It feels strange to not be out running all the time. I went from running 9 marathons or longer last year to virtually no running at all. And I didn't have any good excuses!
A little background is in order. Last October I ran two marathons and then just stopped running. No miles in November and only 2.5 miles in December. I vowed to start the year off correct but still could only muster 28 miles. My first attempt at a 50k was at the end of February so I got a few 6 milers in and one 12 miler, but still couldn't get motivated, ending up stopping at the 30k finish of the Sequoia 50k. Then there were 6, 11 and 20 in the following months, leading to my finish of the Nisene Marks Marathon in the first week of June. From there it got worse, logging in only 3 more miles in June, 7 in July, 6 in August and 7 in September. Abysmal, I know. I just couldn't get motivated.
Along came October. I am planning on running the Silicon Valley Marathon at the end of the month. I mean the marathon is 1o minutes from my house and there is a 7 AM start time! What more could I ask for? The month started out slow with only 3 miles in the first week. Vowing to let my muscle memory regain control (about all I could do because speed is something that would take a lot more training, whereas muscle memory could at least be recalled) I moved in to the second week of the month, starting on Thursday (I use Thursday through Wednesday as my week in order to account for all 52 weeks, since January 1 was on Thursday) I ran 7 miles. No too bad.
Now here is the remarkable part. On Saturday I ran a half marathon, something I've only done for training twice before. Felt great if not a little slow. Understandable. The knees groaned a little at the end but quickly disappeared once I stretched. Wasn't sure what I wanted to run on Monday, but I knew I wanted to shoot for at least 7-8 miles. You see I found that my motivation for running increases when I plan on running longer runs as opposed to short 3-4 mile runs. So when I got to the half way point I felt great and kept running instead of turning around. Before I knew it I had ran another half marathon, my second in less than 48 hours! Better yet, I ran it the same pace as the one 2 days before and yet had no troubles at all with my legs and knees.
A truly remarkable and unexpected week for me. In fact this past week of 33.2 miles is my 7th best week of running ever! I know this doesn't amount to much compared to those of you running 100 mile weeks, but this is a lot for me. I know I will be ready for the SV marathon at the end of the month and I think I finally found a great motivating device to keep the miles coming...