Embarrassingly, I ran 30 miles last week for the first time in my life. Embarrassing because I’ve been running (poorly) since I was 15 and because I have a history of signing up for races, pretending to train for them and then completing them (poorly) without ever exceeding 30 miles a week. I know. I have a sneaking suspicion that the never exceeding 30 miles a week part is the reason for that poorly part.
But instead of inspiring confidence, what 30 miles did to me was make me scared. Scared like when you start to get a buzz waaaay too early in the evening and you know it is not going to end well. Despite strength training (somewhat) and diligently putting in the mileage and building it gradually, I still feel like I am going to do something wrong and hurt myself. Or wake up in a bath tub with my pants down.
If you read back through the archives of this blog (please don’t), you’ll find that I have a knack for fucking myself over. I will trip over a tree root during a routine trail run (at least I wasn’t drunk), I will sprain my ankle stepping out of a taxi (was totally drunk), and I most definitely will come down with spinal meningitis the day before any big race (never happened but if anybody is going to come down with spinal meningitis, it’s me).
Anyway, I made it to 30 miles last week not because I did a lot of quality longer runs, but because I doubled up on workouts a couple days in a row: a few miles in the morning, a few more in the evening; all of the miles and none of the hurt. then I did 10 on Saturday and blew off Sunday entirely.
This week is looking very different: I’m at 20, and hoped to do a long run of eight or nine today but instead I played the it’s-windy-as-fuck-and-I-have-the-stroller card and after four miles of using all my energy to curse (my favorite curse these days is goddamn it. FUCK. What’s yours??) instead of to run, I gave up and went home. But I’m not using a proper training plan so it’s cool.
I have, in spite of not using a proper training plan (and also my own efforts to sabotage myself), fallen into a rhythm: some varied runs throughout the week and a long run on the weekend, and in general an easy week followed by a harder week. When I go out for a run, I do have an idea of how many miles I want to run and I generally stick with it (except today! SMASH SMASH), but beyond that, there’s no plan and it’s worked out well for me. Instead of crumbling under the pressure of following a schedule, I’m running more than ever before and enjoying it.
I know. Leave it to me to wait until I’m in my 30s with a kid to finally get it.