Thursday, December 17, 2009

Does TOYF = JM's (Hope Not)

Say What? Somehow since I can't decipher any of the texts these days because of acronyms, I thought this was funny. Oh the things I think of while running for hours on end and nibbling on energy blasts. So my question is: Does Time on Your Feet = Junk Miles? I wonder because some say that for your first ultra (ok this isn't my first but it is my first 100 miles) just get time on your feet, and others profess that junk miles are worthless. If those two statements were to simultaneously be true then Time on Your Feet couldn't be the same as Junk Miles, right? But somehow I think they are actually differing points of view on how to train for an ultra. Up until this point in my Rocky Training (100 mile race in Feb) I have been pounding through my mileage, and feeling great. So no Junk Miles so to speak and really using a mileage based training plan not Time on Your Feet. This week however I feel like this:

I meant for this to look like I was running in sand. Boy are my legs  just fatigued. It is hard to get in my mileage must less be motivated to run at all this week. Oh don't be disheartened I have still managed to get in over 40 miles in the past 2 1/2 days but, dang have they been tough miles to get. And I keep wondering if they are considered junk miles. I have had to walk, I have shuffled along at a pathetic pace, I have walked some more, shuffled, walk, you get where I am going with this cadence. It ain't pretty folks. So are these miles useful? I am after all getting the Time On my Feet even if it is at some subpar pace. Upon reflection (you have a lot of time for that when running slow and trying to get in 70 miles for the week) I think I am so zonked because of last week’s training. I had two runs that were over 26.2 miles in length and a 20 mile day; I think that somehow just zapped my legs more than I thought it would. So for the first time in this round of training I have to really work to get my miles and you know what: I have no idea if these miles will pay off physically but they will mentally. I really have to gut it up and get out there and I think that is great for training. There is definitely going to be a point in 100 miles where I don't want to run and I think this week is helping me train for just that. So instead of being totally bummed about my running this week I am going to see it as the perfect training experience for what is to come. Oh and one final thought: What is a junk mile? At this distance I think a mile is a mile is a mile, it is about getting there. I have 30hrs to cover 100 miles; I am bound to walk at some point, so I think this is all good training.


Becca Sue Congdon said...

Coming from a relative newbie (longest run so far is 7 miles) - I can totally hear you on the Time On Your Feet being helpful. Perhaps it won't have the physical payoff, but the mental payoff will be worth it. Training yourself to call something a "junk mile" seems like it would set you up for failure and make it easier for the distance to get in your head. No bueno.

On a side note... 40 miles in two days? You are officially my hero.

tara said...

Totally agree on the Junk Mile comment. That isn't my term that is a term you see on different running sites for all sorts of level of training. But, do think the negative conotations could get you down on that one.