At the beginning of 2008, I set a resolution to run 40 miles in the first four weeks of the year. It took some work, but I met the goal. My longest run back then was 4 miles, and even getting to that distance was a challenge.
Now, in just the last half month since my last triathlon, I've run over 40 miles as part of my training for the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon coming up October 5, with my longest, a 9.3 mile run, coming last Sunday as I participated in the Nike+ Human Race 10K.
Over the next month, my training schedule has me putting running four times a week: 5 mile easy runs on Tuesday and Thursday, a pace run on Saturdays and a long run Sundays. This Sunday I'll be doing a 10-mile run and then add a mile to my long runs each week until I top out at half marathon distance the week before the race.
My biggest pleasure? The fact I actually enjoy my long runs and can go for 9+ miles at a sub-8:45 pace without stopping. Folks who know better say that I shouldn't be worried about finishing the half marathon... if I can do the 9-milers, I can complete the race. Now I'm focused on finishing the race in under two hours.
It still astounds me that a year ago I was struggling to be able to make it on a three-mile loop around the neighborhood without walking for stretches at a time. What a difference a year makes!