Last Sunday, I ran 11 miles. The following day, I ran another 10. Tuesday morning over a bowl of oatmeal, breakfast ice cream and a few bananas, I decided I needed to develop a base if I was going to keep running like this. Four ten-mile runs in a one-week period was probably more than my undeveloped running muscles could handle, and I'm still getting a grip on what it means to fuel. (Hence ice cream at 7 a.m.)
The marathon seems like a good place to start. I downloaded some generic "intermediate" training plan after breakfast, and started plugging all the mileage into my Google calendar. Because of Monday's unnecessary long run, I picked up the training plan a day late. This schedule does exactly what I need it to. It lets me run six days a week, gives me a mandatory rest day--something I'm not very good with--and forces me to incorporate a speed workout.
Wednesday was a 6-mile run. Nothing to shake a stick at. Thursday I ran 4 miles, and clocked in averaging an 8:48 mile. I liked the short distance because I could run faster. That is, until I ran into a steep hill charging at an 8:20 pace that degenerated into an 11 minute per mile shuffle. Friday I ran 6 miles, pacing under a 9-minute mile. Was I already getting faster?
Saturday's 3-mile run started off poorly. As I was rounding the corner of my apartment community's parking lot, one of the cars facing the street honked at me. Startled, I stumbled and fumbled with my iPhone to pause my run tracker. The woman sitting in the driver's seat could have been 40 or 70, dressed in a bathrobe and draped with a blanket. The car had a stale cigarette smell, and I pitied the aging golden retriever wheezing in the passenger's seat. The back was filled with junk, probably everything the lady owned.
"Tell me how to get to McDonald's," she said. I had to step back, because the cigarette smoke was burning my already over-taxed lungs.
I haven't been in a McDonald's in over six years, and I've stopped "seeing" them. They're everywhere. I gave the woman some generic directions to what might have been a McDonald's, or a Taco Bell, or a Wendy's. I'm still not sure, all I know is there's some fast food restaurant where I directed her, because I'd used the drive-thru to reach the street on a previous day's run.
Despite the interruption, overall it wound up being a nice short run with negative splits, averaging an 8:32 pace.
Sunday's 10-mile run was a drag. I'd made a gel with chia seeds and agave nectar, which I tried to sip while I was still jogging and managed to inhale the seeds, some of which are still lodged in my nose.
Today is a rest day, which I will use to (possibly) get another few thousand words into my novella-in-progress, and (hopefully) extract the sprouting chia seeds from my nasal cavity.