I'm a pretty excited woman this morning. With my 4 miles before work, I reached a total of 100 miles in April! I've not ever run that many miles in a month before and I'm pretty excited about it. I really didn't know if I had it in me - well, the time at least. I knew I could pound out the miles, but with a pretty tight schedule and a general almost inability to spend time during family time at nights running, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to get the miles in, but I did, and I'm glad.
Prior to this month, the most miles I've ever run in a month was around 85 and I typically run around 75 miles. I just really, really don't want to spend time at night running when I want to be doing things with my husband and kids. And some mornings, I just can't quite force myself out of bed in enough time to get in extra miles.
This past month, the run club I'm a member of decided to do an April Challenge. If you recall, last May, we had a challenge to run every day and I completed that challenge after running every day in April before it (my own personal challenge). The goal of this year's challenge was to have us step up what we normally do. I decided to set my goal at 100 running miles and I'm glad I did.
100 miles seemed to be a good fit for me. Sure, I added an extra day of running some weeks (I usually run 5 days a week, but during the challenge, I ran 6 most weeks), but all in all, it didn't seem like too big of an adjustment. I didn't have any outrageously longs runs either to try and get in my miles. I ran one seven miler and a couple of six milers, but I normally do that anyway. There were a few days where I only ran two miles for the sake of time and due to races. I also used 4 miles as a base for most of my runs. In months past (I keep a detailed log), many of my daily runs were only a 5K while I'd run longer distances on the weekends and sometimes a day during the week, but this month, I predominately ran 4 miles on my morning runs.
I don't know that I'd ever want to build up to do more than what I did this month. Give or take a few miles, yes, but I don't want to add on another 10 or 15. I think 100 is good for my body. I don't feel fatigued, my muscles feel fresh and I was still able to maintain working out at the gym. I'm not a marathoner nor do I want to be and I don't really want to run another half either, so why pile on unnecessary miles? I'm all for quality of quantity in every area of my life.
I'm very happy with my 5K and 10K races and enjoy running longer distances (7 plus miles) when I feel like it, but as far as training for a longer distance race goes, I don't want to do it. I love to run and the way it makes me feel and I do it for me (and fitness of course). I get joy from running a quick seven miler, but the thought of training for another half (I should say training for a half because we all know I didn't train for my only half) is a turn off for me.
These 100 miles reiterated to me a few things:
- I really, really, really love to run.
- Rest days are important.
- Proper fuel really changes your runs (more on that later).
- When I plan properly, I'm able to get in the miles I want.
- I'll sacrifice some things - like 20 minutes of extra sleep or a relaxing lunch - to run. This is really because it drives me nuts to have an idea of how many I want to run and then not get them in.
- I am faster when I run more miles.
- Stretching is important.
- I really like getting to lay in bed with my husband in the morning.
- My appetite is insane the more I run.
- I don't have to plan out my workouts. I'll make them happen without a detailed plan. And plans make me stressed which is odd considering I plan everything else in my life in such detail.
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