The day will come when I look back on a 5 mile run at 15:42 pace as no big deal.
Today was not that day.
Maybe it’s the fall weather. Maybe it’s the thought of my children as my route brushes by the daycare. Maybe it’s that passing 50 running miles for a month was unthinkable a year ago. And maybe it’s the Foo Fighters’ song “Walk” that I always finish my runs with lately. It is probably going to be the best inspirational song ever. Move over Queen and Rocky Soundtrack.
Whatever it was, or whether it was all those things and more, I had one of those days again today. It started as getting a bit teary eyed as I reached toward a new goal. But after I stopped the watch at 5.05 in my driveway and as the chorus swelled “I never wanna die” over and over…. my few tears turned into full-blown sobbing, the kind usually reserved for a death in the family. I wasn’t sad. I was elated. Then again, maybe I was sad. As I move forward, I also mourn all the years lost while I sat still, or went backwards. I don’t dwell on it constantly, but every bit of celebration comes with perspective of “yeah. about time.”
My total training for this month is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve backed off the swimming, until I finally get that proper form coaching. This month I swam 9000 yards, biked 90 miles and ran 50.44 miles. With only 250 miles total biking this year, that’s a huge jump in bike mileage. But bike miles increase easily, and October will probably be 150 or more.
The really big jump is in the running. My September running was 30.77% of the total year’s running. Now conventional wisdom says not to increase mileage rapidly or you risk injury. But when you’re only doing a few miles each time, increasing frequency while slowly increasing duration is the way to do it. I’m now shooting for 3 runs a week. My long run this week was 6.5. I am only adding .5 mile each week as I build to the half marathon.
In my job, I’ve always followed words of wisdom from my internship supervisor. “When this work gets boring, without new challenges, maybe I’ll retire.” This applies to endurance training too. A 15:42 pace for 5 miles is awesome for me right now. But it’s only one step of many I plan to take.
Today I feel like a runner. It feels good.