This past four weeks I've been taking "baby steps" towards building a solid base. Thus far, it's been mission accomplished. I've run a 20-miler 7 out of the past 9 weeks and my training pace is dropping like a rock. This past week I cruised through 8 miles of trails at 8:29 pace and 20 miles at 9:26 pace (I even ran even splits for the 20 miles). For some, that's no big deal. For me, that's a huge improvement from the usual plodding along I've done in past years. That being said, I'm not going to kid myself into thinking I'm really in super shape either. Most of the running thus far has been on pretty flat terrain, although sometimes with rather challenging footing. Nonetheless, I'm seeing a huge difference in my strength, stamina, and mental focus, especially on the 20-milers. What once used to seem a somewhat challenging distance for training has now become rather routine.
Right now, it's been tough not running more because I've been just aching to crank up the mileaage. In fact, I'm somewhat embarrassed by the weekly mileage I've been posting, considering others I know are running almost double that. However, there's a reason for that. They've put in the base mileage to allow themselves to do that without getting injured or overtraining, and I haven't. It's the price I must pay for now, but it has been rewarding. This week I might throw in an optional run of 4 miles or something, but I don't want to push it too far. I'm happy with my progress and recovery. In addition, I don't want to go through the struggles with injury and DNF'ing that I dealt with last year.
On a final note, just a shout-out to some folks racing/going to be racing soon. First off, best wishes for a successful and safe Arrowhead 135 Ultra to John Taylor and John Storkamp. I'm still anxiously awaiting the first update for those on foot. Secondly, best of luck to my brother and Karen Gall, who will both be at the Rocky Raccoon 100-miler this upcoming weekend. I hope everyone else is making the most of the winter and getting some miles in. Stay healthy and hope to see ya on the trails!
How Many Hills Are Enough Hills?
5 days ago