Runs – 60.3 miles
Total Time Working Out:
8 hours 47 minutes
I was curious whether or not I had ever hit 60 miles of running in one week and after looking back through my logs the answer is no. I was on target for a 63 mile week last fall while training for Philly but decided to take an extra day off and ended up with my previous all-time high of 56 miles.
How do I feel? Great.
Knowing I’d hit 60 miles I decided to take it easy on today’s 22 miler. The first 5 miles ranged mostly in the 9’s. I was a bit torn with how I felt about it; on one hand I was happy to be running an easy pace and on the other hand I was bemoaning that these were some of my slowest long run miles in a long time. At times I feel like there is a raging battle inside my head with how I know I should be running and how I want to be running when the two are in conflict with each other. Regardless, I kept things in my Happy Pace zone (aka easy pace.) The majority of today’s miles fell around an 8:50 pace.
We decided to do something new on our run today. Tired of the usual routes that we’ve been running over the past several months, from Lehigh Parkway into Emmaus and back, we dubbed today’s run “The Park Run” and hit 4 different city parks: Lehigh Parkway, Cedar Beach Park, The Rose Gardens and Trexler Park. That was definitely fun and made the time go so much quicker since we had so much new stuff to look at. On the other hand, this run was pretty difficult because it was all hills. I’m talking hill upon hill upon hill. Relentless. It would have been cool to have a camera and snap some photos but the last thing I want to do is carry anything other than my water.
I stopped briefly at my car after mile 18 to refill my water bottle and chat with a couple of the regulars before setting off to finish out the run. When asked about my mileage, to which I replied I’d be hitting 60 miles this week, the one guy reamed me out. Seriously?? What the hell is that? Now, I don’t believe that I need to be running super high mileage which is why I don’t. I feel that maxing out somewhere between 50-60 miles is quite fine for me. As long as I’m getting my speedwork, my long runs, my easy and recovery runs and as long as I’m feeling energetic and not fatigued, this is a formula that works for me. This week’s mileage was a bit of a surprise. I had to shorten one of my runs earlier in the week and then I extended a couple of other runs simply because I was feeling good and felt like it. I knew I had 22 mi on the schedule for today but really hadn’t calculated the mileage until yesterday. So these 60 miles sort of snuck up on me and they felt easy. I’m feeling great today after that mileage and especially after 22 miles. Reminiscent of my 20 miler two weeks ago, I’m surprised by the amount of energy I have post-run. As in, I actually have energy and don’t want to crash on the couch. Again, I take this as a good sign.
After realizing I’d hit 60 miles this week I looked ahead at my plan and plotted out the idea of pulling out another week or two of 60 miles. These 50 mile weeks are feeling easy lately and in this final push I wanted to come up with a new challenge for myself. If I make it to 60 miles, great. If not, who cares. I’m not sure why I cared what this guy said. In these past few months I’ve worked at hardening myself to what other people think. I’ve turned more into myself and learned to trust what I’m doing. I’ve consulted with a couple local coaches when I had questions but otherwise, I’ve felt very confident about what I’m doing. Obviously I have to work at this more because this guy did get under my skin and I had 4 more miles to get in. All of a sudden my 8:50-9:00 minute miles became 8:39, 8:22, 8:27 and 8:16. I was not planning on doing that but that’s how things ended up.
Now that the run is over and I’ve thought about it, I’m fine. I’m staying focused on my goal and continuing to tune things out with the help of my website and raising kids and running a home, all of which are far more important in my mind.
So, looking back over the past week, I’m feeling really good about my tempo run and my miles and my continued good health as this marathon looms closer. Next weekend I have a 4 mile race on Sunday which I’ll sandwich into my long run and use as a speed session.
For our next long run (I’m looking at 24 miles) Maureen and I are going to run a “Mountain Run”. This is a run I’ve been wanting to do since last summer and have decided that it’s finally time! And after our newly dubbed Park Run I came up with this name because, well, basically we’ll be running up and down the mountain. We are not going to worry about pace or time, our only worry will be surviving the hills. The plan is to start at my house and run up to Bear Creek and back. I’ll have to map it out and get an estimate on mileage, maybe even lay out some water the night before. We ran the trails at Bear Creek last summer and they are tough. I’ve always felt it would be a huge challenge and accomplishment to do this run and am very excited about it.