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My first 100-mile week

August 19, 2008

August 11th through 17th was the first week in which I’ve ever run a full 100 miles.

There’s no great significance to this “milestone”; the numbers just happened to add up that way. And if anyone else out there is planning their first 100-mile week, I don’t especially recommend my approach, which was as follows:

Monday: Ran home from work via Capitol Hill, including the usual time-trial segment (10th & Roanoke to 14th & 15th) in 21:02, then the neighborhood loop with Lucy. 7.6 miles.

Tuesday: Ran home from work, then the neighborhood loop with Lucy. 6.7 miles.

Wednesday: Ran to work. 5.8 miles.

Thursday: Ran to work. Later, ran home, then the neighborhood loop with Lucy. 12.9 miles.

Friday: Ran home from work, then the neighborhood loop with Lucy. 6.6 miles.

Saturday: Slow, self-supported run around Lake Washington (starting and ending at home). 55 miles.

Sunday: Out and back on the Chief Sealth Trail with Phil in the baby jogger. 5.4 miles.

Or, to put it more succinctly: easy, easy, easy, easy, easy, hard, easy.

I did the Lake Washington loop (using a route recommended by TWBC.org) as a sort of feasibility study. I wanted to assess whether I might do well in a 24-hour race like Ultracentric. If I ran slowly enough, with regular walk breaks and copious food and fluids, could I finish the loop with the sense that I could do it again if necessary?

The answer on this particular Saturday was a resounding NO. Of course, it didn’t help that the temperature hit 90 degrees that day, but the long and the short of it is that I had a moment of clarity about eight hours into the run. I thought: “Not only has running — one of my all-time favorite activities — ceased to be pleasurable over the last couple of hours, but eating — one of my other all-time favorite activities — has ceased to be pleasurable as well. What exactly am I doing out here?”

I did finish the loop, but, three days later, I’m still hobbling around, a minute per mile slower than usual. This week’s mileage will probably be about 50.

2 comments

  1. Your experience on Saturday reminds me of your posts on the subject of when running ceases to be a sport and becomes an absurd test of who is willing to endure the most discomfort for the longest time. I think it's healthy (in more ways than one) that your personal "absurdity threshold" is somewhere short of a 24-hour race.


  2. Reminds me its important to do things for fun and have fun doing them. Why I don't think I'll do a marathon. I know I can do it, I've hiked more miles than 26 in a day (and enjoyed them) and I've run 22 miles, but by the end it wasn't fun and so why bother? 🙂



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