Team Utopia when I lived in Albany. This was about 4.5 miles into the run when I found the trails on the east side of Forest Park. If only it was a little closer and I could get out there more often than just on long efforts.
Long runs are relative. I’ve been running for a pretty long time, at least 20 years or so. I’d say for the first 15 years, I worked up to around 40 miles a week of training and 10 miles was about the farthest I went at a time. Those 10 mile runs were my long runs – it was a reasonable distance for someone who raced the mile and 3k during track season and maxed out at 6k during cross-country. But something changed during my first marathon training cycle in 2006. I’d been training with other marathoners and put in my first 3+ hour runs and then finished the full 26.2. After that, I can never go back to feeling like a 10 miler is a “real” long run. So, on around 20 miles a week, I should give myself credit for getting out there for these long-for-now efforts.