Sunday, May 26, 2019

Building up the monthly miles

On the comeback trail
Happy almost Memorial Day. It finally feels like summer and I've been doing my best to get out for runs early to beat the heat. I did that today and was rewarded with a cool and comfortable 66° temp. I wore a mid-weight shirt and shorts and wished I went with a lighter top by the end. I recently read that a worn heel is not a good reason to discard a running shoe because, "to patch such a heel prevents proper adaptation of the shoe to the runner’s particular heel strike pattern." That inspired me to pull out my well worn Kinvara 5s for today's run.

One of my goals for my post-work life was a return to running 18 miles per week. When I was doing 2.5 mile runs on weekdays and 7-8 miles over the weekend, I averaged about 75 miles per month. Over the past five years, my monthly average has steadily declined. Now that I'm running almost every day, I'm looking to build back to the 70+ mile target. A look back over the last 12 months shows an embarrassing monthly average of 30 miles with some pathetically low totals Jan-March.

The highest monthly total I've reached since June 2018 was 45.9. Now that I'm running six days a week, I was expecting to easily exceed that high point. A quick check on Garmin Connect made me think it would come down to the wire for May whether I would hit a new monthly high. When I went out on Saturday morning, my May monthly total was 40.8 miles. I was thinking I'd need to cover 5.1 miles before Monday.

We were invited to brunch yesterday and I was pressed for time, so I finished up after covering 3.2 miles. That left me thinking that I still needed 2.2 miles to reach my highest monthly total in a year. I beat that easily, and when I uploaded my final May runs to Garmin I realized that May doesn't end on the 26th. I actually have until next Saturday to build on that total. My new goal for May is 60 miles, double my 12 month cumulative average. 60 miles a month is a big improvement, but it's still less than 14 miles a week.

I will be aiming for 70 miles in June which would get me to almost to 90% of my target (18 miles per week). That means another 2.3 miles per week, either added to my shorter daily runs or as a step toward returning to long weekend runs. In the meantime, my performance is steadily improving. The gains aren't dramatic but they're real. Is it more frequent workouts, more miles or getting more sleep? Yes.

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