Total: 12.2 miles @ 7:43 pace
- Morning: 8.2 miles @ 7:54 pace
Woke up for a somewhat lazy 8.2 mile run along the Charles. The temperature was in the low twenties but a wind chill of about one degree. Still, somehow I managed to overdress. Icy and snowy in some spots, forced us to slow down quite a bit. Overall felt very easy.
- Afternoon: 4 miles @ 7:20 pace
Much warmer this afternoon after work, still a little windy though.
Overall, today was a day of getting in miles. Nothing was of super low or high quality, it just was running. This is a concept that is still relatively new to me. Through college and even a few years following graduating, I was a middle distance runner. 800m to 3000m on the track were my specialties, primarily the mile. I PR’d in the mile my senior year in 4:50. This was on an average of only about 36 miles a week, however they were almost all of high quality. We ran interval workouts on the track every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Saturday and Sundays were typically race days, and Wednesday was our weekly day off. Friday was a “pre-meet” run. Basically just a 4-5 mile easy run followed by striders on the grass or track. This left only Monday as the “no purpose” day. It was typically just a 6-8 mile run and it was the only day of the week I just had to chug through a run just because. I hated it. I loved the high intensity workouts and restful pre-race runs and felt I was able to run so fast in a race because the majority of the time I wasn’t racing, I was still running fast. Tuesday interval workouts left me keeled over a trashcan most weeks, but I knew those were the ones that made me a better runner.
When I became a real adult and moved on to post collegiate running, I found myself surrounded by older, wiser, longer distance runners that introduced me to the concept of getting in mileage. My interval workouts were limited to only Tuesdays and instead of racing every weekend, I typically was only racing once or maybe twice a month. I avoided racing the mile for the first few years out of school, because I was afraid I would feel defeated not being able to come close to my college times when I was strong and fast. By 2013 I had become influenced by my crazy runner friends and knew I eventually wanted to run a marathon. The day after the Boston Marathon bombing, I signed up for my first one. After a year of marathon training and a couple unsuccessful races, (feel free to read about those races on my Goals page,) I knew I needed to take a break from long distance racing and get back to my favorite distance, the mile. I convinced myself it was ok that I would be nowhere near my PR’s from college and I would just have to accept that. I had run Chicago Marathon in mid-October of that year, taken a couple weeks of easy recovery and then got back on the track in November. I did a total of about 4-5 speed workouts and got on the track mid-December and ran a 4:59 mile.
4:59 was not my PR but it was a hell of a lot closer than I thought I would be. I felt fit and strong and couldn’t believe with the limited speed work and not touching that kind of pace for about 18 months prior, I was able to get back to running fast that quickly. I think that’s when it clicked for me, just how important getting in mileage is. Although the immediate goal I have in front of me right now is to run a fast marathon, I know when I decide to go back to focusing on shorter distances, say the 10K or 5K or even mile, I will be stronger, fitter, and faster because of all these “no purpose” miles I’m putting in now.