TITLE: 99 Goes Into 2 AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 25, 2007 6:18 AM DESC: ----- BODY: ... for the first time since last September. In the two weeks since my last training update, I have run 99 miles, in weeks of 43 and 56. The 56 is not an extraordinary number during marathon training, though for me it's a signal that I am reaching the peak of my plan. But after the last eleven months, 56 miles seems amazing. And it feels great. The 99 miles culminated in a long run of 23 miles on Sunday morning. Rather than run a 23-mile route, I pieced together two passes around an 8-mile loop followed by a 7-mile loop. This allowed me to stop by my house twice during the run, grab a power gel, and take any other breaks (ahem) that I might need. I didn't run fast -- just a bit under 9:00 minutes per mile -- but that's a good pace for a long run when my marathon goal pace is 8:00 or even 8:30. (I ran last Sunday's 12-miler in a sub-8:30/mile pace.) This run challenged me not only with its distance but also its hills. The 8-mile loop has several long rises and falls, and running down the hills left me with sore quadriceps. But its a soreness I am happy to carry into this week. And before you tell me that Iowa is flat and has no hills, let me remind you that hills are relative. When I run mostly flat routes, a few miles of hills in a row affects the legs. When compounded with distance, the hills matter more. I invite anyone who runs mostly flat ground to join me for a week. Then we'll see who thinks eastern Iowa is flat! I think I am back in the groove, or close. My last five weeks have been 44, 46, 48, 43, and 56 miles. The next two will tell; they call for 44 and 60 miles, respectively, ending with a 25-mile long run. Then comes my taper, when I progressively cut mileage, convert stamina into speed, and let my body recover a bit before the race. I don't have any grand analogies between running and agile software development right now. Sustainable pace and continuous feedback have been instrumental in building my mileage back up. But when push comes to shove, it's mostly about running -- just as software development ultimately comes down to programming. At the end of the day, all you have to show are the code you wrote, or the miles you ran. -----