I had initially planned to peak my marathon volume at 70 or so miles, which would be wholly reasonable and probably more than sufficient for my goals and ability. But I rather enjoy shuffling along - though not at the total expense of quality work - so I've allowed my totals these last two weeks to tip just over 100 miles. Why? Because it feels good. Mostly.
Morning begins with ginger steps out of bed, my ankles and lateral metatarsal heads complaining. I shuffle about and stumble my way through the morning, pre coffee. Once I am able to imbibe that magic elixir things improve. Sometimes I will have an apple but usually I'm just not hungry yet, so I drift ahead in a slightly less than fully fueled state, letting the current carry me.
There are slight hills and two flights of stairs and I walk up them far too slowly because my calves are tight. Someone at the office comments on my lax staircase shuffle and my frequent race t-shirts; Shouldn't I be springing up the stairs, two at a time, like some sort of bipedal gazelle? I answer that I can scarcely hurdle the curb outside before nearly tripping over a lump in the carpet.
I lower myself into my chair, bracing, exhaling, making and sipping more coffee, listening to every record I never had time for previously. My musical education is expanding rapidly and so are my affections. I think that my tastes are better suited to a person of 35 rather than 25, that I have been well suited to middle age since I was 15, and that, when I am there, I will find comfort in being expected to be how I've always been anyway. I plot my future dominance of the local master's racing scene. (I'm really not joking about that. I'm the only 25-year-old I know who is already planning his 40+ racing.)
I do some work and intermittently read running blogs. A lot of people train more and are faster and that's cool. You always achieve more when you're chasing ghosts. I do some more work and check Let's Run and everyone is either slow and should give up or on PEDs and should commit seppuku. Malmo deletes everything.
There are more articles and more coffee and then home. I fall asleep but don't mean to and it's time to go. I put on my shorts and shirt which are both still vaguely damp from yesterday but it's whatever and I'm in the middle of laundry which I would have finished but I fell asleep.
My ankles protest and so does the tissue under the fronts of my knees and this does not dissuade me in any way from my present course nor does it create doubt for my 40+ ambitions. It is encouraging, rather, since tired tissue will soon become stronger tissue; and anyway, it feels good 3 miles later, at which point I meet with several other guys to run a hard 6. It is low 90s and 50% humidity and so "hard" is not so fast as it might be otherwise but the sweat and the effort is real and so too is the SUV that nearly hits me. She seems more traumatized by it than me though and really it wasn't that close; I'd have been fine.
I run 4 more on the way home and the soreness and tightness and anything at all like negativity is flushed from me. It will be back at approximately 5:30 AM tomorrow morning and I will welcome it, not because it matters, but because it does anyway.