Progress, plans and progressions

You’re all dying to know how things are coming with my Achilles injury, mileage building, and training plans for the new year.  Right?  Right?

[Insert cricket chirping noises]

Okay, I’ll try to keep it brief.  Consider it this week’s dose of running-related navel-gazing.

Progress has been made in Operation Add Mileage Without Angering Crankle!  Although my calves and Achilles (both of them) are generally still pretty stiff first thing in the morning, they feel totally fine while running.  Yay!

Taking a very conservative approach has been successful here, I think.  After taking a couple of weeks in early November totally off, I started back up with a couple of weeks in the teens, then worked my way through the 20s and now the 30s.   No races, no speedwork.  Planning to ease in to the 40s as 2010 ends.  And then it’s time for…

Plans.  As of January 1, I’ll have exactly 11 weeks to build up for the Shamrock Half on March 20.   I’m not following a formal training plan, but I do have some loose training goals:

  • Build up weekly mileage to mid-50s
  • Two key workouts each week: one speed (5K pace work), one tempo (10K to half marathon pace work)
  • Build long run up from 10 miles to 15-16

Simple enough, right?  Eleven weeks isn’t a ton of time, but compared to a year ago, my fitness level is certainly better, so I’m hoping I can pull off a decent race in Virginia Beach!

Now, progressions.  Thank you Garmin for allowing me to get geeky over this.  I’ve noticed that many of my runs look like yesterday’s ten-miler:

The unintentional progression run.  It was chilly yesterday and my watch was buried under my arm-warmers, out of view of my prying little eyes until I peeled back my sleeve a block from my apartment to see how far I’d gone.  (I ended up adding a trip around the block to make it an even 10; I’m not that lucky.)

Anyway.  I had sort of guessed that I was probably running an 8:30 or 8:40 pace for this run, but I never would have thought that there was so much variation between the pace at the beginning of the run and the pace at the end.  They felt the same – or, if anything, even bass-ackwards of how they should have felt.   Those last few miles felt awesome and easy-breezy.

Possible lessons:

  • It takes me a while to warm up.
  • I should cover my Garmin more often, because that was simply a lovely run.
  • Wow, if I could manage to start off a little more conservatively in marathons, maybe I could cruise effortless sub-8s then too.

Yep.  Fascinating.  Right?  Right?

[chirp, chirp, chirp….]

Today’s EAT: Yesterday’s blog post kinda bummed me out.  I really appreciate all of your kind comments – each one made me smile.  I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in being weirdly emotional at this time of the year.  I think A.J. said it perfectly: “It makes sense that this is hard…it means we have great families!”  Word.

Anyway, eating?  Oh yeah.

I decided to treat myself to my favorite black bean burger from the bar next door.  It was delightful.  I’ll be back tonight with a delicious recipe to share.  Or a random collection of ingredients from my freezer, in the event that I’m too lazy to go to the store.  (Likely.)

Today’s DRINK: I enjoyed a pint of Blue Point’s Hoptical Illusion with my burger:

[source]

I’ve come a long way in my relationship with IPAs.  I used to avoid them entirely because they made me pucker up and smack my lips.  “I can’t drink this very fast at all!” I used to complain.

Oh, how a few years change things.

Now that I’m no longer drinking my beer out of a red cup with a dirty ping-pong ball splashing around in it*, I can appreciate a good sipping beer for what it is: something that you drink slowly and enjoy.  And I very much enjoyed this Hoptical Illusion.  True to its name, it was very hoppy – but also citrusy, almost like a wheat beer.  An odd combination for a snowy night, but it worked!

*Usually.

Today’s RUN: Plus ten for the day and I’m still only at thirteen for the week!  I ended up taking Tuesday off because of a weird kink in my back.  Instead of running, I reclined on the couch with a heating pad and felt old.

I’m a little annoyed that I had to burn my rest day so early in the week, but oh well.  Part of getting old, I guess.

Today’s QUESTION: Are you an IPA fan?  What’s your favorite beer?

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19 responses to “Progress, plans and progressions

  1. I’m always interested in seeing how people do runs – it definitely takes me a mile or so to really feel warmed up and not “oh my god I hate running.” Being Garmin-less, I end up just knowing my distance via Google Maps and use a pace calculator to see how fast I ran – not the most accurate thing in the world, but it works.

    Oh, and re: your post yesterday, this will be the first year ever that I haven’t spent Christmas at home. We’re not even spending it with J’s parents. Just the two of us, in Asheville, and I’m thinking that unless I start cranking holiday songs (and baking & frosting sugar cookies, obviously), this year it won’t even feel like Christmas. To say the least, I find this worrisome…

  2. IPAs are my favorite. Doubles, imperials, blacks, whatever you’ve got. If (nay, WHEN) ULS happens, I’ll bring you a Dreadnaught. It’s the smoothest, most delightful IPA you will ever have.

  3. I’ve been enjoying my buried Garmin that I can’t check every 2 minutes without getting frostbite. Love IPAs, it’s a toss up between an IPA and a good stout as favorites- depends on the weather, food, mood, what’s in the fridge.

    • Yes, it’s definitely nice to bury the Garmin a little sometimes! Long sleeves = not tempted to look at it all of the time, but still have the data at the end of the run. Win win!

  4. Quit chirping at yourself; a little bit of insightful running-related navel-gazing here and there is fun for us to read. Well, fun for me at least? My runs tend to have an “unintentional progression” bent as well. Thank goodness the crankle is coming around.

    IPAs! I used to hate them too. Then my dad told me to pretend that it’s grapefruit beer. And somehow? That totally warped my taste perception and now I really enjoy the astringency. And now some strange corner of my mind equates IPAs with “healthiness.” Makes me wonder what other weird mind tricks my parents played on me to get me to eat my food when I was younger…

  5. well i don’t really drink beer. i drink whatever someone hands me 😉

    i LOVE progression runs. most of my runs are like that naturally. it takes me a bit to warm up but once i do i am ready to GO

  6. I think this post was great to read! Fun to see your plans and hear that the crankle is mostly cooperating. I’m generally like IPA, but I definitely enjoy a good “sipping beer.”

  7. I think that tend to take a while to warm up given my Garmin splits. My first two miles are almost always my slowest. So weird. At least that means I hardly ever go out too fast!

  8. i am usually like that too, esp on longer runs. well, except mine start at 9:something and end 8:something!

    i am not a huge IPA fan. josh loves ’em though!

  9. I love Belgian style dark beers. Absolute favorite is Trois Pistoles but at 9% ABV I can’t drink as many as I’d like.

  10. I discovered IPAs (and ales and bitters) when I moved to the UK in February this year. (South Africa, where I’m from, is lager country.)
    They took me a while getting used to, but now I love them! My favourite beer is now Betty Stogs Cornish Bitter.

    http://foodandsweatandbeers.com

  11. +1 to taking awhile to warm up. Without fail my 1st mile is always like 9:00 or slower.

    I’m still more of a wheat beer fan, but this fall I was introduced to Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale and it changed my life. Just ask the froyoist!

  12. I notice that my better runs are when I’m not staring at the Garmin for the whole thing, I enjoy covering it up sometimes. I think I like IPAs? I liked the Dogfish Head one I had the other night anway.

  13. Glad my comment helped you in some way!

    Dogfish Head when I lived in VA first made me an IPA girl and moving to California cemented the love affair. We have so many good local IPAs that it’s almost a sin to drink anything else. Luckily I’m a sinning kind of girl and I have no problem cheating on IPA with other beers. Or homemade sangria last night. Although I’m paying for that today. Vodka and wine, yikes.

  14. I am starting to like IPA’s as well. I recently tried a Samuel Adams Latitude 48 and really enjoyed it.

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