Since I started my marathon training in the middle of August last year and shortly thereafter discovered this 100 miles challenge put on by I <3 to Run (www.ilovetorun.org) where you pay $34 + shipping and you can get a nice belt buckle commemorating your 100 miles ran in a month achievement. For marathon training I was running an average of 130 miles a month. Easy peasy to hit the 100 mile mark for me. Originally, I was going to collect all 12 months and then have them professionally mounted in an attractive shadow box to display on my wall. Then, I decided that I could turn the buckles into medals by just adding a piece of wide ribbon to them and then I can just hang them with all my medals. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I found a website that has all the months with their corresponding colors, so I’ve been using each month’s color for the ribbon to hang the buckle from.
Anyway, after I completed my 3rd marathon at the beginning of March, my mileage has dropped. In March I think I managed about 104 miles and then in April, I logged a fraction of a mile over 100 miles. Barely squeaked in to meet the challenge! But, I did it. May doesn’t look like it’s going to be much more than April or March in miles just because I’ll be on vacation out of state. I have plans to run while I’m vacation, so don’t think I’m not running at all. I’ve signed up to run a half marathon while I’m on vacation and plus I’ll be doing my training runs during the week. I fully intended to do at least 6 runs (that includes the half marathon) while I’m on vacation for the 16 days. But, my hometown is only about 3 miles across at its widest point and in some places there are no sidewalks to run on. This limits the routes I can run. If I want to run more than 5 miles, I will be making loops. But that’s okay.
I have something that I’m looking at that will help boost my mileage back up to an average of 130 miles instead of this just squeaking by I’ve done the last couple months. What is it, you may be asking? Well, a friend emailed me the other day to tell me about a race in August. He remembered me talking about wanting to run a 50K. The race he emailed me about is the Habanero 100. It has a 100K and a 50K. He signed up for the 100K. If I register before July 26, it’s $80. I can totally swing that! It’s a trail run and he said the trail itself resembles the trail that the Rocky Raccoon is run on, so it’s nice wide manicured trails.
So, after I return from my vacation, school will be out here in Texas so I can start hitting the track for some speedwork on the weekdays. I’ve got my weekly hill run that I have fallen in love with, too. So, I’ll just need to start doing the mega-long runs again. And this time, my long runs will be up to a marathon distance…maybe even up to 28 miles!!! I already know how I’ll do it and make sure I have enough fuel and water to last me. The 13.1 miles I ran on “Marathon Monday” is perfect. Where I park my car, I will run past it at the 8 mile, 13.4 mile, and like almost the 22 mile marks. I can stop at my car and refill my hydration pack and grab a couple more gels at those mile marks. I’ve thought this through fairly well.
I had so much fun marathon training, I know I’m going to really enjoy the challenge and strategy involved in training for an even longer distance! To help keep myself injury free, I’m going to cram all my miles into 4 runs a week, sometimes only 3. But I will definitely try to do 4 runs as many weeks as possible. 5 runs a week, I found out, was too many for me with the high mileage. 4 works out great for me, though.
So, I’m excited to start this new training cycle and I’m excited to tackle a new, longer distance!