For the last six weeks or so, my marathon training has been a bit hectic. The mileage has increased steadily and I've not had much of a chance to look forward at too much. In succession, I've run 13, 14, 15, the Mission Inn 10K, 15 and 18 miles every Sunday. That's a lot of miles. Three of those runs held my "longest run ever" title, one the last run now currently holds.
With such a grueling pace, I've not had much time to look forward too much. It's hard, after all, to overlook a 15-mile run.
But now we're going into our second-to-final bit of doldrums, if you will. They're not exactly doldrums in the sense that we don't have much going on but this stretch I'm in now is a bit of a reprieve from what I've been running and a chance to catch my breath before we hit the next grueling stretch.
On Sunday, I'm going to run 10 miles. The Sunday after that is a 15K race I'm slated to run in as part of the marathon training schedule. Then it's 12 miles.
That's pretty much the calm before the storm. Officially, the storm will hit us hard on Dec. 20. That day, I'll run 20 miles. Then, the miles look like this: 15, 12, 15, 22, 12 and 10. That leads us right into the marathon.
The marathon is not quite yet in sight - it won't be in sight until after my 22-mile run, scheduled for Jan. 17. But it's going to be here eventually, and it actually is starting to feel like that will be the case.
This dip in mileage is welcomed. All the runs of 13 miles or more take well over two hours to run, and these 10- and 12-mile runs take just at or under two hours. It's nice knowing that on Sunday I'll start the run at 7 a.m. and will be done around 9, not well after 10.
Of course, what's a runner to do when the mileage is lower than it has been? Run, of course. I'm heading out for a 10-mile run on Saturday morning. If I finish it and finish Sunday's 10-mile run, it'll be the first time I've ever ran double-digit miles on consecutive days. And counting Thursday's distance, I'll have run a total of 30 miles in four days. Honestly, I don't know if I've ran 30 miles in one week before, let alone a four-day stretch.
I suppose I just have to get used to the pounding. And I think I'm doing a good job of pounding the longer distances into my body.
UPDATE: It's mid-morning now and I got in my miles. I did about 10.16 and the run brought back some memories from Seattle. It rained for the first six miles. It wasn't quite as cold now as it was then, but I got just as drenched. It was a scenic run though as the nearby mountains had snow on them for the first time this season.
There were only four brave souls and it was a really enjoyable run as we talked the whole time. And while I was wondering why I went out and ran when we first started, I realized by the third or fourth mile that I really loved being out there despite the elements, and that aside from being with my family, there's really no other place I'd rather be.