This Runner's Trials

Does it count as a long run?

It’s been a not so fun 24 hours in my house. My furball got hurt yesterday :(

I don't want to go to the vet, mommy.

His left front leg was at a 90 degree angle from his body when I got home from Girls on the Run. I have NO clue how he did it. After two trips and a lot of time (and money) at the emergency vet, we’re still not exactly sure what’s wrong with our baby.

I do not handle doggie troubles well at all. I’ve been wavering from calm shock and confusion to sobbing hysterics. My eyes are so puffy from the tears that I'm embarrassed to go out in public. My hubby and I have canceled plans and rearranged our entire weekend so one of us will always be home with him. I'm not sure this is rational behavior, but I can't help it.

I planned on running 10-12 miles before work this morning (I signed up for the half marathon I was considering and it’s next weekend). But when I hadn’t fallen asleep by 1 a.m., I turned off my alarm.

I still naturally woke up early. After checking out my still hurt furball, I decided one thing could make me feel better: a run. I only had about an hour, so I figured an easy 7 miler would be my goal. Realistically, I knew I’d probably only be able to handle a much shorter run due to my lack of sleep.

But something amazing happened: I felt strong and ran hard. I’m not sure if it was the motivation to get out of the 24(!) degree weather or if some speed is what I needed to cope. I managed 8 miles an at 8:02 pace.

A bit later in the day, I realized I could still fit in a long run. I’d ran another 4 miles after work at an 8:17 pace.

8 a.m. miles + 4 p.m. miles= 12 miles, right? Long run done :)

I know it’s not that simple. An 8 miler and a 4 miler done in the same day is not the same as running 12 miles at once. But I hoped since I did my 8 miles at a hard pace, that my legs would still be fatigued (they were) during my 4 miler and I'd feel like I was in the middle of a long run (I did).

I’m not sure how I feel about splitting up a long run. I'm not concerned with PRing next weekend, and I wonder how I would have approached this situation if a PR was possible. I do know that life gets in the way sometimes and workouts have to be tweaked or skipped all together.

I’m just very grateful that my run helped me feel better. So many things in life are out of our control that sometimes it just feels really, really good to get a good rush of endorphins.

Thanks so much for all of the well wishes for my doggie on twitter. I know he appreciates them. I’ll keep you updated :)

Have you ever split up a long run? How do you modify workouts when life gets in the way?

Comments (23) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I was actually just thinking about this the other day! I only had time to run 8 in the am, and considered finishing the rest up in the evening, but didn’t think it would “count.” I am interested to see what other people have to say! thanks for posting this.

  2. I’ve always heard that as long as you don’t sleep in between runs they’ll count as a long run. So, as far as I’m concerned you did it!

    Hope your doggie is doing better!

  3. Sorry to hear about your dog! I hope he feels better soon :) I do not handle dog troubles well either. HUGS


  4. It definitely counts! Especially with the fact that you’re probably overly stressed about the pup so your body is even more tired in addition to the morning and evening run. Hope the pup feels better soon.

  5. Poor sweetie!! I hope he’s okay.
    I think splitting up runs is smart – and especially since your first 8 were pretty fast, I’d say your 8 + 4 is just as good as 12 at once. My brother runs in college and when they’re training hard they do 2-a-day run’s.

  6. I totally understand. My puppy was really listless and stopped eating unless I hand feed her when she was about 6 months old. When I took her in to the vet they told me she was in kidney failure and I flipped out and started bawling for two days straight. We worked through it and she is 100% healthy (and eating all of my underwear and socks). Good luck and I’m praying for you- I know how hard it is for something to be wrong with your baby.

  7. I ran competitively at a DI college and from the training I experianced long runs were not supposed to be split and they were supposed to be at a conversational pace – not hard. There is a physiologic reason for this. After you run for a certain time your body uses all its accessable glycogen stores (I’ve heard that takes approx 60 mins to deplete these stores but it’s definately different for everyone). Once this happens, your body resorts to burning fat as fuel which is a more efficent engery scource. Long runs train your body to tap into this scource faster – thus one of the reasons to why runners have lower % body fat. As for keeping the run conversational, this ensures a lower heart rate. I’m not sure the reasoning on this, all I know is that our long runs were actually a tad slower than our easy run days. Heart rate is also important during your thresholds and then again for hard workouts. Hitting target heart ranges for these three workouts (long runs, thresholds, hard workouts) works to maximize your VO2 max (a measure of how efficiently oxygen is delivered to muscles).

    But I wouldn’t sweat not being able to get in a long run the week before a race. Two weeks before Regionals our coach would say, “No workout that you do now matters because the hay is in the barn… just stay healthy.” In other words, it takes two weeks for your body to exhibit the physiological effects of the workouts you’ve done from weeks prior. That is why training programs have you start tapering 1-2 weeks before race day.

    I’d say you are doing the right thing by taking care of yourself mentally – your body should be ready if it’s been prepared properly!

    Hope this helps!

  8. Here’s a scource I found that matched how our coach trained us in college:,7120,s6-238-244–626-0,00.html

    And long runs help train your body to RESERVE glycogen stores and not DEPLETE them as I incorrectly mentioned earlier.

  9. If you had never run a half before and that was your furthest run then maybe spilting would be cause for concern, but you’re a pro at running the distance so I think it’s smart that you split. Life gets busy and the fact that you got there at all is great. I hope your doggie gets better quick.

  10. I hope your doggie feels better. Did he break his leg? I hope not.

  11. Poor doggie :( I am emotional the same way with my furry children (I have two cats), once one got very sick and had to spend some days at the vet clinic with IV and stuff, I was there all the time talking to her through the crate :) We get attached to them, I don’t care if it is rational or not :D i mean, people get very angry about a scratch on their preciuos baby car…
    As for the long runs…I don’t really know!
    *Hugs* to you and your doggy (PS, eye drops, tea bags and sleeping with a higher pillow help with puffy eyes ;) )

  12. I think splitting is harder, and whether it’s a *long run* or not, it can be a great way to train. Though the day I did 11 in the morning and 12 later on was really REALLY dumb.

    Hope your doggie is better soon :(

  13. So sorry about Nati! I hope you can get some answers soon.

    I think your running strategy was smart and you’ll be great for the half next weekend. Sometimes life happens and you are handling it in the best way possible.

  14. I’m really glad the run made you feel better. I actually think that’s the most important thing at this point. You’ve done many many halfs before, you’re not trying to PR, and you seem to have been running pretty well recently. The run you do one week before your race isn’t going to help you run faster (no run will)…but the stress it helped relieved will help you stay healthy — and that’s critical! :) That’s the way I look at it, at least!

    I hope that Nati is doing okay and you get some answers tomorrow!

  15. So glad you are doing the 1/2 marathon! I will cheer for you!

  16. poor nati. It makes my stomach turn. I think animal illness/problems are worse than humans b/c they can’t tell you whats wrong and you can’t explain to them what is happening. They just look sad. :( I hope he is staying off his leg and not eating his pain pills like doggie kibble :)

  17. Oh Nati! I’m so sorry. I do not handle pet problems well either. About 6 months ago, I got some really bad news about Link and I was completely down in the dumps and worthless. Furbabies really are like human babies. We just love them so much!

  18. i can’t imagine how traumatic it would be to have a hurt dog…especially since they can’t explain what happened or what hurts. :(

    i would say that the two runs count as a long run. i feel like it does the same thing to the body/fitness level.

  19. Jen, I’ve been away from twitter and my computer this weekend! I am so sorry to hear about your dog! It sounds like you’ve had a majorly rough weekend! I’m thinking about you and the fur baby!

  20. I’ve been lurking and never commented before, but had to say something in response to your pup’s situation: I had a very similar thing with my cat when he was a kitten, and it turned out that he needed surgery and all kinds of things. BUT, it also turned out that within a week he’d forgotten all about it and felt back to himself. I know your pup will be the same and as much as you’re feeling horribly for him right now, all will be well in his world soon and it’ll end up having been worse for mama then for him. Don’t get too discouraged and remember that he’s already started healing and it can only get better from here.

  21. I didn’t see your baby’s injuries on twitter! You poor thing. That is not overreacting in the slightest. Is he OK now??

  22. Aww I hope your pup is ok!! :-(

    My little kitty is suffering from a bum paw right now, and it makes me sad to see her gimping around the house.

  23. hope the puppers is better. thats so scary! I’ve broken up a long run before. My husband says it makes you stronger but not to do it every week of course. I think its mentally tough to get back out there so cheers to you!

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