Easing back into running

I ran every day this week except for Tuesday. I just couldn’t help myself. The weather is wonderfully cool (or even cold) in the morning and the leaves were so colorful this year; they burst into color over the last weekend and now they’re all falling, which is very dramatic on windy days.

I did a wonderful 10 miler this morning. The weather was gorgeous and perfect: sunny with temps around 52 and windy. I ran an average 8:40 pace at 78% heart rate and enjoyed myself immensely. I was truly sorry when the run was over. But it tired me out enough to nap for two hours on the couch after getting through the first few essays in the newish David Sedaris book When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

When I looked at my mileage this week, I could hardly believe it: I ran 39 miles. I hadn’t expected to get back up so quickly, but my legs have felt great and I wasn’t really paying attention to the cumulative mileage as the week wore on. I’ll probably keep it under 55 for the next couple of weeks, then start gradually working the mileage base back up into the 100+mpw range in preparation for starting up training again sometime around mid-January.

It’s nice to have such a long spell between races. The next one isn’t until very late May (that’s assuming we go through with our plans to run Newport, OR next year). I’m not going to do so much hard running during the base period again. Probably just one or two moderate-pace runs a week and the rest very easy. And I’ll probably do some racing for fun and training too, as there are some good ones coming up in the next few months: the Nyack Hospital 10K, the Hot Chocolate 15K, the Manhattan Half Marathon and the Boston Buildup series in CT.

Speaking of running 100+ miles a week, former champion Ingrid Kristiansen and 2008 gold medalist Constantina Tomescu-Dita had some training advice for Paula Radcliffe, who will be 38 when the 2012 Olympics roll around. Paula does not agree. I do, though, at least for myself. I’ll be cutting down on the mileage to average around 75 per week during training. I won’t, however, be having a baby.

Anyway, as for the next week, I have no plan. I will probably run almost every day again, once per day, with quicker running days determined by how I feel.