I'm starting to understand this running addiction idea.
Long, long ago, like when Jimmy Carter was President, I was a running addict. Six or seven days a week, 50 mile weeks regularly. Of course, I was on a team, so that helped motivate me. But I kept it up in the off-season too.
Since then, most of the last 30+ years I've been running 2-3 days a week, or less. Still a runner, still enjoying running. But at a different level. I proudly posted on this site when I started blogging that I was NOT a running addict. Because those people were crazy.
Well, this past year I have
stepped it up. I am running 4 and 5 days a week, plus gym days and some
triathlon cross training, so I workout about 6 days a week.
Consequently, I am getting in the best shape I have been in since
college. My age-graded times are the best since then. More importantly, I
have rediscovered the love, no, the passion for running. It seems like I
end almost every workout exhilarated, high on endorphins, happy and
satisfied, feeling like I could do more. I keep making the runs longer
and faster, and my body just responds with "More please". No runs are
chores. I look forward to every workout now. Starting to feel the
So last night was speed day. After Sunday's 21 mile
"tempo". I went right back out and did 6 Monday and 7 Tuesday. Gym on
Wednesday. Thursday's run was 3x2 mile intervals with 1/2 mile cool downs,
1 mile before and after for a total of 9. I did this workout 4 weeks
ago and averaged 7:11 on the speed miles, so the goal was to beat that.
run went just like the last one, only faster. My first mile was slower
(7:22) because it takes me a little while to warm up, but then I got it
into gear in mile 2 and ran the last 1/2 mile at about 6:45 pace to
finish with a 7:05.
The 2nd 2 mile I started right up at sub 7
and then had to make myself ease off. Ran 7:10 and 6:54! I always
accelerate the 2nd mile because I just feel good and I know I can do it.
Having this endurance in the tank really makes speed work fun. I can
crank it up to a fast pace and just hold it. I love the feeling of
flying down the road at sub-7 pace and feeling strong and like I could
The 3rd 2 mile was similar. 7:08 and 6:54. So my 6
speed miles averaged 7:05, and the last 5 averaged 7:02. And I left a
little in the tank too.
Today is my rest day and I almost feel guilty, but I plan to do 10 Saturday and 18 Sunday so I am excited for that.
My run, that is. But before I get to today's felonious activity, let me catch you up on the past week.
last week's relative cutback recovery from Surf City, I was primed to
hit another 50 mile week. 7 on Tuesday and 7 on Wednesday were fine, but
I got a minor cold on Thursday so I took the day off. Luckily it passed
pretty quickly so by Friday night I was up for getting out there again
and knocked off a solid 9 on rolling hills. So then I took off Saturday,
so I would be ready for a solid 21 miles today. So 44+ for the week -
I'll take it.
So today's plan was 21+ miles at the beach - almost
flat. 4 weeks ago I did 20.6 on this course and somehow averaged 8:07
and 7:52 for the last 14 miles. That is under marathon pace. Today I
thought about forcing myself to go slower, but I think I've given up on
the whole LSD plan. I run how I feel, and that usually means I end up
going fast. My relaxed pace has just gotten faster and faster. So I
would relax and just run, but I assumed it would be similar to last time
Temps in the high 50's and sunny. Shorts and a tank top. Two GUs in my belt. Off we go.
6 were on the woodchip trail. Cruising along, I did my usual gradual
acceleration as I warmed up. 9:04, 8:36, 8:32, 8:21, 8:06, 8:17. Average
Hit the beach and the pace picked up. 7:59, 7:56, 7:52, 7:45.
my BQ pace is 8:00. My marathon goal is to do 8:15 - 8:00 for the first
6 and then 7:50 for the rest of the way, or as long as I can. I think I
can aim for 3:25. Long run training strategy is usually not to run
marathon pace. Certainly not faster. But I get into a groove, and it is
just very hard to slow down. And then I want to see if I can hold the
pace the whole way. So anyway, this happened:
7:40, 7:40, 7:41, 7:38, 7:34, 7:38, 7:45, 7:36, 7:40, 7:39, 7:38
the last 11 miles averaged 7:39. I killed it. 21.2 miles with an
overall average of 7:56, or under BQ pace. Could I have done 5 more
miles at 8:00 pace? Well, I believe I could have! Can't wait for the
race to hurry up and get here so I can get a full taper, suck in the
race time energy, and blow it up! Four more weeks!
My main concern
now is holding myself back. I can see running 7:30 pace early in the
race and not being able to slow down. Yet I worry about those last 5
miles, so I will try to restrain myself. The last mile today I was
hitting the wall and it took some extra effort to keep the pace low, but
it was good to not see a bonk. Even when I felt like I was fading, my
pace didn't really get any slower.
So I am about to get a
celebratory giant burger, and then probably a nap. Two more solid weeks
of mileage coming up and then the taper.
Time to dance.