Respect the cut back week
This was a week for stepping back. My long run shortened up a bit. I ran fewer hills. My race pace run added another mile at race pace but the overall volume did not change. I even cut back on a recovery run day, opting to give my feet a break.
These are the weeks I was never good at when I first set out to run. I wanted to go 100 miles an hour every week and struggled with staying healthy and motivated. Slowly, and painfully, I have come to realize that progressing as a runner isn’t about going full out every run every week but saving yourself for the key workouts that really matter. So I stepped back this week, from mileage in the high 30’s to back in the low 30’s because next week’s training ramps up as the push to get to Peak Week begins in earnest.
Preparing for what is ahead
The next few weeks are some of the most anticipated weeks of training I will be tackling since I started running. I will be tackling weekly mileage that I have only attempted two or three times in the five years I have run. Next week begins a string of long runs that will be the farthest I have ever traveled. It is as if I am crossing over a threshold from being a half marathoner to a full on marathon runner.
I am venturing into the unknown where I do not know what to expect or how I will handle the strain. I am looking forward to seeing how I hold up to the pounding my legs are going to soon be taking.
I follow several runners on Twitter and one of them (for the life of me, I cannot remember which) posted the following quote, which sums up how I am feeling heading into the last eight weeks of training:
“When you’re a competitive runner in training you are constantly in a process of ascending…. It’s not something that most human beings would give a moment of consideration to, that it is actually possible to be living for years in a state of constant betterment. To consider that you are better today than you were yesterday or a year ago, and that you will be better still tomorrow or next week or at tournament time your senior year. That if you’re doing it right you are an organism constantly evolving toward some agreed-upon approximation of excellence. Wouldn’t that at least be one definition of a spiritual state?”
-From Again to Carthage, by John L. Parker, Jr.
The journey to May 15th continues…
Weekly mileage: 33 miles
Yearly mileage: 302.1 miles