Despite a less than stellar month (and a bit) after Loch Ness, I finally feel that I’m close to being back on track with training in general, and I now only have 2-3 long runs left before Texas. I had signed up to Texas for two reasons:
- It meant that I could enjoy a relatively relaxed Christmas with my family during my taper (I usually maintain a pretty aggressive gym routine).
- I wanted to PR.
Having signed up for the Highland Fling, however, I have been treating my marathon training as a way of maintaining a base before my ultra training starts in January. I have put together a workable training schedule from now until the end of April, and the marathon fits in perfectly with a 25 mile training run. I would still like to run faster than 4:18:xx, but I mostly want to make sure I complete the run without putting my legs out for too long.
I kind of thought that having a practically empty race calender in November and December would translate into long lies and more free time during the weekend. I guess I was wrong. Mostly, because I signed up to the Texas marathon on New Year’s Day, and I was a little too blasé about what the training for that would entail. It turns out I can’t churn out a 21 mile run in a couple of hours after having run a grand total of 3 marathons, so I’ve been spending my Saturdays waking up at a time when most Friday-night party-goers were still stumbling home, and running until most sensible people were having a leisurely flick through the morning paper over coffee.
Thankfully, I haven’t had to do all my dark and early long runs solo, as for the majority of them, I have had the pleasure of Ishbel’s company to help pass the time. There’s something about agreeing to meet someone at 6:00am on a Saturday that makes it impossible to throw in the towel. It’s also hard to justify not getting long runs in when we’ve been getting such a lucky streak with the weather! I mean, relatively. It is still freezing (which I obviously hate), but so far we haven’t had to face snow, sleet, rain, or even, remarkably, wind that could rip the skin off your face. Plus, nothing beats getting out there and getting some exercise done as the sun comes up. Sunrise is after 8:00 and sunset is before 16:00, so I want to enjoy as much daylight as possible, thank you very much.
It would seem I had underestimated the amount of miles I have been putting in as well. Last year I hit 1,000 miles on November 18th, and though I had hoped to beat that this year, having to take several weeks off due to illness/minor injuries had deflated my hopes. I thought I would check my log and see where I was a few days ago only to realize I had already hit my goal a whopping TWO DAYS earlier than last year. This was a bit of an anti-climax, because I really enjoyed snapping pictures on my milestone run last year, but thankfully I had stopped to take a single photo on the run that would have included my 1,000th mile this year:
Ha. I can’t believe in two years I have gone from freaking out about running 26.2 miles to treating it as a ‘training run’.