I’m not really aware of a runners’ high, but I think it keeps me from getting the human low – Jim Kravets (in Trail Runner magazine)
First off some numbers keeping:
79.2 miles for July. My third highest month for the year, but well off my average of 125/month in 2007.
This week was a step back week with only 15.7 miles, 3 - 3 milers and a 6.7 mile long run on Saturday. I did the long run at a 6:1 ratio. I felt really strong on the second half and could have easily run more but stuck to the plan.
I read an article that resonated with me in the May 2008 Running Times. It talked about adult-onset athletes. The definition pretty much fits me to a T. The closest I was to being an athlete as a kid was the manager for the junior high basketball team. Even with that I broke by little finger throwing passes during practice.
The chord that really struck me was the tendency of AOA's to train non stop; not taking into account training phases - conditioning, competing, peaking, and recovery. "Unfortunately for adult-onset runners, the sport of road running has developed into an endless, year-round competitive season." (Running Times, May 2008).
Since I started running I've trained year round. Living in Southern California just made me even more susceptible to this. The weather is almost always good and the local race schedule is plentiful year round. Combine this with the 50 state goal and someone like me can easily run themselves into the ground and apparently I did. The article predicts that 4-5 years into this year round schedule an injury could occur. This ultimately leads to an unplanned recovery period, 13 weeks in my case.
My best year was 2006 after having taken most of January off and then having a 6 month build to my first sub 4:00 marathon, my 8th marathon after starting from 0 three years prior. I've read about recovery periods but have never taken more than a week after a marathon, sometimes as little as three days, before getting right back at it again. I assumed my midpack efforts only required that little rest.
My body was obviously trying to tell me something different. The question is am I smart enough to listen.
In other news, my friend and lab rat, Janice, ran her first marathon this weekend. We ran the Fontana Days Half together back in 2006. She is currently up in San Francisco at dental school. She trained with a race sponsored training group and finished the San Francisco marathon in 4:17. I'm really excited for her.