But, my laziness made that an impossibility, so I've had to add a mile per week to my long runs. The rule of thumb is to add no more than 10% of your total mileage to your long run per week, and back in August, that limit was definitely exceeded as I tried to get beyond the 6 and 7 mile range. It hasn't been optimal, but I've avoided any serious injury like runners knee or the like. The worst I've had thus far are some minor tweaks early on. But since I started practicing yoga, those aches and tweaks have started to disappear, which is great.
Anyway, the 11 miler went as expected. It was tough, as my legs are trying to adapt to mileage that is growing a little too fast. I again went with the GU tabs. This time I had four gel blocks after about an hour and then the last two about 20 minutes later and that seemed to work well. My legs were really aching going into the 7th mile, just like the previous week, but the four gel blocks gave them new life and the additional two blocks made them feel almost fresh going into those final few miles.
Because I was going far this time out, instead of wearing my simple Timex wristwatch, I charged up and took my old Garmin Forerunner 305 that my parents got for me way back in '07 when I first got seriously into running. I mapped my run on Running Ahead, as always, and it came out to 11 miles. But the Forerunner said I ended up running just 10 miles, for some reason. I did go off course at different places, but not 1 mile's worth, to be sure. It was hard not to go off course around Patterson Park, given my relative unfamiliarity with those smaller streets. Check it out:
But, the reason I generally stopped using the Garmin in the first place is that it tended to lose its satellite signal when I was running through downtown Baltimore due to the skyscrapers. So, I'd get wacky pacing and elevation data for portions of my run. And even then, sometimes it would lose contact and not reestablish until I was well out of downtown, which may have happened here. I haven't installed the Garmin software on our new PC, so I can't go back and compare.
Nonetheless, I know I ran 11 miles, no matter what my Garmin might insist.
This weekend I originally thought I would try to hit 12 miles, but now I'm wondering if I should bring it back to 8 or 9 to "taper" in a limited fashion and not exhaust my legs less than a week before the race. We'll see how I feel as the week goes on. It'll probably be a game time decision on Sunday morning.
In other running news, looking at my monthly totals since I got back to really trying to consistently run, my distance is increasing nicely. July 2012, the first full month of getting back, I ran just 38 paltry miles (see discussion about my laziness and its impact on my training program now, above). August saw a nice improvement to 49.3 miles. But the real success was September, when both my required distance and motivation increased. Last month I logged 74.5 miles on the roads, which is very encouraging