I am a week and a half into being back on the training wagon. Things are going well. I've been extremely pleased about how my body has responded to regular running after such a long absence. It's has if I never went away (well, besides the fact that I am a lot slower). In some aspects I even feel better than I had a few years ago when I was training regularly. I am prone to getting very sore after runs and my body usually takes a mile or two to work out that soreness on my next run, but I have felt very little soreness after running every day, multiple times a day for the past 10 days.
I was able to run 43 miles my first week back with no discomfort at all. This week I am aiming for 50+ while also adding in speed work. I have decided to add the speed work now more as a means to get used to the routine, as my body isn't in the shape to really benefit from these workouts quite yet. I need to build up my aerobic base before I can really see benefits from the speed. It's nice to get things moving fast, but it's also discouraging to see the time on the clock after a 4 mile hard tempo run (7:44 pace) and know how much work has to be done to get back to where I was, and surpass that. Speed work will be a big part of my ultra training, as I don't simple want to get back to where I was, but I want to be more competitive in my running. My mind set right now is that anything more than 24 hours at the 100 in June would be a disappointment, and I think I can run quite a bit fast than that. 6 months might not be enough time to make it all happen but I think it will be a good start.
My best workout so far has been a 13 mile run at 9:19 pace. It felt relatively easy and it was nice to know I am capable of doing that after 3 years of virtually no running at all. And best of all I was able to do hill repeats the next day without much fatigue.