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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Really really really long runs

I got to thinking today about how I define runs and how different people from different points of view might define a run. "Long run" sure can be ambiguous can't it?

The ambiguity is nice when I am speaking to other people about a run. I am sometimes weary of telling people exactly how long a run is. For the 100 miler I did I referred to it most of the time as my "long trail run". Some people already knew how long it was. Others were prompted to ask "how long?" Others just make some assumption in their heads and don't speak of it. They're probably thinking that long is 10 miles. That's fine with me.

I've done two 50k's this year and I refer to both of them with non-runners as "trail runs". If a non-runner wants more detail, they can ask and I'll certainly go into more detail.

For people who think long distance running (whatever THAT means) is going to break my body down and leave me sick I am always ready to point out that I only do one marathon a year. And that's true. I'll just leave the 50k's and all that out of the conversation.

But how do I define running lengths during training to myself? A long run is about 18-20 miles. 16 miles just doesn't seem like a "long" run. And 22 miles seems like a waste of time. If I'm going to run more than 20, I'm going to go for 26.2 so I can say a ran a marathon. What's the point of 22 miles now really?! A 30 mile run would be a really long run. If I were to do a 40 mile run I'd consider that really really long. A really really really long run (like this post's title)? I guess that'd have to be a 50 miler.

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