By my count, it's been 80 days since summer "unofficially" started on Memorial Day. So far, I have run every day, though not the twice a day that I had hoped. Some highlights have included:
Finishing the Highland Sky 40 Miler, my first REAL ultra finish in almost four years
Running my first ultra with my brother
An early morning, mid-week run at Umstead with the elusive Matt Kirk
Long runs ahead of the City of Oaks Marathon with Kent P
Continued Thursday morning runs with Dave followed by coffee
Lots of travel and running in different places
Assuming I get in a lunch-time run today, I will have run for 80 consecutive days, my second longest streak and only seven days less than my longest. At this point, my knees feel better than they have in a long time. I think I can attribute that to several things. I started out the year (well, early February) in Hoka's and have gone through three pairs (the treads are horrible for longevity) of them, one new pair of Brooks Launch, and now a pair of New Balance 980s. I also started off the year with relatively low mileage, around 20 a week, and am now up to around 40 a week. Finally, I haven't raced much, or long, so my knees get good cycles of effort/rest.
Fun stuff coming up this fall, and am very excited about running my hometown marathon with a soccer teammate from my years through high school.
Monday 6/1 - ran 5 miles at lunch
Tuesday 6/2 - ran 4 miles in morning before work with a 1 mile race (5:36) in the evening
Wednesday 6/3 - ran 5 miles at lunch
Thursday 6/4 - ran 4 miles early before work and 6 more at lunch
Friday 6/5 - ran 7 miles at lunch (last cool day until September/October)
Saturday 6/6 - ran short block; weekend was too busy 1.5 miles in sandals
Sunday 6/7 - ran short block; weekend was too busy 1.5 miles
Monday 6/8 - slow 7 miles at lunch (very hot)
Tuesday 6/9 - 2 miles with mile race in evening (5:30); another hot day
Wednesday 6/10 - 4 miles after work with hill surges on the three up-hills on Forum loop
Thursday 6/11 - 4 miles before work and 4 more in the evening
Friday 6/12 - humid/warm 4 miles before work
Saturday 6/13 - hot/awful 5ish trail miles after course measurement. sick afterwards with fever
Sunday 6/14 - very hot run (95 degrees) in afternoon; medium long way to parent's house for 6 miles.
So, my baseline now is a half-marathon in 1:45:12 from last Sunday's NCRC Classic. Perhaps it's not a great indication of absolute fitness since it's kind of hilly and it was warm and humid, but whatever. 1:45:12 it is. So, that's where I am now. Where I want to go is whatever results from committing myself to the post titled "program".
If you're not familiar with it, like most aren't, for obvious reasons, [here is where I would summarize it, but it's not very complicated, so just click the link and read]. It's a summer of running twice a day with two "speed" sessions a week, one being a 4-6 mile tempo and one an interval session.
I plan on starting this on Memorial Day and "finishing" on Labor Day. I turn 37 this summer. I'm hoping to get down to under 1:30 for the half as a result of it. If I had to give odds, I'd say 1 in 7 that I get there. In just over 100 days, we'll see...
With millions of books out there, I thought I'd share the first three I've read this year:
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I've heard about this book for a long, or references to it and thought I'd take a stab at seeing what it was about. Long. It was long. The back-drop of her economic policy being a railroad/industrial setting did keep me entertained, but I think she could have cut out about half of the book and still had the same effect. I generally found it entertaining, though I can't see how some politicians have taken it to be such an earth-shattering thesis.
Iron War, by Matt Fitzgerald. This was a very entertaining, much more length-conscious book than the previous one I read. This story documented the race Mark Allen and Dave Scott put on during Ironman 1989, and all the lead-up and post-script involved. The actual race description kept me engaged and the research studies included were also very interesting.
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. This is a "fantasy" type of quick-read novel that quickly pulled me in and caused me to miss a little sleep (because I stayed up too late) while reading it. Andrea brought it home for me from her library. This was a very nice break after the two previous books.
Currently reading Duty, by Robert Gates, a memoir of his time as Secretary of Defense from 2006 through 2010. A fascinating, insightful book so far...
Next up, on my night-stand, is One Summer in America: 1927, by Bill Bryson. I've started this one before, but put it down for a bit. I'll begin again upon completion of Duty.
So, that's the stuff I've read this year. Always looking for good suggestions...
After a complete 26.5 (just over marathon length; hat was unintentional, I promise) days off from running and one more massage therapy appointment, I ventured out on Sunday afternoon for an easy lap around Shelley Lake. I felt slow, bulky, and out of shape, but that's the worst of it. After 17 minutes, I was done and walked back to my car. Mission accomplished.
After consulting with my better half in regards to what I could do that she wouldn't berate me for, we decided that I could do easy, short runs 3 days the first week and re-evaluate after that. We decided Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 2-3 miles.
So, run 2 went down Monday evening after the boys were in bed and consisted of an easy shuffle from the house. I still felt slow, bulky, and out of shape, but again, that's the worst of it. No sensations in my hamstring at all, so I'm considering both runs successes.
I now have a rest day today, before run number 3 tomorrow. I'm being very cautious, so goes for me, in hopes that starting slow will work to allow a full recovery. No goals for now, just want to be healthy and move how I want.