Thursday, February 4, 2016

Morning Mezzo

When I had my best training season ever, I was running pretty high mileage for me (chump change for others).  High mileage for me is when I have multiple consecutive weeks in the 50s.  I've done plenty of marathons where I rarely get into the 50s for a week, and when I first started running, there were races that I trained for and I rarely got into the 40s for a week.  But when I'm running strong, mid-50s is where it's at for me.  I seem to find I get injured if I go over that.  And I am very good about mixing up my miles -- some quality, but also plenty of junk miles.  The best junk miles for me are commuting miles. 

If I do my full commuting week, it adds about 19 miles to my schedule.  Commuting miles are the best junk miles because I do them alone and I'm never under a serious time constraint (if I was ever running late, I'd just shower at home and drive to work).  So 19 slow, easy miles per week. 

Sometimes VERY slow and easy, especially when I can talk my accounting buddy into going halfway home with me one night per week.  That adds in a couple miles of walk-run.

At my peak, doing high mileage with a full commuting week included, the most I ever run before I get to work is about 12 miles.  That happened fairly regularly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I would run about 8 miles with my running buddies, go home for breakfast and sometimes a dry shirt, then run another 3.75 miles to work.  And then on Tuesdays, it would be a 15.5 mile weekday because after that morning 12, I'd work my usual day and then run the 3.75 home.  But it was broken up so it never felt too long.

Well, today for the first time ever I think, I did my highest pre-work mileage.  I ran a morning half, and then some!  (Half is "mezzo" in Italian.) 

I decided that with a marathon later this month, I couldn't afford to totally blow off my weekend long run. 

But on the other hand, I have the foresight to recognize that I consume more alcohol at Mardi Gras than pretty much the rest of the year combined, and odds are very high that a run will not happen there.  And even if by some miracle it does happen, I'm usually not inclined to go very long -- something about standing around watching parades and then wearing heels and dancing at a ball all night...

So I told myself to suck it up today.  I was only running 6 with my usual crew, but one of them ran to the grocery store where we met, so after our group 6 miles, I ran him home, then back to my car.  That got me to 8.  I was thinking I'd drive home and then run the trail by our house, but it was so cold this morning.  I figured I'd be freezing if I got in the car and stopped sweating on my drive home, even though it's not very far. 

So I ended up grabbing water at my car and heading toward the lake, then zigzagging my way back to the car, ending up just over 13.5 miles. 

On a weekday!


Of course I'm totally dragging ass now.  If I'd needed to do a running commute on top of that, I'd probably still be out there, crawling slowly toward the office...

I need to plow through major work so I can leave early tonight to start our trip.  But now, any Mardi Gras miles will be bonus miles.  Exactly my goal! 


  1. Awesome! It is funny the differences a couple of miles can make in how you feel through the day. I rarely do more than ~10.5 on my morning runs, but when I do (generally gorgeous summer mornings), I can feel it by the end of the day.

    It is really smart to know your 'zone' ... and it is always important to remember that your zone isn't someone else's ... getting an injury is never worth it.

  2. Nice way to work it in. I sometimes do ten before work, but that's about it. I'd have to get up early otherwise,and I love my beauty sleep.

  3. great job! it always feels great when you it done! which marathon are you running next? i'm starting to get really excited about the Austin Marathon in 9 days! eeek! i'm hoping to PR by at least 14 minutes. it's a little scary but i think i can do it.

  4. Awesome! It will be such a great feeling this weekend when you don't have to worry about getting the miles done. I love getting morning miles in, but I'm so done with running in the dark. This morning I woke up to a rather unexpected fresh blanket of snow. I am ready for spring!

  5. That's a lot before work! I've only ever got up to 9.5, and that was tough. I might need to do run commutes to get in my miles when I start marathon training. It will be summer, though, so I'm not sure how well that would work for me. Happy Mardi Gras!