Sep 15, 2011

Mid September Check-in

After reaching my 1000th mile in 2011 on September 1st, I hit some sort of wall. I suddenly felt weak, and my left leg in particular was bothering me. I decided that I would take a week of down-time, which I hoped would re-energize things and get me going again. 
Daily mileage September 1-15
From the chart above, you can see that I dropped my mileage dramatically on September 4 and didn't start increasing it again until the 9th.. giving me 5 solid days of rest. It definitely helped. I no longer feel "beat up" and the left leg feels better, though not 100% yet. 
Daily Mileage August 22-31
Weekly Mileage since Aug 1. Note that week 38 is only half-finished.
My training has been really consistent lately, and the weekly mileage, while relatively low compared to most ultrarunners, is actually rather high for me, especially since long runs have been completely absent. The chart is typical of a "base-building" phase in training, and I've felt that this solid block of 29-mile weeks has been very beneficial. I've really never had this kind of consistency in my training, and, I think as a result, I've felt much more comfortable in my daily runs - week 37 notwithstanding. I can't remember the last time I dreaded going out. And the motivation to keep the running streak alive no longer feels like a burden.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that I'm still lacking long runs. Like I said in the previous post, I used racing as a means to getting long runs in, but now that I'm not racing as much, they've become largely non-existent. The last time I ran a mere half-marathon was way back in July, during a race. This fall I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and this winter I'm running ATY. Both races respect the fact that I am building a solid base, but demand that I start getting those endurance muscles going again. Which is why I'm planning on doing a nice long run this weekend.

Speaking of ATY, I've set a goal of going 200 miles in the 72-hour race. I'll have more comments about that in a future post, but if I'm going to have a hope of reaching that goal I'll need long runs and a reduction in weight. I'm shooting for 239 lbs by December 28th.

Weight Chart halfway through September.
Diamonds are daily weight. Red line is trend.
Floaters are bad; sinkers are good.
Dashed yellow line will hit 239 on December 28th.

From my weight chart, you can see that I slipped a bit during and after labor day (which coincided with the decrease in mileage), but as you can see I'm back on track and another solid week of this will create some serious momentum.