Whew! It turns out I’m not as out of shape as summer made me think. That’s a big relief!

It’s not even just summer, I guess. When I’m running seven days a week, like I have been since May 13, a very large percentage of the miles are easy. Even the gut-wrenching, dry-heaving speed days consist of just a small amount of hard running, usually. For example, this week was 66 total miles and only 7.83 of them were fast. So it’s easy to forget about those and just remember a lot of time spent yogging around.

But then every now and then I rip off a few days where I realize, holy crap, okay, this is going to be alright.

Whew. Good timing, legs.

Monday: Labor Day holiday, 8 mi easy, 65:46/139. Slept in, woke up with a sore neck, met a friend, realized it was kinda hot and humid, ran into some people at the park we hadn’t seen in a while … basically a lazy run. I had the green light to do 10 if I felt good, but I didn’t, so I didn’t. (What, you thought the whole week was going to be unicorns and rainbows?)

Tuesday: 10 mi total, 74:16/153. Hill day. Warm up then 5 miles at 80-85% max HR on a hilly course. I got in 480’ of elevation gain, 6:50 average. Probably a little harder than it needed to be but that’s what happens when you’re sitting around fretting about not being ready for a marathon that is rapidly approaching. Neck still no bueno.

Wednesday: 6 mi, 47:37. Used the optical HR and the data is junk so we’ll leave that out. Early run group day but turned out to just be me and another guy that trains with Coach Matt, which is okay since that’s who I normally run with when the group meets. Taught Pilates after work. Probably made neck worse.

Thursday: Can’t move head. Can’t see over shoulders to check blind spot. Miserable. Suck it up and go running anyway because I don’t really have to turn my head while running. Thought about treadmilling so I wouldn’t have to worry about looking around for traffic — hahah! Actually felt better while running. 10 miles, 75:40/155, with 3x 3-2-1 minutes hard. Taught Pilates after.

Friday: 6 miles early, neck still jacked, 49:46/140. Ran early then headed to my sports chiropractor for help phase 1. He concluded I had done something to my trapezius, possibly just sleeping on it wrong. Dry needle, soft tissue manipulation, chiropractic adjustment, and a few exercises to do. He theorized it feels better running because I’m engaging my core and relaxing my shoulders so 1) yay Pilates and b) at least one part of my form is good! Went to work then had a massage after, 30 minutes focusing on the same trap muscles along with the rest of my back (if you’ll recall last week’s psuedo-injury) plus hip flexors and glutes.

Saturday: “The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.” Thank you Bill Squires for the reminder. 20 miles easy, 2:38:45/141 (7:56 pace and 74% max HR). I decided to tackle it chunks of 5 and try to run each chunk a little fast than the one before. 40:20, 40:09, 40:00, 38:45. Ta-da! Really I wanted the first 5 to be easy, the middle 10 to be, um, slightly less easy, and the last 5 to be a little bit of work. But not too much — I’m racing this coming Tuesday (5k), then a half 9/23, then Chicago two weeks after that. Legs up after, Jasyoga later. Beer and pizza and football. (Neck much better, a little sore from all the manipulation done on it but I CAN TURN MY HEAD.)

Sunday: 6 miles easy, 49:53/134. Just shaking out the legs.

Totals: 66 miles (3.27 for Morgan), 102 minutes Pilates and Jasyoga.