Burning Questions

Somewhere around 45 miles a week, I seem to turn into a different runner. It happened last year when I was training for the Santa Barbara half marathon, and it seems to be happening again now. Six mile tempo runs felt difficult a few weeks ago, and now seven seems easy. Five miles feels like three.  Instead of worrying about whether I’ll be able to hold my pace in my speed workout, I’m wondering how far I’ll be able to push it. After two months of training I expect to be much stronger, but I’m always surprised at how it seems to come in fits and spurts.  After my fabulous long run (ignoring the knee problem) this weekend, I had a great 8-miler last night. It was scheduled as an easy run, but I bumped it up to a pace run and was actually a little disappointed when the treadmill clicked to 8.0 and it was over.  Tonight I breezed through a 7-mile tempo and even finished slightly faster than the proscribed pace.

The curious thing is that I’ve been ravenously hungry this week, pretty much  in lockstep with the improved running. I’ve been upping my protein, but nothing seems to be putting a dent in it. I can’t think of any terribly convincing arguments as to why a decrease in perceived effort in my runs should correlate to a higher burn rate, but I’m starting to seriously consider adding a fourth meal.

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