MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 23, 2010

Well Not Exactly A Tempo. But I’ve Come A Long Way.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:44

When I got to work on Monday I was crowned:

Silly camera phone being blurry

The eClinicalWorks Queen.  Or ECW (pronounced e-c-dubs) Because I am apparently the know-it-all with the program.  Did I mention I’m not staff here? Just a VISTA?

What a great way to start a Monday, no? I actually wore the silly thing alllll day.  And it’s going to be on my head all day today too.

The rest of my Monday was pretty good.  My legs have still been feeling tight and achy lately.  A result, I’m sure, of the foam rolling.  I think I may be using too much pressure, although to quote my friend “How can you use too much pressure? You’re not 400 lbs” Overall I think that the increase in rolling is a good thing.  It’s making more aware of my muscles and how they feel.

That said I was going to do my tempo yesterday (because I had time in the morning) but didn’t.  Partly because I wanted that extra day of ease. And partly because that would throw off the rest of my weekday schedule.  I hate juggling things around when I don’t have to.

And hey, alliteration is hot.

I kind of regret that decision as I woke up this morning coughing up phlegm and with my sinus clogged and eyes itchy.  Hello allergies.  I hate the fact that I never had allergies until I hit my 20s.  Booooo.  So I did what any sane runner would do and ever sane person would not: pop an allergy pill and go out and try to hit my Tempo Tuesday.  I did get 8.5 hours of sleep so I figured I could be good to go.

The weather was also cooperating, giving me a lovely 47* morning with plenty of sunshine.  It felt like early spring! Obviously winter hasn’t even begun yet but it was nice to be able to run in spandex and a wife beater top.  And take off my gloves midway through 8)

The plan:

  • Warm up
  • Hit tempo pace (according to McMillian 6:51-711) for ~4.4 miles (aka the loop path with a bit extra)
  • Then hit GMP (~7:30) for ~2-3 miles during my recovery route
  • Take the rest of the recovery route as recovery

The idea was to hit a tempo pace hard so that the 3 or so miles at GMP felt really really easy. Confidence boosting? Yes please!

The result:

  • Warm up at an obscenely slow pace that actually didn’t feel that slow
  • 6.6 miles @ 7:24
  • Warm down at what feels like an obscenely slow pace that actually wasn’t

The average for the tempo portion looked like this:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:28
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:20
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:24

Not quite what I was going for.

Thoughts:

After the first 2.2 miles I knew (from calculating it out beforehand) that I was just under GMP.  Since this has been the plan since, oh I don’t know, the past 4 weeks I made the decision to stick with that pace (or try to) for the remainder of the route.  And I was pretty successful.  Yes it was a little fast but it wasn’t all over the place and the average wasn’t too much faster than GMP anyway.

As I was running the warm down I was starting to beat myself up over not being faster today.  And then I stopped.  Not running (duh never!) but thinking like that.  In terms of pure running, I’ve come a long way since my last training cycle.  While I was running tempos around 7:20-7:40 it never felt “good”.  It always felt hard.  So the fact that the same pace can feel, well not EASY but EASIER is huge.  A feather to put in the cap (or my tiara) if you will.

So all in all: Success.  At this point (T-13 days!) in my training “cycle” (I still feel weird calling it a cycle when it’s only 5 weeks long!) this is the type of workout I need: consistent and at GMP (or I guess slightly under as the case may be today).

I know that I’m ALWAYS going to feel disappointment with these types of workouts just because they aren’t an all out effort. I finished the tempo portion, still standing, and finished the workout with a curt nod of my head.  I really wanted, however, to end the tempo portion bent over and trying to catch my breath.  But right now these workouts aren’t meant to be that way and I need to start facing that discomfort of not going “balls to the walls” sooner or later if I want to continue to run (and race) well.

Oops to get all reflective and pensive on this Tuesday of the short week.  But I think this workout was huge.  Not in running terms per se but it’s given me reason to be *mentally* ready for WR even if physically it wasn’t what I’m used to or always want to be at.

But of course I also did W3D1 of my pushups when I got back, as well as some foam rolling action.

Pushups: 14, 18, 14 ,14 , 21

Situps: 21, 27, 21, 21, 35

And, to brighten up your day, a giveaway from Marcia

Plus, with Thanksgiving being in TWO days, a funny comic. From Foxtrot.  Which is my favorite. Enjoy

June 2, 2010

How Running Can Rock: Doubles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:17

Yay for today: National Running Day.  Yes that is today.  June 2nd.  I’m actually surprised I remembered given how I’m trying to limit my internet / blogging / fb/ anything but MCAT/essay time.  But I remembered and did a double today (duh) to celebrate.  Well I’d be doing a double anyway.

So I said in a previous post that I wanted to go into the factors that I believed to be clutch in my running so well (case in point: today’s first run was at 8:42 pace and the second one was at 8:45 which I’m still wrapping my mind around how they feel slow but clearly aren’t).  And I’ve drafted some other posts to go up later this week / weekend (because I have no concept of days so if you take reading blogs hiatuses over the weekend you’re going to miss out 😉 )but I think the crux of this is the double.  Sure, I’m confident that I’d be running well if I wasn’t doing doubles (and I think I was during Senior Week) but I’m starting to really get into them.

Which I think it’s apropos to give you a little background, not JUST on why I do doubles but why people in general should do doubles particularly if you are in training for something.  Maybe not the majority of days of the week but every once in a while.

Physically:

  • Ability to get more miles in.  I think this comes down to basic energy math: is it easier to do one 20 miler or two 10 milers with 4+ hours to recover? Of course if you’re in marathon training the 20 miler has it’s own benefits but running doubles is a great way to overall increase your mileage while not beating up your body too much. As long as you take sufficient steps to recover from each workout.  Ideally you should wait at least 4 hours before going out for run #2 and I would imagine that 6-8 hours (say before and after work?) would be perfect for many people.
  • Higher cardiovascular endurance and running economy.  I think of doubles in terms of intervals.  I know that each run isn’t like each individual interval but rather the overall arch is the same: you run, recovery, run again, recover.  Like intervals, doubles are letting you use less energy to run fast as your body gets more fit.
  • If you have a hard session in the AM, you can use the PM one to shake out the legs. Conversely if you have a hard PM session you can use the AM one to loosen up your legs.
  • This goes hand-in-hand with mentality but it’s great as a release for pent up energy.  There’s a reason they used to give kids in elementary school 2 recesses a day.

Mentally:

  • Easier to mentally handle said higher mileage.  Back to the example of 1X20 or 2X10.  I think that only having to do 10 (or 5 or whatever) at once is easier to wrap your mind around.  Of course, sometimes motivation to get out and do that second run wanes a bit when you know that you’ve already run but…
  • Double post-run high.  If you run twice then you get that mood enhancer twice.
  • Breaks up the day.  For me, my body itches to get moving after a marathon like study session so it’s easier for me to do what I’ve been doing: study-run-study-run-essay.  I’m able to focus better after getting my pent up energy out and clear the mind of the stress that has accrued.

Where to begin?

To start:

  1. Be running 5-6 days a week already and be able to complete 40 minutes minimum a day and 60+ for your long run.
  2. Add a double workout on an every other day basis and NOT on a hard quality (ie speedwork) day.
  3. The double run only has to be 20 minutes if it’s what you have to start with.  You can still derive benefits from this! The idea in the first few doubles / weeks is to get your mind and body around two workouts.  Ideally you can work up to 40ish minutes but slowly building up is the way to go.
  4. In order to NOT injure yourself the other “regular” run of the day should be ~10-20 minutes shorter initially and like I mentioned above wait 4+ hours between workouts.
  5. In the recovery time make sure to refuel with a mix of carbs, fats and protein.  (More on that later when I start posting that post in the series)

What to avoid / be careful of?

  • Too much too soon.  As with anything you should ease into it using the tips above.
  • Any disturbances in eating / sleeping / mood patterns.  Remember that doubles are suppose to be a BENEFIT.  And if you start to sleep funny or lose your appetite or get cranky and irritable over small things then maybe it’s time to back off because it sounds like overtraining.
  • Injuries.  Any increase in activity increases your risk of injury so running twice in one day definitely does.  Again, ease into it and be prepared to ice, stretch and recover well to avoid getting hurt.  And as soon as you notice something physically isn’t right then back off and move into doubles slower.

So those are the benefits of running doubles.  Now you can be all BAMF and hardcore when you say that you ran twice 🙂

And here are some random musings.  Mostly thought of during my runs today.

  • How many cops does it take to supervise paving a road that is, at most, a half mile long as well as NOT a main road?  Well if you guessed 7 then you’re right.  3 at one end of the road to stop cars from driving down.  2 with the construction vehicles.  2 more at the other end of the road.
  • But freshly paved road is soooo nice to run on because it is sooooo soft.  It felt amazing.  And no Mr. Cop #4 I do not want to hop on the sidewalk. Oh wait this area is so freshly paved that it’s actually hot? Okay then.  You win
  • I have semi-retracted my Obama cursing over the Restore America’s Roadways after running on said freshly paved road.
  • Is mapmyrun really accurate? I’m running really really fast.  But I used the same sight when at school and it seemed pretty accurate.  And my hometown is even hillier than school.
  • Little girl: if I’m running on the grass next to the sidewalk and you are biking on the sidewalk then clearly we are NOT in each other’s ways.  Therefore you do not need to pull into the grass and collide with me.  I know you mother probably told you it’s polite to maneuver out of people’s ways but this was not the case and you did, in fact, get in my way.
  • Middle school girls: please do not feel shy to say hi to me while we are all out running. I know that I’m tall and BAMF but I LOVE that you are out running.  Let’s be friends.
  • I know I’m beautiful.  You do not need to tell me that Boy In Jeep.

I’ve also been using my runs as a way to flush out my ideas for my personal statement (Thanks Ada for all your help!) as well as hammer out troublesome concepts for the MCAT but I’m sure you guys don’t *really* care about the periodic trends, electron configurations or inclined planes that are not frictionless.

So I’m off to go put some of those more productive thoughts into action.  Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Check out the giveaway from Sam @ peaveloverun

March 17, 2010

Springtime Recovery = Beautiful. And “Marathoning Age”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:20

Hey all! Gotta make this a quick semi-quick one as I’m between appointments and later tonight I’m seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3D with mi hermana 🙂

To start: Boston numbers came out earlier this week!! Because I prefer to remain (slightly) anonymous I’m not going to announce my number. But I will say that I’m in the second wave.  I was secretly hoping to get into the first one buttttt there are some fast people out there! The cut off for the waves was 14,000. That is so crazy that there are so many people running Boston.  I’m excited but not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Weird although I know that it’ll change once the race gets closer.

But I gotta take everything day by day.  Did I actually say last week that spring break was going to be relaxing? Someone should have slapped me or something because, have I had time to relax yet?! Nope. I’ve been going from one thing to the next.  I was able to get in some good work today though.  I hit the gym for some lifting.  Due to Monday’s craziness I skipped (for the first time all session) a strength workout so I really wanted to get one in today.  And I did.  It was pretty good too but, and it’s probably mental, my arms lost fitness in those days?! Hahaha.  My arms were dying by the end.  It felt good but man, I felt the burn.

I chose to lift first (rather than second like I’ve been doing for the rest of the training cycle) because I wanted to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather.  Sunshine, 50* (with a high of damn near 60), no wind.  The only bummer is that the floods have yet to recede and the large majority of my routes (include my hometown favorites) are still underwater.  The roads are so bad that that there are huge ass detours and back ups.  The trip home from the gym (a regular < 10 minutes) took 40.  Blahhhhh.

But despite the rivers in the streets I got a great recovery run in.  It definitely didn’t feel that way at the time.  I went into the run with the attitude that it was 1100 so my body was awake and the sun was shining with warmth so it should feel great.  Too bad my body wasn’t on the same page.  My legs felt so heavy and slow.  My mind was getting doubtful as to whether or not I even wanted to be out there. Luckily I was able to re-frame my thoughts and tell myself to shut the eff up.  I kind of resigned myself to the fact that my pace would be slow.  And like I said, this was the first time in 3 days that I was outside and that the time before that (Saturday’s long run) was in brutal conditions.  TM miles =/= road miles.

I think that having these low expectations did something because my recovery run was at a “blistering” 9:16 pace.  For those of you who are new to reading (and thanks for reading! To new and old readers 🙂 ) My typical recovery pace is around 9:30-9:45.  So it was a pleasant surprise to see something faster.  Especially since it felt so much slower.  There’s definitely something to be said about running in nice weather and not first thing.  Yes I think I’ll always be a morning runner but my body will go faster later in the day. Fact.

But enough about today’s recovery run.

I just wanted to talk a little bit more about my conversation with the high school track & field coach (yes I know this post is long already but oops. My blog. Too bad haha).  He definitely wasn’t saying that I had to take a week off.  It was more like if I had to then I wouldn’t lose much, if any, fitness. He did say that it would help to take this week as a major cutback but it wasn’t imperative that I stop running or anything.  He suggested that max time off this week would be good and then go hard for two weeks rather than just go semi-hard for three.

But the comment that most people “questioned” or rather commented on was the wait-a-few-years-to-marathon statement.

I’m not quite sure exactly his reasons for saying that and I didn’t really press him because let’s be honest here: I’m going to do what I’m going to do. BUT I can’t deny that I’ve been thinking along the same lines.  Not that I shouldn’t be doing this but that maybe I should pull back after Boston and focus on shorter stuff.

Firstly: The stress on my body. I’ve been thinking about the wear and tear I’m putting my body through. Yes, I’m still young (23) so the wear and tear isn’t huge. And yes I love it but it’s very grueling. Sure I could train on less buttttttttt. Yeah. I could but it wouldn’t fulfill me in the same way. To me marathons = mega-miles.

So my thinking is mostly just about wear and tear. Which I think is where the T&F coach’s thinking is too.  As a early (well maybe mid) 20-something my body is still maturing.  Sure I’m not going through puberty or anything but my bones and their density are still developing.  I know that running is good for bone health but 112 mile weeks is not the same thing as what the typical 20-something is recommended to do. I know that the typical 20-something isn’t running marathons either (I think that as bloggers, specifically running bloggers, sometimes we don’t see that as we represent a small number of people out there in the world).

So my bones is a concern. Another one is my hormone level.  While I’m still getting regular(ish) periods (mine have never been 100% regular, hence the ish) I’m still concerned that: running high miles = lower than usual body fat = less circulating estrogen (if one of the knowledgeable medical peeps begs to differ let me know! I am by no means an expert!). And I’m really slim already.  Not that I’m losing / have lost tons of weight or anything over the past 3ish months.

I know that running 100 mile weeks isn’t a year round thing butttttt….16 weeks of intense training has got to take some sort of toll.  And with less estrogen concern for my bones becomes great (part of the reason I was intensely worried about my ankle/shin being a stress fracture) as well as my reproductive health. I’m too young to be thinking about kids (like right now NO WAY IN HELL haha) but I’ve always reserved the right down the road to change my mind.

I guess the concern boils down to the whole mega-miles thing.  Like I just said, 100 mile weeks are tough and grueling.  I think the “concern” from the coach (or rather where he was coming from) was to take a few years to build up to that level, which is why I think traditionally most people say women “peak” at the marathon later in life: because it takes some time to build up I suppose.  Although he did say with a slight shrug “Well if you’re already there”.

Also the thinking tends to be younger = fast short races.  I really want to take advantage of the fact that I can recover quick and go out hard and fast. I know there are fast “older” runners but I’ve read lots of articles stating that a 20 year old (or at least that decade) is the best time to develop the power and speed necessary of a 10k. And while I love long stuff I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t fun to go all out for a 10k and run really fast. And I’d hate to think that I’m “wasting” that super speed young ones are known for 😉

So there you have it.  Nothing concrete or anything like that.  And again, I’m not (yet) a medical person myself so my knowledge is limited to textbooks and what others (doctors, fellow runners etc.) tell me.

And (before I wrap this up because I know it’s lengthy again!) I don’t want anyone to think that I’m nixing marathons forever. Part of my thoughts may just be that I’m in Week 12 of an intense training and my brain is thinking that there’s no way in hell that I want to go through this again.  I’m sure that more marathons are in my future even if I can’t see beyond Boston at the moment. I’m sure ultras are in my future.  But I just can’t see it yet.  The same thing happened after my last marathon: even though I knew I would run Boston, at the time I just couldn’t fathom training for it.  So life happens and things change.  But you got to get a look into my brain. How fun (hopefully haha!!)

So thanks for reading this novel (maybe physics wasn’t my calling.  Maybe writing should have been haha) and check out these giveaways from Tricia and Marcia. LOVE it.

March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:53

I was facing a bit of writer’s block (I know crazy right considering how much I ramble in my posts! Ha) but I was re-reading some of the comments over the past few days and I figured that I’d talk a little bit about the next 5 weeks.  Because Boston is 36 days away.  AKA 5 weeks from tomorrow.

My plan has me set up for a 3 week taper.  Meaning that the next 2 weeks will be wicked intense.  I’ve thought about tune-up races and honestly had a couple penciled into my schedule.  Unfortunately time and money made this impossible.  Both Kristen and Rebecca mentioned that running a tune-up race would help with any jitters and give me a realistic goal of what to expect. I 100% agree.

Last cycle I didn’t do this at all and really wanted to incorporate it this time around.  But like I said….life sometimes just gets in the way. There was (well is I guess as it’s still going on) a St. Patty’s 10k that I was thinking of doing with a friend this weekend but again, time and money.  Always the story.  Plus, I wasn’t comfortable committing to a race when I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle / shin (hopefully I’ll have more info after tomorrow) and I missed the deadline to register. I am registered for this 20 mile race at the end of the month though (with Lacey!).  That’s at the end of Week 4, just leading into the taper.

Speaking of. Heh. But first the next two weeks are going to be intense.  Now, I’m not one to peak ahead during my plans so I can’t tell you without looking myself what exactly I’m facing, but obviously: 2 very hard intervals (I do believe though that this upcoming week is either mile or 2000m repeats. I did look but I forgot ha!), 2 hard tempos, a LR of about 17-19 miles and another one of 20-23 (which will be that race).  So the second half of Monster Month is going to be intense.  But then again, the whole damn cycle has been intense. What else is new?

The plan calls for a 3 week taper with the first of those weeks being more of a cut back and the next 2 being much more so. I’ll be upfront here and say that last cycle I didn’t really do the taper all that well. Yes, I did cut way back but not as much as people would advise. So I can probably say right now that I likely will suck at the taper this cycle too.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the taper a lot more lately.  Mostly because I’m really feeling the intensity of my training at this point in the cycle.  As much as I think my funk two weeks ago was a result of school stress and weather I’m sure my huge miles played a role.  So I’m sure my body is eagerly awaiting the taper (and the massage I had scheduled for tomorrow. Holllleeeerrrrr). My mind? Yes that too.

I’m also wondering what constitutes a taper for someone who is running as many miles as me.  Obviously a cut-back is necessary for the taper but to what degree? I’ve never heard (or maybe I have but it never sunk in) about how much to cut back. I’m peaking at 100+ miles (done 3 weeks of them already over the training cycle) sooooo does my taper look like a 30% reduction (to 70 miles? Likely not, that seems like a lot), 40% (to 60?). Do I go by half? Like I’ve already said, I “sucked” at tapering last time around.  I think that my peak was 72 miles and the 7 days before my marathon (which didn’t suck at all btw) was 42 miles (that works out to a 40% reduction)

As Amarathoner noted: I’m a very go-go-go person who thrives on being busy.  I know this and I also know that the weeks of the taper will be very busy school wise as I try to piece together my capstone project in order to graduate.  So I know I’m not going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  I doubt that taper madness will take over or anything. I definitely didn’t experience that last time around and I think that part of it was that the semester was gearing up for finals and I had plenty to keep my mind occupied on.

So there you have it.  I guess I don’t have anything definitive in this post.  Mostly musings haha.  But it was helpful to get some of these ideas flushed out and to form some ideas on them.  Any thoughts and insight would be appreciated as like I’ve continually said: I’m a very inexperienced racer.

As for a quick blurb (maybe) about today. First off: Happy Pi Day! Yes I’m a nerd.  And yes I’m disappointed that Pi day has ALWAYS fallen on spring break so I cannot celebrate with my fellow nerds.

It’s also DST.  Hopefully y’all remembered to set your clocks ahead an hour.  I did but apparently my phone (which have always automatically reset itself in the past) decided to not last night.  No biggie as it’s Sunday and I’m on break but it was annoying to wake up when I thought I wanted to but really have it be an hour ahead.  Now my brain is all confuzzled.

It’s also monsooning out.  The drizzle from yesterday has turned into a monsoon.  Not cool.  I’m glad that I went outside yesterday and had a kind-of-crappy but kind-of-awesome run (BTW: Thanks for all your  kind comments about that run.  It made me feel really good and perked me up a bit. And I just calculated my average pace for the week and the “crappy” LR didn’t impact me as much as I thought! And yes numbers obsessed = that being important to me ha) because there was no way I was getting out there today.  Treadmill time (and likely tomorrow. Boo. Send some good weather vibes my way?).

I’m pretty sure I pushed a little too hard pace wise for a recovery run (started at 9:00 pace and ended at 8:15) but I wasn’t feeling bad.  A little calf soreness and absolutely nothing with the shin (I was a bit sore last night because after my run I did not move my body once so everything stiffened up as I headed to bed haha). And Tmart: while it wasn’t a rest day it was a severe cutback from my normal Sunday routine.  A start, no? Which I haven’t run the total numbers yet BUT this week was a monster of a week!

Hope everyone is having a very relaxing Sunday.  There’s something about the rain that makes productivity go right out the window so I haven’t gotten much done.  I think I’m going shopping tonight though? That counts right? 😉

And checkout this giveaway from Have Faith

January 25, 2010

What makes a high mileage runner?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:16

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

Woot to 2000+ miles

Me and my shoes 🙂

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 🙂

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