There's a time to go easy on yourself, and today was one of those days. In the afternoon, I went out and ran 7.54 miles in 1:09:37, an average of 9:13 min/mile. It wasn't the hardest I've run, but it was a good distance for me. My right knee is still feeling it, so I'm making sure I take it slowly, running and then taking a break, but if I keep on doing it, I believe that I'll be able to make progress and eventually, my muscles would be able to take the strain off my knees and everything would be alright.
The next big race on my agenda would be The North Face Endurance Challenge (50 mile race in Atlanta) and probably a few 5ks here and there. I'll go little by little, make it a goal to go under 17 minutes, and then 16 minutes, and then hopefully 15 minutes. In order to do that, I'm going to train in two extremely different ways. The way I see it, if marathon runners can keep that pace up for a whole marathon, I could keep that pace up for just 5k. I know I'll do a lot better on the 50 miler because I'll be a lot more prepared this time compared to last year's 1 month training.
The first thing that I need to do is to build a solid foundation. Running 7+ miles for an easy run should get me to where I need to be. As soon as I build my muscles to a point where it won't hurt my knees, I'll start training 2-3 days on speed for the 5k, and 2 days taking it medium and easy, and at the end of the week going long, so that I could be training for the 50 miler. The easy runs are going to help me recover from the hard speed workouts I would be doing, and the long run in the weekend will just be a long run that works my endurance and not my speed. I've never done this form of extreme training and I'm excited to see how it would work... but before all that I need to keep doing my easy runs so that I would be running fully prepared to take on the punishment I'm putting on myself. As for weekly mileage, I will probably not go over 45 miles, but each and every mile of my training will be dedicated for my personal growth.
Easy runs are good and helpful. They help you with your recovery while not giving you too much of a break. In life, we all need our easy runs, to help us take a break, yet at the same time keeping your feet on the ground and being productive.