Last month was a good month. I managed to hit my highest monthly mileage ever, progressed through my swimming and cycling and got myself into a rhythm that will drive me into the beginning of my triathlon season. The one achievement that eluded me in January though involved my maximum running distance. When I ran my first half marathon last year my mileage for that run topped out at 13.7 miles. Since that race I have not been able to propel my running miles beyond that mark. In January I had one run that I planned to push past that distance and get a 14.5 mile run in. But weather and a dying watch delayed these plans. Heading into February I knew I was not going to have much time to push this distance as my primary focus is the two half marathons six days apart.
This last weekend my end goal for my long run was to be an 11 mile run using a 1:1 run to walk ratio. Nothing big, just a slow easy run to get ready for my concurrent half marathon race weekends. I decided to try a few new route components, thus leading to an uncertainty regarding my final distance. At about seven miles I refilled my water bottle and started for my final miles. The course I ran had a very steep hill and several other rolling hills, I am still uncertain why I chose this for the end of my hike when my legs were the most tired. After I ticked off the first mile on this known route I began to calculate my remaining mileage. At that point I realized that I would exceed my planned 11 miles, ending the day off with somewhere over 14 miles. It was too late to turn around, I saw an opportunity to push the 13.7 mile barrier I was stuck at. I kept running.
With 11 miles on my legs the last thing I wanted to do was go up steep hills, but I wanted the distance and so up I went. I continued to suck and chew on Cliff shots, my new favorite distance food, keeping myself going. My legs were a bit sore as I had pushed the speed a little bit but I felt good and energized. When I set out I told my wife my final route and the time I should be there. That was based on eleven miles tough and not this extended distance. As I got up and eventually over the hill, on my way down the other side my wife suddenly appeared looking worried. She pulled along side me and asked me if everything was ok. I affirmed everything was fine as I reached into the car to pull out the emergency water bottle to replace my supply of water. She wanted lunch and upon realizing that at this point I had ran 12.5 miles, a bit past my 11 mile estimate, she wanted me to get in the car and go get food with her. Cheeseburgers sounded great at that point, I wanted 2 double whoppers, but I wanted to finish the remaining two miles I had left. At this point I was committed to finishing the route I laid out and its extra mileage. I was hungry for solid food, it had been three hours, but I felt good and wanted my miles. I opted instead for her to run to the store and bring the burgers back and I could eat them while I finished or at the end of my run. She thought this was stupid and drove off. I continued on and within a half an hour I finished my run at 14.7 miles. I felt tired but good. I had ran this super hilly course with a 15 minute per mile pace and felt great.
That was the big highlight of the week. Only later did I realize that I would now be running three thirteen mile weekends, two of those races. But I broke my mileage limit.
February Week 1 highlights
- 27 Miles of running for the week. New weekly maximum running mileage.
- Over 11 hours of training for the week.
- At least one good spin session and swim session.
- Went 1 mile over my maximum running distance
- Completed 2 running speed sessions
February Week 2 Goals
- Don’t let the Olympics derail my training too bad.
- Might loose some training time due to snow and ice
- Recover from this weekends long run and prepare for next weeks half marathon
- 20 miles of running
- At least one spin and one swim (might have to do this on Saturday before packet pickup)
I have a feeling the goals from this week will be impacted by weather allot. The seven miles outside of the half marathon should be doable, even if I have to run them after the half marathon. I really want my twenty miles for the week, as I am determined to get my 800 miles I planned for the year. The next couple of weeks will probably aim more at racing, recovery, racing, recovery before getting back into the normal flow of my workouts. After these two races, I will only have a 5k race next month with some solid time to focus for the last Half Marathon and the first triathlon of the season coming up in April. I think the next couple of weeks will be trying with the two half marathon races (one which is trail) but should be rewarding as all my workouts will be primarily easy recovery workouts. Here goes the next couple of weeks of fun racing and training. Til next time.