First, you need to go click on my friend Danni‘s blog. Good lord, she is amazing. She just completed the Rim to Rim to Rim run in the Grand Canyon.
My own running is less amazing. And definitely has fewer photos. But it’s going very well. I think I am 6 weeks out from Phoenix, and November was my highest monthly mileage in a long time. Last week I ran 45 miles, with a long run of 15. This week, I hope to hit about 51, with a long run of 20. It will be my second of three 20s for Phoenix. This time around, I am spacing them out because my husband and I work odd schedules, and navigating them can be tough. But it seems to be working out pretty well — it hasn’t been weeks and weeks of steady build-up. Instead, I came into this training already in marathon-shape (from Twin Cities) and instead have focused on a little more intensity and a little more endurance.
I’ve logged some of my best mid-week runs. And I’ve noticed a huge variance in pace, a kind of training I wouldn’t have done a few years ago, when I regularly ran myself into the ground — and injury. Some days I am in the low 7:00s the whole way. Some days, I’m in the mid 9:00s. And that feels just right.
This past weekend, I did my long run by myself. I very rarely run alone — I am blessed with a huge running community and friends willing to go at the crack of dawn, or at lunch, or whenever. But it just didn’t work out this past weekend, so I headed out for 15 miles by myself. I chose a super hilly route, clicked on the Garmin, and just let it click, ignoring pace and running by feel. I also took my iPod, which is new for me. Because I always run with friends, I never run with music. I can’t remember the last time I ran to music — probably the last time I hit a treadmill, and I have no idea when that was. A year ago? I try to avoid it at all costs. Let’s face it, I’m lazy and would take a day off rather than run on the treadmill.
The run went surprisingly well — I was a little worried about being bored. The route was good, the weather was great and the lame-ass playlist of Elton John and Lucinda Williams, with a little “Run Lola Run” in there, was just perfect. I really need to consider some new music. Something maybe from this century, even. I didn’t have any water with me, and the public water fountains were off. But it didn’t matter. I wasn’t thirsty, and I had a Clif shot with me, so I never felt bonky.
It was good practice for Phoenix, where I will be running alone. Well, alone with a billion other people. But I am not a chatty racer or marathoner.
My December goal is one more 20 miler after this weekend, probably around Christmas, and to stick as close to 50+ miles a week as I can. Keep your fingers crossed.
Also, I know we are raising runners. We took the kids to watch a Jingle Bell Run and parade this past week. Jack clapped and yelled to all the runners. And then later, long after the race, a woman walked by, and she still had her number on. Jack looked at her and yelled, “Good job, runner!” That’s my guy.