To the majority of the world, running 167 km would be hardly any more significant than had you run 155 km or 175 km. However, to members of the imperial world, of whom I am one, any distance over 160.93 km is hugely symbolic and for the first time ever this week I covered more than that distance in one seven day period.
The 100 mile + training week is something I’ve always been wanting to run but lack of talent and time has seen me fall well short. Until recently anything over 70 miles was big mileage. In recent months, the record mileage week has crept up to over 80 – 82, then 84, then 86. Thanks to being unwell over the previous weekend it meant my 24 mile long run was delayed until Monday. The cold continuing to hamper me on high speed running and working night shifts taking away any desire to do speed work, the shift fell quite naturally to easy paced long runs day after day.
By Saturday I’d covered 87 miles, already a personal record. It meant that with my planned 16 mile run on the Sunday I was going to shatter that best and jump into a pantheon of the serious runners club. Ignoring any pain in my legs on Sunday I went out and ran those 16 miles, allowing a little metaphorical tear of joy (or was it beads of sweat?) to fall when 12.2 miles was covered – the moment I past 100 miles. It may be considered ironic that 12.2 miles was at the exact steepest point of the hill on Casthorpe Road, meaning I was closer to walking than running. But I was still moving and I continued to move on for another 4.2 miles past 100.
I doubt I’ll ever run this kind of mileage again – not unless I see my race times magically improve by minutes because the body breached the mythical 100 miles a week barrier. It may be that this excess of miles may come to bite me down the road. But, honestly, I’ll take the pain. It was one of those goals I thought I’d never attain and I have. And it felt hard….