Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Mileage Experiment

This year I've decided to stop counting miles. I really like the numbers, but when I start running a lot I get caught up in the numbers and my quality always suffers. As much as I would love to be a mileage monster, I'm not. I've always ran my best when I'm focused on quality and not quantity.

I stopped counting miles in February. I started taking things day by day, running more when I felt good and less when I didn't. I started doubling again and running a quality 19-21 miles on Sunday, leaving Saturday for tempo runs or speed sessions. I started jumping in the occasional race so I wouldn't have to execute my weekend workouts solo.

These past two weeks I ran two lonely 5ks as hard tempos in the middle of 90-95 mile weeks. I know this because with 5 weeks remaining before the Ottawa marathon, I allowed myself to back in my log and count. Without obsessing about miles and focusing more on how I feel I've successfully built on my weeks from 80 to 85+, to 90+. I've also logged a number of weeks over 90 miles while keeping my energy high and running quality hard sessions. This is something I've never been able to accomplish.

With the past two race pace efforts, the first one was miserably slow. However I still pocketed $300 for the uphill effort, then turned around and logged another 19 miles with friends the very next day. This past week I ran 60 min tempo on Wednesday, a 5k race + workout on Saturday, and a shorter long run Sunday.

I still don't have anything to show for the training I've done this season but some lonely local stuff as training runs, and I'm probably not going to have anything big until Ottawa or after. Heading into Montreal, I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to run a huge PR. I'm still dealing with a little bit of S.I, though it has gotten much better over the last 6 weeks just by diligently doing my exercises. Montreal will be exactly what it needs to be, a hard, quality 13.1 miles (with an additional 6 mile run tacked on there after the race). I will give it everything I have, enjoy myself, and then focus on the next 4 weeks before Ottawa.

I'm at a place I've never been before. And though It may be some time before I see the benefits, I'm really enjoying it. I'm excited for what this year may bring.

Friday: AM: 6 miles PM: 15 min w/u, 3.14 race as tempo in 18:21, 25 min c/d (1st, $300 -Killer Kudzu 5K, very challenging hilly course) (13)
Saturday: 19 miles @ 6:43-7:15 (not hilly, lots of long flat stretches today, Refuge)
Sunday: AM 5/PM:4
Monday : 11
Tuesday: 10
Wednesday: 60min hilly tempo at marathon pace (6:18 avg) (16) (95% humidity today, and hot)
Thursday: 12
Friday: 10
Saturday: 25 min w/u, 3.15 miles on hilly road loop @ 18:03 (small local 5k for the 3 mile part, fun, 1st) 4 min jog, 2x800m on road course, 2:44, 2:42, 6x200m hard @ 5:00-5:05 pace, 30 sec easy + 20 min c/d (great weather)
PM: 30 min (14)
Sunday: 1hr45 min on South Farm, last 21 min progressive starting at 6:53 working down to 6:11


L.A. Runner said...

What I'm doing right now very closely resembles what you are doing (at a much slower pace, however). It was kind of funny last weekend, I had an hour tempo, and I did the first part in an 8K race. The look on people's faces when I crossed the line and immediately turned around to the course for more was priceless. I'm sure everyone thought I had lost it.

Keep up the good work, girl!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog, randomly...I don't even know how. I am running the Ottawa marathon as well, it will be my 2nd full marathon and hoping to finish in just under 4 hours! Mom of 1 (my daughters name is also Madison!) Your such an inspiration! Amazing how much training your doing...incredible. Good luck on race day!!