All winter long I have been struggling in my long runs and in most cases my daily runs. I have felt off. I have felt achy. I have felt slow. My ankles have hurt. I have felt labored. Some days have been better than others. I have barely been able to run beyond 15 or 16 miles. It has been a tough winter on the running front.
But then this morning I got up and out the door and I ran 20.1 miles in 2 hours and 39 minutes. I hadn't planned to go 20 but halfway through I was feeling good--so good--and decided I'd go 20. My feet were light. My legs were responsive. My ankles were great! My breathing was on. It was close to perfect. 1,400 feet of climbing.
Oh, and on my 20-miler I had a small flask of plain water and no calories. Before my run, I did eat a breakfast burrito, though.
It is hard to believe that in my mid 30s I was busting out "easy" 20-mile long runs in 2 hours and 25 minutes. But that was then...that was at sea level and I was younger and fast. Today, I'm 45 and I live at altitude. So, when you factor all of that in, today's run was freaking awesome. Every so often you get those great days and when you do you must seize them! I am going to create more of them!
Ended the week with 61.4 miles. 382.1 miles on the year.
In reflecting on this morning's run, I am trying to determine if I did anything that set me up for success. Yesterday I did eat a whole can of wild-caught salmon. Maybe that helped? I slept well, too. I'm sure the good sleep helped. Who knows? But I am hopeful that today's successful long run was a breakthrough, both mentally and physically, after what has been a physically difficult winter.
I really enjoyed Billy Yang's podcast interview with Jason Koop. I believe Billy is one of the top content creators and artists in the sport of ultrarunning today. I loved this conversation with Koop and the call-in element was great. In particular, I found what Koop said about reducing intensity when you are increasing volume to be interesting. It was nice to hear an expert say that because it is hard to keep up with the intensity when your volume is high!
I continue to think about my 2019 schedule. I am eyeing the Colfax Marathon on May 19. I am signed up for North Fork 50K on June 1. I am eyeing the Leadville Trail Marathon on June 15. My Colorado Trail adventure would then be in late June. Burning River 100-miler in late July. Or maybe Javelina in the fall. I think I am leaning toward Burning River. I am about 85% there in signing up for a 100-miler. I think I am ready to make that investment.
Need to pull the trigger soon!
All these years later, this intimate portrait of Anton still gets to me (in the best ways).