Today I ran six miles. When training for a marathon, you run one long run each week, the length of which you gradually increase in the months leading up to the race. The last time I embarked on a marathon training adventure, I got injured when my long run had been built up to six miles. At the end of that long run, two years ago, I felt completely warn out.
Today I feel like I jogged a mere mile. I have no pain in my legs. I'm not tired. I feel as though I could run another six miles right now, despite the heat of the afternoon.
I hate to sound like a spokesman, but it's all because if Jeff Galloway's training program. He calls for low mileage during the week and one long run each weekend. For the long run, he urges you to run two minutes per mile slower than your regualar pace and to take frequent walk breaks.
So I went out yesterday and bought a watch with an interval timer and programmed in to go off after three minutes and then one and then repeating ad ininitum. And today I ran during the three-minute spaces and walked during the ones.
I went the entire length of Cliff Drive and back (actually a little more than six miles). It was very sunny, and there was a hint of fall in the air. Cliff Drive always reminds me of West Virginia, even though I've never been there. It winds under a canopy of trees and dense vines, and every now and then one spots a limestone cliff peaking out through the vegetation. There's even a waterfall back there. All this just a jog away from the 'hood.
I went slower this week than I had in previous weeks, mostly because I ordered some of Galloway's books, and he says, over and over again, RUN SLOWLY! After a while it felt kind of like meditation. My watch seemed to beep every other second, and before I knew it, I was done, and not the least bit haggard.
Between now and February 17 I will gradually boost my Sunday run to 25 miles. Next week, I bump up to 7.5.
It's funny, though. I want to crank up the mileage right now. And I want to run faster. I want to do exactly the things that got me injured on two previous attempts.
This is a real exercize in patience. Which is maybe why I'm doing it, if on a subconcious level. Some of you dear readers likely know that I'm not a paragon of patience.
But it makes sense, I guess, considering where I am in life -- almost forty, newly married, working full-time again, pulling myself out of debt. Must be that this is when you shift the gears, start conserving gas, start working better and smarter. I have to say, it doesn't feel natural. But I like the prospects. From a distance, and even close at hand (Allie), the rewards appear positively transcendent.