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102 Miles

The third week in January is supposedly the most depressing week of the year.  The holiday spirit is long gone; the days are still cold and short; you get your holiday shopping bill in the mail; all your new years resolutions are broken; Valentine's day is coming and OMG you're still single. Officially the most depressing day this year is January 21, which means....tomorrow. Or right now depending on when you are reading this. Sorry.  Hope you aren't depressed.

Thankfully, for me, the latter half of January hasn't been so depressing.  I'm starting to love running in 40 degree weather (if you're thinking "dang, I would LOVE 40 degree weather right now, this 3 degree weather business sucks," I should clarify that 40 degrees is COLD in these parts.  My warmest running clothing item is a long sleeved race shirt.  But I'm enjoying the cold.  The relative cold.).

Other reasons the third week in January was a good one: I became the new owner of some great running gear; I maybe discovered my new best pair of running shoes; and I ran 102 miles with legs that feel just as normal as any other 50-80 mile week.

Part one, new running gear:

I got ALL OF THIS



 for $2.55!






How!?

1) Because of my awesome extreme coupon-ing skills.

Lie.  Falsity.  I do not have any running shoe coupons, but if you ever learn of one, send it to me.

2) It's because I finally sold out my blog, now, at this opportune moment in time when the blog is more boring than ever and anonymous links to vacuum cleaner sites are more common than legit comments. (Are you with me? who's bored? I feel bored.  Which in the words of Louis C.K., is unacceptable.)



This is also a flat-out Armstrongian statement (has that caught on yet to mean "a lie"?)

3) Is it because Brooks felt sad for me and sent me a reject chocolate egg filled with running shoes?

Also no.  I don't want shoe-flavored chocolate, or chocolate scented shoes, and Brooks doesn't want to give extravagant gifts to runners unless they have a certain tens of thousands of readers to bleat to.  It is a 3% cute marketing idea.  Cute like Oakley's marketing strategy of showing off how select women athletes love champagne and spa days or something.  It's okay I'm not picking on Brooks/Oakley, almost all marketing makes me laugh/roll my eyes.

GET TO IT ALREADY.

The $2.55 goodies includes Brooks running shoes, a Nike running tank, and 11 pieces of various running fuel.



The Shoes.

I got to select a free pair from A Runner's Mind in Burlingame as a prize for placing 1st woman at the Run with the Jets Half Marathon.

The shoe expert who helped me out guided me to a revelation.  Apparently all other shoe store people just wanted me to buy some Nike Air Pegasus' and get outta there, because they all led me to believe I am a neutral runner that needed a neutral cushioned shoe.  This fellow noted some clear pronation on my right foot, told me I needed a stabilizing shoe, had me try on two solid Nike's and two solid Brooks, and while I liked them all and the runner up was the Brooks Pure Flow, I went with the Brooks Pure Cadence 2.

My only other Brooks shoe experience is the Launch.  I like them.  I tried racing in them once for a half-marathon, and they weren't meant to be my racing shoe.  Still, they are a regular in my rotation and they work well for tempo runs/ runs with some speed.  My running shoe rotation currently consists primarily of the Brooks Launch (I bought them 1.5 years ago, so they are an earlier series) and the Nike Air Pegasus 29.  I occasionally wear Asics Gel Nimbus but find them far too cushiony and thick for my recent preferences.  I'll wear the Newtons that I won after the See Jane Run half marathon maybe 1 time per month, and haven't grown any love for them at all.  I feel slow and clumsy in them.  Although I still enjoy how they propel me up hills.

I wasn't really planning on running today (Sunday) since that would make it 7 days in a row of running, something I haven't done in a really long time, but I was excited (aren't all runners!?) to try out the new shoes.  And, watching football is always more fun when you feel like you've earned 3+ hours of couch/beer/food time.

Crock-pot pulled pork was my sweet reward and perfect company for watching the Forty-Niners lock their spot in the Super-Bowl!!!

17.3 miles in the Brooks Pure Cadence, I just ADORE them.  I know I've said this before on my first run out in a new pair of shoes, so my word can't be trusted yet.  The true test will be wearing them for a half-marathon in 2 weeks.  I really hope they work, because if not, it's the Nike Air Pegasus for the Napa Marathon.  And they were okayyyy for CIM, but not perfect.  I think I need something a little stiffer than the plush cloud that is the Pegasus.



As for the rest of the goodies, the lovely Sesa gave me a tip that a Runners Mind had a Groupon ($25 for $50) so I bought it moments before heading out the door to pick up some free shoes, and then selected $50 worth of running fuel and a lightweight sexy Nike running tank top.

So technically, I spent $27.55.  And technically, some couponing was involved.  Either way, it was a successful store visit, and if I lived closer to A Runners Mind I would be there more often.  It is a runners paradise--especially for people seeking a community of runners to run with.

Part two, 102 miles.

A few disclaimers.

Running more than 100 miles in a week is stupid.  DON'T DO IT.  There is no reason to strive for this goal.  I don't feel particularly smart about doing it, I don't recommend doing it, unless you are literally paid to run, I just don't see the point.  I think running 80 miles/week builds just as much strength and endurance as running 100 miles.  But with less wear and tear.

Proof, is the fact that I have been running just around 70 miles per week for the last several, and low and behold it pumped me up with enough endurance to run 102 miles this week without much trouble at all.  I feel fine.  Normal.  I wouldn't know this week had been any different than others unless I looked down at the numbers in my dorky log.

Which is to say it felt good and not hard, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.  If I ran 100 miles every week, I would probably feel depleted.

Other reasons why I did it? One is that I ran on Monday, a day I usually take off, and that is because I didn't run last Sunday.  It bumped my week off a little, but ultimately I didn't feel like I really needed a day off this week, so I didn't take one.  Running 7 days of the week was the key ingredient for hitting 102 miles.

Another reason is that I am 6 weeks from a marathon.  I will be tapering any second now, knowing how fast the weeks zip by.  These next few weeks are my last chance to build some endurance so that 26.2 miles feels easy-peazy, and since I am running a half marathon in 2 weeks and will likely take the week preceding it fairly light, this past week was kind of the perfect time to challenge my legs with some heavy mileage.

Lastly, this is only the second time that I have hit 100 miles in a week.  I don't plan on doing it again anytime soon, as I like taking days off.  I also like the 70-85 mile range per week.  It works really well for me, allows me to take 1-2 days off per week, and just feels good.

With that:

Monday: 14.25 (easy run)
Tuesday: 12.6 (alternate one easy mile with one mile at about 6:45 pace for all 12 miles)
Wednesday: 10.6 a.m., 5 p.m., total 15.6.
The morning run included 9.09 miles in one hour on a treadmill, which was the hardest run I've done in a while.  Started out at 8.8 mph speed (6:48 pace) and bumped up the speed each mile, until I was at 9.2 mph (6:31?) at mile 5, then rotated between 9.2 and 9.1 mph for the final miles.  1.0 incline.  Some leg-lock issues, not as bad as it has been in the past.
Thursday: 10.9
Friday:  12
Saturday: 19.5
I was hoping to make this a long 22 miler, but I died at mile 17 and headed home with plenty of walking for the last 2 miles.  My legs felt fine, and I had plenty of fuel with me.  Based on my experience with this low-energy sensation, it is a classic iron issue.  Makes sense because I haven't taken an iron supplement in weeks.  I'll go back to my unprofessional prescription of 1-2 iron pills per week.
Sunday: 17.3 (to try out the new shoes, felt so nice I didn't want to head home until mile 17).

total = 102 miles.  Ish.  I did the math in my head.

Lesson of the week: Brooks shoes are as great as everyone says; don't run 100 miles in a week stupid; bloggers are not always shining examples of what to do, so again unless you are comfortably there already or are paid to run, please don't aim for 100 miles in one week.

There are people out there who run 100 miles in one go, right? Ultra runners, as they are called? Idiots.