I took three full days off from running before jogging a gentle three miles in which I had the weird sensation of floating. I probably ran no more than 10 miles the entire first week after my marathon. The second week I continued to run gently, accumulating no more than 20 miles total. Despite reading and hearing about the dangers of returning to regular training too early, I felt great after my luxuriously low mileage. I felt strong and noticed no lingering muscle fatigue. I decided that I had been cautious enough and promptly hammered out 71 miles the third week after my marathon! It was not until this third week out that I started a running log. This is in part due to the fact that I now feel confident enough about my running knowledge to make deviations to pre-fabricated marathon plans, and I want to be able to track my progress.
In addition to changing my training strategy to an 18 week high volume plan from Advanced Marathoning, I made a commitment to low heel rise shoes. Having already made the transition from heel striker to forefoot striker, I felt I needed to get all that extra heel rubber off my shoes and let my body do what it was meant to do. I did my training and ran my recent marathon in the New Balance 890 Baddeley, which served me very well. It was a great lightweight yet durable shoe which handled the nature of my runs - many of which incorporate both pavement and rougher dirt and gravel terrain. Nevertheless, it has a heel rise of 8mm over the toe and I was looking for a shoe with 0-4mm heel rise. It is not necessarily easy to find a shoe that can deal with trail and road surfaces, has a low heel and is on sale (what do I look like, someone who will pay $120 for a pair of shoes? I think not). I was able to pick up the shoes picture below from Altra and Saucony, I have yet to race in them, however both pairs of shoes have over 100 miles on them at this point and they promote a fast and healthy running form.
Last Sunday I was hoping to run a loop which would include climbing Onion Mountain, the highest point in Josephine County at just over 4,000 ft. This plan was thwarted by a blaze that began the night before, right smack dab in the middle of my planned route! The West is still dry, and it seems like this fire season will drag on into the "fall". Regardless, I was able to run an alternative loop around Chrome Ridge and watch the helicopters and planes combat the fire, which was easily identified through a truly menacing plume of smoke. Luckily, some much-needed rain arrived a few days later to help the Wilderness Fire Crews deal with the blaze.
Races for the rest of 2014
September 27th Gilbert Creek 5k
October 25th Grants Pass Half Marathon
November 15th Alsea Falls Trail Half Marathon
December 13th Frozen Trail Runfest 15 Mile Trail Run
December 28th Woodside Ramble 50k Trail Run