Have you ever noticed how hard it is to tell a “runner” from a “normal every day” person? I mean, sure you can look at someone and tell they are not a couch potatoes. But unless a person is a workout fanatic who makes you sick to your stomach they look so good stands out in a crowd, how can you really tell if he/she is a runner? I came to this realization after my son painfully pointed out that people walking down the street would not know I am a runner. I guess I do not stand out in a crowd, unless my shiny head forces bystanders to reach for their sunglasses. Leave it to the honesty of children (and wives) to really make you feel good about yourself. Sheez! (Picture below is NOT me. I make it look much better.)
I am only 5 weeks away from running my first 100 mile ultra, which means I am running mega miles each week. (70+) A little crazy I know, but aside from the many hours spent running it is not bad at all. In fact I can say I have more energy than at any other time in my life, I experience less muscle soreness than when I was running 30 or less miles, and my appetite seems much more leveled out and predictable. Another things I notice is how I do not feel as clumsy or fragile as I once did when I was running in 40 mile range. I remember evenings at judo practice feeling like a piece of crystal on a table about to be turned over. I would opt out of certain activities during practice because I simply did not have the reflex to prevent myself from being hurt from feeling stiff and brittle.
So, why the change? I am not sure, but I like it. My heart rate while running an 8:30 pace is a solid 146 (8:00 is at 152 and 7:30 is at 156), I don’t feel the need to take a nap due to fatigue, and I feel pretty agile with less pains and stiffness. Oh, and one other thing, I seem to be more clear minded. Not sure if it is true or not, but it seems to be the case. My memory is a little better, as well as my ability to process thoughts and ideas seem to be faster and less prone to errors. All in all my body seems to like the 70 to 80 range of miles each week.
When I created my current running schedule 17 weeks ago I remember showing a friend and both of us said it was very aggressive, and was a lot of miles. While in fact it turned out to be fairly easy despite the normal fatigue I feel on the Saturday and Sunday back to back long runs.