I've been able to maintain at least 20 miles a week over the last couple of weeks with the Thanksgiving holiday, things picking up, etc. That makes me happy as I'll need to do a minimum of 20 miles/week to get me to Los Angeles by graduation day (May 15, 2010).
But what I'm finding is that I'm really procrastinating before I get out on the road (another post on why in the near future), and I'm struggling to find the motivation to get out 4 times a week, much less 5 times.
So I decided to move to 3 runs a week, each at least 6.5 miles, but typically at least 7 miles a pop. That allows me to hit 20+ miles. Follow with me, if you will, on what a normal run entails.
- Decide that I need to go for a run (15 minutes)
- Change into running clothes (5 minutes)
- Use the bathroom (5 minutes)
- Stretch (5 minutes)
- Procrastinate by checking the weather again (5 minutes)
- Find all of my running equipment, despite it being all in one spot (5 minutes)
- Go out for a run (varies)
- Come home and stretch (5 minutes)
- Shower/get dressed (15 minutes)
So that's about an hour of non-running time (give or take). Add on 35 minutes for a 4.5 mile run and we're looking at nearly 90 minutes. Could I be more efficient? Sure. Will I be? I wouldn't bet on it.
So what I decided is that instead of doing this routine 4 days a week, running 4-4.5 miles each time, I'd just lengthen the distance and decrease the days of the week. It takes me almost exactly an hour to run 7 miles, so that's only 25 minutes longer than it takes to run 4.5 miles. Which means that I'm saving a bunch of procrastination time on the front end of my run, and a bunch of clean-up time on the end.
It's still a bear some days, but I'm finding that I'm wasting considerably less time and getting the same mileage at the end of the week. Plus, it's giving me a bit of distance practice, rather than the short 4.5 mile bursts.