Putting all these pieces together

After getting so wrapped up with numbers last year, I’ve backed off keeping such close track this year of where I am mileage wise. I think I check things once or twice a month now compared to last year in which it seemed like I was doing it every other day. With Baltimore Marathon training I am keeping closer track of my weekly mileage, but I certainly feel like I'm not obsessing about it. It’s quite a relief, actually, and I’ve been able to focus more on the quality of my runs much more than I have in the past.

My average everyday runs are generally about 20-30 seconds faster per mile, often even faster, and the results are showing up on race days.

Now comes the time to focus on both quality and quantity – the higher mileage days and weeks are important, but so are making sure I’m running with good form, mixing up the types of runs I do and maintaining better paces so I have less time on my feet. I’m a big believer now that spending less time on my feet (higher leg turnover) on runs is key to preventing future injuries.

That said, I actually am spending more overall time on my feet with walking twice a day at work. I think that time of extra movement is helping me recover faster and giving me more energy day to day. That’s another blog post for another time as I continue to figure out those benefits.

So … while I have shifted my focus a bit, I did some mileage counting before I started running this week. I’m going to hit my 500th mile before the week ends. Coming off my injury, that’s a big deal to me. A year ago I hit the 500th mile at the end of June, and to be just 3 weeks off that pace does a lot for me mentally, especially after what I wrote about a couple of days ago.

Also this week, I’m aiming for my first 30-mile week in 9 months. I've already had three runs of a wide variety to get close to halfway -- a run in the heat that forced me to walk, a run in the rain with stomach issues and a very hot (heat index was at 95) progressive run of miles of 8:59, 8:29 and 8:01. Just like getting back to 20 miles in a week at the end of April, getting to 30 will feel special.

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net