Training, December 3 - 9

Monday: 11 miles moderate.

Tuesday: 4 mile warmup, 6 mile tempo (~5:35/mile avg.), 4 mile cooldown - 14 miles total.  I was fairly tired on this run, perhaps just cumulative fatigue from added mileage, perhaps from the 11 miles fairly quick last night.

Wednesday: 10 miles easy.

Thursday: 12 miles moderate.

Friday: 10 miles moderate - single-track trails (back home in Springfield for a visit).

Saturday: 18 miles moderate - single-track again. 

Sunday: Off - Thought about running a very easy 5 miles as my ankle felt the same as usual—no worse for the ware of a hilly 18 miler, but decided to stick with my plan of a day off.  Unless I feel particularly beat up after a long run or workout in the future, that was my last planned day off in my return to consistent running.

Summary: 75 miles, 1x GS

Solid week of training.  I'm realizing (and reminding myself) that the emphasis for a while needs to be primarily just basic aerobic running while increasing mileage.  Once I've settled in at the 100+ mpw range, workouts can begin to take greater priority; but until then—due in particular to my extended training absence—the mileage and basic aerobic pace is a significant stimulus.  I think last week's 4 mile tempo (20:38), while great for my psyche, was probably faster than it should have been.  So while I'll likely still keep a weekly tempo of varying lengths, I'm going to try to keep it a little more reined in.  I also need to stop being complacent with the general strength (GS) work and get on it, a minimum of three times a week.

While my ankle/Achilles issue still worries me (because the very localized pain/sensitivity to the touch isn't really going away), I'm encouraged by the fact that I've been continuously increasing mileage and it hasn't gotten any worse the last two months.  And it might be marginally better; it's hard to tell.  But that might just be how it's gonna be...  If I can manage it effectively, still train hard, and it takes a year for the pain to go away fully, that's OK.  That said, I've started to make a few plans for the future.  I'm doing a low key XC race here in Chicago in January (same one as January 2012).  I'm thinking about heading down to USAXC in St. Louis in February; while I obviously won't be as fit as last year, I still love racing cross, and USAXC close to home is a sweet opportunity to do so.  In early March, I'll head to California for a week, where I'll race the Napa Valley Marathon on March 3 before running the Way Too Cool 50k the following weekend.  That's about all that's set in stone for now, but I'm excited to have something to be shooting for.  I know I won't be in great shape for any of it; but I should be fit enough to be competitive, and the races will give me a good checkpoint on my progress.