Sixty

I’ve had a big week of running. This is a big year of running for me, a year when I’m averaging a hair under 40 miles of running per week. This week, I ran almost 65.

65 miles. I had no plans to run anything close to that I figured it was going to be just another week, a week of probably running 40 miles. I started the week off with a 3 hours run through the hills on the Aiea Loop, a run that might have been 11 miles long, or maybe a bit more.

But Monday morning, I found myself heading up Kolekole Pass, on a 9.5 mile loop that I had run before. I knew that if I did it right, I’d be to the top by 0715 and back to the car by 0805. And Tuesday morning, I found myself doing it again. And thinking I might be able to do it every day of the week.

Could I really? Could I go up that pass every day of a week? Yeah, maybe. I figured I’d give it a try. It turns out that I could do it.

And, with the wife having plans for Sunday morning, I planned to close out the week this morning with an early morning run. I’ve wanted to go up to the Pali Lookout and run the old Pali Highway, so I made that day today. It was a good run, one that was maybe 5.5 miles of down the hill and then back up. Not too far, not too steep, not too much of an ass-kicker. And I think I took something like 150 photos on the run.

I couldn’t push myself to a 60+ mile running week without a lot of prep work. In the nine prior week, I’d run 328 miles, with three of those weeks being between 45 and 50 miles of running. I think the weeks of running, and the regular 40+ miles per week, has been key.

Also important has been food. I tried to do a better job this week of listening to my body and its food needs. My weight dropped 6 or 7 pounds between last Saturday and tonight, but it sure could have been more. Most days, after my morning run, I was able to hold off on eating until lunch. A few days, the worst of them, I went and found some nearly-pure-sugar stuff to pick me back up – Gummi bears, Swedish Fish, something like that. But mostly, I tried to stick to planned meals.

And yes, I am still as crappy a runner as always. I still don’t stretch. I still run when my knee / ankle / joints / etc. ache. My running shoes, my ever-faithful Nike Pegasus, have passed the 850 mile mark, and they stink to high-holy hell. I’m still running in whatever random running clothes I have, I still run too far and too often with either little or no water with me. But it all seems to be working out.

If I can do 60+ miles in a week, can I do 100 miles in a week? Probably. If I can do that, can I run another marathon? A 30 mile run? A 50 mile run? Could I run from Ala Moana to, say, Kailua Beach State Park? That’d be about 15 miles. Could I run there and back? That would take me past the Pali Lookout, and up and down that ridge, not once but twice.

Yeah, maybe. Pushing myself out to 60+ miles this week was hard, but it served as a good reminder that 1) I am in better shape than I thought, and 2) I can do a lot more than I think I can do.

And that’s pretty cool.

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