High miles week: at a glance
Duration: 1 week (Monday-Sunday)
Total mileage: 115 miles (99 solo, 16 with company)
Mileage breakdown: 20/20/20/15/15/15/10
Total time running: 17 hours 36 minutes 57 seconds (17:36:57)
Average moving pace: 9.11 min/mile
Terrain: 108 on tarmac, 7 on a treadmill
Total calories burned: 11,932 kcal
Total painkillers taken: 2 paracetamol for a headache on Monday morning
Total number of meals consumed: At least 28
Bowls of porridge consumed: A minimum of 15. At the very least.
Bottles of wine consumed: 2…ish. Whoops.
Total number of shoes: 2 pairs
Total number of socks: 11
Total number of blisters: Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Average hours sleep per night: 6.5 (owing to a few bad sleeps!)
Total number of naps: 0
Total number of cities run in: 2
Total number of Bridget Jones moments: 1 (see below for details)
Some thoughts on the week
The Bridget Jones moment
When you’re running along the pavement and a bus goes through an enormous puddle, sending a wall of dirty water right over your head. Yes, that one. Nothing to do there but laugh at how funny it must have looked!
Pacing the day
Day to day, I generally didn’t have an exact target, I ran each as it felt appropriate. Some days 20 felt breezy. Other days I could feel that 15 was sensible if I was to be on form for the following day. It was, as always, by feel, rather than by numbers or by watch.
Pacing the week
This week was beautiful in that I could run along at my own speed and really feel genuine enthusiasm for runners who were zipping past me. It was a lovely week-long moment of losing any competitive urges!
It’s one thing to pace your run, but it’s another to pace your entire week. If I over-egged my speed on the Monday, chances are I’d suffer for it later in the week.
Although I didn’t have a specific mile target for the week, I knew that I wanted to make the week a solid one. In keeping that message close to my heart, I kept my confidence and my nerve when I was around fellow runners.
It was a nice feeling to run at the pace that I was comfortable with, and to be unflapped by the usual urges to run quickly when other quick runners were around (no, I’m not immune to this either!).
In a way it was quite humbling.
I’m surprised to be writing this, but physically I didn’t find the miles too challenging. Of course, there were some days when my legs felt heavier than others, or I had a bit of an iffy tummy. But in terms of specific pains and muscle aches, there were none.
There was one morning – Wednesday – when I woke in the night and went downstairs. My legs felt like cement, and my first thought was ‘there’s no way I’m going to be able to run first thing’. But after a few more hours sleep, and the robot-like act of getting out the door, the miles that morning took care of themselves without issue.
I should know by now that when it’s cold my asthma gets shitty. Trouble is, it’s not been cold until this week! Goodness knows where my inhalers are. I really could have done with them a few times this week, but I’ve made a mental note to get my prescription before the 100 miler!
I don’t know how to describe this, but during the week I tried to take a step back and not get too emotionally involved with getting out on the road. I viewed it as something that simply had to happen, rather than a ‘will I, wont I?’ situation.
Those miles were on the cards, so nothing else to do but to just get on with them.
Since I did double days, after the first run I generally felt pretty good, but there was always the second run looming at the back of my mind.
I would say that mentally I probably find running twice in a day harder than doing one longer run. Maybe because I’ve got all warmed up and cosy, and the thought of pulling on damp trainers to go back into the cold unappealing. Who can blame me for that?!
What’s the point?
I’m never really one for doing high mileage. I’m more of a ‘I’ll run when I fancy, cross-train as I like, and do some long races to keep my endurance up’ kind of runner.
This week was really a combination of curiosity, and a final push before February’s 100 miler.
On the penultimate day of the high miles week, I had a thought while I was out running with a friend:
‘What is the point?’
My mate rightly pointed out that some people love high mileage, but for other people the high miles aren’t as productive. I am inclined to think that I am in the latter camp!.
This week has been incredibly positive. I’m glad I have had the experience, but I don’t think it is something that I will do on a super regular basis.
That isn’t to say that I won’t have another high miles week at another point – far from it. For me, running and exercise is about variety and keeping things fresh. A high miles week from time to time certainly shakes up my normal ‘routine’.
A whole lot of body love
One thing that I hadn’t anticipated for this week was to feel the way I did towards my body.
Day after day, run after run, my body was there, strong and willing. What a blessing. It really was an incredible feeling.
Although I could feel towards the end of the week that I was looking forward to resting, I felt so strong and healthy during the week. I don’t find I actively feel strong or healthy all that often, but this week, I was in awe of how my body responded to what was asked of it.
The week in pictures
Over and out
So, for now, this is my highest week of mileage yet. Although it’s not something I plan to do on a regular basis, I know that curiosity will pipe up soon enough and I’ll be back down the rabbit-hole for an even bigger week.