The Care Free Miles

Lately my training has gone from care free to even more care free if that was even possible. Last week I only ran 4 times.  With four weeks until my marathon that wasn’t exactly what I wanted or needed to do.  It was a busy week and I let go of emotions during the week and each of my four runs was extremely productive.  With one run being 21.5, my longest run to date.  Not only my longest run but I felt strong during my run as well.  I felt like that particular day (even though it was around 85 degrees) I could have easily finished a marathon.  Not easily but I felt strong enough that I would have finished.

I’ve been all over the place with running.  Before I got a stress fracture in 2011, I was a very hard routine runner.  I ran exactly 1 hour (to the second)  every day between a 7:00-7:15 pace.  That is what I did. The closer to 7:15 the pace was, the more of a failure I felt.  I was new to running and didn’t know the difference.  Do that for a month or two and you get injured.  My injury was a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.  An injury I needed to realize…that isn’t how running works and I was overtraining.

For the later half of 2011 and the rest of 2012, I began higher mileage with no speed work until May 2012.  I just ran to run.  I would run everyday between 8-10 miles.  Gradually (by summer 2012) I grew to about 10 miles daily.  I preferred to do two shorter runs versus one longer.  I was training (on a pretty set plan) for my last year of college cross country.  I ran a certain distance and felt good when I needed and tired when I should.  For some reason though cross country was not in the cards for me (a productive season that is) and I developed a cyst in my foot that ate up my entire season.

For the rest of 2012 and 2013 I just ran higher mileage.  This time I didn’t run every day.  I would cross train when I felt like it.  I normally kept my mileage between 70-80 since that seems doable and reasonable for me (with 1 day off at least weekly).  With one day off weekly, I found I craved running and also recovered well.  I managed to (knock on wood) stay injury free.

Now I’m still in that phase of running and I also know running is not my sole activity throughout the day right now either.  I have other things that might get in the way of running.  I have a life outside of running and I’m okay with that.  It seems silly to write a post about how my life exists outside of working out or outside the internet but it’s true.  I’m coming off a 60 mile week and going into a higher mileage week.

As I have continued to say each post, I’m the least stressed I have ever been.  My goal race is only a month away but I am still living in the now and present.  Each run has meaning to me and I’m very happy to get each one in.  I don’t take running 12-15 miles daily for granted and the more I think about that the more happy I am.

The next two weeks I’ll be way more focused on running and the final two on taper.  The next four weeks I am grateful to have support from friends and family that know I need to put more emphasis into quality running.  That being said when I stopped stressing and worrying about my miles, I found my miles became far more quality anyways.   It’s funny because I’ve been told a few times lately my running style and personality is more compared to a carefree hippie then ever.  When it stops working for me, then I’ll become more structured I suppose.

Questions for you:

Do you follow a plan?

Have your workouts always been similar?