I did it !! I hit 50 miles this week. I know for a lot of people training for a marathon, that's not a lot, but for me it's quite an achievement. In all the time I've been running, I've never come close to that. Even at my peak, 100 miles per month was something I've only hit a few times so to be here, injury free is something big. Some of it is that I weigh much less than I used to, so the miles don't come with as much impact on my joints as they used to. I've also been spending some time in the gym trying to do some cross training to keep things balanced and the body stronger....and most importantly, I've been able to run in moderation. My cycle has always been, run a little, like it, run more, sustain an injury, repeat. Until a few weeks ago, I was limiting myself to 4 or 5 days per week. That mandatory 2 days off is really paying off for me. To increase the miles I am now up to 6 days per week, and I know that if I stay at this level for long, something will fail on me. I only have 3 weeks left before I start to really cut back for the few weeks before the marathon. The plan from the beginning was to get plenty of rest days and peak for 3 or 4 weeks right about now. I am really sticking to that, and am thrilled with the results. A marathon is a challenge for anyone. For someone with my personality, there are some additional challenges. This distance requires more self control than I'm normally known for. The training has to allow for rest, the miles have to be slower, you have to lay off when the aches and pains start to creep in. This all goes against my instincts. This is of course why I'm doing this. The ability to set and adhere to limits is a great life skill that I lack, but am developing. In the limited arena of my running, I can see the dividends paying off for me. I finally got to 40 miles per week, then got it up to 45 and now 50. This week I plan to dial it back to about 40 and then have 2 more big weeks before the tapering period.
Next up: Why I've already started planning marathon #2 !!
Merry Christmas, and just don't stop running.