Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How did I get here?

I never considered this year's trajectory until I started doing the math. In 2014, I ran 1438 miles. I ran 6 marathons and maintained a fairly steady training schedule for the majority of the year. Mostly pavement. Mostly 25-35 miles per week. Mostly 100-140 miles per month.

This year, I'm already at 1800+ miles. I've had multiple 50+ mile weeks. I've had multiple 200+ mile months. I wondered where my extra free time went. Duh. Running!

When I was training for the 50 miler, I was spending about 30-40% of my mileage on the trails. Though it ate up a considerable amount of time because I was running much slower, I do feel like it was much easier on my body.

Lately, I feel as though my body has been put through the wringer. Nothing necessarily hurts outright--there are no gait-altering pains. Just a couple of extra twinges here and there. The main thing is that I feel fresh far less often. And when I do feel fresh, I really just take advantage of it. It doesn't matter if I'm doing a long run, tempo, or speed, if I feel fast, I want to go fast. All these extra miles that I'm not used to have been holding me back. Which I think it means this marathon training thing is working?

Fall is second to winter for my favorite time of year to run. It can be a touch on the warm side here so I cannot fully commit to loving it first. I was running in a tank top and shorts today. I think I got a bit sunburned. On November 10th. Womp, womp.

But on those proper fall days when I'm feeling fresh?! There really is nothing better.

In fact, I was feeling so good 2 weeks ago that I PR'd my half marathon time during the middle of a 20 miler. Sweet!
My last PR at that distance came while training for Boston.

As if on trend, I was doing 4x1200's at the track today and happen to PR in  the 5K and 10K.
The thing is, I never signed up for Rehoboth to be a goal race. I was perfectly content with all the awesome that 2015 has brought to me thus far and just was planning on going funning again. But as the training cycle progressed, I saw I had made progress even from Boston. All those monster mile weeks are maybe paying off.

I still am not laying all my cards on the table. I joined a new BQ age group this time around since I'm a lucky soul with an early April birthday. 3:40 should be achievable, but I never want to get to the point where I don't respect the distance. Getting cool mail is always a privilege, never a right.
So I continue to put in the work. Even when my poor Greenway has been flooded off and on for nearly 3 weeks.
I've been logging miles on the treadmill. Lots and lots of treadmill miles.

Fortunately, I don't mind it too much. I'd rather run outside, but it has helped me control recovery runs and I can watch trashy Netflix shows.

My local RB met me near the Chattahoochee last week where the trails were wet, but not impassable. The leaves were stunning and though I was a dying a humid, slow death, it was a scenic run.

I have a little over 3 weeks left in this training cycle. Two more long runs and then it'll be time to taper-ish. I'm using Pfitzinger again this time. I did a modified version for Boston, but I'm going pretty much by the book this time. I have wimped out on 2 runs since the end of September and haven't done any of the suggested races, but I do feel like the compounding miles and mix of hard workouts will make me stronger on race day.

Plus, any time I get wussy about my workout, I think back to the 50 miler.

Random side note: I love the idea that success isn't linear. I've had some really, really crap days running in this training cycle. Where I just didn't feel like doing it. Or that it just never got better the entire run. But I've had some really great days that I've made huge strides in my progress. So I have to believe that I am ultimately gaining ground little by little. And having no major goal helps. At the end of the day, I'm happy to finish a marathon. If I am better than I was before, that's cool too.

Lastly, since I haven't been blogging much, I feel like you should also know that I do other things besides go to work and run.

I mostly eat a lot of nachos and drink beer.
Sometimes I drink beer with friends.
I like wine too. And it's also good to share with friends.
I've been baking too. Mostly tons of pumpkin stuff. Like pumpkin whoopie pies.
Sometimes I get involved with desserts in the fall though. Everyone likes apple pie.
And chocolate chip cookies.
And I do like sleeping. Rest is essential for a training cycle, right?
I promise to not be such a stranger. Sheesh...

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