The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am, I promptly hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later I was up and trying to explain to Annie what the heck was going on! She finally came around and we each had a slice of toast with peanut butter. I loaded up my water bottles with a 1/2 concentration of Gatorade, strapped on the Garmin, and slowly walked out the door!
The beginning of every run is always the worst for me. I keep looking at my Garmin to see my distance and pace and say things to myself like, ".5 miles down only 9.5 to go!" ... yes I am that brutal on myself (-:
After about 2 miles I was able to settle in for what turned out to be a refreshing 1:47 minute jaunt through my dark and quiet neighborhood. As my buddy Boomer has mentioned in many of his posts, hydration and nutrition are key on long training days. About every two miles I would take in a few ounces of gatorade and at mile 6 I had myself a vanilla GU gel. By the time I was done with the 10 miles I was ready for breakfast but overall I felt pretty good and plan on maintaining this type of nutrition in the future.
On Sunday when I did a 9 mile run I averaged a 9:40 minute/mile pace in awful humidity. Today I averaged a pace of 10:26 in perfect weather conditions. This had nothing to do with the distance and more to do with the fact that Annie was pacing today and my legs were starting to feel the effects of the 25 miles that I had already run this week! So that means since Sunday I have accumulated 35 miles. The main reason for this increase is because last week my long run was done on Sunday instead of Saturday, thus making it appear that I have increased my mileage way to aggressively. That is not the case because if I take that 9 mile Sunday and add it to last week I would have done 22 miles last week and 25 miles this week.
Now, a lot of you maybe reading this and saying to yourself, "why the heck does Jeff count all his miles? Who cares, just run!"
Well, a couple of reasons. First, I am anal. Second, I have found that if you plan your workouts in advance it is much easier to hold yourself accountable. If you didn't have a workout planned it is much easier to take a "day off" as opposed to "missing a scheduled workout" .... Semantics? yes. Effective? YES.
Thirdly, when it comes to any type of increased physical workload increases, especially running, it is important to know your mileage stats in order to know how much to increase so you can prevent injury. Studies (and personal experience) have shown that increasing mileage too quickly can result in injuries. Running is very hard on your body - joints and muscles in particular - and your body needs significant time to get used to the added workloads. In running the general rule of thumb is to increase by only 10% each week.
Anyways, today's run was fun and I could have easily went another 3 miles that would be required for a 1/2 Mary. Tomorrow morning I am going to try and go all out on my Tri bike for 10 miles to see what kind of time I can average. I have a Triathlon coming up on Oct 18th and it is only a 10 mile bike ride. I need to see where I am.
Thanks for Reading,