Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Distant thoughts

I'm back to the office today after being away for almost four days. It felt like a mini vacation as we said goodbye to summer. We put away the pool furniture and the kids did their final preparations for returning to classes today. Over the Labor Day weekend I covered 19 miles, the longest distance I've run within 48 hours. When you begin to accumulate distance you start to notice the amount of time it requires. Covering 19 miles took me three hours, plus prep and recovery time. I now wonder how people who train for marathons manage to fit in all the long runs necessary for training. Despite the time it took cover my distance I was pleased by the way I recovered from each subsequent run. No next day aches and pain even though I was running two or three times the length of a normal morning workout.

Running five times a week, averaging 4 miles per run, has been a good formula for building an aerobic base and for keeping me in decent shape. I know now that these shorter runs have prevented me from suffering the injuries that often befall  higher mileage runners. I may have stepped into dangerous territory yesterday when I went for almost an hour wearing my minimalist Kinvaras to cap off my weekend of running. A twinge of heel pain revealed how unready I was to cover so much ground, especially when wearing shoes that provided so little impact protection. It was in that moment that I fully appreciated the statistic that 66% of runners suffered a related injury in 2009. I had thought I was somehow immune to common injuries and that my running style or my shoes would prevent them. My heel pain is almost gone today but it's not forgotten. I'm still going to focus on distance as I train for my next race but I'll be far more respectful of the problems that can come from higher mileage running.

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