I’m still dealing with computer issues UGH. These rounds are 100% not related to last week’s though and I’m hoping that it will get solved soon. The computer people seem to think it’ll be okay soon so fingers crossed!
Since I last posted I’ve been feeling pretty good . After Saturday’s beastly 17 I wasn’t sore at all. Very surprising because when I got to my mom’s house I had all intentions of stretching and icing butttt that never happened. Oops. Instead I just bummed around. And later I went out shopping and bought another pair of shoes. Kohl’s was having a sale of running shoes and I found a pair I liked. Not my usual shoes (I like New Balance 769 and these are Asics Kanbarra(?) ) and they aren’t a “W” (wide) but they will work. I won’t race in them but they’ll be good for training. I also scored tons of free food. I should go home more often to help with my grocery budget heh.
My runs since Saturday have been okay. I think the killer paces that me and Lacey hit at the end took a lot out of my legs. At least that’s how it felt because both runs were at 9:20 which is much faster than past recovery/easy runs have been. Guess fast running begets fast running. And as a final note the temps were a complete 180* from each other: Sunday morning I had 10* and this morning was 55*. Seriously New England: I want consistency!
Any way back to the title of the post. This has been a question on my mind lately. It’s kind of akin to the former fat kid who is now skinny but still feels like a fat kid. I still feel like a newbie runner.
Maybe a little bit ridiculous as I’ve been running for at least 5 years and even longer if you count sports that include running. Sure I’ve only been racing for 2.5 years (because I’m not counting high school track which was a joke for me) but even that is kind of a long time. So why do I not see myself as experienced? Maybe because during those 2.5 years I’ve only done…maybe 8 races? Definitely not double digits yet for sure.
But to look at my training log a different story unfolds. I’ve put in such hard training and over the past year my mileage has soared (clearly as I hit 3116 miles in 2009). And I’m not just talking about the recent HUGE weeks. I remember in the beginning of last year thinking that I would peak for my marathon at ~55 miles. I peaked at around ~73 (I forget the exact figure but 73 sticks into my mind for some reason). And I loved it and thrived in it. But still I never really thought of 73 miles as a lot. Yes it is a lot but it just felt like something needed to be done to get my goal of finishing my marathon (and I’ll admit a debut BQ was a goal too) so I never really thought of it a “high miles”
I also remember when 5 miles felt like the longest run ever. Now it feels like a warm up. To stand here at a point where I can bang out 2 weeks of double digit runs everyday and recall this is fascinating to me. It’s hard to believe that I’ve come so far. I can remember the progression semi-well though. I remember the first time I ran 75 minutes without stopping and then expanded that each week a little bit. It’s kind of like the adage of cooking a frog: put him in the pot and then boil the water rather than just throwing him in with the boiling water. Of course the adage is more succinct than that I’m sure. Oh the power of paraphrasing.
And yet I don’t think of myself in terms of a high mileage runner. Even when I write out weekly recaps and total my distances over time. But, I’m sure it’s pretty obvious, that I really am a high mileage runner. Looking at this summer when I was running 55-60 mile weeks and not training for anything and still pretty fresh from the marathon. And this fall when I hit 60 often and then 70 and culminating with my finals week with an 80.6 mile run. Nothing low mileage about it.
Maybe it’s because I’m not hitting 100 mile weeks, which *really* signals high miles. Who knows. It did take me a while to wear the term “runner” with pride and not feel like a fraud. It was during my senior year when I would go out for runs on top of my bball practices because I just wanted to run. And then it was reinforced after the season ended and I didn’t have a real reason to run because I didn’t have a sport to stay in shape for but I still ran anyway.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was a gradual thing rather than BAM I’m a runner. Maybe this will be something similar. Maybe the shift is already happening and it’ll take awhile for it to click. I have noticed during these first few weeks of Boston training that my body is acting like a high mileage runner and responding as such but my mind isn’t there yet. Not ready I suppose to “accept” the title even though my body is already there.
This kind of “label” is different from racer which I knew I was when I finished my first race and felt like I had nothing left to give in my body. But I think it’s starting because I take pride in the fact that I can go out there and put a 13 or so in the books without batting an eye. And I’d enjoy it too. I know lots of runners who think a 6 mile run is a long run and that my 13+ is crazy talk. I have a friend who is 400m runner for her school and is like that.
I guess I don’t have a concrete point here, more just musings because I’m grappling with the whole “high mileage runner” term that I hear thrown around. So much of it is relative and based on personal history / experience. Since I clearly have no answers I’m going to throw this question back at you: When did you realize that you were a runner? What does high mileage mean to you? Do you consider yourself high mileage?
EDIT: Lacey emailed me the pic of my shoes so here it is:
Yes I know that they look terrible and worn and what not but they don’t cut up my heels at all so they still feel fine. Oh justification hehe
Double Edit: Blogspot isn’t letting me comment on your blogs at the moment! Hopefully that gets fixed soon because I’m not ignoring you