Saturday I completed a long week of running with a 15-mile run - my longest so far. The run went well and I finished strong. This week I made sure to eat more the night before and take a Gu Gel during my long run. Last week I ran 14-miles and was totally out of gas at the end. As I finished, I really felt that this was a major milestone that will help propel me toward the Marathon. Of course I still have a really long time until the White Rock Marathon, but if I can run 15 miles in January, there's not a doubt in my mind that I'll be able to run 26.2 miles in December.My body held up decently to the 41 miles I ran this week. My knees are no more sore than usual and my hip isn't getting worse. I went in for an annual physical last week and found out that I have "minimal degenerative changes" in my left knee. Apparently that means I've got a mild case of arthritis. I was given the choice of an MRI or to continue taking Ibuprofen for a while to see if that reduces the inflammation in my knee and hip. I plan to take the Ibuprofen for a few months and as long as the pain doesn't get worse I'll hold off on the MRI. While my knees have bothered me since before college, this hip pain is new. I really can't even explain what it is, but my doctor and I assumed it was just inflammation. So far I've been able to handle the discomfort. Generally, it only hurts during the first quarter mile or so then it disappears completely. My doctor didn't say so, but I think continuing to lose weight and decreasing the strain on my joints will help a lot.
This coming week is a cut-back week. Every four weeks I take a break from increasing mileage and run fewer miles. I believe the shedule has me down for 32 miles. My overall running plan is to build up to 50 miles per week and run that amount consistently before adding speedwork. From everything I've read, its not a good idea to build mileage and include speed workouts at the same time. It greatly increases your chances of injury - which I desperately hope to avoid. If I can make it all year without a single overuse injury I would be very excited, and surprised.
This week I also decided to start counting calories - eaten and burned - to see if I could figure out why my weightloss had stopped. So far this has proved to be very beneficial. There for a while I fell into the practice of eating more than I should with the thought that I would run it off. Turns out I wasn't burning more than I was eating. Watching what I eat a little more closely allowed me to lose about 4 pounds this week.
Losing weight while trying to increase mileage is a bit tricky. I think 4 pounds in a week is excessive - I may have gotten carried away since this was my first week of adding everything up. I'll try to keep weightloss closer to 2 pounds per week over the next few months. That should bring my energy level back up and allow me to run more miles closer to 9 minute pace rather than 10 minute pace.
This thing has gotten long...Varner out.
P.s. You should run too, it's awesome.