Trying new things.

“If you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you have always gotten.”

The above saying has long been a favorite quote of mine.  It cuts right to the heart of how I believe life should be lived: a continual search for ways on which to improve.  I don’t know about you, but for me, settling into a routine can be easy, especially when things are going well.  We take comfort in that familiarity.  But does the familiar always lead to the best results?

With familiarity comes consistency and that consistency will most likely lead to good results.  However, if you have an ounce of competitiveness in your bones, then those good results will only be satisfying for so long.  I don’t want a life in which things becomes stagnant; I want to continually seek out the new and better.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I embarked on a new frontier in my marathon training.  Twice this week, I got to experience a running “first”: the first time ran over a marathon distance on a single run and the first time I reached 150 miles in a week.  As someone who has been running competitively since middle school, rarely do I get to experience “firsts” in the sport anymore – let alone two in one week!

So, how did it go and how do I feel?

To answer the first part of the question, this has easily been the best week of training since I started this cycle.  Not only was the quantity more than ever, but I was able to maintain the quality that I need to run a fast marathon.  I didn’t want to sacrifice quality work just to say I ran 150 miles in a week.  Tuesday’s hard session was one of the best workouts I have completed in a long time – 8 x mile with :60 rest.  To be able to hit the times I did and feel good doing it gives me a lot of confidence with where my training is right now.

The week’s other big workout was my Saturday long run of 28 miles.  The furthest run I have completed in training up to this point has been 25 miles – almost a year ago today.  I have wanted to experiment with an over-distance run for a while and finally felt like I was at a point in my training where I could manage being on my feet for that long without compromising the quality of my day-to-day training.

The crew receiving some last minute instructions.

The crew receiving some last minute instructions.

I was able to get a ton of assistance on my run thanks to Dr. Lonn Robertson and the incredible running community here in Eugene.  Each year, Dr. Lonn hosts several events at his home that bring our running community together for all the right reasons: running, food, and beer.  The event scheduled for each March is the Boston simulator, which is a 20-mile run on the rolling hills of Bear Mountain, just outside Creswell (a Eugene suburb).  Dr. Lonn devised a course that simulates, almost perfectly, the undulating terrain of the Boston Marathon course and then sets out aid stations for everyone as well.  So this was a perfect place and opportunity to complete my long run.  I began my run an hour earlier than everyone else and then was able to have company over the last 20 miles.

When you are on your feet for almost 3 hours you have a ton of time inside your own head.  My thoughts during yesterday’s run were mainly fixated on how awesome our running community is here in Eugene.  Sure, Eugene is well known throughout the world to be a training hotbed for elites but what makes running community here so special are the people who joined who showed up for this event, and all the other non-elite, but very passionate, runners who live in this area.  When you can complete a 28-mile long run and walk into a home full of 35 sweaty, smelly runners and chat about anything and everything over a great meal, it gives you a great appreciation for what we have here.

993722_10151971141373714_1134392035_nI would be remiss if I didn’t thank Dr. Lonn for hosting events like these and opening up his home to the aforementioned sweaty, smelly runners.  It would be awesome if every city in the US had a running community like we do here in Eugene!  But every city would be much better served if they had a Lonn Robertson.  He’s an absolute first-class person who brings a smile to everyone’s face.  And while you’re smiling, the dentist in him will give you a quick one-over – only kidding, but not really…

As to how I feel, well, the quantity aspect of this week’s training was more manageable than I initially thought as well.  Cranking out over 20+ miles per day for a week is difficult to comprehend, even for the person doing it.  But, I can tell you that my body really hasn’t been able to tell the difference between the 150 miles I have run this week and the 120-130 miles I do on a normal week.  That being said, 150 mile weeks won’t become a thing of norm.

We’re under 50 days to go now and I’m starting to get excited about how things are coming together!

2/24-3/2 AM PM Total
Monday 45 mins S&C; 12 miles 7 miles 19
Tuesday 3.5 mile warmjup. 8 x 1 mile, :90 secs rest. 4.5 mile cooldown. 7 miles 23
Wednesday 7 miles 12 miles 19
Thursday 4.5 mile warmup. 3 mile tempo. 4 x 400, :60 sec rest. 3 mile tempo. 4.5 mile cooldown. 16 miles total. 7 miles 23
Friday 13 miles 7 miles 20
Saturday 28 miles (2:58:27) 28
Sunday 12 miles 6 miles 18
150

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