Monday, July 23, 2012

Solo long runs are tough, but doable

I have yet to find running buddies, but I still need to get long runs in. It is definitely more difficult getting out the door to run several hours by myself. On Saturday, armed with a Nathan Hydration Vest, my phone and my iPod loaded with an audiobook, I set off for my third long run since moving here. 

One thing I really enjoy about Fort Collins is that it is set up very simply. It is a grid with several main roads going north/south and east/west. It is very difficult to get lost. You will eventually come upon one of the main thoroughfares and know where you are. There is also a great system of multi-use trails weaving through the city. After a brief look at a map of these trails, I had a good idea of my route.

I started out on Power Trail, a trail that runs along the railroad tracks. There are some cool murals painted on some utility boxes, but other than that, this isn't the most beautiful path I have run since moving here.

From there I ran on the Spring Creek Trail.  I have run on this trail, in some portion or another, on each of my long runs.  It runs about 7 miles east/west. My first long run I ran on the middle portion of that path and last week I ran on the western portion.  Saturday, I ran east from the Power Trail, for just under a mile, to meet up with the Poudre River Trail.

The Poudre River Trail runs along the main river in Fort Collins through the northeast part of town. It is a gorgeous path. I ran on this trail in January when I first visited the town and again in May during my house-hunting trip.

I needed to turn toward home, so when the trail hit Lemay, a major north/south road leading back to my house, I got off the beautiful trail and headed back south on the road. This last chunk of the run wasn't as pretty or pleasant as the first chunk.  It is a nice road with a good sidewalk, but the trail system really spoils me.  Why do I run on sidewalk when there are such great paths that are nowhere near traffic?

There are definitely some pretty parts of the road.  It goes next to a couple lakes, including the one below.  Honestly, I haven't really found an "ugly" part of Fort Collins!
It was a long, HOT sixteen miles. I still haven't fully acclimated to the elevation. I take more walk breaks than I ever have. I am not sure if I would push through those urges to walk if I were running with someone else.  Probably. My pace is SO much slower than it had been. I have two months to get rid of those walk breaks and speed up that pace.

I am happy that I got my long run in as scheduled. It wasn't pretty, but I did it. It can only get better.  

I hope your long runs went well this weekend.   Happy Running!


Paulette said...

Fort Collins looks so pretty! I'm super lucky because my hubby runs too, and he's willing to slow down to my pace to do long runs together. He says it's better than running alone at his pace. I hope you find some buddies soon! I've done quite a few on my own too, and it's definitely harder.

Unknown said...

Looks like a beautiful place to run. Running at altitude is killer. I also live at ~5000ft above sealevel and some day I plan to race down at lower altitude just to see what I can REALLY do.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

My sisters both used to live in the Fort Collins area. Very pretty. I find that listening to audiobooks is very helpful when doing solo long runs. I do all mine solo :)

Heather @ Better With Veggies said...

So glad to hear that I'm not the only one struggling to get acclimated! Not that I want either one of us to be struggling, but sometimes it's reassuring that you're not the only one. It sounds like you're about a week ahead of me, so I'll be looking for your post that says things feel normal again. I hope it's sooner than later. :)

Corrina said...

I dream of finding friends to run with!! I agree with Christy that audio books and podcasts help with the long runs. said...

I kind of enjoy long solo runs. Definitely can be some good "me" time. Good job for getting out there and getting it done!


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