Monday, January 14, 2013

Reaching New Highs

Aside from the pesky cold that won't seem to go away, I have been having a great stretch of running.  Each day brings a new purpose, whether it is simply an easy run to recover from the previous day, or a long run to dial in my endurance.  Both give me reason to be excited to get out and run each and every day.  At the most simple level, running gives me freedom.  Freedom to see the world on foot and explore places one might miss if driving.  Freedom to clear the mind from anything else going on in life, except for the focus on the next step, mile, or breath.  Freedom to find out what I can mentally overcome when my body starts saying "no" in the midst of the difficult run.  All of these elements give me reason to look forward to running.

And I say this immediately following my highest volume week ever - 70+ miles.  Only a few years ago, I never would have even fathomed I'd have the time or the durability to make it 70 miles in a week.  Its amazing how quickly the body adapts and how one can find time even when it seems like none exists.  I'm busier more than ever now, yet able to sustain higher mileage easier than ever before.  Why?  I've found a way to create more time in my day by waking up early and getting it done.  Running is a priority in my life and early mornings are the only way if I want it to happen, so it does.  Typically, 3-4 days a week I follow the early riser routine, with the other days slightly later starts to my runs.  Below is how my week played out, which is pretty representative of my standard routine (its just the workouts that vary):

Pre long run photo with running buddies
- Monday: AM - 3.75 mi easy with Tucker to loosen the legs; PM - 10.55 mi with a 6 mi tempo (6:39/mi avg)
- Tuesday: AM - 7 mi easy with Tucker followed by 5 x 30s strides at the end
- Wed: AM - 11 mi of steady running on a very hilly course
- Thursday: AM - 5 mi easy with Tucker followed 4 x 30s strides at the end; PM - 7.8 mi with 10 x 600m intervals on the track (2:22 down to 2:15)
- Friday: PM - 5 mi easy with Tucker
- Saturday: AM - 16.1 mi long run of 10 mi easy, last 6 at marathon pace (7:10/mi avg)
- Sunday: PM - 4 mi easy with Tucker

Everything just clicked this week and I managed to get in some good quality workouts.  The highlight of my week was the 6 mi tempo on Monday on a rolling course, because it felt so fluid and easy relative to the pace.  A big confidence boost to nail the pacing so strong to kick off the week.  I definitely think it set the tone for everything else to fall into place.

But just like that, the week was over and now its time to start with a clean slate again.  Though this won't be a recovery week, I don't foresee getting quite up to 70 mi this week, but expect to be in the high 60s again with another 20 miler scheduled from Saturday.  While everything feels great, I'm trying to give myself some relative rest by removing the doubles this week to maximize recovery between runs.  This will also give me a few more hrs of sleep this week, which should hopefully help with my cold.


it's all about pace said...

very nice!

{will run for margaritas} said...

Awesome week! I never thought I could make it 70+ mile weeks either - it's amazing what the body can do!

PS - I LOVE Jess H and Jeff C. So fun to have them as running buddies :)


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