It takes a great deal of mental strength and discipline to maintain quality and consistency for 4 months. The Woodland Trail Run 50K was the race around which I structured all of my training, during which time I ran some 1,196.9 miles. That is quite a few miles to have run without being able to cap it off with the satisfaction of a goal race.
I have been unable to race since October. In November I was the victim of a date change for a trail half marathon. Icy conditions forced the race to be moved to a day where I had already planned an indoor rock climbing event for my students. In December, I was looking forward to compete in Eugene on a 15 mile trail run against what I presumed would have been some top quality talent from trail town USA. Actually, even though my 50K was the goal race, I think the Eugene race could have been more competitive. A week before that race I ran a 26 mile route through the incredible Applegate Valley, towards Appelgate Lake and back. At that time I thought I could just "shake off" what I perceived was merely minor ankle discomfort that I had acquired a few days earlier. Well, my body had other ideas. Since then I've used a hodgepodge of aggressive icing, cross training and a significant amount of rest. As recently as 7 days before the goal race I anticipated that I would be able to salvage the season, only to have my hopes dashed today with what should have been a rudimentary and enjoyable medium long run. Instead it was a wake up call. This season is over.
Although I did not keep accurate data for my first training block leading up to The Crater Lake Marathon, I estimate that my weekly range (when not injured) was 55-80 miles a week. To keep that in perspective, before training for that marathon, I probably ran 10-25 miles a week for general health and fitness.
Considering that I have changed the demands on my body so significantly, it is not a surprise that my body has pushed back from time to time. Nonetheless, I know it is capable of what I have asked of it, and far more in the future. For now however, a mental and physical break are in order.