This week could be regarded as the biggest failure so far in the USA 2011 training campaign. As soon as I realised I wasn't going to get the full 90 miles in, I more or less gave up today. Yet again, responsibilities away from running have interfered with the schedule. And by "things" I mean work, family life and an impromptu but very welcome short break to London. These distractions, in the grand scheme of things, are probably more important than me going for a run and I'm really finding it difficult to get too disappointed about this week's shortcomings.
These are very confusing times for me and my training. Part of me is really glad to have managed over 50 miles yet again at just over an average of the targeted 8 miles per session. My recovery time after the 15.4 and 13 mile runs was very pleasing indeed. Also, the fact that I managed my 2nd quickest 6 miles of the year was pretty good. It was on the back of a rest day however. As I said the other day, though, I'm after putting my body through as much stress as possible day in, day out. I've failed to do that this week. I'm now at a place, fitness wise, where 50-60 miles a week just isn't managing to stress me out to the extent I need or want. That, in itself, is quite a pleasing situation to be in and is a good indicator of how far I've come since the days of training to run from John O'Groats to Lands End. 50 miles a week back in those days was a big deal and I certainly knew about it at the end of the week. My gut feeling now is that the comfortable threshold is between 75 - 80 miles. Once I get more high mileage weeks under my belt I'll have a better idea. I'll leave the reasons for this to the scientific ones amongst you.
I don't want to say too much but things are going on behind the scenes to give me more time to train. I really feel that a minor tweak to my lifestyle is key to the success of being able to get all of my training done and getting the right amount of family time too. I'd already made sacrifices and changes well before now. I very rarely socialise. I don't touch a drop of booze and I've forgotten what my mates look like. Not a bad thing some might say! I still manage to go to every home game and the odd away game mind. There are some things that shouldn't be sacrificed!
I'm typing this blog entry on the way to London. In order to make the most of this rare family weekend away I've not even brought my trainers. I have, however, got my Run Geordie Run t-shirt with me. It was spotted by a nice lady in the service station and she stopped to ask about the run. The impromptu Q&A session was going quite well until she asked "Is Burger King part of your diet then?"!
As I said at the start of this blog entry, this "could be regarded as the biggest failure so far in the USA 2011 training campaign". It could be! But I just don't feel that it is. Far from it. Even taking into account the fact that I'm almost 40 miles short of the intended target. Without thinking too much about it though, I've felt much bigger disappointments during this campaign.
For now, I'm going to enjoy the next 3 days in London. We'll be back in time for the match on Monday and 3 points will cap things off just nicely.