Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Milestone Delayed Worth the Wait

At the end of March, I bemoaned the fact I was unable to hit the 100-mile mark for the month due to illness. I was disappointed because I wasn't sure when I would have my next shot at reaching the milestone.

Since I was running a half marathon in April, I did not think I would run 100 miles in the month because I was not sure how I would bounce back from the race. And May is a crazy time for me at work since I tend to travel a lot, and we all know it's not always the easiest to get the miles in when taking out of your routine.

Consequently, I thought June would be the earliest I could achieve the milestone.

Well ... I. Thought. WRONG.

On Easter Sunday, I was checking my mileage for the month, and lo and behold I was sitting at 71.6 with six days remaining. My goal was within reach, but to get it, I would have to turn in the best week of my running life to do it.

For some, running 28.4 miles in a week might not seem that big of a deal, but for me, it was. I hadn't run more than 27.1 miles during a seven-day span, and that came just the week prior.

Yet, I was determined.

I decided to alternate running a 10K and at least 4.5 miles for over a span of four days before capping off the week with an eight-mile run to lock up the milestone.

Now they only question was, would my body be up for the task?

The answer: a resounding YES!

On Monday, I did 6.21 miles in an 1:04:50 seconds. I just wanted to go easy and the sub-10:30/mile pace was a good one for me. I followed that with a 4.71-mile outing on Tuesday, averaging 11:12 per mile. I wasn't worried about my speed or time this week, I just wanted to rack up the miles.

After taking Wednesday off, I reeled off 6.55 miles on Thursday in 1:05:07 for a 9:56/mile pace. I wasn't trying to push it, but I felt great and just went with it. Friday, I ran 4.57 miles and averaged 10:47/mile. I wanted to go easy since I was planning on an eight-mile run on Saturday and wanted to make sure I had the legs to finish the journey.

I woke up Saturday (April 30), and I knew it was going to happen. I needed just 6.36 miles for the 100-mile milestone, but I was also 7.96 away from 30 miles for the week! Determined to make history - well, history for me, I set out to rack up the miles, but again, planned to take it easy.

Despite my plan to take it easy, the miles were clicking by at quick pace.

Mile 1 was done in 10:12, but miles 2 and 3 were done in 9:49 and 9:23, respectively. After posting a 9:40 time for mile 4, I slowed a bit on mile 5, completing it in 10:36.

But then, I started to pick it up again.

Mile 6 flew by as I finished in 9:07 before posting 10:05 for mile 7. I ended the run by needing just 9:23 to wrap up mile 8.

When it was all said and done, I had run 8.13 miles in 1:19:36 to average 9:47/mile.

Honestly, I felt like I had plenty left in the tank and would've ran more had I not needed to get back home so my bride could get to work. I did run an additional 1.5 miles that evening at the track as I trained with my son. (We working on getting him ready to run a 5K later this summer. Another blog post will discuss this adventure.)

So, when it was all said and done, I posted 31.7 miles for the week and 103.3 miles for the month of April - both personal highs!

And the best part is that I've amassed over 350 miles on the year and well on pace to eclipse the 1,000-mile mark for the year.

My next big goal is to post a 50-mile week. My predicition is that will happen in June. I'm doing too much traveling in May to make it happen now.

But then again, I never thought I post 100 miles in April, so you never know.

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