Last week, I had an epic mileage week. Normally a low mileage runner, completing a 53 mile training week made me very happy. And I was amazed at how, once again, my body has more to give than I originally thought. Back in 2012 at StoneCat, I ran my first 50 miler. Just as my first marathon back in 2002, I didn’t know what my body would do. Would it seize up? Would it break? Would it implode? None of the above. So heading into this past weekend, I was entering unchartered training territory.
I had 18 miles on my calendar, so headed out with Bella to run 2.5 of that on trails. That little warm up is such a great way to ease into my run at the same time as providing Bella some great off-lead running. Totally a win/win. I dropped her at home and continued onward to complete what would turn out to be 18.5.
My nutrition strategy continues to be a challenge, but it’s mostly the nutrition post-long run. Usually, I wait too long to eat anything, get dizzy/foggy, and then force something like Eggo waffles down my throat to tame the beast. By then, it’s too little, too late. That ritual sets the tone for the day/night and I end up feeling pretty ‘blah’. After my 18.5, I had some leftover BBQ pulled chicken and salad at the ready. Even though I tend not to have an appetite post-long run, I’ve been forcing it more immediately after and voila, finding myself feeling less ‘blah’. Later that day, I even caught a quick catnap with Bella. Ah, the deliciousness of a nap!
Good thing too, because I wasn’t finished running….
Michelle from Average Girl Doing Average Things and I “met” virtually via blog and realized awhile back that I live very close to some of her family. She mentioned to me that she’d be down my way this past weekend and that maybe we could finally meet face-to-face and grab a run. Cool! Although I already had my official run done for the day, I couldn’t say no! I was looking forward to meeting her and figured I could run a few more, right?
A few more lead to 7.5 miles. But they were such fun miles! We chatted the whole way, got to know each other in a way only runners can, and did a lot of laughing. It was such a great way to finally meet and it was such a perfect end to my day. So, I essentially ended up running an informal marathon that day. I honestly felt really good, but now I was a wee bit nervous about my 10 mile run date with Sue the next morning. How would my legs behave?
After a night fueled by approximately two hours of sleep, I dressed again to run and headed to the beach to meet Sue and Kellie. They knew of my mileage shenanigans the day before and were totally accepting of my potentially slower pace. We headed out and I was thrilled that my legs cooperated! We chatted the whole way (shocking, I know) and before we knew it, 10 miles was covered. I got home and realized “wow I’m tired!”. Oh, and ravenous.
I took Monday as my normal rest day and was grateful for it. On Tuesday, I ran my planned 4 miles around the lake at lunch and was once again thrilled that my legs had some spunk! The moral of this story is that I seem to be redefining and shifting my threshold and it’s pretty exciting. I have 6 weeks until my 50K and 28 weeks until Ghost Train, so although some of my friends have recently dubbed me “a machine”, I have a long way to go to strengthen and leverage this “machine” to get me to the start AND finish of my biggest race thus far.
Are you a high or low mileage runner?