January Summary and Lessons Learned:

I shouldn’t try to excuse my poor blogging behavior, but does anyone else find it IMPOSSIBLE to blog in January? I should be brimming with updates on resolutions and waxing on about new beginnings and blah, blah, blah. But for weeks it seems like every time I have had an idea for this blog my motivation seems to evaporate. My mind turns numb and I utterly fail to write anything postworthy.

I blame January. Yes, I’m blaming the entire month for my bad behavior. I’ve never been a fan of it. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s still full-on winter, but with none of the appeal of the holidays. So, I am happy – oh so very happy – that January is safely behind us and that we are onto a better and brighter February.

OK. Now down to the business of running.

Currently, I’m running an average of 60 miles a week.

60 miles (!!)

According to my runner’s log, I pounded 275 miles this month.

That’s a lot of miles. At least for me. I read about other runners who consistently log 70,80,90, even 100 miles a week and I am humbled. How do they do that!?

Transitioning to 60 miles a week has been bumpy. Prior to my 60mpw challenge I was running pretty comfortably at 50 miles a week. The small increase didnt seem like such a big deal at first.  I felt motivated, happy and ready to run. So I put  in one 60 mile week. That seemed OK. So I penciled in the second 60 mile week. It started out fine, but I began to feel tired. I was hungry constantly, much more than the mileage required, and my legs felt  like slabs of salami. No worries, I thought, that’s just my body adapting. Give it time. But then last week I was exhausted. I mean, silly exhausted. And I ate a pile of frosting off a cake. I mean, it was gigantic pile of frosting. And then my shin started to hurt.

People, my shin never hurts. Ever.

So I took a moment, set aside my running log and my fixation on achieving those perfect 60 miles every week and found that I had made the following mistakes:

1. I was stingy. In an effort to save some pennies I figured I could keep running in my old shoes. How silly is that!? I have been running in a pair since November. I have a pair of trail shoes and pair of light weight shoes I use for tempo runs, track workouts and races, but a pair of Brooks Infiniti have been taking the lion’s share of my mileage. The were way past due for retirement and I suspect were the cause of much of my shin pain. I finally switched them out last week and my shin has been feeling better everyday (cross your fingers that it continues that way)

2. I was stubborn. I focused too much on seeing my weekly mileage add up to 60. I should have listened more to my body. I pushed my shin pain to the side. I ignored the days when my legs felt like lead. I didn’t fully recover between my runs. I really needed to be more conservative in my approach.

3. I ate terribly! Running 60 miles a week does not give me a free pass to eat junk.

4. I didn’t sleep enough. It has been said a zillion times, but if you don’t eat right, sleep right, and drink enough water, you’re really setting yourself up for trouble. And made all those mistakes.

So, after giving myself a stern lecture, I scaled back my running this past week and ran only 50 miles instead of 60. I feel much better. Now, if only I can remember all these great lessons the next time around.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in health, hitting the wall, life, running. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to January Summary and Lessons Learned:

  1. Erik says:

    Wow, I hope I can some day log 60 mpw. That’s amazing. Great job!

    I was proud of my 40 this month. LoL


  2. Melissa says:

    Wow, lots of running! Buy yourself some new shoes. Even if you didn’t get injured, I really think proper shoes are a non-negotiable. 🙂

  3. Ana-Maria says:

    Hi Heather,
    I am so impressed with your dedication and your body’s ability to handle so many miles. It is so hard to listen to your body when running is going so well – I ignored pain a couple of times (we runners are so tough) and got myself 2 injuries. Since then, I have learned what my body can handle. I think you are going to keep improving even if you stay at 50 miles and not go up to 60, as long as you have your key workouts in – speed, tempo/hills and long. Good luck, get some sleep and then some more sleep, and reward yourself to that new pair off running shoes. You deserve it! Ana-Maria

  4. Jay says:

    Oh, boo-hoo! I’m an elite athlete, but not nearly as awesome and perfect as the upper reaches of my potential dictate! Somebody call the wahmbulance!

    Whoa, where did that come from? Ah yes, EXTREME envy, that’s where.

  5. aron says:

    wow 60 mpw is a lot!!! great job on getting all those miles in and great job for recognizing it was time for a scale back week. i often get stubborn too when i am trying to increase my miles and just dont think of anything else but getting them in. sometimes we just need to step back and recognize when we need a break and what we need to do differently. sounds like those changes will make your 60 mile weeks much better!

  6. Wow, 60 miles a week really is a lot. Good self-assessment. I think you’ve got it pretty well figured out.

  7. Amanda says:

    I got so focused on total mileage for awhile that I too ended up really making a mess of my running. I’m finally back to a doable plan and listening to my body…much more fun. Way to go on thinking it through!

  8. lindsay says:

    275 miles! intense girl! stay in touch with your body, you’ll be piling on more miles in time. i know you certainly don’t want to cut back to a couch potato week!

  9. Run Colorado says:

    Wow, well done! With regards to shoes, I toss mine once they reach 400 miles, there is no point in risking injury trying to stretch a pair of shoes out for another 100-200 miles.

    Also, you’re right about the number. I get the same way sometime where I think I have to hit x amount of miles this week instead of listening to my body, key is to listen to your body.

  10. Whoa, 60 mpw is a lot of running. I can imagine that your body continually craves food, food and more food.

    Do take care of yourself and listen to your body.

  11. Aileen says:

    60 miles!!! How do you do it?!?!

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