Ramping Up

I ran five miles Saturday and felt stiff, slow, awkward and sore. It turned out to be at an 8:32 per mile pace which surprised me. It was slightly slower than my other two efforts at this particular route but not by much. Chalk it up as miles done. Next.
The training schedule I'm using has me peaking at 20 miles on my long run three weeks before the race. I want to peak at 22 so I'm cheating my long runs up a little each week so I can do that without too much trouble. Today called for 15 miles so I did 16.2 (gosh, only 10 miles to go).
My scheme was like two weeks ago - run three miles to warm up by myself before meeting the guys downtown, then fall in with them for as long as they go. The three mile loop up by Kraft Azalea Gardens was quiet, dark, cool and pleasant. Did it at a 9:00 pace. When I returned downtown there were four guys ready to go.
Chris, my usual sidekick; Tim, a regular who is now running farther and faster than usual because he's prepping for the OUC Half Marathon in two weeks; Marty, the doc who used to be a swifty but is now recovering from some horrid injury and taking it slow; and Bob, a new guy who is 71 and a former fasty getting over prostate cancer who kept up with us pretty darned well.
I ran with Tim through miles 4-9. We talked about employers who cheat on healthcare coverage, FEMA, the federal welfare provider for contractors and vagabonds, good looking female runners we saw and the upcoming race. He was cruising like never before so I was happy to push it with him. We stopped for water and a vanilla Gu. It was my first non-regular flavor Gu and I found it went down easier without water. I had water as a chaser but it wasn't so thick by itself.
I ran with Bob for miles 10-11 and marvelled at his running history. His fastest marathon (3:37) was done when he was 55 years old. COOL! My peak years are still in front of me.
Chris and I ran miles 12-13 before I veered off and went on an outer loop through a distant lakefront neighborhood to add more miles to the run. Running by yourself is when the tricks and nicks start playing with your brain. I had occasional cramps in my calf and other sundry devils asking me whether I would go the full distance. I blanked my brain from running and thought about my sweety instead. That got me safely back downtown where there were lots of churchgoers and other audiences.
Having spectators can distract your brain from the pain. I hope there will be lots of them over the last 10 miles of the marathon because I was a sore puppy when my run ended after 2:36.23.
I was hobbling and unsteady. The breathing was okay but the legs were tired. I stretched and drove home for a full (second) breakfast of french toast, banana yogurt, sausage and coffee.
The rain never materialized; the cold didn't set in (it was 68-70 during the run); and the sun is out so I can lie out and warm up and maybe doze off too. That sounds like a good idea.

My mileage for the year is now approaching 900 miles. My goal back in January was 600. My previous record was 625 miles two years ago. I am 225 miles above my record with 45 days to go. Yea me. I shock myself that the parts keep working and don't break down. The secret: stretching, but, of course, you knew that, right?


Susan said...

You go David - 900 miles is awesome.

Rae said...

Way to go!! See, your mileage is creeping right up on me. I think I'm going to peak at 23 as well, 20 just doesn't seem close enough to 26 and I can tell myself the only difference between 23 and 26 is a piddly old piece of cake 5K.

susie said...

Ha, that's what I did this summer. If I had 6 on the schedule, I did 7. Seven, I did 8. Mind games. But good for you, David. 900 seems incredible! Keep working and don't break down, now.

Jank said...

900 - wow! I had the whole thought of a thousand, but lost track somewhere.

Good run; and ten is a walk in the park, right?

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

900 is pretty sweet, David. I had set a goal of 1000 this year but looks like I'll only make 800 or so. Looks like you'll be hitting that 1000 mark easily. And you were shooting for 600? Nice.

Stretching fixes all that? Why didn't somebody tell me? :)

Jack said...

I also discovered the advantage of "cheating my long runs up a little each week". It is a super cool feeling when you just finished you last long run right before the marathon and realize you only have to run a few more miles more than that on "M" day. Works for me anyway!

Oldman said...

Way to go! 900 miles is a great accomplishment