The Returning Long Run Legs


It has been a long time since I have run a distance that I would previously call a long run.  My running has recently been cut back so much that I affectionately referred to even a three mile run as a “Long Run” not too long ago. 

It doesn’t seem too long ago that I would talk about 10 miles like it was no big deal, even priding myself that I was perpetually in half marathon fitness – but then life happened.  Work and then ultimately injury stepped into the picture and I found myself sitting instead of running, even to the point that I went more than just a few days or weeks without lacing up for a single run.

That time has now past
After many discouraging attempts at returning I am happy to say – that time has now past.  Simple one mile runs which left me sore the following day are once again nothing but a memory as I slowly test the long run legs ever so cautiously. Just one week ago the longest run I had attempted was five miles, but I am happy to say that the roads and trails have been nothing but accommodating with each new foot-fall.

Yesterday a friend and I met for an early morning long run on some local trails.  He is running the Pinhoti 100 in just a couple weeks and I committed long ago to crew and pace him a bit.  The pacing will not be the previous agreed upon distance of 20 miles, but will be a challenge none the less.  We hit the trails at 5:30 and just ran until my body told me I was finished.
…that run that reminds you that all is not lost, that you will return
I ran just shy of 9 miles, and really didn’t quit because I was tired or hurting, but rather because I had asked enough of my legs and if I continued to circle I would be tempting fate.  The run felt good, and yet was a push.  If it was nothing else, it was a confidence run – that run that reminds you that all is not lost, that you will return.

As I continue to lengthen the long runs I will be thankful each time that I can run.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself that I am not as fast as others, or cannot endure as long, I will be thankful that each step will not be my last.


  1. I love this Tim! What an inspiring post. And when I can again run, I will remember this!

  2. Candice - Thank you for reading and for your kind words!  I hope your recovery is speedy!

  3. Congrats that is awesome to hear!

  4. I'm sort of new to your blog...what was the injury (or injuries) that sidelined you (or can you point me to the timing of the blog posts so I can read all the gory details (smile).

    Glad you are getting your legs back under you...I'm doing the same after a long hiatus (nothing as glamorous as a big blow-up injury...more like just slowly getting tired of being hurt (and not figuring out how to overcome and work through that), then just setting it (and all exercise really) aside for several years.

  5. Very well said Tim. I hope you continue to have success as you come back and keep lengthening those runs!

  6. So glad to hear you're back out there, Tim.  ::hugs::  Good for you listening to your body.

  7. Not that it is always easy or anything :)

  8. Michael,

    I didn't write about it much on the blog simply because I didn't have much time given my work schedule.  The post that explained it the most is this one:

    It wasn't a big injury, but I couldn't run and it did take me a while to get back to running considering the injury and work hours.  I now have a new respect for my calves. :)

    Thanks for stopping by, reading, and taking the time to comment!