What Else Would I Be Doing – Meditating On The Mountain?

By: Phil Sneller

The title is a quote from Bob Dylan. I’m not sure I remember it exactly, but it was his reaction to someone being surprised he was still touring at some point. I’m also not sure of it’s relevancy here, but it cracks me up.

So, another year in the books. There weren’t a lot of positives in my running from 2011(other than joining Rogue), but things finally started looking up in December. I had a decent race at the Decker Half Marathon, Dec. 11, where I ran 1:12:00 for 4th. It’s the most challenging course I’ve ever run and I was only 22 seconds off my PR, so I was pretty pleased with that. Not technically a PR, but a PR effort, I‘d say. Some of those hills are ridiculous. My ace training partner, Luis, won, and Aussie Scott grabbed 2nd. Was a good day for Rogue.

I had hit 92 miles that week, stepped up to 96 the following week, and decided to crank it up after that. I didn’t really have mileage goal, I just started running as much as I felt like it on each run, and that equaled 127 miles over Christmas week. I closed out the last week of the year with a 135 miles.

Of course, mileage isn’t the only answer to running faster. It’s not going to do you any good if it’s affecting your workouts or getting you injured, but this past 135 mile week included 3 quality workouts that went as good, or better than ever before: a 6 x 800 avg 2:26-2:27 on Tues., a moderate 20 mile run on Wed. with last two miles at 5:32/pace, and a 3 x 2 mile avg 5:16/pace on Fri.

Earlier today I was out in Round Rock with Luis for the Resolution Run 5k. It was a pretty last minute decision to run it. He won, again, and I took 2nd with a 16:03, which is actually a PR, and my first in over 2 years. Not a bad time considering the mileage and the obligatory NYE hangover. I’m not a 5k runner – I never was and never will be, but it was a fun race and a good way to start the year. More importantly I felt good, it was a pretty controlled run, and I still got in a total of 23 miles.

I remember when running 100 miles in a week seemed impossible. It wasn’t many years ago. I’ve been over 100 for a few years now, though not consistently, and never over 117, But my body is handling the jump really well, and honestly, it feels like I can handle more than that. I don’t want to wonder if I’m not training hard enough. It’s make or break in 2012. I’m getting old!

For my next race I’ll be traveling up to NYC for the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon on Jan 21. As long as I’m feeling good, I’m going to keep the mileage up until then, with a slight taper for that race. That could still mean 100+ miles that week. While I want to run fast there, and win, the big picture is the Austin Marathon on Feb 19th.

In the meantime I’m going to keep running as much as my body, and time, will allow. Where will it take me this week? Maybe to the moon. I definitely won’t be meditating on the mountain.

Happy New Year, ya’ll.

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