Yup, this week I ran longer in training than I have ever run before thanks to the training plan I'm following from the book Relentless Forward Progress. And this week, I get to do it again. I have one of those half-hearted "yay" feelings about it. You know the kind-where you want to do it but at the same time you know, at some point(s) things will really suck but in the end you'll be glad you did it-kind of moments about the up coming mileage.
Last week I had two runs that are what I'd call (gut'em out) kind of runs, where there were moments when things went well but overall it hurt more and I was slower than I wanted it to be. The other three runs were pretty darn good, and that even includes the 16 miler I did on Saturday. In total it was 46 miles. This week I'm aiming for 50 miles (80km)!
When you're training for a race, and as you progress through your training plan, you'll quickly notice what works and doesn't work from a nutrition stand point. On Saturday I took a GU and a Cliff bar with me for my 3+ hour run. I quickly learned that I had NOT ENOUGH FOOD. The GU propelled me through miles 3-9 but by mile 10 I was really hungry and the little bites of cliff bar weren't helping so I ate the rest of what was left...and realized I don't really like cliff bars anymore. That got me through the end of the run but I would have liked to have been more comfortable throughout the run so I'm going to take an extra bar with me this Saturday. Trial and error. You might ask why I just don't replicate what I've done for other races, but I've found that what worked for me a year (or two) ago won't necessarily work for me now. We are all constantly changing, and although I'm not a hell of alot faster or lighter I can handle a much bigger training load than I used to and this has brought with it new nutritional (and time management) challenges.
Thankfully, on the time management end, my husband and I have been able to figure out a plan that works for both of us. We both need exercise time so we both do our best to fit this into our schedules as best as we can, with the other person supporting by taking care of our daughter and/or household chores.
This week's total distance will be a challenge, but one I'm ready for. I'm very glad that I've decided to push myself to train harder using this plan, it goes to show, you can push past your own perceived limits if you try!