Note to self for my next long run

My long run today was 8 miles, and it was great, except that I was running against the wind the whole time.  I took off in one direction from my house and went 2 miles, then I turned around and came back, then I went 2 miles the other direction and came back.  

Yes, I was listening to 'N Sync.

Before I went out running, I read several articles on how to prepare for a long run, since this is my longest distance so far and I was all nervous about hurting myself or getting stranded or something.  Then right before we were getting ready to go, I had to help Rand find his wallet, then I was in a hurry and I just took off without doing any of the things I had meant to do to be ready.  Fortunately, Rand was only running the first four miles with me, then he stopped at our house and got on his bike for the rest of the distance.  He grabbed some stuff for me, but the whole rest of the run I was thinking about all the things I should have done to prepare.  So, here you go, my list of things I will never again forget to do to prepare for a long run:

1. Get hair under control.  My head must be shaped like a cone, because headbands always just slide off my head.  I have to use little clips, and since I'm still growing out my Zoe Deschanel bangs, it takes 50 of them.  But it is worth it to not have a single hair touching my face.

2. Underdress. It was so cold yesterday that I was all prepared to bundle up and brave the weather today.  Then it got up to 60.  Good thing I was running back by my house so I could drop off my jacket.  So...I guess dress so that you are comfortable standing still outside, then dress down one step from that (leggings to capris, capris to shorts, jacket to t-shirt, take off earwarmer, etc.).  I can't handle running when I'm too hot, but it's not too bad to run a little too chilly, so from now on I plan to err on the chilly side.

3. Take sport sunglasses if it's sunny.  I was a little skeptical of these because they look silly.  Really, cat-eye sunglasses are the most flattering for my face shape and I've never considered wearing a different style.  These are kind of ugly.  But, they are also really useful and they look pretty much like every other pair of sport sunglasses, so I'm over it.  Not only did I squint less during this run, but the little hairs that I wish had been pinned back by a few more little clips at least could hit my eyeballs.  Perfect!  Mine aren't anything special.  Just $20 from Target, Champion brand.
4. Have plenty of fast music (that you are not sick of) on hand.  That bpm stuff is real, too.  Here are a few songs besides 'N Sync that I like to run to:
  • Wild One-Flo Rida
  • Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gansta-Geto Boys
  • Livin' la Vida Loca-Ricky Martin
  • Our Song-Taylor Swift
  • Telephone-Lady Gaga
  • Baby-Justin Bieber
  • Prison Song-System of a Down
  • Jam-Michael Jackson
  • Lights-Ellie Goulding
  • Black or White-Michael Jackson
  • The Edge of Glory-Lady Gaga
  • Gangham Style-PSY (I know, I know...)
5. Take some water and a little snack.  I was lucky to have my personal assistant biking beside me, but I need to start planning how I'm going to carry all this stuff with me.  I like to have plenty of water, and one water bottle is not actually enough.  I also like to take some gummy worms or Twizlers because I believe these things really help fuel my body as I run.  Or I just always like to be eating candy.  Very important, though.

6. Wear sunscreen.  There is a sunscreen in my face lotion, so I usually don't really think about this, but I wasn't wearing any today and I really felt my face getting a lot of sun.  I kind of like a little color, but I was running for over an hour, so I need to be more careful about this in the future.  I don't want sun spots or anything.

7.  And finally... (I know there's more, but this list is just about what's relevant to me) plan your route!  I was so glad I did this.  Sometimes I'll just go wherever for shorter runs, but for a long run, I want to know how many hills I'll have go run, and where I am in my run, with as few surprises as possible.  There have been times before when I accidentally take off where there's no sidewalk, or a series of crazy hills, or crazy dogs, etc. and it's just best to avoid all that on a long run.  I took a route where I knew how far I was from my house at all times and I didn't run into any unpleasant things that might have messed up my run.

Must. Remember.

What's your longest running distance?  What do you do to prepare for your long run?

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