For having stopped running a race a month, my average mileage per month sure hasn’t gone down. This time last year I was at 244 miles, this year so far; 339 miles. Almost a hundred more already.
This race definitely had something to do with it. I don’t think I over-trained, I did what the schedule called for, however, I was still unprepared. The focus should’ve been on the hill training.
It’s hard to explain to somebody who hasn’t run it before because it’s hard to believe how many hills are there. Most races I’ve done strategically course out some hills, and then you kind of know where the relief is going to be. Big Sur didn’t really feel like it ever had a relief. It has a really tough part, somewhere after mile 10 for 2 miles, and then you come down for a bit, but you’re eventually going back up. And down again, and then back up. Which thrashes the legs, again and again. No relief.
I had stamina, I could keep going, I was prepared for that. But my legs were not. My legs hurting, I knew if tried to speed it up I would risk doing some damage. Also, the sloping streets after everything else you endure, is rough as hell.
Now, having done it, here’s my advice. Get your legs nice and strong, practice hills every training running. There’s all types of ways to strengthen your legs, but they need to be strong. They need to be able to take a thorough beating.