Today marks the three month mark of my half-marathon training stint; March 25 through June 25 wherein have I not only recorded four-hundred and seven total kilometers accumilated, but I’ve also marked a significant and measurable increase in my own personal fitness level, faster runs, longer runs, and the need to buy an new belt.
For those still interested in the so-called virtual mega-goal run, the 407km equates roughly to running from the corner near my house, south down the highway to Calgary, taking a hard west-ward turn at 16th Street in that same city, and then running until I’m yet cresting the overpass that would have me turning into Banff tucked neatly into the nearby Rocky Mountains. Appropriate that I’ve been doing so much hill training, I suppose, given the current location of my virtual running.
Of course, were it just running. We’ve been doing some intense uber-running training lately with the clinic that has be aching with leg-deadening numbness for days following. Last Wednesday we did another round on the roller-coaster hills route, this time going even further into the park and down some more rugged side paths that had me nearly screaming to get free of the trees somewhere around the nine-click mark.
Thursday, the very next day with my legs and heart barely recovered, we ran what is called a tempo run; We do a warm-up jog down to a nearby long, straight stretch of path, pause to regroup, then go. Twelve minutes out and twelve minutes back, no breaks, as hard as you can run. I covered a solid five kilometers in that twenty-four minutes, which, if you’re keeping track, is about twenty-percent faster than I ran my PR at the Resolution Run on January first of this year — and that left me feeling boastful. Sadly, I gave it my all, and don’t think I would have reached six klicks.
I took a couple days break, but found myself out for the “Long Slow Run” yesterday morning. We were scheduled for a meandering fourteen kilometer trail run. Somehow, I ended up running with the lead pace group again, and we covered some serious (and hilly) terrain in our short dash through the woods in what ended up being an almost fifteen klick dash. A day and a half later, I’m still feeling it.
And the fun isn’t nearly over: At the three month mark I’m entering week 14 of my 21 weeks of training. That’s right; I’m two-thirds done, but the easy two-thirds are behind me. Things start to get brutal from here on out: more distance, more speed.
Just. Keep. Running.