Today I successfully broke through the eight mile barrier for my morning run, and it felt great.
I had to run the final 1/2 mile or so by double backing on myself and re-covering a part of the course that I had already run through so it is clear that I am reaching the limits of the current track I am following (albeit broadly) that goes from one end of town to another (this is a crude approximation but more or less accurate). This means that in order to keep the route stimulating and interesting to run (I hate doing laps of a course unless running with a friend) I need to choose a new one, and I think I will now use my previous long weekend run as a template. I will need to add some distance to it as I will lose around two miles due to my starting from a location other than home, so I will just have to busk it from eight miles onward and see how it goes.
I think also that I may be reaching the sensible limits of a daily run. I do not want to overtrain, nor do I want to spend half of my time running since I have work to do and a family. I am still looking to really hammer the road on Saturdays so I am hoping that by the end of February I will be pushing marathon-like distances for that. Right now it is fun to see how far I can safely go and whilst I am still only a “short distance, long distance” runner as yet I do have one eye on life beyond the London Marathon and the mysterious world of ultra running. Time will tell as to whether that is a realistic target for a 39 year old chap from a northern mill town in the UK. What I do know right now is that to hit the sort of distances I am aiming for I cannot just run around the town. The place simply is not big enough, so I find myself looking for new road courses. The university at which I am reading for a masters degree is around 21.5 miles away, so it is worth me considering aiming to run home from my lectures. With summer coming the long nights may well make that a worthy prospect, however I worry that I may not be up to that distance before semester end, I will have to wait and see whether or not I can hit that target in time.