167.7 KM Means Little To Me

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 theĀ 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 feltĀ hard….

The goal has been reached!
The goal has been reached!
Proof of mileage!
Proof of mileage!
The reason behind the high mileage - no long run  last Sunday
The reason behind the high mileage – no long run last Sunday

Day 89 – Somebody Hit Me With The Stiff Stick

Now into day five of getting up in the middle of the night to cover the Australian GP and the body is finding familiarity in the routine. I managed four hours sleep during the night and then nearly three over lunchtime. I’m not what you would call wide awake and alert, but at least the soporific effects of enforced early middle-of-the-night shifts are a little less than in previous days.

I would have liked, then, for my run to feel a little easier than it did. From the off the legs felt really stiff and sore. The calves in particular, which have felt remarkably resilient in recent times, felt suddenly as though they had done eighty odd miles in the past six days. The first mile was a wince and shuffle affair, at least the sun was shining, albeit with a stiff breeze blowing.

I aimed to run ten miles; the main challenge of the run the climb at around three miles up Somerby Hill, which was greatly aided by having the wind firmly at my back. From then on, down to Little Ponton and then back into Grantham, it was a case of knocking out the miles, the relatively swift mile splits belying the lethargy dominating the legs.

I ended the run feeling as stiff as when I started, but comforted in the knowledge that, with one day of the week still remaining, I’e already, at 87.8 miles, knocked out a record mileage week. With a belated running of the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon course planned for tomorrow, a century of miles for the first time ever looks a distinct possibility!