Hundred Mile Month

I set some running goals this year, none of which I’ll actually hit.  They were pretty aggressive so that’s alright.  Shoot for the stars and you might land on the moon I like to say.  The moon is definitely in sight too!  One of those goals was a 1500 mile year.  My best previous year was like 400 miles.  Injury and illness set me way behind that goal and I knew by mid-March that was a bit unrealistic for me.  However, I’m already over 450 miles on the year, which makes this already my best year ever (and its showing in my race times).  With 5 months left I also am close to making a possible climb to the 1,000 mile mark.  That is hard, but still in range!

It won’t come though if I can’t have months of 100+ miles and while I hit that in December, I really have found myself challenged to put that sort of mileage up again.  I started the year with a marathon in mid-January that had me cut back my mileage that month quite a bit as I tapered and recovered from the race and a pretty bad post-race cold.  That was alright by me and by February I had put in nearly 100 miles again.  But then March was a huge setback for me.  I took a very hard fall skiing and I think I managed about 33 miles that month as I had bruised ribs.  Somehow I still competed in my first triathlon a few weeks after the fall but it did hurt.

Since then I’ve been slowly building my mileage back up.  One problem with my 100 mile month in December was that a majority of my miles came in 5 runs – 10, 13, 15, 17 & 20 milers.  75 of my 129 miles that month.  That’s 58% of my mileage!  It had quite an effect on me too.  Part of this was because the month before I had only run about 50 miles but I was really in pain by New Years.  The taper prior to Disney wasn’t just part of  a good training plan…I was on the edge of what my body could do all month and I could feel it.  After my long runs I couldn’t run for 2 days.

My weeks do make a nice pattern at least...

My weeks do make a nice pattern at least…

Fast forward to today.  The month isn’t over yet but I’m a couple ticks under 100 miles (98.8) and I feel a world’s difference in my legs since December.  There is soreness to be sure.  But I don’t feel hobbled.  I can run any day that I want and faster than I’ve ever run.  On Wednesday I met with a group that does a 5k every Wednesday night and ran a 26:55 which is a minute over my PR for an official race.  And that was after running 3 miles that morning and going to the gym.  So I’m as fit as I’ve ever been.  The difference in how I’ve done my mileage is VERY obvious when I look at a day by day chart of the month.

My longest 3 runs are 8, 11, and 13 miles with everything else 6 miles or less.  The remainder of the month I have plans for 20 more miles which will put me 10 miles under December so it will be a very comparable month, distance wise.  But those 3 long runs account for 32 of my 119 planned miles.  27% which is under half the long mileage of December!  I just feel so good about how I’ve changed my running habits this year.  Even though it took me time to build back up to the miles I wanted to see, I feel like I’m doing this the right way for a change.

A bit more consistent...

A bit more consistent…

Hitting 1,000 miles isn’t going to be easy still because I’m pretty far off of that pace right now but if I keep doing things this way I feel like I’ll get close and when my Marathon hits in December, I should have a massive improvement over January.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *