Limits? What limits?
I'm again celebrating a couple of new distance records. Last week I broke my weekly record with a 125.25 mile week and this morning set my new monthly total at 404.04 miles for the month of September. This month was a lot like last month...I didn't start off to break any records. Actually, I was going to "take it easy" after two record breaking months in a row. The first week of Sept. I actually had a couple days where I only ran 3 or 4 miles...but just a couple...looking back, the rest were all high-mileage days.
|Do I look tired? (I am!)|
After that first "low-mileage" week of 68, ha! I started running 15 miles a day beginning on Labor Day. Rain, shine, warm, cool, local or travelling...15 just seemed to be the right distance. As a result I racked up 2 back-to-back 91 mile weeks and then started looking once again at the totals. I began to think what it would take to run a 3rd record breaking month in a row...and sort of decided "NO!" just not worth it. I mean, after all, I had a hike coming up on the Appalachian Trail in a couple of weeks and didn't want to get injured.
But then on the Monday of the last full week, at about mile 7, I was feeling pretty good and decided to "GO FOR IT!" I started a little spur run to turn my 15 into a 20 just to see what it felt like. Well...it felt pretty good! And, I just took each day...one at a time...not trying to predict, or anticipate what the end of the week would look like. I just kept running 20 a day and actually bumped it up to 21 from Wednesday to Saturday. Part of the decision was the beautiful weather God had provided, low/mid 50's every day with no rain in the forecast. The other factor was no planned travel for the week. Although I did need to go to work each day, I got in the habit of going to bed super early (like 8:30-9pm) which was not a problem being pretty tired from all the running. Each morning I got up about 2am (without an alarm except for one morning!) and tried to be out running each day by 3am. This got me back to the house each morning between 6:30 and 7:00am in time to see Linda and the girls off to school and still have time to get a hot tub, shower and second breakfast (Hobbit Style!) before going to work each day. It was a pretty grueling schedule and one I don't want to repeat too often, but it really worked out pretty good. The last two miles on Saturday morning, my buddy Mark just happened to come up on his bike and rode along side me all the way home. It was a GREAT distraction from my pain (feet, pads, arches, Achilles, ankles, ham-string, groin muscle...you name it...they were ALL hurting this week! ) The daily mileages (with Sunday off), were Mon=20.08, Tues=20.09, Wed=21.20, Thurs=21.06, Fri=21.18 and Sat=21.64 which totaled up to an unbelievable 125.25 for the week. Another big milestone for the Saturday run was that I surpassed 2000 miles for the year!...and it was only September 26th! I've never done 2000 that soon in any year...with or without shoes!
Once again, I must give God all the praise and credit, since I know He gave me multiple healings during the week (and some days multiple healings within a single day's run!) and His weather was just absolutely perfect. I felt Him with me each day as I prayed to find the "smooth path" and asked to avoid the rocks and sticks...much needed, since I ran ALL these miles in the dark with a headlamp on, plus my flashing LED lights on my waistband to keep the cars warned. Thankfully, there was not much traffic out there until the last hour each day. And since I was able to keep my pace in the "10's" each day (between 10 and 11 min/mile) I kept my total running time for the week at just over 22 hours (almost one whole day!) Of course once I had the big week behind me, the monthly goal was "easily" achieved by finishing out the last 3 days of September with 15-milers each day...which actually seemed easy after the 20's and 21's everyday last week!
Now I really am going to start taking it easy (running wise) to get ready for my marathon in mid October. This next week I won't be doing any serious running as I'm off for a 50 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah N.P. in Virginia with 4 hiking buddies. We will be on the trail 5 days solid (Mon-Fri) with a planned 10mile/day pace. We will be packing everything (tents, food, and all) from start to finish. Even though this will be strenuous, it will be a good way to begin my taper for the Wounded Warrior Project Monster Mash Marathon in Dover Delaware on October 17. (still 3 States left to go in my 50 Sub 4 quest) Looking forward to getting this one under my belt and might even go for the BPR (Barefoot Personal Record---sub 3:50:48 is needed) if I'm feeling good come race day.
September Mileage = 404.04 miles (new record)